Unlike other memoirs, Mary-Louise Parker’s non-fictional novel Dear Mr. You recounts her life via a series of letters both real and imagined to the men in her life. The actress’s letters all revolve around the men who have influenced her life for good or bad, and readers are given a glimpse of her life’s journey thanks to her poignant words.
Some of her memoirs will make you cry, especially with the letter to the uncle of the infant girl she adopted or her heartbreaking ode to her grandfather. However, not all of her stories are filled with joy. Parker delves into the dark side of life when she recounts a tale about an unnamed abusive ex, who she equated to Cerebus, the three-headed dog who guards the gates of the underworld in ancient Greek mythology. Parker’s tales of this toxic person is dark, but there’s also some humor in it too. Even though his behavior will send chills up your spine, you won’t be able to keep from snickering as the actress expertly skewers him with her words and exposes his faults for the entire world to see.
As the novel progresses, readers will get a chance to see the actress reflect on her life and her choices. Parker is brutally honest and makes no attempt to hide her own flaws.
Dear Mr. You is an emotional journey through Parker’s life that will leave you pondering about the people who have impacted your own existence — for better or worst.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Thursday, December 17th, 2015||No Comments »|
Perhaps nothing is more widely know than the Love Trope —the joys of seeing a crush, the thrill of a first date, the contentment ones feel being able to cuddle up next to someone while falling asleep.
But behind this trope, as Mary Oliver’s new poetry collection Felicity revels, is the real joy of connecting with another human being as you fall in love.
And her work is as empathetic, making you feel the joy of falling in love all over again as it is thought-provoking, musing on what it means to love another person and how deep the paths inside the human heart run.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Wednesday, November 11th, 2015||No Comments »|
Talicha Johnson’s fiery debut poetry collection Falling In Love With Picking Myself Up is an ode to her personal struggles with loving her flaws as well as an inspirational read for anyone who is struggling with self-acceptance.
Her words touch upon important topics such as racism, body image, love and self-awareness. Each poem reveals Johnson’s own vulnerability and her past struggles to come to terms with herself. Unlike other authors who are afraid to disrupt the status quo, Johnson’s poems illuminate not only her own flaws, but society’s flaws, too. She uses her sharp tongue to rip the blindfolds off of the reader’s eyes and forces them to examine long-held beliefs in a new light.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Wednesday, October 14th, 2015||No Comments »|
Amy Berkowitz’s heartbreaking lyrical essay Tender Points explores the mental and physical pain of what it is like to live with a chronic invisible illness. The author juxtaposes pop culture characters, such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, against her own experiences with sexual violence and chronic illness for a unique exploration of women’s experiences with the patriarchal medical system.
Berkowitz points out that women’s experiences are always viewed with suspicion, as if they are not capable of being reliable narrators for their own bodies. This is part of the reason why it’s so hard for women to have their illnesses taken seriously by doctors—most just write off their suffering as being “all in their heads.”
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Thursday, August 6th, 2015||No Comments »|
K.I. Press explores the very human desire for intimacy in her riveting poetry collection Exquisite Monsters. Unlike other poets who might have chosen to use flowery language as they explore the depths of the human psyche, Press’s writing seems jarring at first. She juxtaposes topics such as motherhood and mourning with bizarre imagery and metaphors. From quirky pop culture facts to biomechanical androids, Press is fearlessly and unashamedly weird. However, if you stick with her bizarre collection, you’ll soon discover how she combines such disjointed topics into one whole. With vicious wit and a deft hand, Press takes her readers on a dark journey through our desire for intimacy.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Wednesday, July 1st, 2015||No Comments »|
In October 2014, Dove conducted a study that revealed only four out of 10 girls thought curly hair was beautiful. A year later, Dove worked with Taiye Selasi on the Love Your Curls campaign, which aimed to inspire young women to love their locks even if they weren’t long and straight.
Based on the flood of heartwarming stories and pictures submitted to Dove’s campaign by women with curly hair, Selasi’s poetry collection Love Your Curls captures how it feels to grow up knowing that your hair type is not deemed beautiful by society. From flat ironing to keratin treatments, women with curls often feel immense pressure to conform to societal beauty standards. The poems in Love Your Curls capture the frustration curly-haired women feel as they attempt to tame their locks in order to fit in, especially while growing up.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Monday, June 22nd, 2015||No Comments »|
Wren Verlaine and Casey Renee Kisser’s poetry collection Spark is an honest romp through the kaleidoscope of emotions found within the human soul. Even though the two poets have a slightly different style, their works seamlessly blend together in a fascinating read. They are brutally honest in painting the whole of the human heart in bright technicolor for the entire world to see. Whether it is the mundane action of parking a car or falling in love, both authors take their readers on a wild ride through the myriad of emotions that we experience on a daily basis.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, June 16th, 2015||No Comments »|