Customer Reviews

18
4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
16
4 star
2
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
The Year of No Mistakes
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:$13.07 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime

Your rating(Clear)Rate this item
Share your thoughts with other customers

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
I have read every one of Cristin's books, and have loved them all. This one, this one was different. It was like taking a glimpse into a very real life, like watching your own love and failure play out in her words. I love most poetry, but her poetry is the kind that sticks to my ribs. It is relatable, and real and raw. This book is all of those things times a billion. We've all had broken hearts and big transitions, we have all been in her shoes, but we probably haven't been able to express it in such a brilliant and beautiful way. No matter where you are in your life, you can read this book of poetry and appreciate it, relate to it and fall in love with her words. Do yourself a favor and read this book.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz is a rare bird, indeed--she is a writer's writer whose intelligent, humane work is also highly accessible to people who may live outside of the writerly world. In The Year of No Mistakes, Cristin looks the demise of her ten-year relationship square in the eye. She does so with fairness and compassion to her former partner and herself, and speaks to all of us who have ever loved, lost, and learned the hard way. Stylistically, her work echoes the simplicity and eloquence of Mary Oliver, while also hitting the reader with more visceral bows to Dirty Realism. It is a magnificently human collection of poetry--one that belongs in the hands of those whose hearts are broken, healed, and hoping. If you are alive, you need to read Aptowicz's work. She reminds us what a great privilege life can be, especially when we walk through its occasional fires and marvel at our healing burns.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2013
Format: Paperback
As a long time fan of Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz, I own all of her titles. I love her work--it always sings with authenticity. Aptowicz is a writer that never hesitates to nail a feeling on its head. She never shies away from giving her readers something true and real. It's that exact quality that draws so many of us to her work. It's why people who claim to hate poetry make an exception for her poems.

The Year of No Mistakes gives everyone--poetry fans, poetry skeptics, Aptowicz fans, and new readers-- a true gift. Aptowicz's telling of "the year" includes an account of the unraveling of her ten-year relationship, her move away from New York City, and all of the insecurities that come with restarting. The book is as genuine her fans will have come to expect. What sets this book apart from the rest of her works is the degree to which she shares her vulnerability. This book brings honesty to a new level. It is a book you will both love reading and feel honored to read.

I have read countless collections of poetry, and the books that really resonate with me as a reader are the books that trust the reader to an intimate journey. Books that ring with passion and honesty. Books that do not romanticize the world of the poet. This collection of poems is artful. It is inspiring without being naive. It is heartful without being ignorant. Aptowicz isn't just confiding in her readership--she is selflessly sharing. This book gives raw emotions a clear and careful voice. It is masterful.

If you have ever liked a book, I have no doubt that you will like this book, too.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
I love Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz's poetry. As evidenced by my bookshelf which contains all five of her previous books of poetry and my youtube history which contains many of her hilarious, explosive performances. She has a style that is accessible even to the folks who think that poetry "isn't for them." Her wit and honesty is so sharp it can make me laugh and cry in the same poem. But I'm just speaking about her poetry in general. Then I opened The Year of No Mistakes.

Boom. The Year of No Mistakes is by far the most vulnerable and personal material I've ever read by this author. She navigates the sadness and loneliness of a relationship's end with no ego and the result is heart wrenching. Yet throughout the sorrow, she never loses the wink and humor that makes Aptowicz's poetry iconic. Despite the seemingly sad topic, The Year of No Mistakes is full of celebration and cartharsis, and I came out of this book with great optimism. That is what Aptowicz is so good at: showing us the depths of her hurt, embarrassment, sorrow, and anger while showing us that it's also ok to laugh. It's ok to move through it. I recommend this to anyone who has been through a tremendous break up. It is moving, beautiful, funny, and just really damn good.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2013
Format: Paperback
There is a bravado that bubbles out of Aptowciz’s work that is not present in this latest collection. This is not a bad thing. The book is her most personal to date, and with this work we discover that not everything in her world is a joke. At the forefront of TYONM are her traditional and always-welcome traits: warm and accessible language, cut with a hip fearlessness in subject matter and form, spread out over many engaging scenarios. And yet, contextualized through an exploration of loss, we are treated to a collection that not only shows you who she is (all her books do that), but what she’s made of.

Aptowicz possesses a keen eye for good stories; it is what propels her catalog at large, and certainly her best work. Seeing that eye turned on herself (as opposed to squirrels on crack or lawn gnomes. See? An unassailable imagination!) is something to behold. It is an earnest gut-punch of a book, and stripped of her usual buoyancy, leaves us with one of the most honest collections of art this year. Notable poems include "33 1/3", "Austin", "Married Men" and "Not Doing Something Wrong isn't the Same as Doing Something Right".
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
COA's poetry is for anyone willing to breathe, think and feel at the same time. The work is accessible and honest. Her moments are so personal but somehow include you & I and her spirit is daunting. A fantastic collection straight from her heart, lungs, and mind. A Poetry must have.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
I'm here writing this review after reading in a post on facebook from Write Bloody Publishing (my favorite book publisher; go buy their entire catalog!!!!) that reviews help to move books and really do a lot for independent press/poets. Writing reviews really isn't my thing, but I'll give it a go....

The wonderful thing about Cristin O'keefe Aptowicz is her ability to write poetry that any person with a pulse can relate to and enjoy. She is able to accomplish this without sacrificing wondrous imagery, delicious poetics, cleverness, plenty of heart string pulls and head nodding moments of shared experience with her reader. Poetry still suffers from many negative stigma's these days and, at least in my experience, gets disregarded by even avid readers for being "too cryptic", "stale", or "difficult and heavy".

Buy this book and forget your preconceived notions of what poetry is.

