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Book Reviews by Title - S (147)

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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Larissa Szporluk
  • Date Published 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9832317-5-2
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 35pp
  • Price $10.95
  • Review by Melinda Ruth
The mythic and the humane combine in Startle Pattern to create an arrow of divination that pierces the heart of injury and healing. Larissa Szporluk delivers prophecy in the form of bone, loss in the form of tone, and violence in the form of stone.
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  • Book Type Edited
  • by Joshua Beckman, Matthew Zapruder
  • Date Published September 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-1933517339
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 144pp
  • Price $14.00
  • Review by Vince Corvaia
The word “politics” comes from the Latin politicus and means, according to Merriam-Webster, “of or relating to government, a government, or the conduct of government.” It’s the conduct of government – George Bush’s government – that concerns most of the 50 poets collected here. Some are famous; some are new. All are accomplished and impassioned.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by James Cummins
  • Date Published January 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-0-88748-545-9
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 120pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by Joanna Kurowska
James Cummins’s volume Still Some Cake tells a story whose meaning unfolds gradually, like in a puzzle, as one pieces together phrases, motifs, insights, scenes, catchwords, central figures, and word or theme repetitions. Because it is a story, it seems advisable to read the collection as a whole, from the first to the last page.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Timmy Waldron
  • Date Published July 2018
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9994617-3-0
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 145pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Valerie Wieland

If you’re looking for a break from the tensions in today’s political climate, pick up a copy of Timmy Waldron’s new book, Stories for People Who Watch TV. He’s compiled nine stories, eight of which have already risen to the top of slush piles to be published in literary magazines. The ninth might also stand a good chance, so let’s start with that one, titled “Ouroboros.”

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  • Book Type Hardcover
  • by Jane Gardam
  • Date Published June 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-1-60945-199-8
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 476pp
  • Price $26.95
  • Review by Olive Mullet
The Stories of Jane Gardam will delight Gardam’s fans, who may find something new here. Unlike Gardam’s most famous novel Old Filth, but not unlike the ending of the third book in her trilogy Last Friends, these stories explore what may not be real. They also hold the element of mystery, fantasy, and surprise endings. Spanning from 1977 to 2007, these stories give a broader overview of Gardam’s talents, her favorite themes very visible.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Elena Ferrante
  • Date Published September 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-1-60945-134-9
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 480pp
  • Price $18.00
  • Review by Wendy Breuer
The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante is the second volume of a trilogy. It is a novel of a complex friendship between two women, Lenú and Lila, that goes forward with intellectual intimacy, competition, loyalty, anger, and excruciating love. In the first book of this series, My Brilliant Friend, Lenú, in her sixties, learns that Lila has disappeared. She recreates their girlhood sharing fairytale dreams to escape a post-war Neapolitan neighborhood bleeding from fatalism and old betrayals. Lila, risk-taker and quick study, and Lenú the striver carry on friendly competition in school. Lenú is allowed to continue her education while Lila is compelled to work with her shoemaker father. Lenú begins rigorous secondary studies. Lila pulls herself into middle-class comfort at sixteen by marrying an ambitious grocer. The second book picks up at this point.
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  • Book Type Graphic Novel
  • by Hisashi Ota
  • Translated From Japanese
  • by Juliet Winters Carpenter
  • Date Published December 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9790471-6-9
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 235pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by Jeremy Benson
The Story of Buddha: A Graphic Biography plots the Buddha’s journey from crown prince of the ??kya kingdom to Enlightenment as a reformed ascetic, as told and illustrated by Hisashi Ota. It’s a story not often heard outside the studies of practicing Buddhists or lectures on World Religion, but it is key for even a basic understanding of Buddhism, the religion based on Buddha Sakyamuni’s teachings.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Elena Ferrante
  • Date Published September 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-1-60945-286-5
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 464pp
  • Price $18.00
  • Review by Olive Mullet
This reviewer knows she might be addressing two possible readers of Elena Ferrante’s four-part series of novels: the ones who are already committed and want to read through the last book, The Story of the Lost Child, and the other, curious newcomer to the series. For the first reader, I will say that this last book does have a very good, real ending and of course is well-worth the effort. The Story of the Lost Child has a new emphasis on politics with characters we’ve grown to know, a glimpse of the effects of feminism on children, the motivations in maintaining success in writing, and as the epilogue called “Restitution” suggests, a final view of the female friendship and disturbing revelations of Elena Greco, our narrator.
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  • by Charles Jensen
  • Date Published November 2007
  • ISBN-13 978-1934832004
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 26pp
  • Price $8.00
  • Review by Matt Bell
Charles Jensen’s The Strange Case of Maribel Dixon is an ambitious book, highly entertaining yet formally daring. It incorporates a variety of prose and poetic forms to tell a love story that spans most of the twentieth-century and at least two dimensions, all within the space of a mere twenty-one pages. Comprised of diary entries, academic papers, and shredded documents full of supposed “automatic writing,” this slim volume weaves a mysterious love story with far greater gravity than its size on paper would suggest possible.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by John Amen
  • Date Published February 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-1-63045-008-3
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 108pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Trena Machado
Strange Theater brings us a reality where words can deposit you, drop you off, let you move struck by what you know, yet cannot quite believe (this is where we are at?). John Amen is in conversation with us. There is a we, and we have come to a turning point, we of this culture, we of this species, not knowing what we thought we were:
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