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Book Reviews by Title - B (121)

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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Carmen Bugan
  • Date Published July 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-1555976170
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 192pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Ann Beman
Not many memoirs approach the act of resisting a totalitarian regime through a child’s eyes. But then, reading Carmen Bugan’s Burying the Typewriter is an unusual experience.
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  • Book Type Edited
  • by Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, Michael Northen
  • Date Published October 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1935955054
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 326pp
  • Price $19.95
  • Review by Aimee Nicole
As the subtitle notes, Beauty is a Verb has been marked as the new poetry of disability. After a “Short History of American Disability Poetry,” this hefty anthology is broken off into sections, for example: “The Disability Poetics Movement,” “Lyricism of the Body,” and “Towards a New Language of Embodiment.” Rather than just including the actual poetry, authors preface their work with short autobiographies. They touch upon their disabilities as well as how they affect both their lives and their art. This allows the reader to have a more personal interaction with the poetry, as there is a foundation for the words and for the experience.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Mairéad Byrne
  • Date Published March 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-0982081358
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 208pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Gina Myers
Thursday, January 01, 2004
Dammit more champagne.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Moira Egan
  • Date Published December 2009
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 24pp
  • Price $9.00
  • Review by Jeremy Benson
It’s odd to start a collection of poems by politely turning down a pick up line, but Moira Egan just comes right out with it in the opening of the first of two dozen sonnets: “A glass of wine, a napkin, and a pen / are all I need.” But something – the cadence or the spitfire wit of the delivery, or maybe the way I imagine the speaker looking up and coyly drawing a strand of hair behind her ear as she flatly rejects her suitor – the way I, like a bully’s toady, am drawn to rejection – causes me to push past her declination and further into a formal introduction of the chapbook:
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  • Book Type Novella
  • by Jesse Lee Kercheval
  • Date Published April 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-1-88083-486-2
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 126pp
  • Price $9.95
  • Review by Ann Beman
My copy of Jesse Lee Kercheval’s Brazil smells like Froot Loops, and I don’t mind one bit. The candy-fruit aroma only enhances the sensory snack that this novella serves. More than a snack, really, Kercheval’s short novel delivers dinner and a movie in the same timeframe in which most novels are just passing the hors d’oeuvres.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Chris Martin
  • Date Published March 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1566892599
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 138pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Renee Emerson
Becoming Weather is introduced by a quote from Nietzsche that describes the shifting changeability of the collection—“That the world is not striving toward a stable condition is the only thing that has been proved.” Like the weather, Martin’s poems can quickly change from light to darkness, frigidity to a blazing heat. The writer explores this movement and the act of writing about movement—in poem 3 of the first section, “Disequilibrium,” he states:
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Li-Young Lee
  • Date Published January 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-0393065428
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 144pp
  • Price $24.95
  • Review by Micah Zevin
Li-Young Lee’s fourth collection of poetry is an elegiac march through a landscape of prayer, death, love, the eternal strife of family relations and the omnipresent political realities that come with the immigrant identity. More than any other theme, the status of the displaced illuminates these mysterious and evasively simplistic poems.
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  • Book Type Anthology edited
  • by Leanne Hinton
  • Date Published March 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-1-59714-200-7
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 256pp
  • Price $20.00
  • Review by Alyse Bensel
Promoting a grassroots approach to language revitalization, Leanne Hinton has edited over a dozen retellings from families who have brought their native languages back into the home. All of the essays in Bringing Our Languages Home possess a clear congruency in five different categories on how to approach language learning. Most essays focus on learning and reintroducing American tribal languages, such as Miami, Yuchi, Mohawk, and Karuk. This anthology certainly has a very focused audience, but those with an already established interest in linguistics and grassroots movements may also wish to follow along with these varied essays.
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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Alma Gottlieb, Philip Graham
  • Date Published September 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-0-226-30528-8
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 184pp
  • Price $20.00
  • Review by Lydia Pyne
A braid is a fantastic narrative metaphor for complex collections of worldviews. Through the plaited entity, we can see independent strands woven together, each contributing to the creation of something that is more than its single self. We can see complex knotting and intricate interlacing that highlight the skill of the weaver (or storyteller, in our metaphor). A single-strand narrative is a ponytail—simple, standard, and fairly unimaginative. A braided narrative, however, is a building block—one that leads to unending possibilities of elaborate designs and coiffures. In Braided Worlds, their ethnography-reflection-travel memoir, Alma Gottlieb and Philip Graham work extremely well with the metaphor of a braided narrative. Their collections of stories from their time with the Beng in Côte d’Ivoire clearly reflect their commitment to “re-create the immediacy of the present-moment external drama of our lives among the Beng people, as well as the drama of our internal states.”
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Victoria Chang
  • Date Published August 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-1-938073-58-8
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 46pp
  • Price $20.00
  • Review by Aimee Nicole
Any time I pick up a book from McSweeney’s Poetry Series, I have high expectations—and Victoria Chang’s The Boss does not disappoint. This collection of poetry is full of clever, cheeky language that propels you through to the last page. The author presents us with a diverse collection written on the same core topic, yet contemplates it from so many points of view that although she considers it fully, I still wanted more. A particularly good example from “The Boss Has Grey Hair”:
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