Hot Best Seller

How to Fly: In Ten Thousand Easy Lessons

Availability: Ready to download

In this intimate collection, the beloved author of The Poisonwood Bible and more than a dozen other New York Times bestsellers, winner or finalist for the Pulitzer and countless other prizes, now trains her eye on the everyday and the metaphysical in poems that are smartly crafted, emotionally rich, and luminous.  In her second poetry collection, Barbara Kingsolver offers r In this intimate collection, the beloved author of The Poisonwood Bible and more than a dozen other New York Times bestsellers, winner or finalist for the Pulitzer and countless other prizes, now trains her eye on the everyday and the metaphysical in poems that are smartly crafted, emotionally rich, and luminous.  In her second poetry collection, Barbara Kingsolver offers reflections on the practical, the spiritual, and the wild. She begins with “how to” poems addressing everyday matters such as being hopeful, married, divorced; shearing a sheep; praying to unreliable gods; doing nothing at all; and of course, flying. Next come rafts of poems about making peace (or not) with the complicated bonds of friendship and family, and making peace (or not) with death, in the many ways it finds us. Some poems reflect on the redemptive powers of art and poetry itself; others consider where everything begins.Closing the book are poems that celebrate natural wonders—birdsong and ghost-flowers, ruthless ants, clever shellfish, coral reefs, deadly deserts, and thousand-year-old beech trees—all speaking to the daring project of belonging to an untamed world beyond ourselves. Altogether, these are poems about transcendence: finding breath and lightness in life and the everyday acts of living. It’s all terribly easy and, as the title suggests, not entirely possible. Or at least, it is never quite finished. 


Compare

In this intimate collection, the beloved author of The Poisonwood Bible and more than a dozen other New York Times bestsellers, winner or finalist for the Pulitzer and countless other prizes, now trains her eye on the everyday and the metaphysical in poems that are smartly crafted, emotionally rich, and luminous.  In her second poetry collection, Barbara Kingsolver offers r In this intimate collection, the beloved author of The Poisonwood Bible and more than a dozen other New York Times bestsellers, winner or finalist for the Pulitzer and countless other prizes, now trains her eye on the everyday and the metaphysical in poems that are smartly crafted, emotionally rich, and luminous.  In her second poetry collection, Barbara Kingsolver offers reflections on the practical, the spiritual, and the wild. She begins with “how to” poems addressing everyday matters such as being hopeful, married, divorced; shearing a sheep; praying to unreliable gods; doing nothing at all; and of course, flying. Next come rafts of poems about making peace (or not) with the complicated bonds of friendship and family, and making peace (or not) with death, in the many ways it finds us. Some poems reflect on the redemptive powers of art and poetry itself; others consider where everything begins.Closing the book are poems that celebrate natural wonders—birdsong and ghost-flowers, ruthless ants, clever shellfish, coral reefs, deadly deserts, and thousand-year-old beech trees—all speaking to the daring project of belonging to an untamed world beyond ourselves. Altogether, these are poems about transcendence: finding breath and lightness in life and the everyday acts of living. It’s all terribly easy and, as the title suggests, not entirely possible. Or at least, it is never quite finished. 

