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Book Reviews by Title - P (83)

  • Subtitle Build a Successful, Sustainable, Meaningful, Book Business from the Ground Up
  • Image Image
  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Joe Biel
  • Date Published December 2018
  • ISBN-13 978-1-62106-285-1
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 416pp
  • Price $19.95
  • Review by Vivian Wagner

Joe Biel’s A People’s Guide to Publishing is an inspirational and practical guidebook for anyone interested in starting and sustaining a publishing company. Biel, founder of Microcosm Publishing, a small, Portland, Oregon-based press, understands how to build a publishing company from scratch, and with his conversational style he leads readers through every stage of this process and beyond.

  • Subtitle A Granddaughter’s Search for Her Family’s Forbidden Nazi Past
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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Julie Lindahl
  • Date Published October 2018
  • ISBN-13 978-1-5381-1193-2
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 256pp
  • Price $24.95
  • Review by Valerie Wieland

Imagine discovering that the grandparents you adored as a young child were Nazis, and your grandfather was responsible for untold cruelties. That’s exactly what happened to Julie Lindahl, a Brazilian-born American who now lives in Sweden. She spent years traveling abroad seeking the truth about her mother’s German father, whom she called Opa. The Pendulum: A Granddaughter’s Search for her Family’s Forbidden Nazi Past is Lindahl’s memoir of her findings and her search for understanding.

  • Subtitle “Helpful” Letters To The World's Most Wonderful Brands
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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Zack Sternwalker
  • Date Published November 2018
  • ISBN-13 978-1-62106-400-8
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 128pp
  • Price $9.95
  • Review by Katy Haas

Is it too early to start experiencing holiday dread? Probably. But that hasn’t stopped me from practicing political arguments in the shower and sulking on the couch while binge-eating. However, I did stumble upon some needed comedic relief the other day in the form of some questionably helpful letters written by Zack Sternwalker.

  • Image Image
  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Nancy Miller Gomez
  • Date Published June 2018
  • ISBN-13 978-1-931307-37-6
  • Format Chapbook
  • Pages 28pp
  • Price $6.00
  • Review by Kimberly Ann Priest
On the window sill,
in a plastic ice cream cup
a little plant is growing.

Nancy Miller Gomez’s chapbook on her time spent teaching incarcerated men to write poetry at the Salinas Valley State Prison is short . . . too short.

  • Subtitle One Writer’s Perspective on Not Succeeding
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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by John McNally
  • Date Published June 2018
  • ISBN-13 978-1-60938-575-0
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 144pp
  • Price $19.95
  • Review by Valerie Wieland

Reading the title of John McNally’s book, The Promise of Failure: One Writer’s Perspective on Not Succeeding, I wondered if, in the end, I would get good news or bad.

  • Image Image
  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Andrea Lawlor
  • Date Published November 2017
  • ISBN-13 978-0986086991
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 354pp
  • Price $18.00
  • Review by Cody Lee

Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl is a delightful piece of “futureliterature” that spits in the face of gender, ignorance, and what it means to be “normal.” The protagonist, Paul (aka Polly), can change between male and female whenever he/she wants, and at first, I was a little confused by the pronouns when “he sat to pee with his exciting new vagina,” but then I realized that they never really mattered. Men, women, we’re all the same twisted people.

  • Image Image
  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Diana Arterian
  • Date Published October 2017
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9990049-0-6
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 180pp
  • Price $17.00
  • Review by Katy Haas

Diana Arterian presents a force of nature in her debut, full-length poetry collection Playing Monster :: Seiche. Formed after its namesake, seiche, the book plows ahead, a standing wave, a constant, nonbreaking push forward. Throughout the pages, Arterian writes with insight and honesty while weaving together the story of her family’s abuse at the hands of her father, and a period of her mother’s life in which strange men suddenly appeared with the sole goal of threatening her.

  • Image Image
  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Melissa Lozada-Olivia
  • Date Published September 2017
  • ISBN-13 978-1-943735-24-251400
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 43pp
  • Price $14.00
  • Review by DM O'Connor
Okay, ready? Would you rather be completely covered in fur, like, head-to-toe, monster type of shit or, stay with me, stay with me, be completely smoothie-smooth in all of the right places: thighs, crotch, armpit, upper lip, neck?
— from “We Play Would You Rather at the Galentine’s Day Party”
  • Subtitle A Memoir
  • Image Image
  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Sharon Harrigan
  • Date Published October 2017
  • ISBN-13 978-1-61248-210-1
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 240pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by Valerie Wieland

Parents can be strange and dichotomous creatures, and delving into their lives doesn’t always give us answers we expect. Sharon Harrigan, who teaches memoir writing at WriterHouse in Charlottesville, Virginia, discovered this when she set out to learn more about her father, Jerry. She compiled the results in her first book Playing with Dynamite: A Memoir.

  • Image Image
  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Alex Behr
  • Date Published October 2017
  • ISBN-13 978–0–998 4092-2-1
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 154pp
  • Price $15.95
  • Review by David Breithaupt

Alex Behr has a wide-ranging resume which has served her well over the years, providing a cornucopia of material to feed her writing. During the 1990s, she contributed to underground zines while performing in bands. She moved up the West Coast from San Francisco to Portland, Oregon in 2003, and published all the while as she did stints in comedy.

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