Book Review #3

Book 1:  When My Brother Was an Aztec by Natalie Diaz
Book 2: Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong

I put these two together because they are both poetry books. They have nothing in common except I would have not read them on my own. These are school reads. I am not upset that I read them however.


I met Natalie Diaz this month at a poetry reading in Harlem. As a person, she was down to earth and very cool. As a poet she is amazing. This collection is inspired by her late brother as well as her family life growing up.  Raw, emotional and sometimes shocking verse on every page.

After Diaz’s book, I read Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong. He has won several awards for his poetry and it isn’t hard to see why. Born in Ho Chi Mihn City in Vietnam, he moved to Connecticut while still a toddler. His poetry touches on war, family and love.

Between the two of these poets I have been inspired to spend more time writing poetry. An art I had abandoned several years ago.

4 / 5 stars (for both)


2017-6-26-spoonbenders-ljdoyle-010Book 3: Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book about psychics.  This one also played with a version of time travel. This famous family of psychics harbored a secret for years and of course we find out toward the end of the book. But I enjoyed the interplay and the family dynamics much more. Not to mention their interactions with the mob.

4 / 5 stars


Book 4: Now I see You: A Memoir by Nicole Kear

Another ‘forced’ read for school. I say ‘forced’ because it’s not a book I would have chosen. About a woman who is slowly losing her site to a degenerative eye disease while living in NYC and navigating life.  There is humor throughout, which helps lighten an otherwise serious book.

4 / 5 stars


About Liz Kelso
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