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Book Reviews by Title - P (80)

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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Tina Egnoski
  • Date Published November 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-0982636411
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 39pp
  • Price $9.00
  • Review by Sima Rabinowitz
Perishables is the winner of the publisher’s fiction chapbook contest, and it’s certainly prize-worthy work. Egnoski’s a fine storyteller and the four stories in this handsomely produced little chapbook provide strong support for the recent interest and increase in chapbook fiction.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Lyn Lifshin
  • Date Published October 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-1597091244
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 184pp
  • Price $20.95
  • Review by Vince Corvaia
It says on the “About the Author” page at the back of Persephone that “Lyn Lifshin has written more than 120 books.” I want to read all of them. Here is not only a prolific but gifted and generous poet. In Persephone alone, Lifshin offers 189 poems, every one of them skillfully crafted and emotionally resonant. Some of them are overwhelming.
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  • Book Type Novel
  • by Bragi Ólafsson
  • Date Published October 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-1-934824-01-6
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 157pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Sean Lovelace
Everything I know about Iceland could fit into a shoebox: two Björk CDs, a six of Viking beer, a tin of cured ram scrota (a gag gift by one of my “friends”). But I do find the unique and au courant alluring, and my ventures into the unknown often prove worthwhile or at worst innocuous (the only extreme exceptions being Riverdance and Robo-Tripping – I seriously advise you to lay off both, no matter what the cool kids say.)
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Brian Turner
  • Date Published April 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-1882295807
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 112pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by John Findura
My grandfather used to tell me and my siblings stories about World War II all the time. But he never talked about Alsace-Lorraine. He never talked about whether he heard the potato masher that filled him with shrapnel. He never talked about if he saw from where the bullet came that shredded the nerves in his right arm. He never talked about how he was presumed dead, like everyone else in his unit by the German army that day. He never talked about crawling through the woods while trying to keep his consciousness. He never talked about the year in a British hospital. He never talked about why he hated fireworks, or backfiring cars or popping birthday balloons. He never talked about why he woke up every night of his life in a sweat until he was 75. He never talked about the small pieces of metal that would work their way out of his skin and end up next to him in bed some mornings. He never talked about a lot, but he wrote a lot of it down, in the margins of his bankbook, in a photo album, scratched onto the back of his Purple Heart.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Noelle Kocot
  • Date Published May 2016
  • ISBN-13 9781940696300
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 96pp
  • Price $18.00
  • Review by Benjamin Champagne
Phantom pain is one of those peculiar syndromes that has received widespread recognition for its oddness, mostly. Noelle Kocot’s Phantom Pains of Madness trickles and drips with oddity as well, the entire piece written one word at a time. Each word receives its own line, which makes the book very easy to read: a delight in the modern age. It also gives the book a dimension and heft that is incomparable. But Noelle’s humor disarms the reader often and keeps the book light, while its content is quite heavy. This is her seventh book of poetry, and there is no doubt that she has achieved a wringing out of all that isn’t her. Phantom Pains of Madness is a truly original work and a very rewarding read.
  • Subtitle Essays
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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Jacob M. Appel
  • Date Published May 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-1-61117-371-0
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 136pp
  • Price $24.95
  • Review by Girija Sankar
Phoning Home is a collection of essays by Jacob Appel, a prolific writer whose achievements in other disciplines such as medicine and bioethics provide him with a distinctive writer’s voice and acuity. The essays span the writer’s professional and personal lives, each adding depth and perception to the other. Essays on Appel’s Jewish heritage and family are at once poignant, witty and insightful. In “Mr. Odd and Mr. Even,” Appel profiles his maternal and paternal grandfathers, both in many ways polar opposites—one, a conformist and the other, someone who “made a point of sticking his neck out as far as his tiny, rounded shoulders would permit.” Who he should take after, Appel wonders. The rule breaker or the follower? In presenting their life stories in parallel, Appel marvels over the pull and push of familial bonds that mold us into who we are today.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Tina May Hall
  • Date Published September 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8229-4398-3
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 145pp
  • Price $24.95
  • Review by Kimberly Steele
Occasionally you stumble across a piece of literary fiction so eloquent in its style, honest in its material, and direct in its approach that it resonates with you days, weeks, years after you read it. Such literature is valuable for both its simple sensory pleasure and its faith-restoring powers. Tina May Hall’s The Physics of Imaginary Objects is one of these intelligent, enlightening, and brazen books that you’ll want to place on your shelf at eye-level so you will remember to keep picking it up. Hall’s poetic style and articulate precision give this book a revolutionary quality. It nudges you along with an air of solemn importance and modest wisdom. Expertly composed and awesomely beautiful, Hall’s hybrid of poetry and prose is neither sparse nor excessive, sentimental nor detached, diffident nor ostentatious. It is, however, seamless – so delicately woven you forget it ever required stitching in the first place. The words fit together so effortlessly it sometimes feels like they just naturally occurred that way.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Franki Elliot
  • Date Published October 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9834228-3-9
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 74pp
  • Price $10.00
  • Review by Katy Haas
In her first book, Piano Rats, Franki Elliot gives the world a glimpse inside her life as she recounts scenes of her past and the other characters inside them. With a writing style that's blunt, honest, and beautiful, she wins readers over as someone who's easy to relate to—someone else who's felt messed up or like they have messed up, or someone who's been in love or fallen out of it.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Norman Stock
  • Date Published September 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-1-935520-30-6
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 105pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Alec Moran
Pickled Dreams Naked, the latest book of poetry from New York poet Norman Stock, puts you, the reader, in a curious place. See, Stock’s poetry is filled with the bizarre and the surreal, showing his penchant for the mesmerizing and often unsettling image. “Give Us This Day” finds Stock painting himself as “the cold cut hanging in the delicatessen of the starving,” a sandwich “barely held together in your hungry hands.” Latinas on subways sucking lollipops, transplanted kidneys, and oh so many chickens carve out perches in the pantheon of Stock’s poetry.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Michael Hemmingson
  • Date Published November 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-0982520420
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 173pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Matthew C. Smith
The short stories in Michael Hemmingson's Pictures of Houses with Water Damage offer a disturbing, sometimes harrowing, portrayal of human relationships. Like water seeping down behind plaster walls, once the problems come into the open, it's already too late.
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