Self-publishing book review of the week

Staring Into the SUn
Staring Into the Sun
Joshua Fields (2010) ISBN 9781432759537
Reviewed by Joseph Yurt for Reader Views (09/10)

As is my habit with any new book I pick up for the first time, I peruse the front cover, then the back cover. In this instance, the book in hand was “Staring Into the Sun,” a collection of poetry written by Joshua Fields. The minimalist copy on the back cover proclaims that “Inside is a compilation of his life’s experiences and insights.” Since this small, slender collection of work is only thirty-nine pages, I’ve concluded that each reader must decide whether this proclamation is genuine, tongue in cheek, or both.

Collectively, the free-form pieces are part of the author’s personal celebration of “life’s greatest gift – love.” Stylistically, Fields melds cryptic dialogue with coffee house cadence in thirty-nine pieces that recollect, recount and reflect on his relationship over time with the love of his life. From the piece entitled “Attraction,” he writes,

“You say goodbye and I say hello
Don’t know why you…
No, I really want to know
Because I’m a woman and you’re a man

At times, infuriates” From another piece, “The Newborn,” he pens,

“Look at the size of her head
That’s our daughter you’re talking about
Like a bowling ball
She’ll grow into it
I’m so proud Me too
Has your eyes
And your bald scalp”

While some of Fields’ insights seem a bit stereotypical, overall, there is an appealing, amusing universality in much of what he writes. “Staring Into the Sun” is somewhat like reading a personal blog about love relationships. I recommend it if you are seeking yet another voice and perspective in the never-ending discussion of the differences between men and women in love. It is not recommended if you are looking for fresh, new dialogue on the subject.

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