Though National Poetry Month is in April, our book club has been wanting to read some poetry for a while. We wanted to read something that had recently won an award and that was accessible to non-poetry readers. We landed on The Poet X since it had just won the National Book Award and was written for younger readers. Elizabeth Acevedo is a New York Times best selling author. She is the winner of the 2018 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, The Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Fiction, the Boston Globe-Hornbook Award Prize for Best Children’s Fiction, and the Pura Belpré Award for a work that best affirms the Latinx cultural experience.
Her books include, Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths (YesYes, 2016), The Poet X (HarperCollins, 2018), & her upcoming title--With The Fire On High (HarperCollins, 2019). We're so excited to discuss this critically acclaimed book together and to bring more poetry into our lives. What's it about, though? The summary given by the publisher says:
Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking. But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about.
With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out. But she still can’t stop thinking about performing her poems--because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.
If this sounds like something you'd like to read, you can get your copy of the book from the store with a 15% discount until the end of May. If you'd like to purchase online, we have the following the formats available:
We'll meet at Foggy Pine Books on May 25th at 7:30pm. We'll have free wine and snacks for book club members to share. Bring a friend and come discuss the book with us, even if you weren't able to completely finish it or if you didn't like it. You can see the Facebook event & RSVP here.
Relevant Reviews & Interviews
Starred Kirkus Review -- "The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo"
The New York Times Review -- "Speaking Truth, Beautifully, to Shattered Young People"
Publisher's Weekly Interview -- "Q & A with Elizabeth Acevedo"
Literary Hub Interview -- "Meet National Book Award Finalist Elizabeth Acevedo"
This month's book club book was chosen by the book club after we realized that our original choice isn't out in paperback until August. So, after a quick discussion, we came up with Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and other Pagans in America by Margot Adler.
Originally published in 1979 by Viking Press, this book has seen several reprintings. Margot Adler was a reporter for NPR, a Neo-pagan, and "recognized witch." After three years of intense research, she published her book to critical and public success. The New York Times has said that the book "is credited with both documenting new religious impulses and being a catalyst for the panoply of practices now in existence" and "helped popularize earth-based religions." As the only detailed history of the Neo-Pagan subculture, this book has been hugely important in helping pagans achieve and maintain an understanding of their religious and spiritual practices within the American mainstream.
Adler spent three years conducting interviews, doing research, attending festivals and rituals, and much more to obtain the information she passes along to her readers in this book. She attempts to paint a compassionate picture of the diverse, colorful array of practicing pagans in the United States with information about the way they believe and how they practice their religion.
We know that knowledge of religions outside the mainstream isn't widespread and we are so excited to undergo this journey of discovery together. We hope to open minds and share experiences with this book club choice. We welcome anyone, regardless of religion, to our book clubs but are particularly interested in hearing the thoughts and opinions of any pagans within our community who would be interested in joining in our discussion.
Books are currently available at the bookstore for $22.00 but you always get a 15% discount on book club titles. You can also purchase it from us online in the following formats:
We will meet at Foggy Pine Books on Saturday, May 26 at 7:30pm. We'll have free wine and snacks available for our book club members. Bring a friend and come discuss the book with us, even if you weren't able to completely finish it or if you didn't like it. You can see the Facebook event & RSVP here.
Relevant Book Reviews
Foggy Pine Books
Literary Gifts & Events for Boone's Bibliophiles