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Book Reviews by Title - E (35)

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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Melody S. Gee
  • Date Published August 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-0979458231
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 78pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Noel Sloboda
Melody S. Gee’s Each Crumbling House won the 2010 Perugia Press Prize. The volume advances the mission of the press, which “publishes one collection of poetry each year, by a woman at the beginning of her publishing career.” Each Crumbling House includes 52 poems, many of them autobiographical, in which Gee dwells on the challenges of negotiating relationships with lovers, family members, and history. Adding atmosphere and nuance to her verse, Gee’s Chinese-American heritage often haunts her speakers, as they navigate multiple continents as well as in-between spaces not found on any maps.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Katharine Coles
  • Date Published March 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-1-59709-710-9
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 120pp
  • Price $17.95
  • Review by Julie Swarstad Johnson
The Earth Is Not Flat, Katharine Coles’s fifth collection of poetry, considers the meaning of discovery in the context of the Antarctic landscape. “If you wanted to be first / You live in the wrong time,” Coles writes in the book’s opening lines (“Self-Portrait in Hiding”). This desire to arrive first, to know first—and a contemporary inclination to question this desire—informs Coles’s wide-reaching poems recording her experience in Antarctica, made possible through the National Science Foundation’s Artists and Writers Program. In The Earth Is Not Flat, Coles invites her reader to undertake the unsettling experience of approaching the vast Antarctic landscape along with her, and to both push against and embrace a deeply-rooted desire to explore and know the world.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Becky Dennison Sakellariou
  • Date Published October 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-0-980-1672-9-0
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 55pp
  • Review by Sima Rabinowitz
These are lovely poems from a poet who has lived for a long time in Greece (she also maintains a home in New Hampshire) and writes with grace and elegance about the natural world in its relationship to human stories and histories. Her verse is more restrained than effusive, more controlled than lush, rendering the landscapes of her geographies, her (our) history, and her mind in sharply etched lines:
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Joseph Young
  • Date Published December 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-0982081341
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 100pp
  • Price $12
  • Review by John Madera
With their directness and precision, their attention to what Ezra Pound would call “luminous details,” Joseph Young’s microfictions might be mistaken for Imagist poems, but with their shift away from showing “things” as “things” toward “things” as something else, or, rather, toward portraying both the “thingness” of the thing and of some different “thing,” his miniatures suggest something altogether different. But where they fit is less important than what they do, how they make you feel. In Easter Rabbit’s miniatures, its sharp sentences focused on often mundane details, Young offers epics. Seemingly channeling William Blake, he offers further “auguries of innocence,” further testaments to worlds in granules, heavens in flowers, and – well, suffice to say, these are sentences to linger over.
  • Subtitle (Soma)tics for the Future Wilderness
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by CAConrad
  • Date Published September 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-1940696010
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 106pp
  • Price $22.00
  • Review by H. V. Cramond
I usually start a book review with some information on the author, including past publications, academic affiliations and other markers of importance that might help the reader slot the work into whatever framework he or she has for deciding what books are worth reading. While CAConrad definitely has the required pedigree, detailing it seems counter to the ethos of the book’s rejection of received knowledge in favor of lived experience.

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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Jane Roper
  • Date Published May 2011
  • ISBN-13 978098270841
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 371pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Patricia Contino
One of the more “cherished” childhood myths is the camp experience. Whether scout, day or sleep-away, kids are told camp is good for them. In other words, conformity is good. Yet the memory is polarizing. As with Star Wars vs. Star Trek or Super Mario over Donkey Kong, there is no in-between. Adults either loved or loathed every minute of it. And this former camper never saw one that looked like Matt Dillon did in Little Darlings.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Ericka Lutz
  • Date Published March 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9827084-4-6
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 326pp
  • Price $15.95
  • Review by Jodi Paloni
Here’s an idea for a story. Take a beautiful life: happy marriage, comfortable home, and a smart and talented daughter, the three of you eating in a different restaurant every night. Ignore the husband’s loner party binges in the basement. Push aside the wife’s curiosity of her yoga teacher’s guiding hands on her hips. Everyone’s entitled to a little secret, except daughters. Don’t even suspect that daughters, locked in their rooms, are not doing homework. Now throw in a surprise visitor from the past and witness the beautiful life unravel. Next explore the aftermath from three points of view: wife, husband, daughter. Why not? All three are watching each other, and nobody’s really talking.
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  • 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.

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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Sommer Browning
  • Date Published January 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-0-982617-75-5
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 96pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Elena Spagnolie
I don’t claim to understand all of Sommer Browning’s poetry, but I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading her first full-length collection, Either Way I’m Celebrating. Her work is smart and requires some effort to interpret; the eccentric, stream of consciousness writing subtly shifts from thought to thought and challenges readers to follow. And it’s certainly worth the undertaking. Browning’s poetry is flat out funny. For example, in the poem “Sideshow” she writes:
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  • Book Type Collection
  • by Julien Poirier
  • Date Published October 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-1-933254-60-9
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 120pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Sima Rabinowitz
Is the title page a subversive example of “golpe chileño” or a mistake: Peter Lorre Goes Buggy. A Biography. by Cem Çoker and issued by Gneiss Press (“on the dusty road to hits”)? According to Ugly Duckling Presse (from book publicity on the website) and a brief introduction in the book itself, golpe chileño is a form of street crime in Barcelona. (Spain’s major cities were, at one time, notorious for the many types of thievery perpetrated on tourists in the streets). So, perhaps this, too, is a trick—look over here (maybe you’ll think the book is in Spanish by the cover); no, look over here (this is a book about that odd classic movie actor, Peter Lorre). Gottcha!
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