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Book Reviews by Title - S (135)

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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Noelle Kocot
  • Date Published October 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-1933517742
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 144pp
  • Price $18.00
  • Review by Kelly M. Sylvester
Soul in Space by Noelle Kocot challenges its readers. Within the first few poems, I recognized Kocot wasn’t going to provide footholds to guide me through her words of whimsy, which hint and glimpse at an uncharted world. I fought for meaning and felt lost in space; I surrendered to the experience, and suddenly Kocot’s vividity sang from the pages.
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  • Book Type Novel
  • by Curtis Smith
  • Date Published September 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-1934081044
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 164pp
  • Price $13.50
  • Review by Matt Bell
Told in chapters which alternate viewpoints between its dual protagonists, the plot of Curtis Smith's Sound + Noise is quieter than its title suggests – it is less the thrashing of a building cacophony than it is the last gentle notes of a favorite ballad. Tom and Jackie are both people with heavy pasts, the kind that refuse to let them move forward with their lives as fully as they might like until, little by little, they help each other to start again. Tom's past is personified in the comatose person of his wife Karen, while Jackie's is tied up in the past life she led as a backup singer for a famous country band. For each of them, part of what makes their pasts so daunting to overcome is that they love the lives they once led – Tom loves his wife, but from the very beginning it is obvious that she's never going to awaken from her coma. Similarly, Jackie looks backwards from her new life as the owner of a local bar where she sings once a week, often covering the very band she was once a member of.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Ellen Airgood
  • Date Published June 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1-59448-793-4
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 384pp
  • Price $25.95
  • Review by Olive Mullet
Ellen Airgood’s debut novel South of Superior is categorized first under “self-realization in women” and secondly under “Michigan Fiction.” Such categories never tell the full story. Certainly there is a female main character, but she is for much of the book unsympathetic and certainly not a superwoman, and the novel’s delight is in the realism of all the vividly portrayed characters and of Michigan life in a place like Grand Marais, here renamed McAllaster. All Michiganders (not just women) should relish this book for the reliving of this state’s recognizable features and lifestyles.
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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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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Matt Tompkins
  • Date Published June 2016
  • ISBN-13 978-1-942387-06-0
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 79pp
  • Price $12.00
  • Review by Katy Haas

The surreal collides with the real in Souvenirs & Other Stories by Matt Tompkins. While the situations presented are undoubtedly strange—a father evaporates and joins the water system, a man watches the world burn after a botched eye surgery, mountain lions move into a family’s basement, knickknacks and furniture appear in a woman’s apartment—they’re still grounded in reality.

  • Subtitle A Graphic Revolution
  • Image Image
  • Book Type Graphic Memoir
  • by Julia Alekseyeva
  • Date Published January 2017
  • ISBN-13 978-1-62106-969-0
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 192pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Valerie Wieland

On August 11, Lola met Kyril, the self-professed love of her life. He proposed on the 15th, moved in on the 17th, and they married. This could be a modern love story, except it took place in the late 1930s in Eastern Europe when Joseph Stalin and Adolph Hitler were tossing lives into disarray. The story of Lola and Kyril is just one episode in Julia Alekseyeva’s richly-illustrated memoir Soviet Daughter: A Graphic Revolution.

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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Judy Halebsky
  • Date Published April 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9819816-5-9
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 35pp
  • Price $10.00
  • Review by Jeremy Benson
In Space / Gap / Interval / Distance, Judy Halebsky draws the many strands of her life’s arts together, braiding the leaps and bounds of expression into a fantastic set of ekphrastic poems.
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  • Book Type Young Adult Fication
  • by Katie Williams
  • Date Published June 2010
  • ISBN-13 9780811871754
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 256pp
  • Price $17.99
  • Review by Laura Di Giovine
Katie Williams’s debut YA novel, The Space Between Trees, is a lyrical journey into the lonely world of 16-year-old Evie, a friendless teen whose life changes forever after a childhood friend, Elizabeth “Zabet” McCabe, is murdered. Evie was friends with Zabet in middle school, but they hadn’t been close for ages. Adept at small, usually innocuous stretches of the truth, Evie finds herself telling Mr. McCabe at Zabet’s funeral that she was his daughter’s best friend. Evie’s lie initially repels Hadley Smith, a troubled, unstable teen who was Zabet’s real best friend, but Hadley soon draws Evie into her dangerous obsession to find Zabet’s killer.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Laura McCullough
  • Date Published 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9826364-4-2
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 80pp
  • Price $14.00
  • Review by Skip Renker
What do Ms. McCullough’s poems signify? How can speech act? How are actions inhabited/inhibited by speech? Who’s on first, noun or verb? Penis or vagina? Sex or love or both? Or an avocado that might taste like vanilla? Who’s Ms. McCullough in these pages?
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Matt Schumacher
  • Date Published March 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-1877655579
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 104pp
  • Price $12.00
  • Review by Micah Zevin
Matt Schumacher's first collection of poetry is an otherworldly journey of linguistic inventiveness that keeps you directly on this earth while simultaneously transporting you to locations that at first glance appear strange or surreal but become familiar once you peer into their profound insides. These poems make up a cosmic parade where you will meet cowboys from Venus, pizzas that fly and ghosts who haunt spaceships. Ultimately, these poems are about the redemption of humanity in spite of the obstacles you have to overcome and the distances you must travel to arrive at familiar, yet alien, destinations. The poem “Old West Town Discovered on Venus” takes the reader on a journey to one of these planets:
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