Poetry Book Review: One Thousand Good Answers by Sarah Herrin

In anticipation of National Poetry Writing Month kicking off tomorrow, I thought I would share my thoughts on a book of poetry I recently enjoyed.

Why I picked it up:
I received a free e-book version of One Thousand Good Answers by Sarah Herrin from the publisher through the Library Thing early reviewers program.

My Expectations:
I didn’t know what to expect. From the cover, I thought I might read some flowery poetry with dark undertones.

What I liked:
This book was a satisfying surprise. Sarah Herrin used poems from her previous self-published collection to create new blackout poems, changing them to positive poems of self-love.

I enjoyed reading the original and blackout poems side by side, showing the complete change in feeling and attitude. The new poems are condensed past the essence of the original poems, as if boiled down to their essential oils, leaving a warm, pleasant scent.

What I didn’t like:

There were a couple of poems that didn’t fit with the feel of the collection in my opinion. I also thought completely blacking out the titles on a couple of the poems were lost opportunities.

Rating: ♦♦♦♦ 4 out of 5

Overall, I enjoyed the idea and the execution of this collection.

Happy National Poetry Writing Month!

Library Thing Early Reviewers

LibraryThing Early Reviewers

I joined Library Thing when I created an author page for Gator McBumpypants Hears a Scary Noise. They have a selection of books each month that you can choose from to potentially win in exchange for review. In all these years I have never won, but they recently revamped their system. This month I won two e-books to review: One Thousand Good Answers by Sarah Herrin and Rocking Change: Changing the World through Changing Ourselves by Karl Ernst.

It appears that their new system paid attention to Experience Writing because the first book is blackout poetry which I created examples of and talked about in my post Blackout Poetry Art Day (though I also created a Pinterest collection of blackout poetry), and the theme this year is about creating good habits, to create positive change as I laid out in A Year of Finishing Novels: The first tiny steps. So whether or not I like computer algorithms as part of my life, this one appears to be positive: getting the right books to the right person. I’m excited to review them (look for my reviews over the next couple weeks).

Because I was happily surprised by the selections given to me to review, I added them to my Library Thing library today and saw that I hadn’t added the last Gator McBumpypants book to my page, nor had I ever added any tags to my books. I know I got discouraged by a few people’s responses to my work, but that shouldn’t have stopped me.

It is a truly sad human condition that a bad review can take attention away from the joy on a child’s face when she read the book, or the child that asked if alligators really lived in the lake, giving me the opportunity to talk about the joy of imagination. Or the fact that my books are in my elementary school library. Those are huge successes. I shouldn’t have let the adult judgement get to me. The books weren’t meant for mean, judgy people.

I still have the workings of the book I started in New Orleans when I went back for The Rubber Maids reunion. The trip was an emotional roller-coaster, and when I got back, I went through some major life changes, so my ideas for Gator’s story kept changing. However, looking back at everything I did, this spring might be time to flesh that story out, and create a new Gator McBumpypants for my young niece who is getting close to learning to read.

I want to thank Library Thing for making me feel this way today. Hope is so important and hard to find.