Tag: prose

5 Book Recommendations from Sarah Paulson

It’s no secret that the internet loves Sarah Paulson. Though she’s been known for playing the creepiest roles and some intense horror work, in real life, Paulson is nothing short of adorable and loving.  And her hard character work has paid off, just this week earning her a Golden Globe nomination for her role in Netflix’s “Ratched,” the show based on One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. She’s also been a loud advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community, and often her horror work overlaps into characters with a homosexual identity. 

Sarah Paulson is also active on Twitter. Though she doesn’t post regularly, we can thank Twitter user @sarahpaulsbean who just recently compiled all of Paulson’s years of book recommendations! Ever wonder what your favorite LGBTQ actress was reading? Here’s a list of five of the books she’s tweeted about in the past few years.

 

A Little Life cover
IMAGE VIA AMAZON

1. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Often talked about for being one of the saddest and yet most beautiful books of recent years, A Little Life seemed to have gained a similar reaction from Paulson. She’s even quoted saying that it made her “sob uncontrollably in my bed at night before I turned off the light.”

Yanagihara’s second novel documents the life of four friends as the grow apart and their paths inevitably still intertwine. Specifically, it follows Jude, a disabled man who’s past grows more elusive and frightening with each page turn. 

This book has trigger warnings for self harm, suicidal tendencies, sexual assault, and most other trigger warnings in the book. While it’s prose is beautiful, it is haunting. Do no pick up this book if any of these topics will be triggering for you!

 

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2. Lit by Mary Karr

Mary Karr was a recurring recommendation among the other reads Paulson mentioned, as she continually brought up the author’s name. When talking about her memoir Lit, she tweeted “that book should cost $1,000,000,000,000,000. It’s that good.”

Karr’s memoir details her time battling alcoholism among other demons from her past, and heavily considers how we carry our traumas and move into living stronger and having a better future.

Like the previous book, there are trigger warnings for suicide, alcoholism, etc. While the story is uplifting and beautifully honest, it still covers heavy topics.

 

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3. Left Neglected by Lisa Genova

Beyond the fact that this book is recommended by Sarah Paulson, she also narrates its audiobook! She tweeted that before she read the audiobook, she loved reading the novel herself. 

Left Neglected focuses on a woman who suffers a traumatic brain injury leaving half of her body practically unusable. Through learning how to live with the injury, she learns how to better live her life and love those around her.

 

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4. Rilke on Love and Other Difficulties by Rainer Maria Rilke

Paulson says that one of her best friends and a fellow actor, Felicity Huffman, recommended her this book. She added the book to her list for Oprah, saying “I want to remember in moments when I’m caught up in the details of not knowing what and when and why and how to do something that I need to go back to the notion of living in the unknown—and that, in fact, is what will lead to the answer.”

This mixture of prose and poetry is all about experiences, opening yourself up to life and trusting that you will get where you need to be. It’s all about a sense of spirituality in the every day life, especially those that are not yet upon us. Rilke on Love and Other Difficulties will be eye opening to those familiar to Rilke and those who are just discovering the author for the first time.

 

atonement
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5. Atonement by Ian McEwan

Similar to other recommendations from Paulson, this classic novel focuses much on love, innocence, forgiveness, and how important people in your life can bring about the biggest and most impactful of life’s changes. 

Atonement is set just before the years of World War II. It focuses on the innocence of its protagonist and the forthcoming breaking of this barrier and descent into crime and lies. 

Which books from Paulson’s recommendations are you adding to your list? Let us know!

 

 

Feature image VIA Los Angeles Magazine

5 Poetry Collections for People That Don’t Like Poetry

I’ll be the first to admit that I hated reading the classics in school. John Milton made me mad, Shakespeare was a snore and Robert Frost robbed me of years of my life I’ll never get back. And because I was only exposed to those books, for the longest time I thought that was all that poetry was. But there’s so much more to it than that. Poetry is an ever-expanding, ever-diversifying form that isn’t just limited to stuffy poems ‘comparing thee to a summer’s day.’ But don’t write off poetry just yet. Here’s five books that go above and beyond what you thought poetry could be.

