Check It Out Category: Poetry

MPPL Staff Favorites 2019

Staff Favorites 2019 cover photo

The end of the year is an irresistible time to reflect on all the fabulous art each of us read, watched, played, and listened to in 2019, and many of our staff wanted to celebrate those high points together. Narrowing down to only three favorites each has not been easy, but this grand finale has given us lots to debate — and we hope it offers the same to you!

Picture of Jenny

Fiction: What We Owe
by Golnaz Hashemzadah Bonde
Music: Amidst the Chaos
by Sara Bareilles
Audiobook: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
by Hank Green

Picture of Mary

Graphic Novel: New Kid
by Jerry Craft
Fiction: Ninth House
by Leigh Bardugo
Audiobook: On the Come Up
by Angie Thomas

picture of Angela

Nonfiction: The Sun Is a Compass
by Caroline Van Hemert
Fiction: The Great Believers

by Rebecca Makkai
Nonfiction: Just Mercy
by Bryan Stevenson

Picture of Michael

Fiction: The House of Broken Angels
by Luis Alberto Urrea
Movie: The Last Suit
Fiction: The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls
by Anissa Grey

Picture of Brian

Videogame: Shadows Die Twice
Fiction: I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
by Erika L. Sánchez
Videogame: Hollow Knight

icon for Michelle

Audiobook: Recursion
by Blake Crouch
Fiction: The Great Believers
by Rebecca Makkai
Fiction: Daisy Jones & the Six
by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Picture of Caitlin

Movie: It: Chapter Two
Book: Angel Mage
by Garth Nix
Music: E-mo-tion
by Carly Rae Jepsen

Audiobook: With the Fire on High
by Elizabeth Acevedo
Nonfiction: Born to Fly
by Steve Sheinken
Graphic Memoir: They Called Us Enemy
by George Takei

Picture of Jennifer

Fiction: Since She Went Away
by David Bell
Fiction: The Girl Who Was Taken
by Charlie Donlea
Nonfiction: The Feather Thief
by Kirk Wallace Johnson

icon for Devin

Fiction: Queen of Air and Darkness
by Cassandra Clare
Nonfiction: The Woman Who Smashed Codes
by Jason Fagone
Poetry: Love Her Wild
by Atticus

Picture of Anne

Fiction: Beartown
by Fredrik Backman
Fiction: Who Slays the Wicked
by C.S. Harris
Nonfiction: The Pioneers
by David McCullough

Picture of Erin

Fiction: Redwood and Ponytail
by K.A. Holt
Nonfiction: The Undefeated
by Kwame Alexander
Audiobook: The Poet X
by Elizabeth Acevedo 

Picture of Denise

Audiobook: Get A Life, Chloe Brown
by Talia Hibbert
Audiobook: Internment
by Samira Ahmed
Movie: Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Picture of Janine

Fiction: The Great Believers
by Rebecca Makkai
Graphic Memoir: Good Talk
by Mira Jacob
Fiction: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
by Stuart Turton

Picture of Eva

Nonfiction: Life Undercover
by Amaryllis Fox
Fiction: Redemption
by David Baldacci
Fiction: All the Beautiful Girls
by Elizabeth J. Church

Picture of Becca

TV: Stranger Things
Graphic Memoir: Kid Gloves
by Lucy Knisley
Fiction: Song for a Whale
by Lynne Kelly

icon for Kelly

Fiction: The Flatshare
by Beth O’Leary
Fiction: Would Like to Meet
by Rachel Winters
Fiction: No Judgments
by Meg Cabot

Audiobook: Daisy Jones & the Six
by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Audiobook: The Beastie Boys Book
by Michael Diamond and Adam Horowitz
Fiction: The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
by Kim Michelle Richardson

picture of Catherine

Fiction: After the Flood
by Kassandra Montag
Music: Dedicated
by Carly Rae Jepsen
Fiction: Get A Life, Chloe Brown
by Talia Hibbert

Audiobook: The Ten Thousand Doors of January
by Alix E. Harrow
Fiction: A Kind of Freedom
by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
Fiction: Lovely War
by Julie Berry

icon for Anne W

Nonfiction: Our Women on the Ground
by Zahra Hankir
Nonfiction: Visualizing the Beatles
by John Pring and Rob Thomas
Nonfiction: Zora and Langston: A Story of Friendship and Betrayal
by Yuval Taylor

