Book Review: Versions of the Self by Christy Birmingham

A book review on a collection of poems…

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


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, 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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  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

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