New Poetry Book “Take Me With You” {Review}

All of my reviews are always SPOILER FREE 🙂

I received an advanced copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley, for allowing me to review.

Take me with you

Title: Take Me With You

Author:  Andrea Gibson

Genre: Poetry, LGBTQIA

Publisher: Plume Books

Date published: Expected Publication January 23, 2018

Page Count: 193

 

synopsis

“For readers of Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey) and Cheryl Strayed, a book small enough to carry with you, with messages big enough to stay with you, from one of the most quotable and influential poets of our time.

Andrea Gibson explores themes of love, gender, politics, sexuality, family, and forgiveness with stunning imagery and a fierce willingness to delve into the exploration of what it means to heal and to be different in this strange age. Take Me With You, illustrated throughout with evocative line drawings by Sarah J. Coleman, is small enough to fit in your bag, with messages that are big enough to wake even the sleepiest heart. Divided into three sections (love, the world, and becoming) of one liners, couplets, greatest hits phrases, and longer form poems, it has something for everyone, and will be placed in stockings, lockers, and the hands of anyone who could use its wisdom”

 

My Review

Take Me With You is a poetry pocket book highlighting a wide variety of relatable topics, split into three sections: Love, The World, and On Becoming. These poems talk about the good and bad parts of love: how it feels to love someone, to be loved, and to have your heart broken. Gibson also tackles big themes about the world such as creation versus destruction, women’s rights, the internal struggle of someone who is transgender, feminism, heaven, the broken parts of America, gun violence, tolerance, veterans, war, the pressures social media put on us, and kindness. In the last section titled “On Becoming” Gibson shares thoughts on struggling painfully through mental health challenges like anxiety in order to end up at a place where you love ALL of yourself, including the flaws which help to make you who you are.

After reading other reviews I think the final book is three long poems rather than a bunch of short poems. I read the ebook version which had each poem on a different page. Reading these words as three long poems would be a completely different experience.

There are some insightful and unique comparisons such as, needing someone as much as the moon needs the sea, or comparing a room in a home to the palm of a hand, or how in Autumn the leaves fall as if they are in love with the ground.

Either way, Take Me With You is a delightful little book about HOPE and I would recommend this to everyone, especially to readers who want to read more poetry that isn’t filled with complicated prose.

About the author

Andrea Gibson is an award-winning poet and activist who lives in Boulder, Colorado. Their poetry focuses on gender norms, politics, social reform and the struggles LGBTQ people face in today’s society. In addition to using poetry to express what they feel and provide social and political commentary on real issues, they are involved with many activist groups. They often perform at Take Back the Night events, LGBTQ events, pride events, trans events, anti-war rallies, peace rallies, organizations against the occupation of Palestine, and groups focused on examining the wrongs of capitalism, patriarchy and white supremacy. They also work with a group called Vox Feminista whose model is to “comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable” on all these issues. Throughout the year, they tour Universities and other venues across the country.https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/457281.Andrea_Gibson

Check out Andrea’s website: https://www.andreagibson.org/

 

 

 

 

 

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My favourite book and movie: The Last Unicorn ~ Spoiler-Free Book Review

The Last Unicorn (2008)

Title: The Last Unicorn

Author:  Peter S. Beagle

Genre: Fiction: Fantasy, Young Adult, Classic

Publisher: Penguin Roc

Date published: 40th Anniversary Edition published 2008. First published 1968.

Page Count: 294

 

 

synopsis

She was magical, beautiful beyond belief — and completely alone…

The unicorn had lived since before memory in a forest where death could touch nothing. Maidens who caught a glimpse of her glory were blessed by enchantment they would never forget. But outside her wondrous realm, dark whispers and rumours carried a message she could not ignore: “Unicorns are gone from the world.”