30 review for How to Fly: In Ten Thousand Easy Lessons

  1. 4 out of 5

    Angela M

    I haven’t read much poetry in a very long time, but when I became aware of this collection by Barbara Kingsolver, I thought that it might be a nice change. I’ve very much enjoyed Kingsolver’s writing over the years, having read a number of her novels, but I had no idea that she wrote poetry. I found it to be much more than just a change of pace. I found these poems to be inspiring, lovely, and relatable, humorous at times. Marriage, hope , nature , motherhood, death with moving tributes to her g I haven’t read much poetry in a very long time, but when I became aware of this collection by Barbara Kingsolver, I thought that it might be a nice change. I’ve very much enjoyed Kingsolver’s writing over the years, having read a number of her novels, but I had no idea that she wrote poetry. I found it to be much more than just a change of pace. I found these poems to be inspiring, lovely, and relatable, humorous at times. Marriage, hope , nature , motherhood, death with moving tributes to her grandfather in “This is How They Come Back to Us”, and her great grandmother in “My Great-Grandmother’s Plate “ and a very sad one about her mother’s death, sharing personal and intimate details of their relationship, are among the themes reflected. I loved the series of poems on a family trip to Italy with her mother in law . In “On the Piazza”, she brought me back to Piazza Navona, one of my favorite places in Rome, but also what it was like to be a tourist while trying to experience a place. I especially connected to “In Torricelli, Finding Her Mother’s House “ and “Into the Abruzzo”. “Here to remind me of graveyards and surprising sites of origin. A mountain that holds us to its secrets. These feral granite ranges gave the world children, the mother of my mother-in-law, her son, our family, and peonies.” I was brought back to the time I walked through the town where my grandparents were born. Reflecting on her daughters and motherhood in “Creation Stories” and “Meadowview Elementary Spelling Bee “ were touching. “Insomniac Villanelle “ - on reading and writers who bear “The chore of blunting night’s tormented edges Austen, Byron, Cather, Dickens, Emerson... Now there’s birdsong, daylight on the ledges.” There were some that I loved more than others, but not one that I didn’t like . Reading these poems was a perfect way to spend an afternoon on an overcast day. Thanks to Jenny, whose review ( https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...) brought this to my attention. I received an advanced copy of this book from Harper through Edelweiss.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    I didn't know Barbara Kingsolver wrote poetry, but I really enjoyed this collection. I'd put it up there with Mary Oliver in thematic material and think the same readers would like both. (That's high praise, I love Mary Oliver!) - nature, aging, death & dying as part of life, wisdom etc. My favorites (linking to them online if I can find them) How to Drink Water When There is Wine How to Have a Child How to Survive This (published in the NYT during high pandemic numbers in NYC) How to Do Absolutely N I didn't know Barbara Kingsolver wrote poetry, but I really enjoyed this collection. I'd put it up there with Mary Oliver in thematic material and think the same readers would like both. (That's high praise, I love Mary Oliver!) - nature, aging, death & dying as part of life, wisdom etc. My favorites (linking to them online if I can find them) How to Drink Water When There is Wine How to Have a Child How to Survive This (published in the NYT during high pandemic numbers in NYC) How to Do Absolutely Nothing How to Be Married My Mother's Last Forty Minutes "...Here begins my life as no one's bad daughter..." Forests of Antarctica "...You are the world that stirs. This is the world that waits." I had a copy from the publisher through Edelweiss. It comes out in September but I was worrying about my eARC expiring before I had a chance to review it so here we are.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alicia Bayer

    I love any book of poems that Barbara Kinsgsolver writes. She is a poet who still knows what it is to be a poet, to say things in such a way that you think of little things in brand new ways, to use words as art and dance, to make you understand the nature of life with tiny observations that give meaning to the most insignificant things around us. There were definitely poems and sections that I liked in this book better than others, but it's the sort of book that I'd like a physical copy of to do I love any book of poems that Barbara Kinsgsolver writes. She is a poet who still knows what it is to be a poet, to say things in such a way that you think of little things in brand new ways, to use words as art and dance, to make you understand the nature of life with tiny observations that give meaning to the most insignificant things around us. There were definitely poems and sections that I liked in this book better than others, but it's the sort of book that I'd like a physical copy of to dog-ear and underline and read again and again. These are the sorts of poems you read to realize you're not alone in the universe and other people are living all the same heartbreaking, wonderful, terrible, mundane, awful, beautiful things you are. "Passing Death" was especially heartbreaking for me because it describes so well what is happening to my wonderful mother-in-law right now, whom we can't even visit because of covid-19. For her children, this gradual dying is like those tests at school that leave no one behind: death mastered in small increments. Last summer, they lost her laugh, the surprise of a marshmallow sandwich, jokes while she folded the laundry, a sheet furled around the make-believe bride. By then we knew she wouldn't see their weddings... Topics range from friendship to aging to nature to love, arranged by chapters that each have their own style and general theme. A great collection, with something for everyone (as long as you're willing to think a bit). I read a temporary digital ARC of this book for review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jenni

