Book Review: Versions of the Self by Christy Birmingham

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A book review on a collection of poems…

versions-of-the-self-poetry-book-cover (2)

 

Overview 
The ~115 page book is a collection of 80 poems organized by 8 sections, all relating to the concept of ‘self.’ It covers individual views, relationship views, sadness and joy; the full range of emotions. At times, it was something light and easy to comprehend, but at others, it was diverse and complex. Some of the lines call to you, urging you to compare your own life to the narrator’s. It’s personal and introspective — all the things I like when someone shares part of the self. Given this is a different type of work, I’m not writing a normal review where I cover plot, characters and setting. Instead, I offer a few lines that really spoke to me:

“I want to alter my recipe,

Lighter on the ridicule and

Heavier on the gratitude

If I am here to speak,

My tongue learns to pronounce properly

The language forming within me.”

Poetry is often difficult for many people as it is abstract and full of metaphor. It compares things we don’t necessarily understand,  but in this one, you’ll find something different. Something that gives you the freedom to find varying levels of meaning that speak to you as the story evolves through each subsequent poem. The concept of the self… whether it’s how you view yourself today versus tomorrow, is clearly intense and complex. Ms. Birmingham pulls no punches telling you what the narrator is feeling, what’s real and what’s on her mind — whether it’s the emotional reaction to a situation or the physical impacts of pain and fear. But there’s also hope and inspiration, packaged in both obvious and hidden ways.

You could read this all in one sitting in about 60-minutes or you could read a chapter each night over a week. There’s depth, maturity and intensity in the words. It’s one of those great opportunities to hear a voice with power behind it and analyse your own thoughts and actions. Take a chance, it’s worth it.

 

About Me 
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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28 thoughts on “Book Review: Versions of the Self by Christy Birmingham

    Christy B said:
    November 26, 2017 at 7:28 PM

    You honor me with this review, James! Your take on it shows me that not only have you found the deeper meanings in the lines but also that you understand its overall theme – This is such a compliment as a writer.

    Liked by 3 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      November 26, 2017 at 7:48 PM

      It really is remarkable. There’s more I wanted to say, but not without revealing too much of the meaning! Great work, and I really appreciate you sharing it.

      Liked by 2 people

    Christy B said:
    November 26, 2017 at 7:31 PM

    Reblogged this on When Women Inspire and commented:
    A new review is in for my latest book Versions of the Self, and I’m so proud of it! What a weekend treat 🙂 Thank you to James of This Is My Truth Now for the depth with which you read my book, as shown by the review. Thank you as well to all who support this blog and my books.
    ♥ Christy

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      November 26, 2017 at 7:52 PM

      You are very welcome. I plan to read it again. It needs to sink in, then come back for a fuller meaning. I’m glad to have the chance to experience it. Thank you.

      Like

    shalini said:
    November 26, 2017 at 8:24 PM

    Hey, Jay. A very good review. I have often wondered how does one review poems, and I am glad to read and understand the way you did. It was simple, touching, and to the point. Loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      November 26, 2017 at 9:00 PM

      Thank you. So wonderful to hear from you. Christy’s poems are quite strong. I enjoyed the feeling of being back in the world of emotion.

      Like

        shalini said:
        November 27, 2017 at 12:14 AM

        Yea some days there are only emotions and no words

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        November 27, 2017 at 7:45 AM

        I’ve had a few those week, I understand.

        Like

        shalini said:
        November 27, 2017 at 7:58 AM

        💗💗

        Liked by 1 person

    robbiesinspiration said:
    November 26, 2017 at 11:07 PM

    A wonderful review of Christy book, James.

    Liked by 1 person

    Norah said:
    November 27, 2017 at 1:40 AM

    I agree with your review, Jay. Versions of the Self is a lovely book of poems.

    Liked by 1 person

    roughwighting said:
    November 27, 2017 at 11:06 AM

    Thanks for reviewing Christy’s book of poetry. The lines you share are revealing – of a thoughtful, insightful, generous human being.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      November 27, 2017 at 5:31 PM

      You’re welcome, I enjoyed it. I thought I commented earlier, but it doesn’t look like it went thru. If it did, sorry for the duplicate!

      Liked by 1 person

    […] Source: Book Review: Versions of the Self by Christy Birmingham […]

    Liked by 1 person

    Resa said:
    November 27, 2017 at 4:32 PM

    I’ve read this book, and I love it! I’ve read both of Christy’s books. There is a definite flow from one to the other, and there is horizontal growth within the vertical depths. Thank you for this very well said review!

    Liked by 3 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      November 27, 2017 at 5:16 PM

      You’re welcome! She’s great and I look forward to working with her more. Glad to connect with you too!

      Liked by 1 person

      Christy B said:
      November 29, 2017 at 7:43 PM

      Hi Resa, I like how you discuss the horizontal growth over vertical depths. I think that just might inspire another poem 😉 Thanks for your support and love x

      Liked by 1 person

    theburningheart said:
    November 28, 2017 at 12:38 PM

    I totally agree, a great book that when reading it her poems get to your heart, and make you share, her joys , and sorrows. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    Natalie Ducey said:
    November 28, 2017 at 7:48 PM

    A wonderful review of Christy’s poetry, Jay! I found my way here via Christy’s blog. I’m delighted to be following your blog now as well. Cheers! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      November 28, 2017 at 7:52 PM

      Hi, Natalie. I appreciate it. Christy is wonderful. Glad to meet you. Just followed you too.

      Liked by 2 people

      Christy B said:
      November 29, 2017 at 7:44 PM

      Hi Natalie, thanks for taking time and YES I am glad you’re here as you will adore James’ blog as much as I do!

      Liked by 2 people

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