 

1. Olio by Tyehimba jess

 

Olio by Tyehimba Jess

image via amazon

 

Olio is unlike any book of poetry you’ve read before. Named after the second part of a minstrel-show, Jess allows the title to inform the performance-like presentation of his poems. It’s like a seance, the way he’s able to capture up the very essence of history. The book is comprised of everything from interviews to songs to prose. Larger than the size of your average poetry book, Jess has pages that fold out to read, drawings, and even a cast of characters in this book. But the most unique poems are the ones that can be read in any direction. For these poems, Jess employs a particular style of writing that uses two columns to separate his words. The effect is that there’s a plethora of ways you can read the poem and amazingly whichever way you read it, it still makes sense! It’s an astonishing feat. This book is perfect for anyone looking for a book that expands the realm of what poems can do.

 

2. The Crown Ain’t Worth Much by hanif abdurraqib

 

The Crown Ain't Worth Much by Hanif Abdurraqib

Image via amazon

 

You might be familiar with the publisher of this book, Button Poetry, as they’re known for being the hub of posted slam poetry videos that have probably made their way onto your social media timeline at some point. Abdurraqib is possibly the coolest poet you’ll ever hear of. Not just a poet but also a pop culture critic, he’s written for the likes of MTV News, The Fader, and The New York Times. Abdurraqib uses his interest in pop culture, specifically music, to explore his own personal feelings and experiences through the lens of a Black man in America. What draws you in is the way these poems can be both read and performed. Many take on a certain rhythmic lyricism that those of us who’ve seen slam poetry might be familiar with. It’s both culturally relevant and completely accessible. For any lovers of music, you’ll enjoy trying to catch all the references from this relatable collection of poems.

 

3. Teaching my mother how to give birth by Warsan shire

 

Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth by Warsan Shire

Image via amazon

 

Just the title lets you know you’re in for some insight. Warsan Shire is a name you’ve likely heard as being the mastermind behind the poems in Beyoncé’s Lemonade. Because of that, there’s a good chance you’ve already heard or read some of her work and it’s definitely worth looking into more of it. Shire manages to be bold and straightforward in her writing while also still giving us deep metaphors and one-liners that make you savor these words with a reverential “mhhh.” And the metaphors never get so wordy or heavy that you get lost in them. This chapbook may be fairly short, but it’s food for the soul. This poetry book was practically hand-picked by Queen Bey herself.

 

4. Salt by nayyirah waheed

 

Salt by Nayyirah Waheed

Image via goodreads

 

The poems in this collection are short but pack a punch like nothing else. Waheed herself is one of the more famously-known instapoets whose poems often appear as screenshots on social media. Her poems are typically only a sentence or two long. But don’t let the length fool you. These poems still leave you with something to think about. This is another collection of poems that veers away from what the “traditional” style of poetry is. The language itself isn’t terribly fancy or overcomplicated but her writing still holds a complexity to it. And with only a couple lines and a title (usually at the bottom of the poem) that is not something easy to do. These poems are a lovely match for anyone with a short attention span, anyone who is too busy to delve into longer works, or anyone who just enjoys beauty in simplicity.

 

 

5. Registers of illuminated villages by Tarfia faizullah

 

Registers of Illuminated Villages by Tarfia Faizullah

Image via amazon

 

The first thing that captures you is the stunning book cover. From there, you’re drawn into Faizullah’s world wholeheartedly. She writes with such fantastical flare that the book itself truly feels like a journey. Not only that, but her book has a myriad of different forms of writing that all come together to paint a picture. She has a poem that slinks down the page, another that uses staccato writing to emphasize her words and another that addresses homework from her childhood. Her poems take us all around the world from Texas to Bangladesh to Turkey to Iraq. If you love writing that takes you places, you’re not gonna wanna miss the adventure of this collection of poems.

 

Featured image via Diversityis

5 Poetry Collections for People That Don't Like Poetry

I’ll be the first to admit that I hated reading the classics in school. John Milton made me mad, Shakespeare was a snore and Robert Frost robbed me of years of my life I’ll never get back. And because I was only exposed to those books, for the longest time I thought that was all that poetry was. But there’s so much more to it than that. Poetry is an ever-expanding, ever-diversifying form that isn’t just limited to stuffy poems ‘comparing thee to a summer’s day.’ But don’t write off poetry just yet. Here’s five books that go above and beyond what you thought poetry could be.
 