    Y'all....I got an early copy of this from Netgalley...brb reading this IMMEDIATELY (you may not know this, but Barbara is my idol)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Linden

    I’ve read all of Kingsolver’s novels, so I thought I would try reading some of her poetry. Much of it reads more like what I’d call poetic prose. She groups the selections into seven sections, from “How to Fly” to “The Nature of Objects.” So much of poetry is personal, and it can strike a chord with someone, or not. Even though she's obviously a skilled writer, I was not one with whom this collection struck a chord. Thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sharyn

    Barbara Kingsolver has visions, knows and uses words like an alchemist. This collection of poetry soars from inner musings on the natural world to tracing and illuminating personal family history from roots in Italy to Africa and rural Kentucky. The word images can be illuminating, startling, befuddling and astute. As in her prize winning fiction and non-fiction works, the breadth and depth of her experience, knowledge and curiosity is an amazement. It is not easygoing reading and at times you may Barbara Kingsolver has visions, knows and uses words like an alchemist. This collection of poetry soars from inner musings on the natural world to tracing and illuminating personal family history from roots in Italy to Africa and rural Kentucky. The word images can be illuminating, startling, befuddling and astute. As in her prize winning fiction and non-fiction works, the breadth and depth of her experience, knowledge and curiosity is an amazement. It is not easygoing reading and at times you may push yourself to slog through lines and metaphors that leave you in the dark. Then, the next line will take your breath away. Stay with her for those times are worth it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Erin (roostercalls)

    “Tiptoe past the dogs of the apocalypse asleep in the shade of your future. Pay at the window. You’ll be surprised: you can pass off hope like a bad check. You still have time, that’s the thing. To make it good.” -“How to Be Hopeful,” Barbara Kingsolver • So often poetry without teeth and claws fails to hold my interest for the duration of an entire book. I tell myself this is because poems are meant to be savored like a single piece of extra-dark chocolate after supper; a whole bag at once would only r “Tiptoe past the dogs of the apocalypse asleep in the shade of your future. Pay at the window. You’ll be surprised: you can pass off hope like a bad check. You still have time, that’s the thing. To make it good.” -“How to Be Hopeful,” Barbara Kingsolver • So often poetry without teeth and claws fails to hold my interest for the duration of an entire book. I tell myself this is because poems are meant to be savored like a single piece of extra-dark chocolate after supper; a whole bag at once would only ruin the treat. The truth is probably more about a deficit of attention. The poems in HOW TO FLY (In Ten Thousand Easy Lessons) are threaded through with gentle grace. There’s no blood-letting here—just a calming touch along your spine, the cool hand at your brow when you’re under the weather. And yet my attention never strayed, one to the next. Kingsolver had me under her spell in short verses as completely as she commands the pages of a novel. • Loosely themed sections of the book travel from a series of How To’s to a family pilgrimage to Italy to a section of heart-rending epitaphs to lost loved ones and beyond. Kingsolver’s observations are capacious and wise, and never too self-serious. As soon as she sketches the state of the world in stark lines that tighten the throat, she limns them with hope and makes you laugh. And who in the world doesn’t need that right now? A little hope tinged with laughter; a lyrical hug as we trudge wearily into a new season with the same worries and woes on our backs. • Huge thanks to @harpercollins for the chance to review an early copy of this work. I highly recommend nabbing HOW TO FLY from your local library or independent bookstore today if your soul is feeling a little drained and needs a some filling up.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Scott