Aided by a bumbling magician and an indomitable spinster, she set out to learn the truth. but she feared even her immortal wisdom meant nothing in a world where a mad king’s curse and terror incarnate lived only to stalk the last unicorn to her doom…” https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29127.The_Last_Unicorn?ac=1&from_search=true

 

My Review

Two hunters who have failed to track down their prey are traveling through the unicorn’s forest. She overhears one hunter tell the other that this forest must be protected by the last unicorn. They decide to move on and the unicorn is left to wonder whether she truly is the last of her kind. She decides to leave her forest and find the other unicorns. On her journey she meets a talking butterfly who tells her about the Red Bull who chased all the other unicorns away.

“He was the color of blood, not the springing blood of the heart but the blood that stirs under an old wound that never really healed. A terrible light poured from him like sweat, and his roar started landslides flowing into one another. His horns were as pale as scars.” – Decribing the Red Bull

While sleeping the unicorn is captured by a witch named Mommy Fortuna who runs a traveling carnival of caged mythical creatures, including the evil Harpy, Celaeno. Mommy Fortuna tells the unicorn that the Red Bull belongs to King Haggard.

“…the Red Bull will know you when he sees you.” – Mommy Fortuna

Schmendrick, a magician who works for Mommy Fortuna, helps the unicorn escape. Molly Grue, a middle-aged woman, joins Schmendrick and the unicorn as they travel to the castle where King Haggard and his son Prince Lír live.

 

The Last Unicorn, a third person narrative, is a story about how we are often our own worst enemy, and when we find ourselves in the most dire situation surrounded by evil we must let love show us to believe in ourselves and each other.

“You must never run from anything immortal. It attracts their attention.” – The Unicorn

There is a ton of story with breath-taking language smashed into this small book. I cannot name one character as my favourite. Schmendrick, Molly, King Haggard, Prince Lir, the Red Bull, are all extremely well-written characters with distinct and authentic personalities. The unicorn and Lady Amalthea are the same being, and yet feel like two completely different characters.

“The hero has to make a prophecy come true, and the villain is the one who has to stop him – though in another kind of story, it’s more often the other way around. And a hero has to be in trouble from the moment of his birth, or he’s not a real hero. It’s a great relief to find out about Prince Lír. I’ve been waiting for this tale to turn up a leading man.” – Schmendrick the Magician

The Last Unicorn has been my favourite movie since I was a child. I cannot possibly count how many times I’ve watched it. For some reason, I’ve never read the book. I wonder that perhaps I was afraid the book would let me down, or I would realize my most treasured movie was a horrible adaptation. I’m happy to say the book took my breath away. I LOVE the movie, but the book is SO MUCH BETTER than the movie. I know I will be re-reading this book many, many times.

“‘Haggard, I would not be you for all the world,’ he declared. ‘You have let your doom in by the front door, though it will not depart that way.” – Mabruk (King Haggard’s magician)

READ THIS. Even if you don’t like fiction. Even if you don’t like fantasy. Even if you don’t like unicorns! 🙂

 

About the author.jpg

Peter Beagle.jpgPeter S. Beagle

“Peter Soyer Beagle (born April 20, 1939) is an American fantasist and author of novels, nonfiction, and screenplays. He is also a talented guitarist and folk singer. He wrote his first novel, A Fine and Private Place , when he was only 19 years old. Today he is best known as the author of The Last Unicorn, which routinely polls as one of the top ten fantasy novels of all time, and at least two of his other books (A Fine and Private Place and I See By My Outfit) are considered modern classics.”

 

January 2018 TBR

The Last Unicorn (2008).jpg

 

The Last Unicorn

By Peter S. Beagle

Published 2008 by Penguin Roc (first published 1968)

YA Fantasy

294 pages

She was magical, beautiful beyond belief — and completely alone…

The unicorn had lived since before memory in a forest where death could touch nothing. Maidens who caught a glimpse of her glory were blessed by enchantment they would never forget. But outside her wondrous realm, dark whispers and rumours carried a message she could not ignore: “Unicorns are gone from the world.”

