1. hummingverbs5/25/212 min
    2 reads12 comments
    2 reads
    You must read the article before you can post or reply.
    • DellwoodBarker1 year ago


      Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke*****This 240 page novel surprisingly took me longer to read than I imagined. It is a wondrous and imaginative sci-fi adventure that feels like a great futuristic bookend to the future George Orwell foresaw in 1984; somehow the two feel right in similar company for such profound, disruptive, troubling visions of the future. In many ways we are currently living in 1984 and could we wake up one day to the Overlords arrival in the sky and a similar purposeful agenda for the Golden Age they bring? This novel asks many intriguing questions and delivers quite an ahead of it’s time message for being written at the time it was. The novel feels quite different to my memory of the SyFy channel mini-series which I considered to be above average. A slow burn read that delivers mind-blowing scenarios, philosophies and takes concepts we have built to fear and craft them into guardian entities with a remaining drop of tainted tremble in the seemingly fine water.

    • DellwoodBarker1 year ago

      I Loved You More by Tom Spanbauer*****If you have never read this incredible author Do Yourself a favor asap. Both this novel and The Man Who Fell In Love With the Moon are two of the best novels I have ever read. Period. I am dedicated to reading his others, as well. Sacred experiences unlike any other author in my opinion. Masterpieces. Life-changing, raw, real authentic masterpieces.

    • DellwoodBarker1 year ago


      A Star Is Bored by Byron Lane*****Outstanding read! This debut reads with such gusto, wisdom, literary integrity and chock full of hilarity to boot. There are hysterical -not just funny- scenes here i Will Never Forget and life lessons that shimmer with vitality in their complex, multi-faceted insight from both protagonist leads here. The painful and very real moments of suffering whilst sussing out the labyrinth of healing addictions or familial wounds equal the impact of the funny bone moments. This book finds freedom and courage in authenticity and loyalty. Between Byron and his equally talented husband, Steven, these two are a tour de force of light and laughter in literature which is Greatly Needed in these wild, wild times we live in. Both strike balance in writing with lucidity and joy whilst driving home nuggets of deep reality. This fictitious peak into the life of a personal assistant for a major film star icon is completely unforgettable.

    • DellwoodBarker1 year ago


      Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley****Another winner from The Guncle author; his debut! A creative tale of a man, his best friend and the dire sea monster that creates havoc in their life. Humourous, real, deeply moving and with a final 5 pages that moistened the eyes in happiness. I love this author; he feels kindred. i have The Editor and his husband’s A Star Is Bored in hand to excitedly read next, as well.

    • DellwoodBarker1 year ago


      The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman*****Absolutely Genius! In awe of this author’s incredible talent and eager to dive into his other works (The Italian Teacher is next in line behind another unfinished read). Rachman’s intertwining vignettes of the lives connected to a small newspaper in Rome are dynamically perceptive with characters that practically exist in 3-D before the reader’s eyes and conversing with dialogue that flies along in humor, insight, spontaneity, contrast, and true realism. The short stories culminate into a gut-punch of a finale that would make the spirits of Steinbeck & Welles proud. Highly, highly recommended! I have a blurb in my recent favorite, Less, to thank for putting this on my radar.

    • DellwoodBarker1 year ago


      Antiquities by Cynthia Ozick****An exceptional little story packing a lot into only 180 pages. I deeply admire writers who can create dense works in minimal form such as Justin Torres’ We The Animals. Here we have a tale of history, lineages, truth, myth told via a gentleman (a little persnickety, prickly, crusty and egoic) working on a memoir which may actually be a legal document which may actually be an institutional relic. At heart it is also a lamenting love story built on less-is-more information and a mystical red-headed character that echoes the characteristics of John Irving’s lengendary Owen Meany. Takes about 50 pages to really get interesting yet this author is an undeniable pro who is new to me. I shall dig deeper into her back catalogue.

