The Poem I Turn To edited by Jason Shinder

The Poem I Turn To: Actors and Directors Present Poetry That Inspires Them edited by Jason Shinder
Publisher: Sourcebooks MediaFusion | 2008 | 227 pages
Buy on Amazon

Most people ignore most poetry because most poetry ignores most people.
~Adrian Mitchell~

I found the above-mentioned quote here. Sounds interesting, huh? I don’t know what Mitchell meant by poetry ignoring people. Can somebody step up and share your thoughts on it?

Anyway, The Poem I Turn To is a book of collected poems. Jason Shinder went out and asked various actors and directors to share their favourite poems and explain why they like them. These actors and directors would include Alan Arkin, Adam Arkin, Peter MacNicol, Carrie Fisher, Jane Fonda, Stanley Tucci and lots more! So, if you happen to be a fan of theirs, then you may get to know them a little bit better by knowing what poem inspires them.

Well, what kind of poems do celebrities like? Shakespeare? Poems by Robert Frost? Yeah, there are some sonnets from Shakespeare in it. It would be relatively surprising if nobody actually turned to Shakespeare’s words. Besides that, the simplest poem in it would be ‘Alone’ where there’s only one lone word in it, Alone. It is one of Stanley Tucci’s favourite poems.

Oh, do you like listening to poems being read aloud? I do! This book is accompanied by a CD where you can listen to some of the actors read their favourite poems. I didn’t really like Paul Guilfoyle’s (from CSI Las Vegas) poetry recitation. His voice was soft and he read the poems way too fast! Is that supposed to be a style? If I weren’t holding the book as well as reading and listening to the poem at the same time, I wouldn’t catch what he said. By the way, there are 30 poems being read aloud on the CD. And if you don’t like hearing other people read them, why don’t you read aloud yourself and record it? =)

All the same, this hardcover book has a lovely cover although it’s quite wordy. But I like it! Somehow I have a good feeling when I look at it. I’ve always liked poems. The poem I like most in this book would be The Guest House by Rumi. If only we had learnt more English poems in school. The only poems we were exposed to were:

Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
If by Rudyard Kipling
Monsoon History by Shirley Lim
There’s Been A Death In The Opposite House by Emily Dickinson
Si Tenggang’s Homecoming by Muhammad Salleh
Life’s Brief Candle by William Shakespeare
The Dead Crow by A. Samad Said
The Lake Isle of Innisfree by W.B. Yeats

Still, it’s a good start.

So…which poem do you turn to?

***A heartfelt thanks to Christiaan Simmons of Sourcebooks for sending me a copy of this wonderful book.

Other Bloggers’ Reviews: John Mutford, Kim

Crazy Fool Kills Five by Gwen Freeman

This would be a good mystery book to read on a lazy Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Murder, a plane crash, court cases, kidnapping, spying……these are what you can expect from this mystery story. You’ll also follow the heroine, Fifi Cutter and her unemployed, good-looking half-brother, Bosco, who assists her with her investigations.

There are a lot of details in it and it’s quite hard to follow thoroughly, actually. Therefore, my lazy Saturday afternoon wasn’t that lazy after all, as I was figuring out what I was reading. You can also expect twists and turns, so you had better not be sleepy while reading this book, if you want to keep up with the pace.

Anyway, let’s look at the title. Who’s the crazy fool? He was Jim Farnswell, ex-employee of Skyblu Charter Jet Service. What did he do? Well, he apparently hijacked a private plane where there were two Chinese businessmen on it, killed the two pilots, and then crashed the plane. Unfortunately, when it crashed, it also killed an Earl Rayburn, a retiree who was just sitting in his home, relaxing.

Now, the matter has been brought to court. Reginald Wong of Wong, Wu & Chu is representing the families of the dead passengers and VJ Smith, Fifi’s close friend, is representing Earl Rayburn’s widow who’s seeking justice for her husband who did not do anything wrong but only happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. On the defendants’ side, Dan Boatwright represents Skyblu and Janet Porter is for Grund Aviation Technologies who was blamed ‘for not putting a locking door from the cabin into the cockpit’, which may have prevented Farnswell from shooting the pilots.

Let’s go back to Fifi now. In the first chapter, she was hired to tail Steven Burton, an ex-employee of Wong, Wu & Chu. He claimed to have a back injury due to helping out at the office last Christmas and was claiming compensation for it. However, Reg Wong does not believe him entirely. That’s why he sent Fifi to follow him around secretly and get evidence to prove that he does not seem to suffer from back injury. Well, it wouldn’t be exciting if Fifi didn’t land herself in some trouble while on the job, right? Right.

Later, Fifi gets involved in the Skyblu case when she’s hired as a document clerk, Steven Burton’s old job. Her job may seem boring but boring was not in her vocabulary. Someone is out to get her or get something from her. In the meantime, she and Bosco try to figure out the puzzles that appear in this Skyblu case. She also begins an unlikely friendship/romance with the ‘enemy’, Dan Boatwright who’s the opponent, much to VJ’s chagrin.

I mistook Crazy Fool Kills Five as a kid’s book because of its bright, attractive cover. But then, the title and the picture on it are certainly not kid-friendly. Nevertheless, I thought the book was just okay and there wasn’t much suspense in it. Fifi didn’t really stand out as a strong character even though she’s the main one. It was a fun read though. You’ll enjoy the conversations/arguments between Bosco and Fifi.

***I’d also like to thank Gwen Freeman for sending me an ARC of this book. :)

Other Bloggers’ Reviews: Lisa, Kris, Maryann

ARC Reading Challenge Update

The list:

1. Crazy Fool Kills Five by Gwen Freeman
2. The Poem I Turn To edited by Jason Shinder (June 30, 2008)
3. Friday’s Child by Georgette Heyer
4. Black Sheep by Georgette Heyer

Tonight, I’m going to read and listen to The Poem I Turn To. The book comes with a CD too. Isn’t it great? I can read the poems and listen to celebrities read their favourite poems. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Look out for my review soon! :D

How Many Books Have You Bought This Month?

I’m a little bored right now and felt like asking a question that’s book-related. I’ve played a few games of chess on Yahoo games this morning. Well, I won some games and lost too. :( I’m always happy when I win! And now, I’m taking a short break from it.

Anyway, that’s my question:

How Many Books Have You Bought This Month?

I’m quite curious as to how many books people buy each time. Me? I bought only 2 books! Would love to buy more but if I had extra cash and less TBR books, I’d definitely love to go on a book shopping spree. :D