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Herding Cats (Sarah's Scribbles, #3)Herding Cats by Sarah Andersen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Sarah's Scribbles is a very funny and relatable online comic that beautifully captures modern life for an artistic introvert. In addition to the usual anxiety and introversion we've come to know and live, this collection includes the terrors of the post-2016 world in a funny way. The book concludes with "Making Stuff in the Modern Era: A Guide for Young Creatives," a longer series with text about putting your artwork out and (trying to) ignore the pressures and criticisms rife in the Internet age.



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Kindest Regards: New and SelectedKindest Regards: New and Selected by Ted Kooser

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Ted Kooser's poetry often focuses on small details that capture the eye and become bigger, more important things in this amazing poet's hands. This collection includes many new poems as well as the best work from his most recent collections. An excellent introduction to one of our greatest living poets.



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Selfie: How We Became So Self-Obsessed and What It's Doing To UsSelfie: How We Became So Self-Obsessed and What It's Doing To Us by Will Storr

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


An interesting, insightful book about our culture of identity, individualism, and narcissism. Storr is an engaging writer and he examines the development of increasingly narcissistic and self-absorbed tendencies, evidenced in our politics (Trump, Brexit), our TV and films, our celebrity culture, and social media. Storr's commentary and historical analysis are smart and interesting, and he reaches some strong conclusions about how to fight this inclination in our world.



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To a FaultTo a Fault by Nick Laird

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


(Rounded up from 3.5 stars)

Laird's debut collection of poetry is difficult and challenging. There is a playfulness and infatuation with language that is admirable and sometimes impressive, but it often sacrifices connection or emotion.



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Desert: PoemsDesert: Poems by David Hinton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


David Hinton is best known as a translator of classic Chinese poetry like Li Po. This collection, however, is his own original poetry. While clearing influenced by the poets he translates, he has own his voice. He explores the desert landscape as a meditation on the vast terrain of his thoughts and philosophies. I look forward to more of his original work.

[I received an advanced e-galley of this through Netgalley. The book is due to be published July 10, 2018.]



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The Selected Poems of Donald HallThe Selected Poems of Donald Hall by Donald Hall

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I was reading this collection before his death was announced and finished it now. It is a beautiful selection, culled by the poet himself, from the entirety of his career. Many of the poems center on his care-giving and ultimate loss of his beloved wife Jane Kenyon. A stunning introduction and survey of one of America's greatest poets.



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The Selected PoemsThe Selected Poems by David Hinton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A strong collection of poems from the poet who not just lived Zen but seemed to truly embody its principles. Through his wanderings, his reflections on nature, and his drunkenness, the poet finds moments of transcendence that resonate more than a thousand years since his death.



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Paper Girls, Vol. 4 (Paper Girls, #4)Paper Girls, Vol. 4 by Brian K. Vaughan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A fun, twisty continuation of this blast of a series that takes the girls back to Y2K hysteria.



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Packing My Library: An Elegy and Ten DigressionsPacking My Library: An Elegy and Ten Digressions by Alberto Manguel

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Alberto Manguel needed to move from France where he housed a 35,000-volume personal library to a one-bedroom apartment in New York City. As he processes and purges, he reflects on the nature and importance of reading, libraries, and literature. A beautifully written and thoughtful book that will make librarians and readers cheer. Highly recommended.



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The OutsiderThe Outsider by Stephen King

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


An 11-year-old boy is brutally murdered and all the evidence points to family man Terry Maitland. Maitland, however, has a sterling reputation and a solid alibi. Soon, the case and the investigation impacts everyone involved and the details become more horrific. I found the early part of this book a slog, and if it wasn't for King's strong writing and setup, I probably would have abandoned it. The pace and my interest increased as it went on. The book has some strong characters and classic King creepiness, but it could be cut down considerably and some of the themes and even scenes seem like revisits of other, better King books. (Notice: reading the Bill Hodges trilogy before this book is recommended though not required as some of those details impact this story).



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