Tag: Biography

Elisabeth Horan – Self-Portrait | Review

Title: Self-Portrait

Author: Elisabeth Horan

Type: Poetry

Page Count: 148

Rating: 3.75/5

Disclaimer: I received this book for review.

I’ve read a little Elisabeth Horan before, and I’ve quite enjoyed her gritty take on poetry so far. She writes with an honesty that comes from the heart, even in this book which I suppose is almost like the poetic equivalent of a novel, or perhaps even a biography.

That’s because the entire collection is essentially themed around Frida Kahlo, and in fact quite a lot of it is partially written in Spanish. I don’t speak Spanish, which made it occasionally difficult to read, but Horan did at least translate it for me.

All in all, a recommended read if you’re a fan of either Frida Kahlo or contemporary feminist poetry with a subtle undercurrent of rage. What more could you ask for from it?

Learn more about Self-Portrait.

 


Kurt Vonnegut – Jailbird | Review

Title: Jailbird

Author: Kurt Vonnegut

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 240

Rating: 3/5

This book is a satirical novel that ties back in with the Watergate scandal, and because of that I struggled with it from time to time purely because I’m not particularly familiar with that particular part of American history. I’ve never liked Nixon, but he was also in power a long time before I was born and so it almost feels like it doesn’t matter.

Still, there was some fun stuff here, mostly revolving around Vonnegut’s wry observations and his occasional excellent one-liners. Because it’s also a sort of fictionalised biography of sorts, it also reminded me quite a lot of my own current work-in-progress, which follows the career of a fictional band. It has that same vibe where you have to optimise between showing and telling because while showing is an understandably good practice to have, you also need to tell sometimes to progress the narrative.

I’d say that I mostly appreciated this book from a writing point of view rather than because I particularly enjoyed it, but I think there’s a place for books like that on my shelves and I’m glad that I finally read this, especially considering it’s been on my shelves for several years now just waiting for me to finally tick it off. And to think that it took less than 48 hours. I feel kinda silly now!

Learn more about Jailbird.

 


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