I just read a book of poetry for English class, and I figured, why not write about it on here. It was by renowned American poet C. K. Williams, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2000, and it is the most recent book of his long career. Williams is a poet who uses his poetry to comment on the world. A lot of the poems are written in a style modeled after Walt Whitman, in fact, Williams cites Whitman as one of his major inspirations. Wait is about death and sadness, but is also an analysis of the fallacies he sees in the world. In many poems, he lets the reader experience his thoughts un-filtered. For example, in his poem I Hate, he writes "I hate how this unsummoned sigh-sound, sob-sound/not sound really, feeling, sigh-feeling, sob-feeling/ keeps rasping in me..." The poem is one loong sentence that is Williams deciphering the basis of his sadness, which I highly recommend you read. Williams cannot imagine that America will turn out for the better, yet as one review writes, "Williams continues to search for the good in America....[he] is a pessimist who longs to feel otherwise...to retain a margin of faith in America as a society capable of good." I've never really read poetry before, besides skimming through Selected Poems by e. e. cummings, and of course, Robert Frost's poem Nothing Gold Can Stay along with a few other random assortment of poems in English classes throughout the year. Wait was the first poetry book I read on my own and fully, and I strongly recommend it. Rating: ★★★★


Long Walk to Freedom

The autobiography of Nelson Mandela exceeded my expectations. Before reading, I thought it would simply be a story of Mandela's life and his journey to becoming one of the most prominent leaders in Africa. I was wrong. It was a story of triumph, defeat, sacrifice, strength, and the emergence of a world leader.I read the version published in 1995, halfway through his presidency. The only thing omitted, purposely, from his history - "the alleged complicity of F. W. de Klerk in the violence of the eighties and nineties, or the role of his ex-wife Winnie Mandela in that bloodshed." Divided into eleven parts, taking the reader on the journey from Mandela's childhood in the Traneski region of South Africa, to the birth of a freedom fighter, to the Riviona Trial, to Robben Island, to Freedom. The Los Angeles Times Book Review says that Mandela's book was "One of the few political autobiographies that's also a page-turner." The story of Mandela's life is an epic journey from the very beginning. Mandela has always been interesting to me (If you haven't seen Invictus, starring Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman, go watch it (trailer) right now) It's not hard to get completely absorbed in his life, but the format of the book (11 Parts) makes it easy to break up. A 625-page-book, it took me quite a while to get through. But, towards the end, when he is getting released from prison, I quite literally could not stop reading. When you have time, or want a book that can stretch over a month without getting boring, Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom is for you! Rating: ★★★★★