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Book Reviews by Title - S (145)

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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Anna M. Evans
  • Date Published April 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-0615983141
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 52pp
  • Price $14.00
  • Review by Patricia Contino
Greek dramatists called them “Chorus.” Virginia Woolf christened them “Judith Shakespeare.” In big-budget films with a religious, historic, or fantasy theme, they are “Extras.” On television, they form the zombie army on The Walking Dead or seek fame on reality TV, which is like turning zombie. With the exception of letters and journals written before the Industrial Revolution that survived by luck, there isn’t much to go on.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Penelope Scambly Schott
  • Date Published January 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-0-932412-843
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 88pp
  • Price $15.95
  • Review by Therese Halscheid
In Six Lips, the poet Penelope Scambly Schott explores opposites and interconnectedness, in all its many forms. Her opening poem, “Compass” points us in that direction.
  • Subtitle A Diary of My Sixty-First Year
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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Ian Brown
  • Date Published August 2016
  • ISBN-13 978-1-61519-350-9
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 320pp
  • Price $24.95
  • Review by Valerie Wieland

If you’re lucky, you’ll get to experience your 60th birthday. Ian Brown did in 2014 and decided to begin a year of journaling he turned into a memoir titled, Sixty: A Diary of My Sixty-First Year. Here’s what he wrote on February 4th, his birthday: “At sixty [ . . . ] you are suddenly looking into the beginning of the end, the final frontier where you will either find the thing your heart has always sought, which you have never been able to name, or you won’t.” Then in May he wrote: “Lying in bed, I couldn’t overcome the fear that I have wasted my life, wrecked it, spoiled it.”

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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Juan Jose Saer
  • Translated From Spanish
  • by Steve Dolph
  • Date Published November 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-1-934824-20-7
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 220pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Olive Mullet
The Sixty-Five Years of Washington by Juan Jose Saer flows like the walk it entails, divided into three sections of seven blocks each, in the Argentinian town of Rosario, taking place around 10 a.m. on October or November 1960 or 1961. On that day Angel Leto decides not to go to work and encounters The Mathematician, just back from his grand tour of Europe. The two men, different in important respects (class, town’s years of residency), nevertheless walk together for most of the distance, the Mathematician regaling his companion with accounts of Noriega Washington’s sixty-fifth birthday, a party to which neither man was invited.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Thomas Sayers Ellis
  • Date Published September 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-1555975678
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 176pp
  • Price $23.00
  • Review by C.J. Opperthauser
Ellis’s collection of poems, Skin, Inc, is an aggressive book to say the least. It is a statement in itself. A statement that is different and powerful. The language coursing through the veins of this collection is raw, real, and full of earnest emotion. It is calm, yet aggressive. Strong, yet tamed. One poem that really sets the tone for the first portion of the book is “My Meter Is Percussive”:
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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Peter Kaufman
  • Date Published September 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-1-60938-188-2
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 298pp
  • Price $19.95
  • Review by Patricia Contino
A fire sparked Peter Kaufman’s Skull in the Ashes: Murder, a Gold Rush Manhunt, and the Birth of Circumstantial Evidence in America. On the evening of February 3, 1897, the Walford, Iowa General Store burned to the ground. Among the few recognizable items found in the rubble was a skull detached from a partial male skeleton. The assumption was that it was storeowner Frank Novak, who had been guarding his property following a rash of neighborhood burglaries.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Chris Green
  • Date Published 2007
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 78pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Roy Wang
The wonderings and wanderings of the maturing poet, recollected in elegy, self-deprecating humor, and moments of personal clarity seem to be a perennial favorite among Midwestern voices, and Chris Green’s first book clearly defines him as a champion of this mode. From his choice of puns and candid scenes to the obvious displays of technical skill and learning, Green exemplifies the ironies and neuroses that plague the writer who sees himself as Dante-prophet in the isolation of Midwest winters and towns. And his limits are as high as the skies over a Walgreens.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Selah Saterstrom
  • Date Published August 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-1-56689-395-4
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 186pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by Elizabeth O'Brien
Selah Saterstrom’s Slab opens with a gripe, or a warning, perhaps, that the play won’t start. But then it does, and from page one, the story takes off at a breakneck pace and proceeds with all the force of a hurricane.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Amy King
  • Date Published November 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-1935402312
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 100pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Caroline Wilkinson
The epigram for Slaves to Do These Things brings up the quiet matter of love. In the poem that King quotes – Charles Baudelaire’s “Beauty” – the poet likens himself to “a dream of stone.” His hard breast is made to evoke love from other poets. This love, being “mute and noble as matter itself,” is one with the body it has inspired. In “Beauty,” the matter or subject of poetic love has merged with the matter or atoms of the body. The meeting place of atoms and ideas is familiar territory for King whose poems explore the line between the concrete and abstract. In King’s poetry, however, matters of all kinds – intellectual, material and political – are not always noble, and rarely are they mute.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Kirsten Kaschock
  • Date Published October 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1-56689-275-9
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 330pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Alyse Bensel
The creation of an entirely new form of performance art—drawing from modern dance, spoken word, and architecture—provides a provocative debut novel by Kirsten Kaschock. Sleight attempts to address the ever-pervasive issue of how art should function in and respond to the tragedies of the modern world. With an array of characters depicted in lyrical, short language, the novel unfolds in traditional from, small plays, word sequences, and boxes filled with words that experiment with the novel form in a self-reflective manner, allowing further introspection.
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