    https://thebookloversboudoir.wordpres... Kingsolver is one of my favourite fiction writers so I was looking forward to reading her poetry. This is an incredible collection of poetry. I loved every word and every line of every poem. Her style reminds me a lot of the poetry of my other favourite writer, Joyce Carol Oates. The collection is split into seven sections, perfect to read across a week, with each section dealing with a different theme such as loss, hope and how to seek out the good things https://thebookloversboudoir.wordpres... Kingsolver is one of my favourite fiction writers so I was looking forward to reading her poetry. This is an incredible collection of poetry. I loved every word and every line of every poem. Her style reminds me a lot of the poetry of my other favourite writer, Joyce Carol Oates. The collection is split into seven sections, perfect to read across a week, with each section dealing with a different theme such as loss, hope and how to seek out the good things in life. Kingsolver puts so-called popular Insta Poets to shame with her dense, beautiful poetry and her imagery which will stay in my head for days and maybe weeks to come. Kingsolver’s poetry is as stunning as her prose. I loved every poem in this collection. Some gems include How To Drink Water When There Is Wine, The Roman Circus, Burying Ground, By The Roots, Thief, Where It Begins and The Nature of Objects.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amie

    Barbara Kingsolver's poetry collection How to Fly (in Ten Thousand Easy Lessons) is a recommended read! The collection is divided into themed sections and each theme is insightful, heatfelt, reflective, and powerful on its own. My favorite poems were "How to Lose That Stubborn Weight", "Swimming in the Bay of Naples", "My Mother's Last Forty Minutes", and "My Afternoon with the Postman". Kingsolver is a skilled poet and How to Fly should be added to your to-be-read list. Advanced readers' copy pr Barbara Kingsolver's poetry collection How to Fly (in Ten Thousand Easy Lessons) is a recommended read! The collection is divided into themed sections and each theme is insightful, heatfelt, reflective, and powerful on its own. My favorite poems were "How to Lose That Stubborn Weight", "Swimming in the Bay of Naples", "My Mother's Last Forty Minutes", and "My Afternoon with the Postman". Kingsolver is a skilled poet and How to Fly should be added to your to-be-read list. Advanced readers' copy provided courtesy of the publisher via #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Available September 2020.

  10. 5 out of 5

    DaShannon

    I’ve enjoyed reading Kingsolver for decades and this is another amazing read from her. I’ve read her nonfiction and fiction but never poetry so this is new. This is a poetry collection I will return to again and again. Her poem ‘How to Survive This’ is available on her website to read. At the end of How to Fly, Kingsolver dedicates several of the poems to specific people and also expounds on several aspects in various poems. It makes for an interesting read. Many of Kingsolver’s signature themes I’ve enjoyed reading Kingsolver for decades and this is another amazing read from her. I’ve read her nonfiction and fiction but never poetry so this is new. This is a poetry collection I will return to again and again. Her poem ‘How to Survive This’ is available on her website to read. At the end of How to Fly, Kingsolver dedicates several of the poems to specific people and also expounds on several aspects in various poems. It makes for an interesting read. Many of Kingsolver’s signature themes are here- environmentalism, parenthood, marriage, gardening, nature.

  11. 4 out of 5

    joyce w. laudon

    I have read and enjoyed novels by Barbara Kingsolver and so was both excited and intrigued to see that she was publishing a book of poems. I read about this volume in an interview with the author that said her poetry was personal and could not have been put out into the world earlier in her life. The poems themselves cover many topics. The first section, aptly in view of the title of this collection, is all about how to…how to Have a Child, Cure Sweet Potatoes, Survive This and more. There are a I have read and enjoyed novels by Barbara Kingsolver and so was both excited and intrigued to see that she was publishing a book of poems. I read about this volume in an interview with the author that said her poetry was personal and could not have been put out into the world earlier in her life. The poems themselves cover many topics. The first section, aptly in view of the title of this collection, is all about how to…how to Have a Child, Cure Sweet Potatoes, Survive This and more. There are a number of other sections as well. The poems can, of course, be read in any order. I loved many of them. There is a life wisdom that Ms. Kingsolver has acquired and shares; take part in it. Read this title. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Connie

