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Book Reviews by Title - S (143)

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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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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Tom Noyes
  • Date Published March 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-0802313461
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 160pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Anna Clark
What to make of Spooky Action at a Distance? The title of Tom Noyes’s story collection borrows a phrase from Albert Einstein that described his feelings about a phenomenon in quantum mechanics where two particles separated by vast distances – say, millions of light years – become entangled, so that changing the state of one of the particles will instantaneously change the other. The father of relativity thought this was counterintuitive, he never fully accepted quantum mechanics as a system for understanding the microscopic world.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by David Szalay
  • Date Published January 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-1-55597-602-6
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 272pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Wendy Breuer
The first section of Spring, by British writer David Szalay, has the feel of listening to a clueless college pal heading for another romantic train wreck. An inscrutable, perhaps capricious woman becomes the blank screen on which he paints his own meanings. James, now in his mid-thirties, is no longer a hipster entrepreneur, having already gained and lost a fortune in the volatile economics of the dot-com world. He is bright and wounded and seems to choose cluelessness in a willful way. He ruminates about his downsized life expectations:
  • Subtitle translations, variations and responses to the poetry of Xin Qiji
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Christopher Kelen and Qiji Xin
  • Translated From Chinese
  • by Agnes Vong
  • Date Published April 2007
  • ISBN-13 978-0977297498
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 161pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Roy Wang
The title of this collection ambitiously suggests that after the first part of translations, the following variations and responses should enlighten our skies and blow us away. And while it doesn’t deliver the promised symphony of fire, it does burn in a few impressions that will last after the words have faded.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Ann Cefola
  • Date Published August 2011
  • ISBN-13 1936715074
  • Format Chapbook
  • Pages 31pp
  • Price $12.00
  • Review by Alyse Bensel
Within this brief but multitudinous chapbook, Ann Cefola contemplates ordinary existence alongside the sacred. In 28 poems of varying form—some splaying across the page, others in neat, organized stanzas—St. Agnes, Pink-Slipped investigates the constant buzz and movement of modern existence through these lyrical narratives. The world of schoolboys, make-up counters, hotels that may appear familiar is elevated into something of greater importance.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Alice Kaltman
  • Date Published August 2016
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9860922-7-5
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 248pp
  • Price $8.99
  • Review by MacKenzie Hamilton

If you are looking for a contemporary, kooky, relatable read, look no further than Alice Kaltman’s Staggerwing. This collection of short stories is reminiscent of that ‘I can’t remember why I walked into the room’ feeling, something everyone can relate to. The characters are original and full of life, while also exhibiting off-the-wall characteristics. Staggerwing will have you barking out a laugh as its characters attempt to look graceful while walking across a tightrope.

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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Eleanor Lerman
  • Date Published July 2017
  • ISBN-13 978-1-936419-73-9
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 306pp
  • Price $18.95
  • Review by Valerie Wieland

Eleanor Lerman began her writing career at twenty-one as a poet, branching out over the years into short stories and novels while winning prizes along the way. Her latest book is a suspense-filled science fiction novel called The Stargazer’s Embassy.

  • Subtitle A Neo-Scientific Novella
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  • Book Type Cross-Genre
  • by Amy Catanzano
  • Date Published 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-1-934819-39-5
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 118pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Benjamin Champagne
Starlight In Two Million bills itself as a neo-scientific novella. Amy Catanzano works in quantum poetics, a lofty goal. She states that she tries to amplify the hallucinatory experience of the novel by changing perspectives and seeks to find a fourth person perspective in the mode of time. Detached and somewhat nonlinear, the novel moves from an outré perspective and gives itself to the form much of the time, posing a challenge for the reader looking for one. The work attempts to produce a feeling, a controlled navigation through a hypercube.
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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Beth Holmgren
  • Date Published November 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-0253356642
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 432pp
  • Price $39.95
  • Review by Patricia Contino
Prior to audio and video, theatre history is a frustratingly silent one. Reviews, illustrations, journal entries, photographs, designs, and prompt books are helpful—and rare.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Elizabeth Spencer
  • Date Published January 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-0-87140-681-1
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 208pp
  • Price $24.95
  • Review by Olive Mullet
Ninety-two-year-old Elizabeth Spencer, with fifteen works published over the course of seven decades, is known as the “Grand Dame” of Southern literature—yet she addresses contemporary family problems as sharply as any younger author. Her best-known work is the 1960 novella Light in the Piazza, as it was made into a Broadway show. It’s been more than a decade since her last book, and her new short story collection, Starting Over, is worth the wait.
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