Posts Tagged ‘Reva Sherrard’

  • Profane thoughts: Elements of a good @#*!

    Nov 2, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, Myth & MindNo CommentsRead More »

    By Reva Sherrard [Editor’s note: This is a column about language. Explicit language. And, really, what’s the purpose of language if not to be explicit … or something like that … -ish? This is fair warning for the easily offended: THIS COLUMN CONTAINS FRANK DISCUSSION AND USE OF PROFANITY. … In the interest of full disclosure, there was some debate about the contents of this column. After a profanity-laden debate amongst staff, we’ve decided to run it as written, though we did censor the subtitle as it could be misconstrued as sensationalistic provocation. In any case, if you’re truly upset by the contents of this article, we suggest you invent a time machine, go back to 1971, and make your case at the Supreme Court before the conclusion of the “Cohen vs California” case. Or just, you know, get on with your life.] Every tongue has its forbidden words. Some, like the Tetragrammaton (Yahweh when he’s at home), are sacred. Others are decidedly profane. If you’re reading this, chances are that, like me, you were raised to expect a gasp of horror from moral authorities (parents, teachers, adults at large) if you uttered that most satisfying and utilitarian cussword in English — fuck. Perhaps, like me, your upbringing instilled such an aura of evil around this word and its ilk that even as your cooler peers began peppering them into

  • Myth & Mind: Tale of the cat

    Oct 5, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, Myth & MindNo CommentsRead More »

    By Reva Sherrard Near the temple of the cat goddess Bastet in ancient Egypt, a lioness emerged full of the desert’s fury, with eyes like fevered suns and a snarl for blood rising from her belly. To devour the people within the temple she first had to pass the sacred lake enclosing the buildings. Pausing to drink from the clear waters, she felt her bloody wrath receding in waves. But she was still hungry. In the temple’s inviting shade an acolyte saw her padding up the stone walkway and hastily prepared a basin of buffalo milk. She sniffed it with a growl, darting sparks from her yellow eyes at the temple attendants and worshippers, before lowering her great head to the basin. The growl became a purr. When her belly was full she sauntered over to a comfortable place on the floor, laid down, and fell asleep. Drowsing peacefully on the smooth stone, she shrank; she became small and slim, with a soft dappled coat. She lived in the temple grounds for the rest of her life, where she never wanted for mice and birds to hunt or friendly hands to stroke her. No one who shares their life with cats will be surprised this myth exists. Bastet was a fierce goddess, originally a lion like her counterpart Sekhmet in Upper (southern) Egypt, whose breath was the searing desert wind,

  • Peregrine Book Co. Staff Picks: August 2018

    Aug 3, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, Peregrine Book Co. Staff PicksNo CommentsRead More »

    Catered by Reva Sherrard “Gorilla and the Bird” by Zach McDermott Remember “The Truman Show,” in which Jim Carrey plays a man who discovers he’s living inside a television show? Now think about that being a delusional psychiatric disorder. Well, Zach McDermott had it. A thrilling memoir filled with heart and heartache. ~Jon “Don’t Pay the Ferryman” by Stern, Gillis, Buscema, & Warner This collection of Doctor Strange comics from the 1970s is a tour de force of classic sci-fantasy writing and art, spectacular cheese, chest hair, memorably derpy supporting characters, hilarious one-liners, chest hair, genuinely great storytelling, and chest hair. I really do love this book. ~Reva “Alone” by Chabouté This is an amazing and heartfelt graphic novel. I haven’t read anything quite like it. ~David “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson “In life, we have a limited amount of f*cks to give. So you must choose your f*cks wisely.” Manson makes many interesting and genuinely useful points about practical self-awareness, responsibility, and psychological boundaries in this funny anti-self-improvement book. ~Reva “Existentialism Is a Humanism” by Jean-Paul Sartre This classic lecture by Sartre is a clearly expressed and deeply felt exploration of the responsibilities of existence. ~Reva ***** Visit Peregrine Book Company at PeregrineBookCompany.Com and 219A N. Cortez St., Prescott, 928-445-

  • Peregrine Book Co. Staff Picks: July 2018

    Jun 29, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, Peregrine Book Co. Staff PicksNo CommentsRead More »

