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NewPages Book Reviews

Reviews of newly published and forthcoming independent and university press titles.

Posted January 03, 2017

  • Subtitle A Memoir of Marriage, Mourning, and the Middle East
  • Image Image
  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Roselee Blooston
  • Date Published October 2016
  • ISBN-13 978-1-62720-115-5
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 303pp
  • Price $16.99
  • Review by Valerie Wieland

When Roselee Blooston’s husband Jerry Mosier started working as a media consultant in Dubai, she worried he might come to harm. But she never expected her 53-year-old husband to be brought down not by a threat from without, but by an aneurism in his brain.

  • Image Image
  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Gleah Powers
  • Date Published September 2016
  • ISBN-13 978-1-925417-18-0
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 156pp
  • Price $13.99
  • Review by Valerie Wieland

Gleah Powers counts being an actor, model, bartender and teacher of alternative therapies among her many careers. Recently, she’s chosen to add fiction writer to the list with her first novella, Edna & Luna. Powers’s writing style is peppy and easily readable as she tells the story of two diverse women whose lives intersect in the American Southwest.

  • Subtitle A Ring of Stories
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Julie Hensley
  • Date Published April 2016
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8142-5269-7
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 232pp
  • Price $19.95
  • Review by Allyson Hoffman

Until picking up Julie Hensley’s Landfall: A Ring of Stories, I had never heard linked short story collections described as a “ring.” But Hensley’s book is exactly that, and it makes me hungry for more collections of stories so craftily connected. Taut with tension and carefully ordered, the stories follow characters as they move in and out of Conrad’s Fork, Kentucky. Landfall: A Ring of Stories makes good on its titular promise by leading the reader in a complete circle, back to the family farm where the collection begins.

  • Image Image
  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Phillip Lopate
  • Date Published January 2017
  • ISBN-13 987-0-8142-1331-5
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 196pp
  • Price $24.95
  • Review by DM O'Connor

In 1984, Phillip Lopate, then 41, recorded his mother, then 66, tell her life story for 20 hours over three months. He then put the cassette tapes in a shoe box for three decades before he transcribed them. A Mother’s Tale, is the result of this project. Lopate writes in his prologue, “I entered a triangular dialogue involving my mother, my younger self, and the person I am today.” In the final chapter, he summarizes his mother’s life and how his project fits into the larger scheme of America.

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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by A.W. DeAnnuntis
  • Date Published October 2016
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9962276-3-6
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 169pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by MacKenzie Hamilton

The Mysterious Islands and Other Stories is a collection of stories that feels like dream within a dream within a nightmare. A.W. DeAnnuntis uses eloquent language and out of this realm imagery to give life to a world that that skirts back and forth between reality and imagination. The stories in this collection will leave you wondering if you can trust the sanctity of your own mind.

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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Alice Kaltman
  • Date Published August 2016
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9860922-7-5
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 248pp
  • Price $8.99
  • Review by MacKenzie Hamilton

If you are looking for a contemporary, kooky, relatable read, look no further than Alice Kaltman’s Staggerwing. This collection of short stories is reminiscent of that ‘I can’t remember why I walked into the room’ feeling, something everyone can relate to. The characters are original and full of life, while also exhibiting off-the-wall characteristics. Staggerwing will have you barking out a laugh as its characters attempt to look graceful while walking across a tightrope.

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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Paula Whyman
  • Date Published May 2016
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8101-3353-2
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 216pp
  • Price $17.95
  • Review by Kelly Sauvage Angel

Whether we view our lifetimes as a series of clearly delineated chapters, isolated incidents, developmental stages or something akin to a tangled ball of fraying yarn, the journey from our youth to the ripe weariness of middle age somehow seems to leave us mystified when we come to consider how we got from a place of such innocence and naivete to, well, here, in this room where we lie, wracked with disappointment, betrayal, disillusionment and an all-too-hefty dose of loneliness. We tend to remember the important scenes in which we were featured within the great cosmic film of life, but the connections elude us, as though the imprints from our experiences are processed only after the screen fades to black.

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