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Book Reviews by Title - L (89)

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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Elena Passarello
  • Date Published October 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-1936747450
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 240pp
  • Price $15.95
  • Review by Julie Swarstad Johnson
“Once the Voyager was loaded with its telemetry modulation units and spectrometers and radioisotope thermoelectric generators,” writes Elena Passarello in Let Me Clear My Throat, “we then made the decision to affix human voices to the contraption’s flanks.” This image of singing voices rocketed beyond the edges of our solar system vivifies Passarello’s major concerns in her debut essay collection. Here, she examines the human voice, what it represents and communicates, and the global cultures and historical periods that have highly valued it. In these lively, memorable essays, Passarello describes the voice in different settings, explains what the voice communicates, and awakens her readers to the voices surrounding them.
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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Fumitada Naoe
  • Date Published September 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9785084-5-6
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 160pp
  • Price $19.95
  • Review by Cyan James
Do you ever listen to your parents’ advice? Fumitada Naoe, a minority displaced in 1980s-era Japan, certainly tried to. On page 9 of his strange, elliptical, memoir-cum-self-help-book, his mother tells him “Rich people and poor people all eat the same grain of rice. The time given to them is also completely the same. You have an enormous amount of time left. So it’s harder to find a reason for not being able to achieve.”
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Ronald Wardall
  • Date Published December 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-0980221190
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 143pp
  • Price $12.00
  • Review by Renee Emerson
Ronald Wardall’s collection of poems Lightning’s Dance Floor examines the ordinary, what surrounds us everyday, and finds the extraordinary in it. In “Necessity,” the author sets the poem in his “blue-bright child-memory.” Among the details of the train on “the Nebraska track like spaghetti,” “the star-struck window,” and “tell-tale neighbors,” he finds, as a child, that “like my father, my soul / was willing.” “Seeking the Minotaur” works as a type of thesis for the poems, setting the author in the detailed landscape of New York in “immutable / November.” The author “summon[s] up ambition enough to map / the waves” and to “practice prying apart / my ribs with a tuning fork,” a metaphor for his undertaking to pull meaning from the simple everyday actions and objects around him.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Alexander MacLeod
  • Date Published April 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1-897231-94-4
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 219pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by Olive Mullet
Finalist for Canada’s Scotiabank Giller Prize, Alexander McLeod writes his first short story collection, Light Lifting, with intense physical details and mostly dark but realistic endings.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Martha Silano
  • Date Published February 2011
  • ISBN-13 9780981859194
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 90pp
  • Price $14.00
  • Review by Kristin Abraham
Although she has published two books prior, I’d never read Martha Silano’s work, but she’s earned a new fan in me after reading this, her latest volume. Chosen by Campbell McGrath for the 2010 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize, The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception definitely deserves such an honor. Buy it, and you’ll have a constantly surprising little treasure in your collection to return to often.
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