Monday, April 26, 2010

Becky Birtha again

I finished the Becky Birtha book ("Lover's Choice") over the weekend. Short stories are so easy to read when I actually have time. "Baby Town" was kind of creepy to read, but I liked "Ice Castle" and most of the other ones. "Both Ways" and "Past Halfway" were good too. I really liked "In the Deep Heart's Core". That really struck me, or maybe it was just the character's name "Sahara". All of the stories were written from a distinctive feminist viewpoint I guess you could say. Some of the stories were chilly (one was about a mother taking her family on an all-night bus ride just to stay warm). Others were just kind of sad and lonely feeling. "In the Deep Heart's Core" actually had a fairly upbeat ending, and I liked that one maybe the best.

Becky has moved on to write children's books and other things. This book was from 1987 so not exactly current reading, but still worth checking out from the library or used book store. I liked it.

Charles Bernstein "All the Whiskey in Heaven"

I'm going to get back to Becky Birtha in a minute, but before I do, I want to take a moment to mention Charles Bernstein "All the Whiskey in Heaven". The title of this book comes from the first line of the last poem in the book. The book is comprised of previously published poems and prose by the author. If you want a taste of what Mr. Bernstein is all about, then this is a good book to read. You can read it, see what you like, then delve deeper into the full length books that the pieces are excerpted from. I'd never read him before, so it was nice to get a view of his writing over the years all in one convenient place.