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Book Reviews by Title - Y (21)

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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Ben Tanzer
  • Date Published April 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1-4507-4839-1
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 214pp
  • Price $12.00
  • Review by Jeremy Benson
At some point in your relationship with You Can Make Him Like You, you may want to familiarize yourself with the Hold Steady, a Brooklyn-based rock group with roots in Springsteen, Husker Du, and the Twin Cities. Author Ben Tanzer says the novel is “inspired by, and an homage to” the group: It’s from their discography that Tanzer borrows its title and section headings, and when protagonist Keith can’t handle the pressures of a thirtysomething Chicagoan, he spins Boys and Girls in America or Stay Positive, the group’s two break-out records.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Ignacio Solares
  • Translated From Spanish
  • by Timothy G. Compton
  • Date Published May 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9798249-4-4
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 256pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Alex Myers
For those readers drawn to history and psychology, Solares’s Yankee Invasion is a novel certain to intrigue. Set in the aftermath of the Mexican-American war of 1846-48, the novel is narrated by Abelardo, who struggles to write an account of the recent war even while he is still dominated by the mental trauma of the conflict.
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  • Book Type Stories
  • by Elizabeth Crane
  • Date Published February 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-1933354439
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 184pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Matt Bell
In Elizabeth Crane’s You Must Be This Happy to Enter, her third collection of stories, she tempers a sometimes pessimistic worldview with an exuberant joy that suffuses her stories from start to finish. From the bouncing opening story “My Life is Awesome! And Great!” (which may contain more exclamation points than every other short story collection published this year combined) to the warm familial ending of “Promise,” Crane takes her quirky style and uses it to bring a variety of mostly female protagonists to life, including a woman who gets turned into a zombie at a JoAnn Fabrics store and ends up as a contestant on reality television, a girl obsessed with staying inside her boyfriend’s closet, and a teenager whose forehead is covered in ever-changing multi-colored words who meets a boy whose face displays polaroids.
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  • Book Type Stories
  • by Mary Otis
  • Date Published April 2007
  • ISBN-13 978-0977698905
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 210pp
  • Price $12
  • Review by Janet Cannon
“Beverly puts words in jail. She hunts and traps them, stuffs them into little black boxes. Crosswords.” This quote from the beginning of Mary Otis' short story “Picture Head” illustrates not only Otis’ skill with language, but also one of the over arcing themes in her first short story collection Yes, Yes, Cherries: the complacent trap we as humans must break out of if we are to live our life happily and completely.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Noah Eli Gordon
  • Date Published May 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-1934103401
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 144pp
  • Price $18.00
  • Review by H. V. Cramond
The Year of the Rooster, Noah Eli Gordon’s eighth book, examines a crisis of faith: a poet-narrator who questions his impulse to write and not write, the trappings or usefulness of theory and craft, and the very ability of poetry to signify. Gordon, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder where he directs Subito Press, also founded chapbook publisher Letter Machine Editions with Joshua Marie Wilkinson in 2007; they both co-edit The Volta as well. Gordon is a writer fully immersed in a poet’s life, but his narrator questions the impact of such an immersion.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Anna Moschovakis
  • Date Published January 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1-56689-250-6
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 119pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Sima Rabinowitz
Moschovakis explains in her acknowledgments that the (rare and odd) books that served as sources for many of the “major poems” in the collection were discovered and purchased at the Bibliobarn, “a miraculous used bookstore in South Kortright, NY.” As it happens, I have been in the most-assuredly-miraculous Bibliobarn in the Hudson Valley, and it would be difficult for any poet to leave this store without an armful of finds that will inform one’s writing for years. The book’s opening from its “[prologue]” makes the best argument for the wonder of the Bibliobarn’s inventory: “The problem is I don’t care whether I convince you or not / In a perfect world I would be able to convince you of this.”
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Paolo Mantegazza
  • Translated From Italian
  • by David Jacobson
  • Date Published November 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8032-3032-3
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 207pp
  • Price $19.95
  • Review by Patricia Contino
Clean energy, universal healthcare, and stress-free air travel are reality. There is no crime or homelessness. The universal language is called Cosmic. Political parties are banished to desert islands. Hamlet is still performed. All this and more is the world Italian anthropologist Paolo Mantegazza creates in The Year 3000: A Dream. Translated into English for the first time as part of The University of Nebraska’s “Bison Frontiers of the Imagination Series,” this entertaining 1897 novel has been rescued from the black hole of book oblivion.
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