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Book Reviews by Title - T (87)

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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Susan Terris
  • Date Published January 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9725384-11
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 96pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Sima Rabinowitz
“I make and remake myself,” the poet writes in “No Stork,” the collection’s opening poem. The whole of the book is similarly smart, composed of economic lines that contain more than seems possible, given their deceptive simplicity and plain diction. Terris reminds us that poetry need not be arch and “high brow,” down and dirty (edgy, rough, street-wise), or impossibly inventive (structurally or syntactically over-ambitious) to be artful (“If I / told you what I know, you’d question / my solutions”).
  • Subtitle Iris Barry and the Art of Film
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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Robert Sitton
  • Date Published April 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-0-231-16578-5
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 496pp
  • Price $40.00
  • Review by Patricia Contino
The “moment” in Robert Sitton’s Lady in the Dark: Iris Barry and the Art of Film does not involve Ms. Barry. Over a series of formal meetings and parties, several millionaires (Nelson Rockefeller and Jock Whitney) and their talented, educated friends (architect Philip Johnson and the wealthy painter Gerald Murphy) decided to create The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). That they accomplished this during the Great Depression is miraculous. They knew society—not the types in nightclubs or their equivalent to the red carpet—could not survive without culture.

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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Joseph Riippi
  • Date Published March 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-0984102556
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 92pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Angela Veronica Wong
In a collection that falls somewhere between linked short stories and poetic reflections, Joseph Riippi explores, through the words and story of a young man who shares his name, the strangeness of knowing so much about someone but also not knowing them at all—which is in a way true of so many relationships.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Jen Beagin
  • Date Published October 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8101-3207-8
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 208pp
  • Price $17.95
  • Review by Rhonda Browning White
Loneliness: it’s the one thing, above all things, that twenty-three-year-old Mona knows all about. That, and the proper way to clean house. In the first chapter of Jen Beagin’s Pretend I’m Dead, “Hole,” Mona is hard at work in Lowell, Massachusetts, splitting her lonesome hours between work as a self-employed housekeeper and a volunteer who provides clean needles to drug addicts. She’s particularly fond of one junkie, whom she dubs “Mr. Disgusting,” eventually falling headlong for his hopelessly fatalistic charm.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Joshua Beckman
  • Date Published April 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-1-933517-37-7
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 62pp
  • Price $14.00
  • Review by Jason Tandon
Joshua Beckman's fifth collection of poetry Take It, a title suggesting both offer and imperative, is the product of a big heart and a far-ranging imagination. Published without titles, the poems read like non-sequiturs, each one unfolding with peculiar associations of imagery and thought. The language can move from high-flowing rhetoric to obscenity in a matter of lines, and the personas are a varied cast of characters. This epistolary piece, for example, could be the satirical jottings of Vasco da Gama:
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Anaïs Duplan
  • Date Published June 2016
  • ISBN-13 978-1-936767-45-8
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 80pp
  • Price $9.00
  • Review by DM O'Connor
You and I are filthy but it is / our filth" — “The Flying Phalangers”

Popping with pop culture. Zinging with Net slang. Formless yet formed. Slick and rough. Dating-sites and Netflix and Martha Stewart and Kendrick Lamar and Kim Kardashian and TMZ and ENVY and funerals and coke and religion and love and names become algebra and no one knows where they stand except on the cusp of a new paradigm, a new aesthetic—Take This Stallion is a force of poetic nature.

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  • Book Type Stories
  • by Daniel Gabriel
  • Date Published April 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-0980037517
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 147pp
  • Price $12.99
  • Review by Jeff Vande Zande
Daniel Gabriel’s Tales from the Tinker’s Dam centers around The Tinker’s Dam – a pub in the Vale of Glamorgan in Wales. Reminiscent of James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small or Garrison Keillor’s Lake Woebegone Days, these are tales in the best sense of the word, being both humorous and human.
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  • Book Type Edited
  • by David Baker
  • Date Published March 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-1-55728-981-0
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 203pp
  • Price $19.95
  • Review by Patrick James Dunagan
In my own reading experience, nothing beats the first-person account of the interview, offering as it does an essential glimpse into what’s happening in the mind of the subject. As the instigator of responses in this collection, David Baker takes a rather light hand and offers little fleshiness, certainly no blood, yet presents an easygoing introduction to both the poet-as-person as well as the work.
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  • Book Type Memoir
  • by Ira Sukrungruang
  • Date Published March 2010
  • ISBN-13 9780826218896
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 168pp
  • Price $24.95
  • Review by Denise Hill
It seems inherent that immigration stories must revolve around flight from a home country – due to war, political injustice, threat of death, wretched conditions that force a person to seek a better life, or the desire to achieve the American Dream. There is none of this in Talk Thai. Sukrungruang’s parents left Thailand enticed by jobs. He writes, “Most Thai immigrants viewed America only as a workplace. America provided jobs. America provided monetary success. America provided opportunities Thailand couldn’t.” No harrowing tales of escape or of the horrors left behind. Not even a real desire to be here: “My mother often joked that she started packing for home as soon as she arrived in Chicago in 1968.” This kind of immigrant story, then, must settle around some sense of “the other” – the outsider – and the day-to-day struggles of not fully belonging. And in America, this is easy.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Nicole Maruo
  • Date Published July 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9850837-3-1
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 63pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Benjamin Champagne
This is a found poetry book . . . of sorts. William Shatner did Palin on the “Tonight Show.” He took Sarah Palin’s farewell speech and delivered verbatim in a beatnik style with an accompaniment of bongos and stand-up bass. Hart Seely, Syracuse Post-Standard columnist, seemed to hit gold with Pieces of Intelligence, his collections of poems that he ripped from Donald Rumsfeld. Nicole Mauro takes the idea to the next logical level in Tax-Dollar Super Sonnet, working with the fervor of a mash-up DJ. The borrowed speeches span the history of America and bristle with the newness of the modern age. These poems have a real political edge added back to them, the words reorganizing themselves to fortify new points.
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