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Book Reviews by Title - B (121)

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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Karen Chase
  • Date Published March 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-1933880068
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 88pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Micah Zevin
Karen Chase’s second collection of poetry is not only about the significance of bears in terms of humanity’s barbaric need to destroy them through poaching, it is also a metaphorical and allegorical device that permits the author to impart tremendously beautiful narratives, often centered on the most painful and burdensome subjects in her own life. Her poems are emotional songs that dig their claws into your flesh until you simply respond or comprehend what is at stake. These poems of remembrance bridge the gap between the world of the beast, the bear, and the not-so-dissimilar world of human beings often overcome with the same primal tendencies.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Nate Pritts
  • Date Published October 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-1-609-64020-0
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 90pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Dan Magers
When reading the poetry of Nate Pritts, one gets the sense that his drive to write poetry originated from the ecstatic strain of the Beat Generation, namely through the poetry of Philip Whalen and the Ginsberg of “Supermarket in California,” as opposed to the more apocalyptic strain personified by Burroughs and Ginsberg’s “Howl.” This is the strain that has it that all of nature and even some man-made objects are imbued with a holy light and the possibility of transcendence. This is a source of yearning and salvation for Pritts, as he writes in the first poem of his fourth book, Big Bright Sun, “There are literally / hundreds of roses I could pick today // or leave for tomorrow & the evening / of a different year, the purple evening.” In the book, this is especially true of the sun:
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Daniel Jones
  • Date Published April 2011
  • ISBN-13 9781552452455
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 102pp
  • Price $15.95
  • Review by Angela Veronica Wong
When an artist produces only one piece of work and when the work is anywhere close to stunning, it’s hard not to see it as representational of “promise” and lament what could have been. Daniel Jones authored only one collection of poetry during his lifetime and published it under his last name. Jones was twenty-six when it was published; after The Brave Never Write Poetry was originally published in 1985, he never again published a poem (though he did publish fiction). His sole collection was beautifully republished by Toronto’s Coach House Books in 2011.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Elise Paschen
  • Date Published April 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-1-59709-131-2
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 80pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by Cyan James
Every poem in Paschen's Bestiary has been carefully groomed; each poem still stays a little feral, mostly concerning what strange things we do in our own familiar homes: A woman bears the chrysalis of her son in her wandering body, a mother nurses amid a welter of storybook patterns, the vagaries of gods and storms and men thunder in the background...
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  • Book Type YA Novel
  • by Jutta Richter
  • Date Published September 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-1-57131-690-5
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 96pp
  • Price $14.00
  • Review by Jessica Powers
What would you give up to pursue a dream? In this rich and wonderful novel for people of all ages, a 9-year-old boy named Niner is willing to sell his guardian angel in exchange for money so that he and his friend, a homeless man called Cosmos, can travel to the sea and open an “ice cold drinks” stand. But once Niner sells his guardian angel, a terrible thing happens: he is left without protection, vulnerable to any whim of fate, germ, or accident. The story’s plot hinges on this one question: will he be able to get his guardian angel back before he dies?
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  • Book Type YA Novel
  • by Jessica Lee Anderson
  • Date Published October 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-1-57131-689-9
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 160pp
  • Price $17
  • Review by Jessica Powers
Anderson’s sophomore novel explores one young man’s descent into schizophrenia as he responds to an erratic and arbitrary world filled with a dysfunctional alcoholic mother, a disappearing stepfather, and a best friend with problems as large as his own.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Manoel de Barros
  • Translated From Portuguese
  • by Idra Novey
  • Date Published September 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-0-88748-523-7
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 95pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by Sima Rabinowitz
The ninety-two-year old de Barros, recipient of the most prestigious poetry awards in his native Brazil, is author of more than 20 books, though this is the first to appear in English. (Birds for Demolition is a collection of poems from the poet’s oeuvre over the last few decades.) Novey, director of Columbia University’s Center for Literary Translation and author of the poetry collection, The Next Country (2008), explains in her introductory note that de Barros writes of the wetlands and rivers, the “poverty and solitude of rural life,” the part of Brazil where he was raised and which he knows best, not the city, where we often expect (however erroneously) to find most poets. She classifies his writing as “riverbed-poems” and describes the intensity of the experience of translating their unique sense of place.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Paula Bomer
  • Date Published December 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9779343-7-9
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 176pp
  • Price $15.95
  • Review by Elena Spagnolie
In her collection of short stories entitled Baby and Other Stories, Paula Bomer explores the dark underbelly of marriage and parenthood and fearlessly puts to paper horrific human desires. Anger plays out through violent (and sometimes sexual) acts and, even more dangerously, through toxic passive aggression. There is a stark contrast between what her characters say and what they think, and real communication takes a backseat to resentment and isolation. She raises questions that aren’t easy to answer, as in the title story “Baby”:
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Stacey Waite
  • Date Published January 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-1-936797-25-7
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 72pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by Emily May Anderson
As soon as I saw the title of Stacey Waite’s first full-length book, Butch Geography, I was reminded of a line from the poem “Solar” by Robin Becker: “The desert is butch.” Unsurprisingly, Waite uses this line as an epigraph for the book’s title poem. However, while Becker’s poem focuses largely on the geography of landscape, Waite’s book concerns itself prominently with the intimate geography of the gendered body and its relationship to the world and to others.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Doug Nufer
  • Date Published August 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1934254240
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 202pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by J. A. Tyler
Doug Nufer makes me wish I knew more about horse racing because if I was more knowledgeable about horse races and the art of betting on this sport, I’d get so much more from By Kelman Out of Pessoa. As book 4 of 5 in the TrenchArt Recon Series, Nufer’s novel swings a wide arc of gambled characters and the throw of the die, using a backdrop of gaming as the setting of the novel as well as a means to writing it, a sleight of hand best described by the editors of Les Figues Press:
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