Birthday Books

I had a birthday recently. I don’t like to name the exact date online because identity theft, but what I can tell you is that it has passed and I got some books as a result of it. Here’s the list:

1: Hammer Is the Prayer: Selected Poems by Christian Wiman

Wiman is one of those authors who I kept hearing about but never bothered to read. I hope I can someday be absolved of this grave literary sin, because Wiman, it turns out, is brilliant. In a lecture of his that I once listened to, he stressed the sense of wonder that he believes poetry should embody, as well as the musicality with which that wonder should be expressed. If the poems I’ve read so far are any indication, he certainly practices what he preaches.

2: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

I pretty much grew up with the Greek and Roman myths. I never cared as much for the Norse myths. But, Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite writers, and he certainly has a knack for mythical writing, so if anyone can change my mind, he can.

3: Selected Poems: 1968-2014 by Paul Muldoon

Once again, here’s an author about whom I’ve heard much but from whom I’ve read little. Personally, I’ve always been a little intimidated by Muldoon’s work—so much of it seemed so obscure and opaque to me—but I’ve been looking to step a bit out of my comfort zone where poetry is concerned, so we’ll see where this takes me.

4: The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman

This is a collection of some of Gaiman’s nonfiction writing: essays, book introductions, speeches (including the famous “Make Good Art” speech), and even the liner notes from a few rock albums. Having read some of these pieces where they were originally published (such as the hilarious title essay, about Gaiman attending the Oscars in 2010 and being banished to, well, the cheap seats), I already suspect this book is going to be brilliant.

That’s all for now. Anyone here read any of these? Let me know what you thought in the comments.

4 thoughts on “Birthday Books

  1. I’ll be starting Gaiman’s “Norse Mythology” in a few days, while also reading Carolyne Larrington’s “The Norse Myths” which is also new. The other Gaiman book is here somewhere, in one of the piles.

    Liked by 1 person

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