Monthly Archives: February 2019

This Week’s Hot Reviews

Rain and Other Stories
Mia Couto, trans. Eric M.B. Becker | Biblioasis | 9781771962667 | February 2019
“A Chekhovian subtly is achieved, even when their realism turns to the magical. . . . What’s most successful about this collection are the ways in which Couto repeatedly asks unanswerable questions, piquing reader curiosity. . .answers manifest through subtext, and the effect is both chilling and tragic. In this collection, Mia Couto, via Eric M. B. Becker’s aesthetically rich translation, packs an emotional resonance in each story—despite brevity, many only reaching five pages—that lingers with readers long after putting the book down.”—Arkansas International

Surge
Etel Adnan | Nightboat Books | 9781937658854 | August 2018
“In Surge, a new book of (mostly) taut prose formations, what she is thinking about at 93 seems to be the whole range of life on earth, explored with a more palpable sense of mortality than perhaps she could have expressed at 43 or 53. The moon, computers, volcanoes, the financial system, birds, marriage…nothing is too small, too large, too abstract nor too specific for her to meditate upon. The action of the book is like a sewing machine: jabbing deeply and decisively into a subject and then quickly moving on. . . . Such economy and philosophy could meet only in the work of a poet who has practiced for decades.”—VIDA Reviews

Geography of Rebels Trilogy
Maria Gabriela Llansol, trans. Audrey Young | Deep Vellum Publishing | 9781941920633 | September 2018
“Reading Geography of Rebels is an unforgettable experience. Llansol’s hallucinatory prose is genuinely transfixing.”—Carolina Quarterly

Mephisto’s Waltz
Sergio Pitol, trans. George Henson | Deep Vellum Publishing | 9781941920831 | January 2019
“A dizzying and, at times, disorienting read, yet surely this is what caused Pitol to light up an already-lit Latin scene. . . . Pitol’s biggest leaps forward—nesting stories inside one another, analyzing his writing like a critic, blurring the line between life and art—test the limits of what bookfolk today like to call autofiction. . . . Together, the fragments add up to a broad snapshot of a time and place and, in hindsight, make the narrative gymnastics of Bolaño seem inevitable.”—Southwest Review

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This Week’s Hot News

BUST included Melissa Michal’s Living on the Borderlines (The Feminist Press at CUNY) on its January 31 list of February books by women “That We Need to Read Immediately.”

Book Riot included Emily Carroll’s When I Arrived at the Castle (Koyama Press) on its February 12 list of LGBTQ comics and graphic novels to check out in 2019.

Book Riot included After the Winter by Guadalupe Nettel (trans. Rosalind Harvey; Coffee House Press), Roque Larraquy’s Comemadre (Coffee House Press), and Trifonia Melibea Obono’s La Bastarda (The Feminist Press at CUNY) on its January 31 list of recommended books written or translated by women.

On January 24, Words Without Borders interviewed translators about the process of translating humor, including Emma Ramadan, translator of Fouad Laroui’s The Curious Case of Dassoukine’s Trousers (Deep Vellum Publishing) Peter Bush, translator of Teresa Solana’s The First Prehistoric Serial Killer (Bitter Lemon Press).

The Millions included Hai-Dang Phan’s Reenactments on its February 7 list of Must-Read poetry for February.

Asja Bakić, author of Mars: Stories (trans. Jennifer Zoble; The Feminist Press at CUNY), was interviewed by Asymptote on February 6.

Angela Readman, author of Something Like Breathing (And Other Stories), created a Book Notes playlist for Largehearted Boy on February 12.

An excerpt from Mia Couto’s Rain: And Other Stories (trans. Eric M.B. Becker; Biblioasis) was published by Literary Hub on February 6.

On February 11, Book Marks’s Valentine’s Day reading recommendations included Anne Garréta’s Not One Day (trans. Emma Ramadan; Deep Vellum Publishing) and Lina Wolff’s The Polyglot Lovers (trans. Saskia Vogel; And Other Stories).

Crime Reads excerpted Evil Things by Katja Ivar (Bitter Lemon Press) on February 7.

Tony Bellotto, author of Bellini and the Sphinx (Akashic Books), was interviewed by Gabriela Pereira on her podcast DIY MFA on February 6.

Hollywood Weekly recommended Satish Kumar’s Elegant Simplicity: The Art of Living Well  (New Society Publishers) on January 29.