    • DellwoodBarker1 year ago

      Just a reminder~ it would be cool if this became a RU Community completed reading list 😉💓in the comments…


      The Midnight Library by Matt Haig*****Outstanding read! Essential and important! The kind of read that can literally save lives of vulnerable and hurting people. The incorporation of such phenomenal philosophical perspectives from classic figures is really well done. i hope this gets translated into a film with an artist like Olivia Rodrigo, Arlo Parks, Lady Gaga or TSwift. This read really inspires the reader to take stock of life. Found myself making lists and questioning my Core Being. Lots of notes taken with this one. Great poetry and lyrics included, as well. i look forward to reading more by Matt; especially his memoir, Reasons To Stay Alive.


      100 Years Of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez****Outstanding and addictive first 100-200 pages covering the earliest lineage of Macondo. Once the story shifted to war and the later lineages in the second 200 pages my interest would wax and wane; sometimes waning to the point where i had to force myself to keep going. Intuitively, i knew that since this novel is a classic that the ending must pay off. Fortunately, it most certainly does! I journaled 13 impactful quotes from this novel. One star is shaved off due to the sluggish second half. After reading i couldn’t help asking myself if Alan Moore is our modern day wizard of Macondo? Watchman is Genius. Jerusalem in is Now Reading. 😉

    • DellwoodBarker1 year ago

      Less by Andrew Sean Greer***** This book! Wow! Loved every moment and am already promising to myself to read it again at 50 year mark and every ten year bday after that. Remarkably funny and the way the author uses words so effortlessly to seamlessly edit visuals of time shifts from present to flashback left me in awe and feeling hypnotized by a vernacular wizard. I completed the final 100 pages poolside at a local spa and was oscillating between laughing out loud and crying; happily. This book is so full of life and perspective that aging readers may especially appreciate. A book I would gift to anyone and everyone as i have done with other favorite reads in the past. Highest praise.

    • DellwoodBarker1 year ago


      The Guncle by Steven Rowley **** Highly Recommended Read! I thoroughly enjoyed this read and have not laughed out loud this much whilst reading a book in a while. The first two hundred pages are particularly packed with hilarious dialogue or sitches. By around the 200 page mark the book also starts to generate tears several times due to wonderful simple self-discoveries and keen insight. Heart-felt and tender with a central figure who is loveable and fun to support even while we experience his faults and vulnerabilities along the way. This is an excellent post 2020 read because it deals with the themes of isolation and experiences that pull us out of those periods; new beginnings; never giving up on dreams whilst allowing dreams to evolve in flexible directions. At some point I would love to have this book in a shelf collection where I live for access to elevate any day. Here are a few memorable quotes I jotted down in my diary:

      “Self-love for gay people can be an act of survival. When the whole world is designed to point out you’re different, it can be a way to endure.”

      “We adopt a safe version of ourselves for the public, for protection, and then as adults we excavate our true selves from the parts we’ve invented to protect ourselves. It’s the most important work of queer lives.”

      “Sometimes things come back to life.”

      “Every parent has these days. You’re very good with them. Your breakfast is on us.”

      Looking forward to reading SR’s other 2 books (Lili & The Octopus is in possession; have to track down The Editor) and SR’s husband, Byron Lane’s novel, A Star Is Bored.

    • DellwoodBarker1 year ago

      News of the World by Paulette Jiles ** a little slow for my taste. Decent; if not a memorable read that will stick with me long. Has a noble central character and a good heart at center of story. In this case the film may end up being better; have not yet seen.

    • DellwoodBarker1 year ago


      The Oracle Year by Charles Soule***Very Good. Enjoyed, Fascinating, Intelligent, Current Event Relevant Depth, Well-written. Follows a simple guy who is a struggling bass player in NYC until he becomes endowed with predictions of the future that come true. He becomes a saint to some and dangerous to others. Asks questions about what we would do with all the power to see the future. Would we protect others or protect ourselves? Help or harm? Enjoyed this one enough that I am going to read Soule’s Star Wars contribution.

    • DellwoodBarker1 year ago

      Posting this and thinking how cool it would be to create an ongoing stream Here of books/reads held by hands 🙌 that have been completed by RU Readers external from Read-Up.

      Probably a Pipe Dream RU experiment and for transparency sake this is very much inspired by Bill’s ongoing list online.

      Would be a great way to get the word out on books with a little blurb of your rating or reaction in the comments here.

      I will continue editing this post as I finish reads here: www.hummingverbs.wordpress.com and I will just comment here when I finish another read instead of re-import each time.