Picture of Donna

Audiobook: Whiskey in a Teacup
by Reese Witherspoon
Fiction: The Giver of Stars
by Jojo Moyes
Fiction: The Paris Orphan
by Natasha Lester

Icon for Rebeca

Fiction: On the Come Up
by Angie Thomas
Fiction: My So-Called Bollywood Life
by Nisha Sharma
Nonfiction: A Dream Called Home
by Reyna Grande

Picture of Cathleen

Fiction: The Memory Police
by Yoko Ogawa
TV: Succession
Poetry: Tsunami vs. the Fukushima 50
by Lee Ann Roripaugh

Al staff photo

Poetry: 1919:  Poems
by Eve L. Ewing
Fiction: Friday Black: Stories
by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
Fiction: The Need
by Helen Phillips

picture of Andrea

Audiobook: Nothing To See Here
by Kevin Wilson
Fiction: Fireborne
by Rosaria Munda
Audiobook: Dear Haiti, Love Alaine
by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite
 


Want more? Take a look at what staff chose in 2017 as their favorites.

 If you’re interested in personalized reading, watching, and/or listening suggestions… Ask!

Denise’s Pick: The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus by Sonya Sones

Denise Staff Pick photo

The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus: A Novel about Marriage, Motherhood, and Mayhem by Sonya Sones is referred to as “chick lit” in poetry format by a 50ish-year-old woman going through a tough time. I read this in two hours and had my own epiphany. Life changing? Maybe not for all, but definitely an interesting voice for those in the “sandwich generation.”

Have you taken up this summer’s challenge of Reading Takes You Everywhere? Enjoy this book for either of the following categories:

A. Read a book written by a new-to-you author.
P. Read a collection of poetry.

Poetry: The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace

Princess Saves Herself in This One book cover

fiction:
the ocean
i dive
headfirst
into
when i
can
no longer
breathe
in
reality.

– a mermaid escapist II

People come to poetry with all sorts of preconceptions: it has to be complicated, it has to rhyme, or it is just not for me. A crop of up-and-coming writers has helped new audiences find appeal in playing with expression, and Amanda Lovelace’s Women Are Magic series sparks strong reaction. The Princess Saves Herself in This One taps into feeling and thought and trauma and joy in a way that speaks to those who struggle to feel seen or understood. It faces hard things without giving them additional power, and it clings stubbornly to youthful hope. With forewarnings both for sensitive topics and for happy endings, this inaugural collection offers energy and accessibility. Welcome to National Poetry Month!

Nonfiction: Electric Arches by Eve L. Ewing

Electric Arches book cover

“Poetry allows for us to lead first with the heart.” –Eve Ewing

If you don’t read poetry often and are curious to read more, Electric Arches is a great place to start. Eve L. Ewing, Chicago essayist and poet, frankly explores contemporary society, sprinkling a little magical what-if into stark reality. The structure and tone vary greatly from poem-to-poem, resulting in a rounded picture of Ewing’s life and heart as she opens the door into her experience as a black girl and woman. An extra bonus for those familiar with Chicago are the references Ewing makes to this city she has grown up in, painting pictures of places impactful to her, such as Logan Square and Fullerton Avenue.

Audiobook: In Their Own Voices – A Century of Recorded Poetry

Century of Recorded Poetry audiobook

Ever wonder what Walt Whitman’s voice sounded like? Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Gertrude Stein, Jack Kerouac, Sylvia Plath, or e.e. cummings? In Their Own Voices: A Century of Recorded Poetry invites us to be ear-witnesses to history and art in its purest form. This collection of distinguished poets reading well-known works bares inflection, meaning, and musicality of crafted phrase.

These days we might prefer professionally-trained narrators and seamless productions, but there is illumination to be found in hearing even familiar lines read in the voices of those who dreamed them into existence. Celebrate the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month by listening to the natural cadences of William Butler Yeats, Dylan Thomas, Maya Angelou, and a host of other extraordinary voices.