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Book Reviews by Title - M (109)

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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Belle Boggs
  • Date Published June 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-1-55597-558-6
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 240pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Keith Meatto
In one of the many aching, tender scenes in Mattaponi Queen, a woman goes to Wal-Mart with her husband, who is dressed in drag. He’s about to have a sex change operation and the public shopping expedition is her way to support and process his decision. Later, she wonders: “How old do you have to be to understand how love works?”
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Rick Hilles
  • Date Published January 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8229-6182-6
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 82pp
  • Price $15.95
  • Review by Lydia Pyne
A Map of the Lost World is literary blending of history and poetry through lyricism, realism, and, it would seem, an almost empathetic touch of irony that leaves the reader caught between literary landscape planes. The book is comprised of five parts (each of the parts and each of the poems, by the way, with utterly fantastic titles) that do not necessarily work to frame a specific narrative whole, yet they nevertheless contribute to A Map of the Lost World in specific ways. What author Rick Hilles does, then, is weave together the particular commonalities between these parts: unexpected geographies, small moments, specific people, connected anecdotes, stories, transliterated language. The real literary strength of Hilles’s writing comes from his broad familiarity with historical themes and his ability to connect individuals—and his readers—to those themes.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Matt Jasper
  • Date Published August 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-1-93540-254-1
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 81pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Christine Kanownik
The first poem in Matt Jasper’s Moth Moon is one of the best poems I’ve read recently. It is called “Flight” and it describes two people watching a group of black birds fly towards the moon. There is a shift in the last two lines with the fear that “all of the light in the world will be blotted out forever.” This poem is four lines long and complete and moving. I even enjoyed the next few poems in the book as well; however, I detected an unsettling trend in the second half of the book.
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  • Translated From Spanish
  • by Orlando Ricardo Menes
  • Date Published 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-1-891270-51-2
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 197pp
  • Price $19.00
  • Review by Lisa Dolensky
I recently found myself submerged in unexplored waters discovering the selected and celebrated works of the late Argentine poet, Alfonsina Storni. My Heart Flooded With Water is a captivating collection of translations from Spanish to English by Orlando Ricardo Menes. In fact, Menes practically makes his own artistry appear as effortless as floating. I especially enjoyed the companion reading format, i.e. Spanish text of each poem on the left and the translated English version on the right.
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  • Book Type Novel
  • by Selcuk Altun
  • Translated From Turkish
  • by Clifford Endres and Selhan Endres
  • Date Published August 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-1-84659-067-2
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 270pp
  • Price $13.95
  • Review by Christina Hall
Selcuk Altun’s novel is a page-turning adventure story, and miraculously one filled with mystery, despite the fact that every detail of the story is spoon fed to the reader via monologues. A self-proclaimed narrative of “a wild goose chase,” Many and Many A Year Ago follows retired Turkish Air Force pilot Kemal Kuray through various cross continental detective expeditions. While Kemal often feels as if a joke is being played on him through these sometimes fruitless voyages, the reader discovers early on the not-so-subtle meaning behind these quests. Through musical symbolism, Altun writes about the beautiful tragedy of endless love.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Catherine Brady
  • Date Published February 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-0-87417-763-3
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 228pp
  • Price $25.00
  • Review by Sara C. Rauch
In the title story of Catherine Brady's new collection of short stories, the main character wakes up naked in a bathtub, hung over, and finds his guitar in the toilet. After he makes his way downstairs to ask his female roommate (their complicated relationship soon emerges) what happened, she says, "You got your hands on a bottle of tequila." After some teasing, their exchange continues:
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Piotr Gwiazda
  • Date Published January 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-0971974128
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 62pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Joanna Kurowska
Piotr Gwiazda’s Messages includes twenty-two poems (some of which are cycles of three to seven parts) and an interview with the author. The collection opens with a quotation from Joe Milutis’s Ether: The Nothing That Connects Everything, which describes “materialist interpretations” as “poor readings of rationality.” Gwiazda’s very first poem elaborates this theme further, by expanding poetry’s cognitive domain to “anything, anything”; whereas the poet’s task is “to translate the anything”—in other words, to show things’ true significance, as this excerpt demonstrates: “You think this is freedom, / but it’s a Chinese toy.”
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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Kelly Kathleen Ferguson
  • Date Published October 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1-935708-44-5
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 183pp
  • Price $17.95
  • Review by Cheryl Wright-Watkins
Kelly Ferguson’s book chronicles the two weeks she spent retracing the pioneer journey of Laura Ingalls Wilder. The book opens in an antique clothing and costume shop in Missoula, Montana, where Ferguson buys her outfit for the trip: a floor-length bright blue flowered dress, the closest available facsimile of a prairie dress Laura would have worn. To explain her decision to make this journey, Ferguson reveals that she’s been obsessed with Laura since her mother gave her the yellow-covered Harper Trophy Edition box set of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books for her sixth birthday. Ferguson not only reads the books, she immerses herself in them; she carries the characters around in her head like imaginary friends.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Jennifer Knox
  • Date Published December 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-0982658710
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 84pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Noel Sloboda
In The Mystery of the Hidden Driveway, Jennifer Knox reveals a gift for making readers laugh. All 43 poems in this volume display great wit—a possible liability in hands less adroit than Knox’s. Fortunately, while rendering comical scenes, she never sacrifices pathos for a joke. Her poems feature complicated humor that emerges from funerals and interventions. Always keeping in view the high stakes for her speakers—and their friends, parents, and lovers—Knox dances on the edge of the ridiculous, obliging people to laugh at difficult situations for which there are not rational responses.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Rusty Barnes
  • Date Published August 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1-934513323
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 154pp
  • Price $18
  • Review by Hazel Foster
Rusty Barnes’s Mostly Redneck, is, in fact, not “mostly redneck,” at least not in the way most would think of “redneck.” There are a few yokels, some pickups, a shotgun, but the pages are not inhabited by slack-jawed, one-overall-strap-loose, hill folk. The stories in this collection follow real people in all situations. For instance, in “This is What They Call Adventure,” Bob, who is simple, feeds the hens and meets a girl:
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