John Moody, author of The Frugal Homesteader(New Society Publishers), was interviewed on Small Town Homestead podcast on January 27th.

The Spring 2019 issue of Watkins Mind Body Spirit Magazine included cover articles by Matthew Fox, author of Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action, Stephen Fulder, a contributor to Spiritual Transmission: Paradoxes and Dilemmas on the Spiritual Path, and Rupert Sheldake, author of The Physics of Angels (all Monkfish Book Publishing). It also included Fox, Fulder, and Sheldrake on its list of “The 100 Most Spiritually Influential People Living 2019.”

Translated Lit included Mariana Dimópulos’s All My Goodbyes (trans. Alice Whitmore; Transit Books), Guillermo Saccomanno’s 77 (trans. Andrea G. Labinger; Open Letter), and Zahia Rahmani’s “Muslim”: A Novel (trans. Matthew Reek; Deep Vellum Publishing), on its list January 30 of most anticipated books of February 2019.

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This Week’s Hot News

Vice/Broadly included adrienne marie brown’s Pleasure Activism (AK Press), Saskia Vogel’s Permission (Coach House Books), and Teresa Wong’s Dear Scarlet: The Story of My Postpartum Depression (Arsenal Pulp Press) on its February 9 list of “9 Books to Get You Through 2019.”

Publishers Weekly included Kelsey Wroten’s Cannonball (Uncivilized Books), Emily Carroll’s When I Arrived at the Castle (Koyama Press), and Jericho Brown’s The Tradition (Copper Canyon Press) on its January 24 list of Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2019.

LeAnne Howe’s Savage Conversations (Coffee House Press) and C.D. Wright’s Casting Deep Shade (Copper Canyon Press) were both included on Literary Hub’s February 1 list of “13 Books You Should Read This February.”

CrimeReads recommended Leonardo Padura’s Grab a Snake by the Tail (Bitter Lemon Press) on February 5.

Publishers Weekly featured Tiny Owl Press in PW Daily on February 6, highlighting Samad Behrangi’s The Little Black Fish, Ahmadreza Ahmadi’s When I Colored the World, Beverley Naidoo’s Cinderella of the Nile, and Rumi adaptation The Parrot and the Merchant.

On January 31, Asheville, North Carolina radio station WPVM’s A Better World interviewed Bobby Sullivan, author of Revolutionary Threads: Rastafari, Social Justice, and Cooperative Economics (Akashic Books).

Jericho Brown’s The Tradition, C.D. Wright’s Casting Deep Shade, Natalie Scenters-Zapico’s Lima :: Limon (all Copper Canyon Press) and Paige Lewis’s Space Struck (Sarabande Books) are all featured on the Colorado Review’s February 1 list of 2019’s most exciting books.

Text Online published an excerpt from Trisha Low’s Socialist Realism (Coffee House Press) on February 5.

Rachel Zinman, author of Yoga for Diabetes: How to Manage your Health with Yoga and Ayurveda (Monkfish Book Publishing) was interviewed on Diabetes Strong on January 16 and late night talk radio show Divabetic on January 8.

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This Week’s Hot Reviews

Virginia Woolf in Manhattan
Maggie Gee | Global Book Sales/Fentum Books | 9781909572102 | March 2019

“Concerned with the modern condition, relationships, and human connection, the novel is captivated by the conflict between people’s interior lives and their ability to express that interiority to others.”—Foreword Reviews

Celestial Joyride
Michael Waters | BOA Editions | 9781942683063 | May 2016

“By no means does Celestial Joyride ever stray far from what makes it an engaging read. With language that is as concise as it is provoking, the collection transports readers to a variety of locations, encounters, and time periods—some personal and others more universal in their approach.”—American Book Review

Invasive species
Marwa Helal | Nightboat Books | 9781937658939 | January 2018

“Candid and confident about its ecosystems of influence, at times wildly omnivorous and polylingual, purposefully pedestrian at others, the lyrical avatar of Invasive species is one whose existential impulse seems to be rabid availability—to the poet’s multitude of peoples and places—negotiated crossways by a slick, uppercutting investment in infiltration rather than naturalization, divergence (not ‘diversity’), and didacticism as a form of information smuggling.”—Adroit Journal

Samuel Johnson’s Eternal Return
Martin Riker | Coffee House Press | 9781566895286 | October 2018