    I am familiar with some of Barbara Kingsolver other books, that I thoroughly enjoyed in the past, but I never knew she is also a poet. This book is an interesting peek inside Barbara's thoughts about places and everyday life. While I do enjoy some poetry, books like this aren't usually my preferred material for reading. But this one really struck a cord, especially the poems about Italy because my husband's parents were both from there, and we have visited the country in the past. Many of the po I am familiar with some of Barbara Kingsolver other books, that I thoroughly enjoyed in the past, but I never knew she is also a poet. This book is an interesting peek inside Barbara's thoughts about places and everyday life. While I do enjoy some poetry, books like this aren't usually my preferred material for reading. But this one really struck a cord, especially the poems about Italy because my husband's parents were both from there, and we have visited the country in the past. Many of the poems brought to mind a delightful trip to the places mentioned. I also appreciated the way she looks at circumstances from the present and past. I am giving this 5 stars because I enjoyed it so much.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jenn Adams

    I had never read Barbara Kingsolver before, but when I saw that there was a new poetry collection from such an acclaimed writer, I figured why not give it a shot. I actually liked this a lot! It's broken up into parts, some of which I liked much more than other (e.g. loved the series of poems about going with her mother-in-law to her Italian homeland; not as into the long ode to knitting). Interesting way of using imagery and description that makes me feel that I would like her other works. At o I had never read Barbara Kingsolver before, but when I saw that there was a new poetry collection from such an acclaimed writer, I figured why not give it a shot. I actually liked this a lot! It's broken up into parts, some of which I liked much more than other (e.g. loved the series of poems about going with her mother-in-law to her Italian homeland; not as into the long ode to knitting). Interesting way of using imagery and description that makes me feel that I would like her other works. At once modern and seemingly timeless. My one critique would be that I'm not sure the entire collection came together cohesively, but that doesn't bother me too much. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Diane Payne

    The perfect collection for lifting our spirits and calming our souls during this lingering pandemic. Barbara Kingsolver's poetry kneads through humanity with with wry grace. Many of the poems were dedicated to people in her life, lending the readers to a voyeuristic voyage. One poem talked about her anguish after a book received bad reviews, a brave poem about the feeling of rejection after decades of being widely published and admired. A quick collection that covers much ground, yet lingers wit The perfect collection for lifting our spirits and calming our souls during this lingering pandemic. Barbara Kingsolver's poetry kneads through humanity with with wry grace. Many of the poems were dedicated to people in her life, lending the readers to a voyeuristic voyage. One poem talked about her anguish after a book received bad reviews, a brave poem about the feeling of rejection after decades of being widely published and admired. A quick collection that covers much ground, yet lingers with you long after closing the book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    J.D. DeHart

    We know Barbara Kingsolver's work quite well as a master of prose. Here, Kingsolver demonstrates her poetic skill -- and the result is lovely and enjoyable. This author utilizes the poet's pen with the kind of wit and energy that she wields in novel writing. Highly recommended. Many thanks to the publisher for an advance review copy, from which I offer this unbiased review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Karen Troutman

    How to Fly (In Ten Thousand Easy Lessons) Poetry by Barbara Kingsolver HarperCollins Publishers You Like Them You Are Auto-Approved Harper Poetry Pub Date 22 Sep 2020 | Archive Date 17 Nov 2020 As a fan of Barbara Kingsolver I was quite excited to read her poetry. Thanks to Net Galley and Harper Collins Publishers for the ARC. Well done! Will recommend to our patrons.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Stansel

    A journey of poems. So I enjoyed. Overall, it was not gripping as I was hoping it would be. The themes were good, but to me, they just didn't draw my emotions. Full disclosure- I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Taylor

    Beautiful!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    Can't wait to read it!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sue Frances

    5+ stars. I loved this book. Barbara Kingsolver has a beautiful way with words.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Cawiezell

  22. 4 out of 5

    Adam

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Taylor

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mary

  25. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Cheresnick

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  27. 4 out of 5

    Carryl Lee

  28. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Mullins

  29. 5 out of 5

    Fabiola Rivera

  30. 5 out of 5

    Madi

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.