This Week’s Hot Reviews

Mothers Over Nangarhar
Pamela Hart | Sarabande Books | 9781946448262 | January 2019
“[W]hat was once only imagined is subsequently brought to devastating life. . . . [Mothers Over Nangarhar] is an homage to military families, for whom the Long War has ceased to end, despite being far removed from most Americans’ daily consciousness.”—Poetry Foundation

The Hope Fault
Tracy Farr | Gallic Books/Aardvark Bureau | 9781910709436 | October 2018
“Farr’s examination of amplectant bonds as equally capable of holding families together as they are of tearing them apart feels as real as fiction gets.”—World Literature Today

A Book for Sad Pets
Kristin Tipping | Uncivilized Books | 9781941250341 | April 2019
“[A Book for Sad Pets] is very much in the dark humor, existentialist philosophy category. . . . Tipping’s watercolor, minimalist style pairs perfectly with the brief text, and their coloring helps to achieve the right tone. A Book for Sad Pets is just too good to pass up on. Buy one for yourself, and then buy a few others to give as gifts for any occasion.”—Rogues Portal

Ascend Ascend
Janaka Stucky | Third Man Books | 9780997457834 | April 30
“Janaka Stucky is at the forefront of a trend in literature combining art and magick.”—Psychedelic Baby Magazine

Aurora Borealice
Joan Steacy | Conundrum Press | 9781772620375 | April 2019
“Steacy’s book is sure to speak to people who feel different in some way but are also living ordinary lives. Her calm and friendly presentation of her own journey provides proof of the idea that a normal life experience doesn’t necessarily exist, and intellect and talent don’t all require the same form of nurturing. You can be you, whoever you are, and move forward with your goals. And, as Steacy points out, you can do that at any age.”—The Comics Beat

Doomstead Days
Brian Teare | Nightboat Books | 9781643620022 | April 2019
“Brian Teare’s Doomstead Days is a set of verse walks that he takes in nature, a nature that he sees with rare precision, humor, and depth. But as much as he bemoans what humans have done to nature, he also sees himself as a culprit. . . . Like Oscar Wilde, Teare is aware that ‘each man kills the thing he loves.’”—Kenyon Review

Savage Conversations
LeAnne Howe | Coffee House Press | 9781566895316 | February 2018
“LeAnne Howe’s play Savage Conversations activates this space in history. She fills the wide-open gaps with a narrative of ‘what could have been,’ makes the absences present in very intimate ways.”—Full Stop

Since When
Bill Berkson | Coffee House Press | 9781566895293 | November 2018
“[Since When is] sentimental and funny, and makes you believe in a shared social project. Berkson was dedicated to this, and the example of his poetry and practice astonishes in this terrific memoir.”—Entropy Mag

All Its Charms
Keetje Kuipers | BOA Editions | 9781942683766 | April 2019
“Kuipers sees the world like a sparrow, whose ‘head [is] turned to the side / so one black eye can search the stippled sky / in ecstasy,’ even as it is being eaten alive by a magpie. She rises out of her past life of soured relationships and experiences, and she finds joy and compassion in her new life as a mother, and therein lies the beauty of the book and all its charms.”—Redactions

Festival Folk: An Atlas of Carnival Customs and Costumes
Rob Flowers | Cicada Books | 9781908714572 | April 2019
Festival Folk is a new book by Rob Flowers, an illustrator with a very distinctive and eye-catching style. . . . Each page is attention-grabbing, with color a-plenty and the figures boldly and exuberantly captured by Flowers.”—Association of Illustrators

My Real Name Is Hanna
Tara Lynn Masih | Mandel Vilar Press | 9781942134510 | September 2018
“Author Masih has done her homework. Her history is spot on and her firm, clear hand transports you into another world, leaving you with a better understanding of the madness. Be prepared to feel fear, hunger, cold, claustrophobia and desperation along with the characters. A keeper. One for your history bookshelf.”—The Florida Time-Union, Jacksonville

Don’t Hug the Pug
Matthew Hodson and Robin Jacobs | Cicada Books | 9781908714657 | October 2019
“A simple, rhyming narrative combines with larger-than-life, quirky illustrations to celebrate the natural curiosity of babies and their desire to play with things they shouldn’t!”—The Book Activist

Fly Flies
Alice Bowsher and Ziggy Hanaor | Cicada Books | 9781908714619 | September 2019
“With bold black and white illustrations, our unexpected hero’s journey of trial and error is brilliantly depicted and her final outburst is spot-on! Leaving you with a warm feeling, this story celebrates the importance of being yourself, no matter what.”—The Book Activist

A Surprise for Little Mole
Orianne Lallemand, illus. Claire Frossard | Auzou | 9782733867327 | June 2019
“The illustrations have a retro feel and are full of color and expression. They fill the page and make this a perfect story time selection. This is a sweet story that is perfect for a read aloud.”—Youth Services Book Review

“Children ages 4-8 will enjoy joining Little Mole as she and her forest friends try to uncover the mystery behind the surprise! An impressive picture book collaboration by author Orianne Lallemand and illustrator Claire Frossard, A Surprise for Little Mole will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library children’s picture book collections.”—Midwest Book Review

Hello Animals, How Do You Sleep?
Loes Botman | Floris Books | 9781782505518| April 2019
“[Botman’s] warm and detailed illustrations bring the different animals alive on the page, and the simple words and concepts make this a perfect bedtime book. Hello Animals, How Do You Sleep? is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, and community library children’s board book collections.”—Midwest Book Review

Roque Larraquy, trans. Heather Cleary | Coffee House Press | 9781566895156 | July 2018
“A mutilated novel about the art of mutilating bodies.”—Book Post

Wounds into Wisdom: Healing Intergenerational Jewish Trauma
Tirzah Firestone | Monkfish Book Publishing/Adam Kadmon Books | 9781948626026 | April 2019
“The many personal and collected narratives she shares compel the reader to reflect in new and helpful ways upon one’s own life, family trauma histories known, and those perhaps dimly perceived—even long after the volume is read.”—The Philadelphia Jewish Voice

Berlin Noir
edited by Thomas Wörtche | Akashic Books | 9781617756320 | May 2019
“This collection is very modern, the stories are set now and reflect on contemporary concerns. They demonstrate a dynamism and originality that shows just how important a part of the euro-noir genre German writing is. There are thirteen stories here, as diverse as the city they are set in, each one is from in a different part of the German capital, and although they are disparate with very different intentions, a picture emerges of a troubled, multi-cultural, vibrant city that has always had its own distinct character . . . A welcome addition to one to the most fascinating long running series in crime fiction.”—NB Magazine

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