1. Devotions by Mary Oliver If you're new to poetry, new to Mary Oliver, or just looking for a new read, this book is it. The book is essentially a collection of her most loved poems, spanning years and a variety of topics. Even though I own most of her other works, it feels special to have them all in one place. Reading Devotions was the perfect reminder of what makes Mary Oliver brilliant and evergreen.
2. My Private Property by Mary Ruefle This was a lovely gift from a friend. I love getting books that come highly recommended and always try to read them right away, making for a mini book club catch up at the end. This was my first of Ruefle. I finished the short book wanting more, which isn't always a bad thing. There are short essays about sadness and color that I adored, reminding me of Bluets a bit. It seems like the perfect book to gift, well suited for a variety of readers.
3. Sisters by Lily Tuck Another Ruby rec, courtesy of Three Lives. The structure of Sisters is similar to what is popular in a lot of modern fiction; short, abrupt, easy to stop and start. This is a family drama, but of a different variety than Anne Tyler. Details tell the story, which takes a turn at the very end. I'm still waiting for a full debrief with Ruby on the book, but certainly a good match if you enjoyed Goodbye, Vitamin.
4. Don't Call Us Dead by Danez Smith After reading Counting Descent and having several conversations about the importance of reading living poets, picking up Don't Call Us Dead per Ruby's recommendation was a no-brainer. The poems are poignant, sharp, and totally unlike what I'm familiar with. I read mostly female poets, but Smith's voice had an almost tender, feminine approach to topics like racism, police brutality, and love. It resonated with me for weeks after I finished.
5. Silent Partner by Jane Lippe I purchased this book up on a whim while in Kansas City with Ashley. Especially with poetry, some context on the author is important to me before reading, but this was a complete wild card. Written in 1980, the poems felt incredibly fresh. Some were set in New York, which I always love. Think Sylvia Plath meets Bright Dead Things. Setting is everything.