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Book Reviews by Title - L (88)

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  • Book Type Nonfiction/Poetry
  • by Joshua Beckman
  • Date Published May 2018
  • ISBN-13 978-1-940696423
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 152pp
  • Price $25.00
  • Review by Valerie Wieland

Joshua Beckman, widely published writer, translator and editor-in-chief of Wave Books, inaugurates Wave’s Bagley Wright Lecture Series with his two-book set, The Lives of the Poems and Three Talks.

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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Natalie Goldberg
  • Date Published June 2018
  • ISBN-13 978-1-611805673
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 208pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by Kelly Lydick

The C-word. Cancer. I’m sure if you interviewed ten people and asked them what their top three fears are, this one would make the list. And in a time in which we’re all necessarily exposed to the environmental risks posed by advances in the manufacturing industry, big agribusiness, and global warming, this fear is heightened.

  • Subtitle A Tale in Poems
  • Image Image
  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Linda Nemec Foster & Anne-Marie Oomen
  • Date Published March 2018
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8143-4220-6
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 64pp
  • Price $16.99
  • Review by Vivian Wagner

The Lake Michigan Mermaid is a beautiful and haunting collection of poems about a relationship between a young girl and a freshwater mermaid. The poems alternate between the voice of the girl and voice of the mermaid, with Anne-Marie Oomen writing the girl’s poems and Linda Nemec Foster writing the mermaid’s. And woven throughout the book are lovely watercolor illustrations by Meridith Ridl.

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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Ahmed Ismail Yusuf
  • Date Published June 2018
  • ISBN-13 978-1-946395-07-8
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 190pp
  • Price $15.95
  • Review by Valerie Wieland

Ahmed Ismail Yusuf’s The Lion’s Binding Oath and Other Stories, presents an insider’s view of everyday life in Somalia during the mid to late 20th century. Yusuf had fled his birth country in the late 1980s during the Somalia civil war, and has since lived, educated himself, and worked in Minnesota.

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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by EJ Koh
  • Date Published October 2017
  • ISBN-13 978-0-807167779
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 78pp
  • Price $17.95
  • Review by DM O'Connor
If I can own anyone
I ask for none

unlike orchids that cannot
grow unless paired.

I don’t know.
I remember you loved

to swim. Everything I am
become water
                            —“Madrona”
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Vincent Chu
  • Date Published February 2018
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9984092-6-9
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 238pp
  • Price $15.99
  • Review by Valerie Wieland

Have you ever taken homemade food to a picnic just to have it ignored? Then you might recognize yourself in Vincent Chu’s story called “Ambrosia,” which appears in his first book of short fictions, Like a Champion. In it, our narrator’s girlfriend brings the sweet dessert to a barbecue with this result: “In the middle of the table sits the uneaten ambrosia, cubes of strange fruit drowning slow deaths in white glob, wincing under the summer sun.” But in this case, a simple sentence will turn the embarrassing situation around with unexpected results.

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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Steven Gillis
  • Date Published October 2017
  • ISBN-13 978-1945572-47-0
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 205pp
  • Price $24.00
  • Review by MacKenzie Hamilton

Are you happy? What is the source of your happiness? Would you say it’s love? Steven Gillis provides us with a few different answers to these questions in his new novel Liars. His characters find themselves either concretely sure of themselves, or questioning everything they know in this thrilling, somber story of a man trying to understand love.

  • Subtitle True Stories
  • Image Image
  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Minna Zallman Proctor
  • Date Published September 2017
  • ISBN-13 978-1-9367-8761-6
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 160pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by Scott Russell Morris

Minna Zallman Proctor’s Landslide is a collection of “true stories” (essays, really) that focus on matters of family, familiar dysfunction, and/or love gone awry. The essays cover a wide swatch of time, with stories from Proctor’s childhood, her young adult years, and her present, and though each essay can be read separately, together they ask a question that comes up several times: Is Proctor fated to repeat her mother’s life?

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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Alan Felsenthal
  • Date Published May 2017
  • ISBN-13 978-1-937027-87-2
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 80pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Ryo Yamaguchi

The opening poems of Alan Felsenthal’s Lowly suggest a collection that will fall squarely within a familiar subgenre of contemporary poetry: newly crafted myths, fables, and parables. Taking up classic modes of speech and story-telling, many poems of this subgenre operate according to a fairly defined mechanic, developing tight, logical sequences that utilize inversion, tautology, and other structural maneuvers to arrive at illuminating surprises—often with a bit of jesting. This mechanic perfectly describes the first poem of Lowly, “Two Martyrs."

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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Karen Tei Yamashita
  • Date Published September 2017
  • ISBN-13 978-1-56689-487-6
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 184pp
  • Price $19.95
  • Review by Valerie Wieland

On April 30, 1942: "my father and his family lost their freedom upon entry to Tanforan Racetrack, a designated Assembly Center in San Bruno, California, for the wartime removal of Japanese. Arriving by bus, [ . . . ] they were housed in a series of empty horse stalls named Barrack 14. This was just the first stop; from Tanforan they would be transported by train into the Utah desert to live in a concentration camp named Topaz."

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