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Book Reviews by Title - W (81)

  • Subtitle Adventures (a Little Thorny and Familiar) in the Home Range
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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Thorpe Moeckel
  • Date Published April 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-0881465310
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 256pp
  • Price $24.00
  • Review by Scott Russell Morris
love essays, especially the ones that don’t claim anything amazing about themselves, that stick to the quotidian and spend less time exploring stories than thoughts on lives being lived. But there is a danger in reading these sort of quiet, contemplative collections of essays: by the end you feel like you are best friends with the authors. You seem to know all their fears, cares, secret pleasures, weaknesses. You put down the book thinking you could probably buy them the perfect birthday present. But, of course, you don’t really know them and they don’t know you.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Sam Savage
  • Date Published February 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-1-56689-312-1
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 152pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Courtney McDermott
Sam Savage’s narrator Harold Nivenson is, in Harold’s own words, a minor artist. Yet The Way of the Dog, though a slim novel, is anything but a minor work.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Tamiko Beyer
  • Date Published May 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-1938584008
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 104pp
  • Price $15.95
  • Review by Emily May Anderson
We Come Elemental is Tamiko Beyer’s first full-length book; her chapbook bough breaks was published by Meritage Press in 2011. While bough breaks focused primarily on “domestic” concepts (gender, sexuality, motherhood, adoption), We Come Elemental draws from the entire planet for its topics. Water comprises the framework by which these disparate subjects are connected, just as water serves to connect all life on Earth.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Mary Hamilton
  • Date Published July 2010
  • ISBN-13 9780978984892
  • Format Chapbook
  • Pages 36pp
  • Price $12.00
  • Review by Alex Myers
Winner of the Rose Metal Fourth Annual Short Short Chapbook Contest, We Know What We Are is packed full of thirteen micro-fictions. Sometimes stories, sometimes beautiful word play, this collection is a stunning amalgam of brevity and depth.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Steve Fellner
  • Date Published October 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9846353-0-6
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 64pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Kevin Brown
Steve Fellner’s collection of poems, The Weary World Rejoices, has much more weariness in it than rejoicing, but that is only because, as he writes in the first of three odes to Matthew Shepard, “Explanation never // satisfies. It / always wants // something / like redemption.” Fellner is not trying to explain what it is like to be a gay man in 21st-century America; instead, he is trying to redeem it by showing the varieties of that life as it actually is.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Fred Arroyo
  • Date Published April 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8165-0233-2
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 180pp
  • Price $15.95
  • Review by Sarah Carson
Don’t let the title of Fred Arroyo’s latest collection of short stories, Western Avenue and Other Fictions, fool you. “Fiction” is hardly the right word for what Arroyo has done here. If these insightful, living, breathing stories are fiction, I’d be hard pressed to imagine what reality must look like.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by James Kaelan
  • Date Published July 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9820348-4-2
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 214pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Tessa Mellas
James Kaelan’s We’re Getting On opens with an inscription that reads, “This book is dedicated to Leslie Epstein who hated this novella, and to Ha Jin who was considerably more amenable.” This prelude is odd but apt, a warning that says,
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by William Corbett
  • Date Published February 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1-934909-13-3
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 61pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Stephanie Burns
William Corbett's The Whalen Poem is an enticing experiment and one I'm sure many poets would love to try. He describes the long poem as a response to reading Philip Whalen's Collected Poems. Whalen's style and influence permeate the book, but while Corbett revels in Whalen's signature stream-of-consciousness approach, it is clear that the consciousness propelling the poem is distinctly different. Corbett's poem is full of names and anecdotes, baseball statistics, and literary references. He seems to savor the sound and rhythms of these people and places he mentions, and it is fascinating to watch him sample culture and current events in this way. Still, the book is at its most compelling when Corbett delves into something closer at hand:
  • Subtitle A Novella & Stories
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Bonnie ZoBell
  • Date Published May 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-1-941209-00-4
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 192pp
  • Price $17.95
  • Review by Patricia Contino
Bad Things never choose their location. A storm’s path is traceable but its final destination can be wider and more destructive than projected. Earthquakes, tsunamis and twisters strike without warning.

Humans cause Bad Things too. The real-life event that connects the stories in Bonnie ZoBell’s unsettling What Happened Here is the kind of Bad Thing that receives attention when it occurs, on anniversaries, and when something equally terrible happens. In 1978, Pacific Southwest Flight 182 collided with a private Cessna plane over the San Diego neighborhood of North Park. The Cessna’s pilot failed to inform air traffic control of their course change, the other pilot was unable to see the other plane on the radar, and air traffic control ignored the alarm that the planes were heading toward each other. The result: 137 people from both planes were killed, seven died on the ground with nine more injured and 22 homes destroyed. It remains the deadliest air disaster in California history.
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  • Book Type Young Adult Fiction
  • by Kathy Stinson
  • Date Published September 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-1926920818
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 146pp
  • Price $11.95
  • Review by Karen Seehaus Papson
David Burke may seem like an awkward, average teenager, and in most ways he is. However, unlike most teens, David spends a good deal of time looking after his severely disabled younger sister, Ivy. She gets all the attention, whereas David believes he’s practically invisible to his parents. It’s not surprising that sometimes David feels resentful of Ivy, and it is in one of these moments of frustration that Kathy Stinson begins this compelling family drama, What Happened to Ivy. Given that Stinson has penned more than thirty titles across many genres, it’s not surprising that her prose effortlessly captures the range of emotions encompassed in this story.
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