Monday, May 6, 2019

Book Review and GIVEAWAY - The Book of Delights: Essays, by Ross Gay {ends 5/13}

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

“It’s just the day I’m having…the young brother said to me as the wind blew his glasses from the bill of his Burger King ball cap, probably on his way to work, looking exasperatedly at me as he bent over to pick them up, looking at the lenses and then to me and then back to the lenses, and I said, hoping it was not the wrong thing to say, “it’ll get better,” and he said, “Thank you.” (Apr. 9)


While I’ve learned to appreciate more essay and poetry books since I’ve started reviewing, and just reading what I get instead of perusing and choosing what I think I want to read, this book wasn’t really what I thought it would be from the title.

Book Review and GIVEAWAY - The Book of Delights: Essays, by Ross Gay {ends 5/13}
Official synopsis:
In The Book of Delights, one of today’s most original literary voices offers up a genre-defying volume of lyric essays written over one tumultuous year. The first nonfiction book from award-winning poet Ross Gay is a record of the small joys we often overlook in our busy lives. Among Gay’s funny, poetic, philosophical delights: a friend’s unabashed use of air quotes, cradling a tomato seedling aboard an airplane, the silent nod of acknowledgment between the only two black people in a room. But Gay never dismisses the complexities, even the terrors, of living in America as a black man or the ecological and psychic violence of our consumer culture or the loss of those he loves. More than anything other subject, though, Gay celebrates the beauty of the natural world--his garden, the flowers peeking out of the sidewalk, the hypnotic movements of a praying mantis.

The Book of Delights is about our shared bonds, and the rewards that come from a life closely observed. These remarkable pieces serve as a powerful and necessary reminder that we can, and should, stake out a space in our lives for delight.

While the author and I are close in age (at least from his viewpoint when the book was written), I felt our similarities ended there. I was hoping for more, well, delightful observations about the world, human nature, spring things growing, stuff like that. Our views on what was delightful just didn’t seem to converge.

What I liked most about this book were the flashbacks to childhood. When the author talked about sweet memories from his childhood, with his mother or grandparents or brother, they were easy to picture and feel nostalgic about right along with him.

Overall, I’d give this book 2 stars out of 5. The idea of writing on one topic, like delight, for a whole year was intriguing.

{click here to purchase}

Becki Bayley tries to find delight. It’s frequently with the kids she’s raising, or those she feeds and volunteers with at the local elementary school. You can find some of her musings at SweetlyBSquared.com.

GIVEAWAY:

One of my lucky readers will win a copy of The Book of Delights

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Monday, May 13th, at 11:59pm EST, and the winner will be notified via email and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

The Book of Delights, by Ross Gay

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