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Book Reviews by Title - M (105)

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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Genine Lentine
  • Date Published January 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-1934832226
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 70pp
  • Price $10
  • Review by John Findura
Reading Genine Lentine’s collection is like drinking deeply after a hike through the desert: refreshing and shocking in the way you didn’t realize how much you needed it until you had it. From concrete poetry to lines shaped likes the ripples of swords cutting through the air, Lentine manages to create an immediate and personal world within the pages.
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  • Book Type Novel
  • by Silvio Sirias
  • Date Published September 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-1558855922
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 240pp
  • Price $15.95
  • Review by Elizabeth Townsend
This was a book where the narrator expressly stated that he wanted to tell the story of the last moments of Adela Rugama’s life. For some reason I had it in my head that this was going to be a murder mystery and was a bit surprised when I found out it wasn’t. So within the first couple of chapters the reader knows Adela Rugama is dead, knows who did it, and also has a vague idea of the reason behind her murder. Even though there was no mystery to figure out, the book kept my attention. I was impressed with the way a seemingly simple story about a woman who was murdered kept me reading longer than I intended.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Tara Laskowski
  • Date Published January 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-0983792840
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 87pp
  • Price $10.00
  • Review by Karen Seehaus Papson
When confronted with an awkward situation that falls outside the bounds of social etiquette, modern women and men may find themselves in a quandary over what should be done. Never fear, etiquette devotees, for a new volume has explored this uncharted territory and created a guide for those hapless sailors who find themselves adrift in such unfriendly waters. From adultery and infertility to illiteracy and obesity, Tara Laskowski has carefully documented the dos and don’ts for these sticky circumstances in Modern Manners for Your Inner Demons. How fortunate for the current generation to have such wisdom readily available! Emily Post never addressed the faux pas to avoid when choosing to elope. Miss Manners never opined on how to scout a location when engaging in recreational arson. And neither one discussed the missteps likely to occur when conversing with soon-to-be victims of homicide. In short, this is a necessary volume for the considerate psychotics and kindly sociopaths among us—and for those of us who are in search of an amusing read.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Jerome Gold
  • Date Published February 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-1936364022
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 270pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by Lydia Pyne
The Moral Life of Soldiers is a collection of five stories (one novella-length) and a novel that fans of author Jerome Gold might recognize from previously published collections, such as Of Great Spaces and Prisoners. This collection is told from the perspective of an older soldier, Paul Donaldson, taking stock of his life and his experiences in the Vietnam War. The organization of the stories speaks to Jerome Gold’s commitment to the practical means of arranging the pieces—favoring a series of myopic encounters of ambiguous moral distinction rather than a longue durée quasi-biographical story of his main character.
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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Samantha Irby
  • Date Published September 2013
  • ISBN-13 9780988480421
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 224pp
  • Price $15.95
  • Review by Kirsten McIlvenna
When I received my copy of Meaty at an event for the ALA conference, I knew I was in for a different kind of reading experience. She signed my copy with fair warning that she likes writing dirty messages: “your vagina smells amazing. love, Samantha.” This is just a small sampling of the type of writing that you’ll see in her essays. Creator of the blog “Bitches Gotta Eat,” Samantha Irby tells it like it is, whether through the gritty details of her Crohn’s disease or through her unfiltered rantings of men and sex. It is written very informally, following the aesthetic of her blog, and inviting readers in as if Irby is personally conveying her stories and thoughts to them.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Elizabeth Howort, Dawn Gorman, Leslie LaChance, Janlori Goldman
  • Date Published October 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9766405-8-5
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 69pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Andrea Dulberger
The voices of four women poets are gathered in one place in the beautifully designed collection Mend & Hone. The title’s pungent phrase, suggesting the acts of both repairing and sharpening, intrigued me, as did a question asked on the back cover by the poet D. Nurkse: “How do we make ourselves at home on a stone falling through space?” All four writers in this book seem engaged in the work of finding and making a place for their lives, both within experiences of the physical/natural world and the world of human interactions.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Rachel McKibbens
  • Date Published March 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9827106-8-5
  • Format Chapbook
  • Pages 28pp
  • Price $10.00
  • Review by Kris Bigalk
It comes as no surprise to the reader that Rachel McKibbens is one of American’s most accomplished spoken-word poets, having served nine times on the National Poetry Slam team and winning two spoken word championships. The strength of her poems lies in their strong, consistent voice—one that speaks with authority and uses the cadences and expressions of natural speech to create a natural tension that moves through each poem and the collection as a whole.
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  • Book Type Novel
  • by Roma Tearne
  • Date Published July 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-1933372570
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 304pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by Laura Di Giovine
The mosquito season never seems to end in Sri Lanka; the swarms, “deadly as flying needles,” are always lurking in the shadows, waiting to strike. Frequently referenced as a harbinger of death and strife, the image of the mosquito figures prominently in Mosquito, Roma Tearne’s eloquent and moving novel of love in war-torn Sri Lanka.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Thomas Heise
  • Date Published July 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-1-936747-57-3
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 165pp
  • Price $15.95
  • Review by Trena Machado
Moth; or, how I came to be with you again, by Thomas Heise, is a poetic narrative of three- to six-page chapters, by a fictional narrator writing his memoir who “may” be under doctor’s care for an illness in which he is unable to distinguish between “what was real and what was not”—a condition the doctors were so concerned about that perhaps “they might be diagnosing themselves.” These prefatory remarks likewise state that the manuscript had been lost and found and perhaps altered by himself or another and, once translated from the German into English, the original was burned. The book begins with an unreliable narrator and text.
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  • Book Type Stories
  • by David Gianatasio
  • Date Published October 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-0977934314
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 95pp
  • Price $10.00
  • Review by Laura Di Giovine
David Gianatasio’s Mind Games messes with your head, but in the best way possible. A follow-up to 2006’s Swift Kicks, this brief collection of stories grabs you by the jugular. A mutiny of fervent voices bursts from the page, and each story is clever, bold, and off-the-charts surreal.
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