i spent the weekend away with friends at Green Lake and got the chance to read a couple of books by authors i hadn't read before, and i can safely say i recommend both.
first, Mark Haddon's The Talking Horse and the Sad Girl and the Village Under the Sea had me from the title. it's not terribly amazing stuff, but it is a good deal better than the average fare. the collection is a hodgepodge with a good deal of humour, some self-pointing-poet stuff, and occasional beauty ("A Tally Stick," for instance). the world certainly won't end if you don't read it, but it might pick up a little if you do.
second, Fran Bourassa's debut chapbook Songs for Fools. this was the best chapbook i've read in a long time. truthfully, that's not setting the bar terribly high (for all the obscure literary circles i involve myself in, no one seems to be coming out with anything), but Bourassa's collection far exceeds the usual "first chapbook" expectations. at times, in fact, the poems in the collection seem too "professional," too caught in the words and meters and blah-ness of "the good stuff" that fills literary mags and isn't really all that good. more often than not, though, the poems rise above this and are very readable and satisfying. the chapbook is only available at Upstart Crow Books in North Van, so if you are in that area be sure to take a look.
so maybe i'm reviewing books on this site now. or, more possibly, i'm posting one-paragraph blurbs on books i like. i doubt it will catch on.
poems poems poems coming soon, i promise.