is news, information, and guides to literary magazines, independent publishers, creative writing programs, alternative periodicals, indie bookstores, writing contests, and more.

Book Reviews by Title - P (80)

  • Image Image
  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Ed Madden
  • Date Published April 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1-59021-340-7
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 86pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Renee Emerson
I love Ed Madden’s poetry best when he is talking about the landscape of his childhood. “Forsythia, early spring,” begins with the vivid description:
  • Image Image
  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
  • Translated From the Italian
  • by Stephen Twilley
  • Date Published June 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-1-59017-719-8
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 69pp
  • Price $12.95
  • Review by Olive Mullet
Stephen Twilley’s new translation of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s last work The Professor and the Siren would appeal most to those who loved di Lampedusa’s masterpiece The Leopard, as both are beautifully written. Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa witnessed the demise of his aristocratic family’s holdings in Sicily after the rise of Garibaldi and the subsequent unification of Italy. The Leopard’s story traces the aristocracy’s downfall in the person of Don Fabrizio Corbera, Prince of Salina, known as “the Leopard.”
  • Subtitle One Writer’s Perspective on Not Succeeding
  • Image Image
  • 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 Poetry
  • by Laura Elrick
  • Date Published December 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9846475-8-3
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 103pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Patrick James Dunagan
Practicing a vagabond bit of poetic loitering, the haunting use of a well-steadied repetition lingers round Laura Elrick’s Propagation, sounding off with jarring consistency throughout:
  • Image Image
  • Book Type Novel
  • by Michelle Latiolais
  • Date Published May 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-1934137116
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 192pp
  • Price $22.95
  • Review by Cynthia Reeser
A Proper Knowledge, Michelle Latiolais’s follow up to the family-centered novel Even Now, is another novel focused around family and relationships. Luke is a dedicated, perceptive Los Angeles doctor with a practice treating autistic children – his career choice influenced by his own late sister, a schizophrenic whose memory haunts him at times.
  • Image Image
  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Rachel Galvin
  • Date Published September 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-1-934703-72-4
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 62pp
  • Price $14.00
  • Review by Kate Angus
Pulleys & Locomotion, Rachel Galvin’s first full-length collection, finds delicate grace balancing on that titular ampersand. As pulleys are a tool of motion and locomotion is movement itself, so this collection asks us to stop and consider not just the trajectory, but first what enables it to occur.
  • Image Image
  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Josh Rolnick
  • Date Published October 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1-60938-052-6
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 192pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Jodi Paloni
Josh Rolnick writes like a storyteller. He places his characters in the middle of complex situations, but doesn’t leave them stranded. Instead, he inhabits their psyches and builds compelling scenes for them to respond to trouble in the best way they know how, by lunging headlong into it. Meanwhile he creates scenes that rivet you to a sliver of time and the gloom of place, sweeping you up in the first sentences of his eight tales and setting you down at the end of each one with greater faith in the human race.
  • 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.

  • Image Image
  • Book Type Young Adult Fiction
  • by Sherry Shahan
  • Date Published July 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-0762446094
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 224pp
  • Price $9.95
  • Review by Karen Seehaus Papson
Hey Mr. Tambourine Man, pick up a copy of Sherry Shahan’s book Purple Daze and smell the incense and peppermints. Equally appealing to readers who lived through the 1960s and to those who didn’t but want to know what it was really like, Shahan has created a compelling chronicle of a single tumultuous year: 1965. This particular window to the past is unusual for a couple of reasons. First, Purple Daze features not one main character, but six. Ziggy, Mickey, Cheryl, Nancy, Don and Phil are a group of friends growing up in Los Angeles. The second thing that sets this book apart is the fact that Shahan has chosen to write much of the novel in verse. Our protagonists share their stories through poems, notes, letters, journal entries, and song lyrics. While this format might seem an odd choice from the outside, Shahan’s skill and range engenders a level of intimacy with each character that is surprising given the brief snatches of information shared in a given moment. The reader feels the drama as the paths of these six friends diverge and darken with the weight of the year’s events. Ziggy writes:
  • Image Image
  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Paul Christman
  • Date Published May 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9847399-8-1
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 397pp
  • Price $16.99
  • Review by Elizabeth O'Brien
Solian Lede is a New Zealand runner who possesses a wealth of talent but who lacks sufficient discipline to excel at her sport. As Paul Christman’s The Purple Runner begins, Solian strives to become a winning professional runner, but she expresses ambivalence about the possibility of fame, the need to give up partying in order to focus on her running, and her frustrated attempts to find a partner who takes the sport as seriously as she does. Meanwhile, Chris Carlson is a television news editor working in New York City, whose true lifelong passion is for running, and Warren Fowles is a thirty-six-year-old San Francisco lawyer who seems to possess fortune in spades. Warren has good looks, a comfortable trust fund, and natural running ability, but what he lacks is the impetus to focus: whether on his running or on his creative dream of finishing a substantial poetry manuscript. As The Purple Runner develops, the narration moves between these three characters, and all three find themselves moving to London in order to fulfill their individual dreams.
Page 6 of 6

We welcome any/all Feedback.