    Catered by Reva Sherrard “Investigations of a Dog” by Franz Kafka Full of labyrinthine hiding places, walking nightmares, and absurd humor. ~Lacey “The Dream and the Underworld” by James Hillman A case could be made that a book like this could only be alluring to academics or the intellectual crowd. However, I think it bridges a gap between the casual reader and the scholarly when it comes to delving deep into the realm of darkness and dreams. ~Joe “Varina” by Charles Frazier A captivating and transportive new tale of the Civil War from the author of “Cold Mountain.” Fans of Frazier will not be disappointed. As for newcomers, prepare to be bewitched. ~Bekah “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” by T. S. Eliot Ever wonder what the musical “Cats” was based on? T. S. Eliot’s light-hearted departure from his more serious works (Prufrock, anyone?) is a series of fun cat-themed poems well worth a lazy hour with a feline companion on your lap. ~Susannah “The Honey Farm” by Harriet Alida Lye Not a summer goes by when the bees are not … doing what they do. The same could be said about humans, right? There’s a correlation there, for sure, in this twisty psychological drama about trouble on a bee farm during one hot, dry summer. ~Jon “An Apology for Idlers” by Robert Louis Stevenson This slim jewel of a

  • Peregrine Book Co. Staff Picks: June 2018

    Jun 1, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, Peregrine Book Co. Staff PicksNo CommentsRead More »

    Catered by Reva Sherrard “Hindu Myths” translated by Wendy Doniger This is the best “101” on the subject of Hindu myths available to the public. If you see any book about Hinduism with Wendy Doniger’s name on it, it’s a book worth reading. ~Joe “In the Droom” by Heitham Al-Sayed “In the Droom” takes place in a shifting yet familiar subterranean, subconscious reality that is very similar to non-reality. A really wonderful book for a very particular reader. ~David “Blackwing” by Ed McDonald A dark, gritty, practical-minded fantasy with a good dose of humor and compelling characters. It’s fast-paced, too. ~Sean “Swing Time” by Zadie Smith This story of race, roots, and surviving childhood is an energetic dance through time and place, full of vivid imagery and harsh language. “Swing Time“ is a fight with the past, present, and future. ~Lacey “Mistborn” by Brandon Sanderson Our semi-heroic band of thieves conspires to overthrow a god-king who has ruled uncontested for a thousand years. Original and vibrant, this is some of fantasy lord Sanderson’s best work. ~Sean “Divine Tragedy” by Dan Drazen Mazur Filled with profound hilarity, from dedication to valediction. When you read this, I’ll probably still be laughing. And it’s by a local author! ~Bekah “Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi An extraordinary exploration of slavery, both in the United States and Africa. Gyasi somehow makes this difficult subject entrancing, with

  • Myth & Mind: Stop … hammer time

    May 4, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, Myth & MindNo CommentsRead More »

    By Reva Sherrard Thor was wearing a dress, and he didn’t like it. Loki, in female guise and a skirt, looked a hell of a lot more comfortable as he played the role of handmaiden to a bride, pealing with girlish laughter while his eyes flashed wickedly. But Thor hadn’t come to the realm of giants for anyone’s amusement: He was here to get his hammer back. Thor was the child of Odin and the Earth — in other words, of pure spiritual and natural power, and as such immensely strong and as terrible in striking as the lightning. With his weapon, the magic hammer Mjölnir, in his hand he was nearly invincible. No matter how far he flung Mjölnir it always returned, boomerang-style, and its force was capable of crushing mountains. Thor needed only the hammer and two other pieces of magical equipment, a strength-enhancing belt and a pair of iron gloves, to defeat his foes the giants again and again. This time the giants had resorted to a ploy. Their king, named Þrymr, stole mighty Mjölnir and let it be known he wanted the beautiful, fertility-giving goddess Freyja as ransom, to be his wife — a ransom that Freyja declared no one would pay, stamping her foot in rage and making the hall of the gods shake. So it was Thor who had to don a bridal gown

  • Peregrine Book Co. Staff Picks: May 2018

    May 4, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, Peregrine Book Co. Staff PicksNo CommentsRead More »

    Catered by Reva Sherrard “Small Homes Grand Living” by Gestalten Press Are you one of those people who derives furtive yet intense pleasure from leafing through photobooks of soothing minimalist design and modern small spaces? Your secret’s safe with me. Take a peek at this one and sigh a happy sigh. ~Reva “Pocket Atlas of Remote Islands” by Judith Schalansky What a queer little book. Subtitled “Fifty Islands I Have Not Visited and Never Will,” this pocket-sized yellow volume feels like a relic from a bygone age of exploration, speculation, and mystery. ~Reva “Meeting the Shadow” edited by Connie Zweig and Jeremiah Abrams This is a collection of scholarly essays exploring the darker depths of the human psyche. Themes range as widely as Life, Death, Sex, and even Work. It’s an excellent source for understanding one’s own shadow self, and broaches the age-old question: “What are we hiding?” ~Joe “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon” by Stephen King A terrifyingly accurate though moving depiction of childhood and the innately human fear of the dark. ~Bekah “The House on Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros A series of short vignettes gives soaring voice to a multitude of characters whose stories would otherwise be left unheard. “The House on Mango Street” stands out with simple yet awe-inspiring writing with a powerful message duly delivered. ~Susannah “Golden Hill” by Francis Spafford Spafford’s witty and