Aided by a bumbling magician and an indomitable spinster, she set out to learn the truth. but she feared even her immortal wisdom meant nothing in a world where a mad king’s curse and terror incarnate lived only to stalk the last unicorn to her doom…”

 

 

Take me with youTake Me With You by Andrea Gibson

Expected Publication January 23, 2018 by Plume Books

LGBTQIA, Poetry

193 pages

“Andrea Gibson explores themes of love, gender, politics, sexuality, family, and forgiveness with stunning imagery and a fierce willingness to delve into the exploration of what it means to heal and to be different in this strange age. Take Me With You, illustrated throughout with evocative line drawings by Sarah J. Coleman, is small enough to fit in your bag, with messages that are big enough to wake even the sleepiest heart. Divided into three sections (love, the world, and becoming) of one liners, couplets, greatest hits phrases, and longer form poems, it has something for everyone, and will be placed in stockings, lockers, and the hands of anyone who could use its wisdom.”

things to do when it's raining.jpgThings to do When it’s Raining by Marissa Stapley

Expected Publication: February 2018 by Simon & Schuster Canada

Women’s Fiction

256 pages

Mae Summers and Gabriel Broadbent grew up together in the idyllic Summers’ Inn, perched at the edge the St. Lawrence river. Mae was orphaned at the age of six and Noah needed protection from his alcoholic father, so both were raised under one roof by Mae’s grandparents, Lilly and George. A childhood friendship quickly developed into a first love—a love that was suddenly broken by Gabe’s unexpected departure. Mae grew up, got over her heartbreak, and started a life for herself in New York City.

After more than a decade, Mae and Gabe find themselves pulled back to Alexandria Bay. Hoping to find solace within the Summers’ Inn, Mae instead finds her grandparents in the midst of decline and their past unravelling around her. A lifetime of secrets stand in the way of this unconventional family’s happiness. Will they be able to reclaim the past and come together, or will they remain separate islands?

From the bestselling author of Mating for Life comes a powerful story about guilt, forgiveness and the truth about families: that we can choose them, just as we choose to love.”

Harry Potter and the order of the phoenixHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

Published 2003 by Raincoast Books

YA Fantasy

768 pages

Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizadry. He is desperate to get back to school and find out why his friends Ron and Hermione have been so secretive all summer. However, what Harry is about to discover in his new year at Hogwarts will turn his world upside down…

 

man-gone-down

 

Man Gone Down by Michael Thomas

Published 2006 by Grove Press, Black Cat

Adult Fiction, Cultural (African American)

432 pages

On the eve of his thirty-fifth birthday, the unnamed black narrator of Man Gone Down finds himself broke, estranged from his white wife and three children, and living in the bedroom of a friend’s six-year-old child. He has four days to come up with the money to keep the kids in school and make a down payment on an apartment for them in which to live. As we slip between his childhood in inner city Boston and present-day New York City, we learn of a life marked by abuse, abandonment, raging alcoholism, and the best and worst intentions of a supposedly integrated America. This is a story of the American Dream gone awry, about what it’s like to feel preprogrammed to fail in life and the urge to escape that sentence.

New Years Resolutions Book Tag

On Monday I made a resolution that I would post a Book Tag every Tuesday this year, and I’ve already failed! BAHAHAHA! So…here’s my Tag Tuesday a day late 😉 What a way to kick off 2018!

1. An author you’d like to read (that you’ve never read before).

herman melvilleHerman Melville

I plan to read Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick this year.

Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. His first two books gained much attention, though they were not bestsellers, and his popularity declined precipitously only a few years later. By the time of his death he had been almost completely forgotten, but his longest novel, Moby-Dick — largely considered a failure during his lifetime, and most responsible for Melville’s fall from favor with the reading public — was rediscovered in the 20th century as one of the chief literary masterpieces of both American and world literature.https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1624.Herman_Melville

2. A book you’d like to read.

blue lily, lily blue.jpgBlue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. A classic you’d like to read.

pride and prejudicePride and Prejudice

4. A book you’d like to re-read.

wizard's first ruleWizard’s First Rule (Sword of Truth #1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. A book you’ve had for ages and want to read.

revelations book 1Revelations – Book I: The Chronicles of the Fallen and the Divine

 

 

 

 

 

6. A big book you’d like to read.

wizard and glass.jpgWizard and Glass (The Dark Tower #4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. An author you’ve previously read and want to read more of.

leigh bardugo.jpgLeigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo is the #1 New York Times bestselling and USA Today bestselling author of the Six of Crows Duology and the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, as well as the upcoming Wonder Woman: Warbringer (Aug 2017) and The Language of Thorns (Sept 2017).

She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, and graduated from Yale University. These days, she lives and writes in Hollywood where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.” https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4575289.Leigh_Bardugo

8. A book you got for Christmas and would like to read.

Sleeping BeautiesSleeping Beauties

By Stephen King and Owen King

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. A series you want to read (start and finish)

I have 14 series that I have already started and need to finish this year, so I’m going to try REALLY hard NOT to start ANY NEW ONES! LOL

10. A series you want to finish (that you’ve already started)

Like I just mentioned, I have 14 series that I have started and want to finish – which I doubt will happen all this year LOL

  1. Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
  2. Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman
  3. The Dark Tower by Stephen King
  4. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  5. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
  6. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  7. Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan
  8. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
  9. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin
  10. Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
  11. Monsters of Verity by Victoria Schwab
  12. Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
  13. Two Hearts (The Last Unicorn 1.5) by Peter S. Beagle
  14. Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind

11. Do you set reading goals? If so, how many books do you want to read in 2018?

My goal is to read 75 books in 2018.

12. Any other reading goals?

I want to read at least 24,000 pages this year and try an audio book.

2018 Reading Goals

As I welcomed 2017 and began thinking about areas of my life that needed improvement, I realized more sleep had to be a New Years Resolution. I also wanted to read more, and so I connected the two. My kids and I started a new routine of reading for at least 20-30 minutes before bed every night.

Many nights I read for 15-20 minutes with my eight year old son before his bedtime. It was super cozy to lay in his bed together, reading our books. Sometimes he wanted to talk about his day, so we didn’t end up reading many pages, but we created a moment of connection at the end of his day which has helped his sleeping challenges.

My ten-year-old daughter isn’t into the idea of me laying in her bed while we read for 20 minutes. She’s much more independent than my son and enjoys being on her own. We did end up reading some of the same books throughout the year, and it was really fun talking about those books together. This year we are going to do more buddy reads. I’m really excited to have found something we both love and able to enjoy that connection which will hopefully strengthen our mother-daughter bond (fingers crossed).

I also read for 20-30 minutes before my bed time, and was surprised at how much it changed my health. I am able to fall asleep faster, with less anxiety (no laying in bed worrying and thinking about a thousand things), stay asleep longer (not waking up two or three times every hour all night like I used to), and just plain feel happier.

I felt happier than I’ve felt in years.

In 2017 I read 55 books – 17,819 pages – (I thought it was 54 but Goodreads had a date mixed up).

My goal is to read 75 books (at least 24,000 pages) in 2018.

Finish the Unfinished:
Man Gone Down by Michael Thomas
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

I’d like to read one classic every month, including:
– Moby Dick
– Pride and Prejudice
– Ulysses
– To Kill a Mockingbird
– The Big Sleep

I would also like to read all of the 42 unread books I own on my physical bookshelf. My kids also have a few Middle Grade books I’d like to read.