'The Year of No Mistakes' is a book that I could hand to anyone walking down the street, any family member of mine or doubter who thinks everything under the umbrella "poetry" is T.S. Elliot's Wasteland or Ezra Pounds 'Cantos', and have them enjoy some of it and be surprised poetry could be so cool. This book is accessible, heart on sleeve honest, and absolutely gorgeous and heartbreaking from cover to cover. I got it as a Christmas gift in the morning, read the whole thing by the evening of that same day. I couldn't put it down. From the first poem, "These United States", you are drawn into the poet's world, a world familiar to us, but carved from the gut rock of Ms. Aptowicz perceptions and emotions. This is literal poetry for the lay person as much as it's a delicious feast for the language lover/poetry fan. It's all inside! To beat a dead horse, you don't have to be a poetry lover to buy this book! Human beings crave companionship and love, it is just how we are wired, right? If you ever loved or been loved. If you've ever felt alone, scared, desperate or unsure of the future. If you struggle with your self-image or if a relationship you cherished has ended, read this book. You will love it. You'll find yourself nodding your head. Your body will fill with emotion and inspiration to get your own thoughts/feelings out.

Uprooted after fourteen years in New York City, our poet changes cities a few times, has a long term relationship end, and struggles with money while following her heart and her passion for writing into an unknown future. Her poems about various cities are fantastic.

Austin

is a summer camp where it is always August.
The dogs bark steam here. There are no sidewalks.
Instead, there are whole football fields of yellow grass.
There are lizards who climb my apartment stairs.
Two nights ago, the Manhattan skyline ---ead her legs
for me one last time. Everything exploded with light. Jesus.
Now, the moon is far-off smile. Trucks are like city buses
for one. I am called Dear. I am called Sweetheart.
The waitress asks if I want seconds. Seconds are free,
she adds. They know my number here. Yesterday,
I looked at our new apartment and told myself,
This is where I will write my next book. The apartment
stared back at me, confused. The news anchor tells me
it is our seventy-eighth consecutive 100+ degree day.
It is September. Somewhere, a maple leaf is changing color.
Somewhere a pumpkin scone is being baked. Somewhere
someone is putting their bathing suits into a box marked,
Summer. But here in Austin, my living room window is
an oven I can’t shut off. Here, the sun is a fat loud bully
that everyone else seems to like. Here, my afternoon walk
tried to kill me. In New York, the subway dives underground
without me. In New York, people argue about bagels.
In New York, a whole city wakes up to go to work.
I am in Austin now. I am still going to work.

West Philly

I meet you here at the intersection of pitbull and
pigeon, at the valley of the screaming bus brakes,
where every thin squirrel and sweating toddler
packs its cheeks with leftover McDonalds. I meet
you where the sunbeams are filthy and relentless,
where graffiti washes its hair over train tressles,
its lousy dye job streaking everywhere, where
the bees come in two sizes: invisible and huge.
I meet you here where I first met you, last year
around this time, empty backpack and open-eyed.
West Philly, you are a cellphone shoved into a hijab.
You are cop on bike running me over on a sidewalk.
You are the same six homeless guys. West Philly,
I tried to love you, but you were smarter than that.
Knew I’d leave. You kept me at a distance. You gave
me opportunity and ----ty diners and junkies who
hid stuff in our flower pots. You gave me time and
space and mouse --it on everything. You gave me
a tightrope, no umbrella, no net. West Philly, you
told me it’s not that hard. The trick is to keep moving
forward, to never look down, to never look back.

-Below is a perfect example of the delicious language I mentioned earlier:

The Bowery

We danced like ball bearings
We laughed like ripped newspapers
We smoked like backwards rain clouds
We kissed like slammed doors.

We drank like taxi cabs in snowstorms
We ate like honeybees swarming bears
We screamed like willow trees in windstorms
We wrote like a knife to our throats.

We fought like a thousand, tiny paper cuts
We struggled like teeth against brick.
We ---ked like rubber-necked car crashes
We loved like we invented it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is sometimes funny, sometimes painful, sometimes self-effacing.
A joy to read.
This is the best writing she's ever done.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2014
Format: Paperback
I am indescribably happy to have bought this book. I will treat it like an Advent Calendar, enjoying one poem a day, savoring it like a Godiva, slowly, letting it melt and treat me, and then telling everyone how delicious it was, never knowing which I enjoyed more, the treat of the piece or the anticipation of another tomorrow. I will turn each page like a door I am opening into a magically poetic world where every emotion is musically celebrated. When I've reached the end, I will close the book like folding over cardboard slats on December 26, and I will put it away. i promise though, i will always treat the next day like December 1.

This work is alive with the cities she's populated, vibrant with the life she's lived, and loud and soft, in turns, with her voice. Would that it were required reading for every poet, young and old alike. Yes to this. Yes, yes, yes.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I could call Aptowicz the modern Dorothy Parker. She certainly has the requisite wit and ability to turn a clever phrase but here's the thing: I like her better than Dorothy Parker especially after reading this collection.

If you were a child that ever played the board game Operation you remember the extreme caution you took to help your sick patient and you no doubt remember the wretched buzzing that occurred despite your best efforts. That's what reading this book was like. The year of no mistakes is full of excitement and honesty and triumph and tragedy and patience and success and failure and want. The author somehow manages to take you in several different direction while keeping you on one clear journey. This book is funny, smart, sexy and painful in that great cathartic way that art should be painful sometimes. Kudos to Ms. Aptowicz on her best book yet.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
No Matter the Wreckage
No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay (Paperback - March 18, 2014)
$11.41

B
B by Sarah Kay (Hardcover - November 29, 2011)

No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories
No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories by Miranda July (Paperback - May 6, 2008)
$9.45
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.