  • Peregrine Book Co. Staff Picks: April 2018

    Mar 30, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, Peregrine Book Co. Staff PicksNo CommentsRead More »

    Catered by Reva Sherrard “How to Build a Girl,” by Caitlin Moran Sincere to the point of (hilarious) obscenity. A sweet-and-sour story about growing up and the ultimately brutal reality of what it means to be a woman. ~Bekah “The Child Finder,” by Rene Denfield Shining light in the darkest of places, “The Child Finder” is a terrifying, beautiful book. I couldn’t put it down. ~Michaela “Bad Feminist,” by Roxane Gay Reading this book is like hanging out with your best friend. Brilliant, honest, and hilarious. ~Michaela “City on Fire,” by Garth Risk Hallberg This novel, Hallberg’s first, is stellar. I marveled at the beauty of his sentences, fell in love with his characters, and didn’t want it to end. ~Michaela “Nadja,” by André Breton The author of “The Surrealist Manifesto” forays into fiction. He uses Dadaist and Surrealist techniques in an interesting juxtaposition of images and words that strongly influenced the “illustrated novel” of today. ~Joe “Binti,” by Nnedi Okorafor This story is heartwarming in the most surreal way possible. From the first paragraph I was swept into an absolutely alien, but still somehow comprehensible world. And from there I traveled with Binti — I was afraid of Binti — and eventually, I found peace with Binti. ~Jon “The Pelican Tree,” by Marnie Devereux Local author Devereux is back with her second book of poetry. Her sincerity is refreshing,

  • Myth & Mind: Blessings under the skirt

    Mar 2, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, Myth & MindNo CommentsRead More »

    By Reva Sherrard There’s a story about the old wall around Milan, Italy. The Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and his armies were at the gates, ready to storm the city. A young Milanese woman appeared up at the battlements in full sight of the Emperor and his soldiers. She raised her richly embroidered skirts to her waist and, with regal unconcern, began trimming her pubic hair with a pair of shears. Thunderstruck, Barbarossa froze where he stood. His soldiers gaped and crossed themselves, aghast; some dropped their weapons. Confusion and dread spread among the troops, who until moments ago had been hot with battle-purpose. When at last the Emperor raised his voice it was to order a retreat. He would be back, but for that day the city was safe. To celebrate the taunt that had driven Barbarossa from their walls the merchants and nobles of Milan had a marble bas-relief of the woman — raised skirts and all — installed over the gate where she had stopped the army. For centuries after it was known as Porta Tosa, “Shears Gate.” The tale may be apocryphal, but the carving is real; it dates from the 12th century, when Barbarossa laid siege to and eventually sacked Milan. And it’s not as a far-fetched a notion as it seems that a little flashing may have turned back a medieval army. The

  • Peregrine Book Co. Staff Picks: March 2018

    Mar 2, 18 • ndemarino • 5enses, Peregrine Book Co. Staff PicksNo CommentsRead More »

    Catered by Reva Sherrard “Debriefing: Collected Stories,” by Susan Sontag Sontag is the clear, precise voice of a generation and the hardships they endured. ~Lacey “Some Kind of Happiness,” by Claire Legrand This may be the best coming of age tale for girls. Young Finley deals with her parents’ looming divorce, a terrible family secret, navigating new friendships, and much more — yet the book stays lighthearted and fun. ~Veri “The Fifth Season,” by N. K. Jemisin A refreshing new(ish) voice in epic fantasy. Part epic fantasy, part urban fantasy, part sci-fi. You’ll see … just check it out.~Jon “A Gentleman in Moscow,” by Amor Towles An enchanting narrative with a very charming character. If you’re looking for a nice work of historical fiction with well-drawn characters, this is it. A good book for a relaxing day. ~Susannah “Catwings,” by Ursula LeGuin I read this wonderful series when I was a kid, long before I knew anything about LeGuin’s better-known oeuvre. The story is sweet and subtly deep. A magical story … without magic. ~Susannah “The House of the Scorpion,” by Nancy Farmer In the not-so-distant future, there is a land overrun with hackneyed dystopian “Young Adult” novels, where the citizens cower before the ever-present threat of yet another book about a girl who really wants to snog a lame vampire. Just kidding, the time is NOW, and the place

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