Everyone had distinct experiences in 2019, and The Michigan Daily Book Review has put together the best works it experienced throughout the year. Accounting for the differences in everyone’s 2019 experiences, these works range from novels to poetry collections to graphic novels and come from authors originating from Ohio to Ukraine. Enjoy.
Sometimes I find myself dreaming. And I know how that sounds, but I dream about home. So I’m dreaming about Detroit. But the Detroit I know doesn’t exist, and it never has. It’s a rose-colored heat-stroke of the brain and it all comes rushing back to me when I’m away. I get caught up in the fever of past-present-maybe Detroit all at once. Boarded-up houses and wheat line the neighborhood blocks, skyscrapers to the south. Steamy manhole covers and shattered windows. A Model T rolls down Gratiot next to someone carrying a boombox on a BMX bike. Wait for it.
Among coming-of-age stories, “Where the World Ends” by Geraldine McCaughrean is a bleak example. Nine boys and three men are stranded on what is essentially a large outcropping of rocks called the Warrior Stac, off the coast of their remote home in the British Isles.
Few musical acts can convincingly claim they influenced the birth of several genres and sounds that transformed from local to global phenomena. Fewer still can straddle the line between relentlessly innovating and experimenting with new sounds and technologies while maintaining pop sensibilities that allow them to sell out stadiums. The Beatles, Kraftwerk and The Velvet Underground all fit this mold, but you may not have heard of the Tokyo-based band Yellow Magic Orchestra, who may be the most influential of them all.
Many great poems leave plenty of work for the reader when it comes to extracting the intricacies of the author’s meaning, but Dunn simply cannot afford to take these liberties when dealing with such sensitive and problematic subject matter. If people have changed after and felt remorse for a dark time in their lives where they were unequivocally wrong, coming clean and apologizing does not merit admonishment.
While such narrative structure allows for a more multifaceted take on traditional linear plot construction, the jarring leaps in time and indecisive switches between narrative voices render “Run Me to Earth” shallow and groundless.