Light the Dark edited by Joe Fassler

light the dark

Originally published in: 2017

What’s it about: A variety of writers reflect on specific lines or verses that they find to be particularly profound or informative and discuss how those lines impact their writing processes or the way they approach writing.

What made me pick it up: Much like Artists, Writers, Thinkers, Dreamers, I found this while browsing a curated list of downloadable audiobooks and ebooks collected to inspire writers during NaNoWriMo.

My favorite things: This is such an interesting insight into the minds and processes of so many favorite contemporary authors. I would never have connected some of these writers to the pieces that inspire them. There are more than forty contributing authors and each essay is relatively short, which makes this an easy book to dip in and out of as you need inspiration or have the time to pick it up.

Who it’s great for:  WriMos in need of a little inspiration through the second half of NaNoWriMo. Anyone interested in reading about the writing that highly regarded contemporary writers find inspirational and formative.

Abby’s rating: four-shells

Find this in your local library or on Amazon (affiliate link).


Out of Wonder by Kwame Alexander

Originally published in: 2017

What it’s about: A picture book of poems written in the style of famous poets to celebrate those poets’ work.

What made me pick it up: I had read two of Alexander’s other books and enjoyed them so when I saw he was releasing this project I put my name on the list.

My favorite things: The illustrations in here are amazingly vibrant, not surprisingly since Ekua Holmes’ first illustration project was given a Caldecott Honor in 2016. These images manage to channel each poet just as much as the writing does. And the writing is quite good. I wasn’t familiar with all the poets but the ones I was, I can say for certain that these tribute poems are well done and match the style.

Who it’s great for: Young readers who want to know more about poetry and poets. Fans of exquisite illustrations.

Erica’s rating: four-shells

Get a copy of this book at Amazon (affiliate link) or your local library.

Enormous Smallness by Matthew Burgess


Originally published in: 2015

What it’s about: Poet E.E. Cummings.

What made me pick it up: I saw it online while searching for other books and once I learned who it was about I went and found it on the shelf and checked it out.

My favorite things: This book reads like a poem. It includes a lot of information about Cummings’ life and writing as well as a few of his poems. The illustrations are inventive and beautiful.

Who it’s great for: Children who can read a longer picture book or sit through one being read to them. Anyone who likes poetry, especially fans of Cummings. Those who appreciate whimsy.

Erica’s rating: four-and-a-half-shells

Get a copy of this book on Amazon (affiliate link) or your local library.