I have some Advanced Reader Copies to read:

Take Me With You by Andrea Gibson

Things To Do When It’s Raining by Marissa Stapley

A Guide for Murdered Children by Sarah Sparrow

Stray City by Chelsey Johnson

Children of Daedala by Caighlan Smith

 

 

 

My Favourite Books of 2017

Here are my favourite books I read in 2017 🙂

RenegadesRenegades (Renegades #1)

Together at MidnightTogether at Midnight

Dress Codes for Small TownsDress Codes for Small Towns

The Essex SerpentThe Essex Serpent

13RWanniversaryThirteen Reasons Why

lonely hearts hotelThe Lonely Hearts Hotel

small-great-things-hc-400wSmall Great Things

 

Books Under The Tree Tag

⋯ QUESTIONS ⋯

1. What book would you like to find under the tree this year?

Sleeping Beauties

 

I’ve been wanting this book for a couple of months, and lucky me – my Dad and Stepmom sent it as a Christmas present! Can’t WAIT to read this 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. What is the best book you have ever received for Christmas?

Little-Women-bookcover

 

I received Little Women as a gift when I was a young teen and absolutely loved this book. It’s one of the very few books I have read more than once.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. What book gives you all the Christmas feels?

harry_potter_and_the_goblet_of_fire

 

For some reason I love reading Harry Potter books around Christmas time.

 

 

 

 

 

4. What book do you plan on reading to put you in the Christmas spirit this year?

Harry Potter and the order of the phoenix

 

 

Currently reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. What book have you read this year that you would like to throw out with the Christmas tree after the holidays?

Remnant Population May 1996

Remnant Population, May 1996 Hardcover Edition (Goodreads photo)

 

 

 

I wish I didn’t waste my time reading this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. What is a book from this year that you would like to place under a friend’s tree?

7. Challenge: Create a stack of books in which the spines alternate green and red! Share the titles.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling – red

Tommyknockers by Stephen King – green

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn – red

The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan – green

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amy Kaufman – red

The Sentimentalists by Johanna Skibsrud

 

8. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. Who do you tag?

Anyone who wants to do this tag! Be sure to link to yours in the comments 🙂

Happy Christmas!

Stories From The Vinyl Cafe (Spoiler-Free Book Review)

stories from the vinyl cafe.jpgStories From the Vinyl Cafe (Vinyl Cafe #1)

Published 2009 by Penguin Canada (first published 1995)
226 pages
Fiction: Short Stories, Canadian
Stories From The Vinyl Cafe is a collection of eighteen tales written by Stuart Mclean. There is a fantastic balance between serious topics and touching stories about losing pets, family relationships, marriage, overcoming fear, stinky skunks, a mom who got caught stealing sausage from the grocery store, doing the right thing and remembering Canadian soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for us.
“Everyone should get to drive a car with everything they own piled around them. All alone. Heading towards the horizon. Driving into the future”.
These stories may be short but they are packed full of emotion and authentic Canadian culture. This one was a page-turner that left me wanting to read more of Mclean’s work.

Friday Night Knitting Club Book Review

The Friday Night Knitting ClubThe Friday Night Knitting Club (Friday Night Knitting Club #1)

352 pages
Published January 2007
Fiction: Mothers and Daughters, Female Friendship, Knitting, New York
Shortly after Georgia and her boyfriend James broke up she found out she was pregnant. James took off overseas pursuing his career, while Georgia was alone, lost, without a plan. While knitting at Central Park, Anita complimented Georgia on her knitting, encouraging her to start her own business selling her work. That advice and new friendship led to Georgia opening her own yarn shop, Walker and Daughter. Twelve years later, Georgia’s business has done well, and her baby girl Dakota has grown into a beautiful twelve-year-old teen. Anita has become a great family friend, and working at the shop, picking up more hours there since her husband died. After twelve long years James has returned to New York and wants a relationship with his daughter. Georgia is going to need the help of Anita, her friends, and coworkers, to support her through this tough time.
When I first started reading Friday Night Knitting Club I felt annoyed by the style of writing and I didn’t think I was going to like the story. I’m happy to say, I was wrong. This is a great story about family, friends, love, and loss. I shed a few tears, and had a few good laughs. This cozy read is not just for knitters – like many have said, reading this story might make you want to learn how to knit.