Bold, wry, and lyrical musings.

NEVER MARRY A WRITER

A snarky and brooding collection from a veteran poet.

Akinyemi’s seventh poetry collection presents cynical and sarcastic observations about social and political life. The poems—some in free verse, others rhymed and metered—are sorted into three sections: “Writing People,” “Writing the Writer,” and “Writing the World.” The works are preoccupied with toxic, painful relationships between spouses and families, pastors and religious believers, communities and politicians—with particularly bitter words for what the poet characterizes as Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s “meaningless change.” Poisonous communication styles come to the fore in the multipart titular poem, whose main characters take turns objectifying and hurting one another: Akinyemi rhymes abuse and muse and compares a partner’s sayings to spider poison. The author’s gaze sweeps across TV screens and internet browsers, condemning Instagram and the “venom” of “fake news.” He also conjures cultural environments, including scenes in Nigeria (he remembers “Grandma’s Red Soup” and the texture of garri-ijebu flour) and Great Britain, where racism simmers and an accent is “a spoiler alert…my origin wrapped / in eggshells.” Despite Akinyemi’s sardonic tones, some poems effectively give readers the sense that he’s advocating for sincerity. In one poem, two “imperfect people hunt for perfect partners” and ultimately work toward a resolution: “we laid our imperfections bare on the dinner table, / found closure and gave it another go.” At times, the poems feel self-important and overly dramatic, as when one speaker derides his “favour-hungry friends” for comparing him to writer Wole Soyinka even as he bemoans his own “untapped talent.” Still other poems expressively note that redemption can be found in prayer, “the school of life,” or the act of writing itself. One poem, for instance, asserts that writing is a cleansing act: “a writer is a laundry man— / he will wash your dirty laundry without a fuss.” Just in case, though, the speaker also preempts attacks on his own imperfections: “don’t be that bibliophile who is on the hunt for errors…let the love that beamed through these pages erase my scars.”

Bold, wry, and lyrical musings.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-913636-08-1

Page Count: 90

Publisher: Roaring Lion Newcastle Ltd

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Honestly, who needs Nantucket. It could hardly be more fun than this book.

THE HOTEL NANTUCKET

Bring on the fresh-baked gougères and the hydrangea-blue cashmere throws: A classic fictional setting—the grand hotel—gets the Hilderbrand treatment.

The beloved beach novelist’s 28th book is another tour de force, deploying all her usual tricks and tropes and clever points of view, again among them a character from the afterlife and the collective “we” of gossipy island residents. Our ghost is Grace Hadley, a teenage chambermaid who died under suspicious circumstances in a hotel fire in 1922. Grace’s lonely days are over when the historic property is purchased and reopened by a London billionaire. As Xavier Darling tells his general manager, Lizbet Keaton, their goal will be to get five out of five keys from Shelly Carpenter, an undercover hotel blogger who has not awarded top honors to any spot visited so far. A gorgeous remodel, a sterling staff, free treats in the minibar, and—of course, since this is Hilderbrand—an incredible restaurant where a disco ball drops from the ceiling every night at 9 p.m. and the chef is hotter than any dish on the menu are all in play as the first guests come streaming in. Which one is the hard-to-please Ms. Carpenter? Other addictive storylines include a rich kid cleaning rooms to expiate some mysterious, terrible thing he did this past spring, an evil beauty breaking up island marriages (instead of a gun in the drawer, there's a half-used Chanel eye shadow in Pourpre Brun), and the desperate attempts of Lizbet’s ex, who sexted with their wine rep, to win her back. One of the special services Lizbet creates for the guests of the Hotel Nantucket is a “Blue Book” containing all her recommended island itineraries. A real-life version is included as an appendix, giving the complete scoop on where to eat, drink, sunbathe, shop, and stay on the island, plus notes on which Hilderbrand novels happened where. If you’re ready to check out Chicken Box or to try the sandwiches on herb bread that lured the author to become a permanent island resident in 1993, the Elin Hilderbrand Bucket List Weekend really is a thing.

Honestly, who needs Nantucket. It could hardly be more fun than this book.

Pub Date: June 14, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-316-25867-8

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 30

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller

REMINDERS OF HIM

After being released from prison, a young woman tries to reconnect with her 5-year-old daughter despite having killed the girl’s father.

Kenna didn’t even know she was pregnant until after she was sent to prison for murdering her boyfriend, Scotty. When her baby girl, Diem, was born, she was forced to give custody to Scotty’s parents. Now that she’s been released, Kenna is intent on getting to know her daughter, but Scotty’s parents won’t give her a chance to tell them what really happened the night their son died. Instead, they file a restraining order preventing Kenna from so much as introducing herself to Diem. Handsome, self-assured Ledger, who was Scotty’s best friend, is another key adult in Diem’s life. He’s helping her grandparents raise her, and he too blames Kenna for Scotty’s death. Even so, there’s something about her that haunts him. Kenna feels the pull, too, and seems to be seeking Ledger out despite his judgmental behavior. As Ledger gets to know Kenna and acknowledges his attraction to her, he begins to wonder if maybe he and Scotty’s parents have judged her unfairly. Even so, Ledger is afraid that if he surrenders to his feelings, Scotty’s parents will kick him out of Diem’s life. As Kenna and Ledger continue to mourn for Scotty, they also grieve the future they cannot have with each other. Told alternatively from Kenna’s and Ledger’s perspectives, the story explores the myriad ways in which snap judgments based on partial information can derail people’s lives. Built on a foundation of death and grief, this story has an undercurrent of sadness. As usual, however, the author has created compelling characters who are magnetic and sympathetic enough to pull readers in. In addition to grief, the novel also deftly explores complex issues such as guilt, self-doubt, redemption, and forgiveness.

With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

Pub Date: Jan. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5420-2560-7

Page Count: 335

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

more