Book Reviews + Aparna Sharma’s Tanka + Podcast/Audio Version

Book Reviews + Aparna Sharma’s Tanka Happiness Between Tails

#Poetry #Writing #Books #BookReviews #Fiction Have you experimented with writing styles? Share your thoughts, experiences, and questions by recording them on my Anchor by Spotify page — or comment at — or email me. Like what you hear? Buy me a coffee. — This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. — Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

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One of the many fun things about writing is that there are so many styles to experiment with! Number one on the ways to become a good writer is to write daily. Number two is to read and read and read. The more I write (like on my novels) and read, the more I find that I wish I knew more about.

The books I’ve read lately cover a range of styles. Here they are, along with the reviews I wrote for them on Amazon and Goodreads…

“Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands” is a graphic novel by Kate Beaton, and she uses the medium to its fullest. Through her text and illustrations, she narrates honestly and poignantly what it was like for her to leave her small remote community in Canada so she could pay for her college loans. Through her eyes, we understand how hard it is to work as the rare woman in oil exploration, in the middle of a freezing cold nowhere.

Cover of Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands” is a graphic novel by Kate Beaton.

“Nightcrawling: A Novel,” by Leila Mottley, Joniece Abbott-Pratt (Narrator). My review: The best kinds of books let readers walk in the shoes of another, to truly experience and gain compassion for what someone else’s life is like. It’s an understatement to say that Leila Mottley does this in spades with maturity far far beyond the high schooler she was when she wrote this. Joniece Abbott-Pratt does a great job narrating.

Cover of “Nightcrawling: A Novel,” by Leila Mottley, Joniece Abbott-Pratt (Narrator).

“What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” by Raymond Carver, Norman Dietz (Narrator). My review: Carver is a master short story teller. Love in its infinite gnarly yet beautiful forms. Norman Dietz does great narration.

Cover of “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” by Raymond Carver, Norman Dietz (Narrator).

“How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water: A Novel,”  by Angie Cruz, Rossmery Almonte (Narrator). My review: Sublime in every way!!!! Angie Cruz wrote a wonderful book — and then, and then, and then the amazing Rossmery Almonte narrated it into the stratosphere!!! Great title and cover too!

Cover of “How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water: A Novel,”  by Angie Cruz, Rossmery Almonte (Narrator).

And then there’s poetry and all those styles, which blogger Aparna Sharma has decided to tackle. That’s between her General Medicine studies in Kazakhstan (though she’s from Rajasthan, in Norther India)! Pardon all the exclamations, but I can’t help how my heart warms at how blog-land lets me meet people like Aparna, who love to write that much!…

Photo of blogger/writer/medical student Aparna Sharma.
Blogger/writer/medical student Aparna Sharma.

Embracing Loneliness by Aparna Sharma

Note: TANKA is a genre of classical Japanese poetry and one of the major genres of Japanese literature. Tanka consist of five units [5-7-5-7-7 syllables]

Maybe loneliness was my fate,

Guess what accompanying you would be best,

If I had deep conversations,

Which would help me out if done,

To learn to embrace imperfections and insecurities.

Have you experimented with writing styles?

17 thoughts on “Book Reviews + Aparna Sharma’s Tanka + Podcast/Audio Version”

  1. It is certainly true that reading a lot is a necessity for being able to write well. It fills your bank of ideas, shows you how language can work, and in some cases illustrates mistakes to avoid. I read a great variety of books in different styles, on different subjects, with different viewpoints, and (to the extent possible) in different languages. Of course this greatly enriches life even if one is not a writer.

    “Have you experimented with writing styles?”

    I do experiment, but not all of the results are suitable for blogging. I try to push the envelope, though. As to poetry, I think this is actually one of the best posts I’ve done.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have experimented with Haiku and Sonett styles, but in German, they won’t fit in English. It was interesting. When you have limited syllables and – as in a Haiku – also have contents expectations: problem statement – searching for a solution – solution; one has to limit oneself quite a bit. Not so much blahblah … 😉 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

          1. Four weeks is nothing when you have hepatitis B, it was quick. When I was hospitalized there were two people who had already been there for 9 resp. 16 weeks. And they were still there when I left. It is an insidious disease, and they don’t or didn’t at that time really know why certain treatments help, and only with some people and others not. I was doing Yoga at night in my bed with focus on the liver, so I am certain that helped with the speedy recovery.
            I thought I had published some of the poetry here, but maybe that was the other blog I had. I wrote about the time at hospital here: but that is only in German, but I have the translation button on my site now.

            Liked by 1 person

              1. Yes I thought so too. My father opened up to me finally when we were all alone. It was worth it all. I think hepatitis B transfers by fluids only, although the first week nobody was allowed to visit and the second week they had to have plastic covers on their shoes and clothing. I felt like a pest patient. 😀 😀
                And I also met that nice nurse. She offered me sleeping pills, but I didn’t want them. I mean I was lying in bed all day, how tired could I possibly get. So I could use some of the hours for Yoga and a cosy chat with the night nurse.

                Liked by 1 person

  3. Unfortunately I am not much of a reader. My favorite book of all time is The Odyssey by Homer. I must have read it at least a dozen times, once because I had to. Writing is a different experience. Always best to write about what you know or what you are willing to explore.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi da-AL, I also read a huge amount in a vast range of genres. I have recently re-read Catch 22 and am now reading The Circle which is very different. I also read poetry, short stories, Indie fiction and non-fiction. I write across a broad range of genres and styles too. Life is an adventure that is meant to be enjoyed to the extent possible.

    Liked by 1 person

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