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NewPages Book Reviews

Posted January 05, 2016

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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Sam Sax
  • Date Published September 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-1-62557-950-8
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 23pp
  • Price $8.95
  • Review by Heath Bowen
The only thing certain to drive somebody insane (or to at least let them think they are crazy) is to make them forget they are doing something different than what somebody else has done a hundred times before.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Don Mee Choi
  • Date Published April 2016
  • ISBN-13 978-1940696218
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 93pp
  • Price $18.00
  • Review by Benjamin Champagne
Race and Identity are two separate functions of description, but in our times, hardly. There is a war between nations, inside of nations, and ultimately inside of each individual. In the forthcoming Hardly War, Don Mee Choi details the interior of the life of a young girl in the middle of war. This is no mere reduction or retelling. The metaphor stands that we are all hardly adults. Perhaps hardly human. The complex war machine has turned us into THE BIG PICTURE and reduced us: “It was hardly war, the hardliest of wars. Hardly, hardly.”
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  • Book Type Poetry/Nonfiction
  • by Kate Colby
  • Date Published June 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-1-937027-45-2
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 128pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Nichole L. Reber
Innovative forms written by literary warriors like Kate Colby illustrate the breadth of structural opportunities in contemporary nonfiction. In the case of Colby’s I Mean, the writer approaches poetry with dynamics and patterns perhaps otherwise expected of prose, and even repeats those techniques in prose.
  • Subtitle Collected Stories
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Melissa Reddish
  • Date Published July 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9904546-4-9
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 202pp
  • Price $14.00
  • Review by Allyson Parsons
What initially drew me to Melissa Reddish’s recent book was the title: My Father is an Angry Storm Cloud. It resonated with me, and I was happy to learn that this title is also the title of one of the short stories in the book. I will admit that I initially rushed past the first couple pieces to get to it. I was not disappointed. “My Father is an Angry Storm Cloud” is poignant, and thankfully not in the “oh woe is me” way. This story was clearly delicately crafted to avoid hitting the reader over the head with “daddy issues.” In this snapshot of her life, I got a well-rounded sense that this character existed before the scene she appears in. It is clear that this character has scars from her past, that they re-open all the time, and that she struggles to stitch them up even as an adult. To get that grand a sense of a life already lived within six pages is pretty remarkable.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Lenore Myka
  • Date Published September 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-1-886157-99-6
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 206pp
  • Price $15.95
  • Review by Heath Bowen
There are linked wounded wonderers wallowing in the unsympathetic world inside the pages of this illustrious collection of short stories. In King of the Gypsies, Lenore Myka writes each story with passion and an abundance of knowledge for the Romanian culture. Her haunting tales depict the realities of abandonment and the continuous search for something better.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Tony Hoagland
  • Date Published September 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-1-55597-718-4
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 96pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Valerie Wieland
Tony Hoagland has been high on the list of established poets for years. The great thing about his poetry is the way he takes simple vocabulary and channels it into something amazing or disquieting or droll. He frequently writes what the rest of us might be thinking. In his latest book, Application for Release from the Dream, he demonstrates this in the poem “His Majesty.”
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