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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 Poetry
  • by Sam Sax
  • Date Published September 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-1-62557-950-8
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 23pp
  • Price $8.95
  • Review by Heath Bowen
The only thing certain to drive somebody insane (or to at least let them think they are crazy) is to make them forget they are doing something different than what somebody else has done a hundred times before.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by James Kimbrell
  • Date Published October 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-1-941411-09-4
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 88pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Trena Machado
The poems in Smote speak of loss and the wanting of more life, even if it is like this, a poignant neutrality that can leave us in shreds. The backdrop is Jackson, Mississippi. Deftly dealt with are the issues of class, interracial relationships, poverty, alcoholism, broken families, the lifeline of friendships, a black mother who loves and feeds a poor white boy not only dinner, but shows him how to live, “Ms. Anna, who loved me for no reason that I understood [ . . . ].” Under the chance and horror of daily life, we are shown a light that never goes out.
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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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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Elaine Equi
  • Date Published October 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-1-56689-421-0
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 112pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by Benjamin Champagne
Elaine Equi’s latest book, Sentences and Rain, feels like a confident drift. There is so much control and purpose in the playful word ideas. She must be listed among many of the greats. The insights into humanity that are contained in each and every poem remind the reader of the wonder tucked in every corner of life. The words and format are gentle and full of utility. This is the way of those who hold the passage. Equi has pushed her pen for many years. The development is original and organic. One need not read Equi’s previous writing to get the impression that this is a writer and an observer of life in the peak of their critique.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by John Philip Drury
  • Date Published March 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-1-927409-42-8
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 79pp
  • Price $18.95
  • Review by Kimberly Ann
I read half of the poetry in John Philip Drury’s newest book of poems Sea Level Rising while situated on a large towel on St. Augustine Beach along the Atlantic in Northern Florida. It was the ideal setting for contemplating as Drury expressed his love for the sights and sounds of the ocean. “I miss the rising tides,” he reminisces in the book’s title poem, “that bash the docks / and spatter brackish water in my face.”
  • Subtitle To Imagine, Witness, and Write
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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Melissa Pritchard
  • Date Published May 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-1-934137-96-3
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 192pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by Jason Hess
A Solemn Pleasure: To Imagine, Witness, and Write opens with “A Room in London,” a rumination on the physical space Melissa Pritchard occupied while temporarily living and writing in a borrowed London flat. This particularly brief piece (four pages) introduces the collection by touching on topics more thoroughly explored later in the book: Pritchard describes herself at work, presents her belief in writing as a spiritual—often religious—act, and embraces the essay’s ability to successfully grow around an ill-defined plot.
  • Subtitle Brick Books Classics 1
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Anne Carson
  • Date Published January 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-1-77131-342-1
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 75pp
  • Price $20.00
  • Review by Patrick James Dunagan
"Anne Carson was born in Canada and teaches ancient Greek for a living." So reads the one sentence biographical author note as retained in this new edition of Short Talks, the poet Anne Carson's first book of poetry originally published by Brick Books in 1992. In the years since its publication Carson has made a considerable name for herself as a poet, essayist, and astutely adept translator of Greek, with her translation of Sappho in particular garnering much well-deserved acclaim. While Carson has always kept her personal details on the relative down low even as she has, at times, courted a fair bit of notoriety, and while concision is a definitive hallmark of her oeuvre, the brevity of this bio note is thus at once both disarming and appealingly elusive, especially for a poet of her stature.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Jessamyn Hope
  • Date Published June 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-1-941493-06-9
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 371pp
  • Price $15.95
  • Review by Jason Hess
Jessamyn Hope’s debut novel opens with Adam, a 26-year-old drug-addicted burnout, fleeing from New York City to Israel. Adam’s caretaker and closest companion, his grandfather, has recently died. During the airplane ride, Adam broods on whether American authorities are following him. Experiencing withdrawals and toting an odd assortment of belongings, including an elaborate gold brooch, he volunteers to work on a kibbutz. He’s searching for someone. The circumstances of his grandfather’s death, the significance of the brooch, and the identity of whom Adam is searching for drive the thoughtfully plotted Safekeeping.
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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Ira Sukrungraung
  • Date Published October 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-1-59732-124-2
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 192pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Denise Hill
Ira Sukrungruang takes readers through the gamut in this collection of essays, Southside Buddhist. Gamut of what? You name it: emotions, literary styles of nonfiction, life experiences, ages, cultures—all in this one remarkable collection of essays.
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