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Book Reviews by Title - S (135)

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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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  • 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 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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