From this review, I make my totally SUBJECTIVE decision as to which books rank where, in the great scheme of things - culminating in the announcement in a week or so of THE SUPREME GRUNTER AWARD FOR 2017.
Yes, I love it - and not because it gives me any great power, because after all this is just my humble (yeah right!) opinion. But, as someone who is a voracious reader, I like to think it does a tiny little bit to promote the amazing indie talent we have out there.
This year, I managed to read 145 books, as opposed to 142 the previous year. I'm confident, with a bit of dedication and effort, I can make 150 next year, which would be a milestone for me.
Anyway, enough of my mindless rambling, it's time for this year's first award in The 2017 Grunters. The Category is ANTHOLOGIES/COLLECTIONS
soul searching by shaheen darr
Although I dabbled a bit in poetry when I was young (didn't all angst-ridden, young men?) over the years I've come to regard poetry with a bit of disdain and dare I say it, even considered poets to be nothing more than writers who couldn't write decent prose. The poetry I have read, either voluntarily, or forced to have read through study, has usually reinforced my judgment of this form of writing.
And, then along comes Shaheen Darr, with her collection of poems entitled Soul Searching and all my previous slants against poetry and poets are blasted out of the water.
This poet's ability to seek the fundamental aspects of many of life's great questions, through her words is frankly awe-inspiring.
When I first sat down to read this book, I gritted myself for a turgid stroll through nonsensical combinations of words that were somehow supposed to show the author's superior intellect and grasp of a situation. I couldn't have been further from the truth.
Darr's understanding and ability to express our deepest feelings and our deepest fears, in beautiful, rhythmical, poetic phrasing is second to none that I've read before.
I literally flew through the book, not because I was skimming or not enjoying the poems, but because each poem led me merrily on to the next and I just didn't want to stop the pleasure of the read.
Darr is a wordsmith extraordinaire, but more than that, she has a fundamental grasp of life, its problems and its complexities.
I never thought I would be saying this, but Soul Searching is one of the best books I have read this year, or perhaps, even the last few years.
I doff my hat to the author and humbly declare I am a poetry convert. Well, a convert to Shaheen Darr's poetry anyway.
In our next blog, we shall look at the Children's Books Category - Always a wonderful category with plenty of strong competition.
EMBRACE THE OPPORTUNITIES LIFE PRESENTS TO YOU AND ALWAYS, ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!
HAVE A GREAT LIFE AND SPREAD THE LOVE!