Books 5 & 6; still trying to sort what week we’re in


After a canceled flight– delaying my return to the United States by over 48 hours– (yes, I know– poor me– but, when you’re out of underwear and you’re back on the clock, there is a little cognitive dissonance about being “on vacation” when you thought you’d be back home with your pooches and other such responsibilities) I am completely disoriented! I have been reading while traveling, finishing off Love is a Dog from Hell by Charles Bukowski, a book I have wandered through many times but never read cover to cover, and have made it halfway through the book on Emily Dickinson’s botany and gardening history. Though I must confess, the ED book is dense— not bad, but simply time consuming to read. I also read a children’s book this morning called Open House for Butterflies by Ruth Krauss, which was a delightful way to spend the early hours of a Sunday.


I have owned this book for over 10 years and never read it cover to cover. Bukowski is a personal favorite, despite his bad reputation for being a womanizer, since his poems speak so loudly to me. I enjoy his raunchiness from time to time, though reading this in its entirety has satiated by Bukowski bug for a while.

What I did enjoy about reading this was finding some of the repetitions and continuity in his writing– I had never noticed that he had a thing for redheads, for example. Also, his admissions of being such a slob are many and build up to what overall one might come to feel as sympathy for the dude– there is more heartbreak, whether legit or not, that reminds one of their own loves and losses.

This excerpt sums it up for me:

“the flesh covers the bone
and they put a mind
in there and
sometimes a soul,
and the women break
vases against the walls
and them men drink too
and nobody finds the
but they keep
crawling in and out
of beds.
flesh covers
the bone and the
flesh searches
for more than

there’s no chance
at all:
we are all trapped
by a singular

nobody ever finds
the one.

the city dumps fill
the junkyards fill
the madhouses fill
the hospitals fill
the graveyards fill

nothing else

Love or hate the guy, I think there is a timelessness to his sentiment that can resonate with almost anyone.

Overall rating: 4.5/5


This little treasure may be short but it packs some punch! I love the illustrations from Sendak that bring some eye candy to questions that may have been written for a child, but are certainly thought provoking for us adults. I love the innocence of this book, which is something I love about children’s books as a genre. But, what more, is that some of the questions and statements Krauss writes are quite deep when given a closer look (not unlike many children’s books). I think this volume speaks for itself, and I’ve chosen two of my favorite pages to illustrate this point:

2017-08-06 07.12.57-1

Now how true is that?

2017-08-06 07.12.35-1

Written in 1960, I think her thoughts have some serious longevity. I’d definitely recommend spending some time with this fun book.

Overall rating: 5/5


2 comments on “Books 5 & 6; still trying to sort what week we’re in”

  1. What a combo- Bukowski, Sendak, poetry and children’s lit! I can see how the children’s book might be a nice balance to Bukowski, yet Sendak’s illustrations and – as you mention – the semi-adult themes that are slipped in may not be as far off as they seem from Bukowski’s world….

    Welcome home from your trip- I hope you are re-settling and getting back into the swing of your routine 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks meredith! And you’re correct – there certainly are some parallels between the two 🙂 I ended up grabbing that book based in 18th century NYC I posted about early in the challenge and am digging into that now. It’s a welcome shift ! Hope you are doing well, too.

      Liked by 1 person

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