1. Olio by Tyehimba jess

 
Olio by Tyehimba Jess

image via amazon

 
Olio is unlike any book of poetry you’ve read before. Named after the second part of a minstrel-show, Jess allows the title to inform the performance-like presentation of his poems. It’s like a seance, the way he’s able to capture up the very essence of history. The book is comprised of everything from interviews to songs to prose. Larger than the size of your average poetry book, Jess has pages that fold out to read, drawings, and even a cast of characters in this book. But the most unique poems are the ones that can be read in any direction. For these poems, Jess employs a particular style of writing that uses two columns to separate his words. The effect is that there’s a plethora of ways you can read the poem and amazingly whichever way you read it, it still makes sense! It’s an astonishing feat. This book is perfect for anyone looking for a book that expands the realm of what poems can do.
 

2. The Crown Ain’t Worth Much by hanif abdurraqib

 
The Crown Ain't Worth Much by Hanif Abdurraqib

Image via amazon

 
You might be familiar with the publisher of this book, Button Poetry, as they’re known for being the hub of posted slam poetry videos that have probably made their way onto your social media timeline at some point. Abdurraqib is possibly the coolest poet you’ll ever hear of. Not just a poet but also a pop culture critic, he’s written for the likes of MTV News, The Fader, and The New York Times. Abdurraqib uses his interest in pop culture, specifically music, to explore his own personal feelings and experiences through the lens of a Black man in America. What draws you in is the way these poems can be both read and performed. Many take on a certain rhythmic lyricism that those of us who’ve seen slam poetry might be familiar with. It’s both culturally relevant and completely accessible. For any lovers of music, you’ll enjoy trying to catch all the references from this relatable collection of poems.
 

3. Teaching my mother how to give birth by Warsan shire

 
Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth by Warsan Shire

Image via amazon

 
Just the title lets you know you’re in for some insight. Warsan Shire is a name you’ve likely heard as being the mastermind behind the poems in Beyoncé’s Lemonade. Because of that, there’s a good chance you’ve already heard or read some of her work and it’s definitely worth looking into more of it. Shire manages to be bold and straightforward in her writing while also still giving us deep metaphors and one-liners that make you savor these words with a reverential “mhhh.” And the metaphors never get so wordy or heavy that you get lost in them. This chapbook may be fairly short, but it’s food for the soul. This poetry book was practically hand-picked by Queen Bey herself.
 

4. Salt by nayyirah waheed

 

Salt by Nayyirah Waheed

Image via goodreads

 
The poems in this collection are short but pack a punch like nothing else. Waheed herself is one of the more famously-known instapoets whose poems often appear as screenshots on social media. Her poems are typically only a sentence or two long. But don’t let the length fool you. These poems still leave you with something to think about. This is another collection of poems that veers away from what the “traditional” style of poetry is. The language itself isn’t terribly fancy or overcomplicated but her writing still holds a complexity to it. And with only a couple lines and a title (usually at the bottom of the poem) that is not something easy to do. These poems are a lovely match for anyone with a short attention span, anyone who is too busy to delve into longer works, or anyone who just enjoys beauty in simplicity.
 

 

5. Registers of illuminated villages by Tarfia faizullah

 
Registers of Illuminated Villages by Tarfia Faizullah

Image via amazon

 
The first thing that captures you is the stunning book cover. From there, you’re drawn into Faizullah’s world wholeheartedly. She writes with such fantastical flare that the book itself truly feels like a journey. Not only that, but her book has a myriad of different forms of writing that all come together to paint a picture. She has a poem that slinks down the page, another that uses staccato writing to emphasize her words and another that addresses homework from her childhood. Her poems take us all around the world from Texas to Bangladesh to Turkey to Iraq. If you love writing that takes you places, you’re not gonna wanna miss the adventure of this collection of poems.
 
Featured image via Diversityis