“A masterclass in writing compelling, well-crafted fiction.”—Boulevard Review

Comemadre
Roque Larraquy | Coffee House Press | 9781566895156 | July 2018

“[Comemadre] spins old unreliable narrator techniques into a freshly comic and grotesque examination of the various ways that we try to justify the unjustifiable.”—Barrelhouse

The Madeleine Project
Clara Beaudoux, trans. Alison Anderson | New Vessel Press | 9781939931498 | September 2017

“A coherent, compelling biography of a stranger. . . . With Twitter and other social media now used routinely—arguably, dominantly—to “out” the foibles and depredations of public figures, The Madeleine Project demonstrates a radically different possibility: the resurrection of another’s life—including delicate allusion to her secrets—with empathy, admiration, and the eye of a curator, or perhaps an artist.”—Book and Room

A Matter of Taste: A Farmer’s Market Devotee’s Semi-Reluctant Argument for Inviting Scientific Innovation to the Dinner Table
Rebecca Tucker | Coach House Books | 9781552453674 |November 2018

“Tucker cuts right to the core of the actual issues, without sepia-toned photos of rolling farm hills and accompanying folk guitar music.”—Adventures in Poor Taste

The House of Lost and Found
Martin Widmark, illus. Emilia Dziubak | Floris Books | 9781782505426 | September 2018

“Polish artist Emilia Dziubak’s illustrations contrast the gloom and doom of the old man’s sorrowful and lacking life in his rundown house with the life and comfort that just one flower and one little boy can bring. The old man’s despair is common in life and the story of his renewal is told and illustrated with compassion and hope.”—Vermont Country Sampler

It’s Only the End of the World
J.A. Henderson | Floris Books/Kelpies | 9781782505174 | November 2018

“Henderson’s cast of characters are a surprising array of society, from the best to the worst, with personalities to match. The witty banter will inspire many moments of merriment, and more than a few bouts of laughter. The growth of each character over the course of the tale gives hope for even the roughest personality, and the building of friend and family bonds tugs at the heart. This quick tale featuring a far-fetched conspiracy and looming Armageddon will fit most readers who enjoy Jeff Strand and Chris Grabenstein.”—Manhattan Book Review

Evie and the Strawberry Patch Rescue
Stefanie Dahle | Floris Books | 9781782505600 | May 2019

“The illustrations are very detailed and take a little time to see everything happening on the page —a beetle scooping water out of a flooded home, a butterfly flapping its wings to help dry a rug, and a small bug carrying a stack of tea cups.  I could see slowly reading this book with a young child so they can notice all the illustrations that enrich the text.”—Youth Services Book Review

Farmer Falgu Goes to the Kumbh Mela
Chitra Soundar, illus. Kanika Nair | Karadi Tales | 9788181903556 | September 2018

“The simple story is complemented by vivid, warm, deeply colored illustrations. Text appears in different colors and sizes, emphasizing the onomatopoeia and sensory experiences of Farmer Falgu. . . . Perfect for multicultural story time for ages 4-6, and for families seeking culturally relevant stories from Hindu mythology.”—Youth Services Book Review

Charlie’s Magical Carnival  
Marit Törnqvist | Floris Books | 9781782504603 | September 2018

Charlie’s Magical Carnival opens with a carnival that comes to town; but Charlie’s party hat, red balloon, and other embellishments are not to be found. Parents who choose this book for its unfolding pages (which likely won’t stand up to the rigors of library lending) will find colorful carnival fun depicted both visually and in text in this fun story.”—Midwest Book Review

The Wolf Who Learned Self-Control
Orianne Lallemand, illus. Eleonore Thuillier | Auzou | 9782733861479 | October 2018

The Wolf Who Learned Self-Control reviews the dilemma of a wolf whose moods change so fast, he confuses everyone around him. Obviously, he has little self-control over his emotions: the problem is, how does he learn this? Wolf may be “too excitable” but he is personable, and can be trained. His friends step in and unexpected results lend to a fine set of adventures as Wolf confronts his fears and his abilities and grows from his experience.”—Midwest Book Review

The Night Monster
Sushree Mishra, illus. Sanket Pethkar | Karadi Tales | 9788181903310 | September 2018

“The pictures are engaging, dark and muted, adding a dream-like quality to the book. They bring a sense of mystery and superbly illustrate Avi’s fear, stopping short of being scary. Some of the letters are only revealed by lifting flaps, adding reader interest and participation to the story. This is a great read-aloud book for younger children.”—BYU Children’s Book & Media Review

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