Monthly Archives: September 2019

This Week’s Reviews

Wage Slaves
Daria Bogdanska | Conundrum Press | 9781772620368 | May 2019
Wage Slaves is part call to arms and part migrant memoir. . . . But Bogdanska isn’t cynical, and she believes that consumer action is ultimately less significant than action by the people who are most affected: the workers themselves.”—Book Riot

Rat Time
Keiler Roberts | Koyama Press | 9781927668702 | September 2019
“With a quiet authority she can imbue the seemingly trivial with a universal profoundness; life’s quieter moments having an echoing resonance that we can all identify with. Because in a Keiler Roberts book the richness of the human experience is embedded in the very minutiae of existence.”—Broken Frontier

Bertoldo di Giovanni: The Renaissance of Sculpture in Medici Florence
Aimee Ng, Alexander J. Noelle, Xavier F. Salomon | D Giles | 9781911282433| October 2019
“A sumptuously illustrated, 496-page cataloge chock full of the erudition that Frick projects are known for.”—Arts Journal CultureGrrl

The Tiny Journalist 
Naomi Shihab Nye | BOA Editions | 9781942683728 | April 2019
“These are refinements of language that poets spend a lifetime perfecting. Neatly designed and arranged, they imbue the speaker of the poem with both lucidity and plain-spokenness.”—Poetry Northwest

An Orphanage of Dreams
Sam Savage | Coffee House Press | 9781566895309 | January 2019
“With his last literary breath, Sam Savage has once again given readers insight into those we may think to pass by hurriedly or who we might not notice at all.”—Big Other

The Boy with the Butterfly Mind
Victoria Williamson | Floris Books/Kelpies | 9781782506003 | November 2019
“This heartbreaking book about the pain of divorce is a must-buy for all elementary libraries. . . . Jamie’s perspective is sure to help increase understanding about the difficulty of living with severe ADHD. The plot flows quickly and readers will likely find themselves experiencing strong emotions throughout this powerful novel.”—Youth Services Book Review

An Illustrated Treasury of Scottish Castle Legends
Theresa Breslin, illus. Kate Leiper | Floris Books | 9781782505952 | October 2019
“Each tale is beautifully illustrated with drawings on every page done in chalk pastel on paper with occasional use of ink and acrylic paint. . . . The tales are absolutely fascinating including dragons, Monsters (Loch Ness), Selkies, Goblins, Faeries and more.”—Youth Services Book Review

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This Week’s News

Literary Hub picked Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things to Me (Haymarket Books), Valeria Luiselli’s Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions (Coffee House Press), and Helen Garner’s This House of Grief (Text Publishing Company) as some of the best books of the past decade on September 24.

Crime Reads included Annaleese Jochems’s Baby (Scribe), Gar Anthony Haywood’s Good Man Gone Bad (Prospect Park Books), J. Golakai’s The Score (Cassava Republic Press), and Cutting Edge: New Stories of Mystery and Crime by Women Writers (edited by Joyce Carol Oates; Akashic Books) on its list of most anticipated crime books on September 19.

Literary Hub published and excerpt from Kim Scott’s Taboo (Small Beer Press) on September 26.

Thomas Bunstead and Daniel Hahn, co-translators of Juan José Millás’s From the Shadows (Bellevue Literary Press), were interviewed by Asymptote on September 19.

Book Riot included Elisha Kilabuk’s The Qalupalik (illus. Joy Ang; Inhabit Media) on a September 10 list of children’s books for Edgar Allan Poe fans.

Book Riot included Susan Avingaq, Maren Vsetula, and Charlene Chua’s The Pencil and Laura Deal and Tamara Campeau’s In the Sky at Nighttime (both Inhabit Media) on a September 23 list of pictures books from around the world.

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This Week’s Award Winners

Eve Ewing’s 1919 (Haymarket Books) won the 2019 Best Poetry award from the Digital Book World.

This Mortal Boy by Fiona Kidman (Gallic Books/Aardvark Bureau) won the 2019 Ngaio Marsh Award for best novel.

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This Week’s Reviews

Bradley of Him
Connor Willumsen | Koyama Press | 9781927668733 | November 2019
“The world is a confusing place. A comic about a confusing world should be confusing too.”—PopMatters

The Flip: Epiphanies of Mind and the Future of Knowledge 
Jeffrey J. Kripal | Bellevue Literary Press | 9781942658528 | March 2019
“Erudite enough to be absorbed in sophisticated academic discourse, but succinct and engaging enough to be taken up in an undergraduate seminar, and to reach a public beyond the universities. With its visionary notions and revisionary potential, The Flip merits a wide readership, across the academy and outside of it.”—Houston Chronicle

Feast Day of the Cannibals
Norman Lock | Bellevue Literary Press | 9781942658467 | July 2019
“Lock’s recreation of a past time and place is impressive. . . . The plot of Feast Day . . . is carefully constructed and deftly concluded, leading Ross and the young man he doesn’t know he loves inexorably to their fate.”—The Gay and Lesbian Review

Will Eaves | Bellevue Literary Press | 9781942658641 | April 2019
“The author shows us our own weaknesses, our hidden appetites, and our confused disapproval of a brutally unjust system and one of its reckless victims.”—The Gay and Lesbian Review

Reinhardt’s Garden
Mark Haber | Coffee House Press | 9781566895620 | October 2019
“From a narrative perspective, Haber’s summoning of seemingly archaic techniques works quite well. . . . he offers a cautionary note about our own dreams of what may come next for society, while simultaneously demonstrating a welcome literary virtuosity.”—Music and Literature

Serious Fun: How Guided Play Extends Children’s Learning
edited by Marie L. Masterson and Holly Bohart | NAEYC | 9781938113390 | February 2019
Serious Fun provides many opportunities for the reader to consider important basic questions about the adult’s role in children’s play and the relations of teaching, playing, and learning with the focus on preschoolers and kindergartener. . . . The book is valuable for its special features as well as for its chapters.  There are the wonderful photos and useful captions, thought-provoking questions and comments at the beginning of each chapter. . . . [An] exciting and needed new book for teachers and parents of young children, also recommended for teacher educators and leaders.”—Teachers College Record  

Animal Sutras: Animal Spirit Stories
Stephen Levine | Monkfish Book Publishing | 9781948626064 | September 2019
“This is a precious book whether or not you’re familiar with Stephen and his work. Animal Sutras will reach even more deeply into your heart if you are already familiar with his work. The book gives insights into his personality and life that don’t always show up in his other writings and works. Animal Sutras will find a place in the homes of animal lovers and spiritual seekers alike and his stories will be treasured and shared for years to come.”—New Spirit Journal

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This Week’s News

Ryan O’Callaghan, author of My Life on the Line: How the NFL Damn Near Killed Me and Ended Up Saving My Life (with Cyd Zeigler; Akashic Books/Edge of Sports), was interviewed on Slate’s weekly sports podcast Hang Up and Listen on September 12. O’Callaghan’s book was included in the Washington Blade’s fall arts preview on September 13.

Don McPherson, author of You Throw Like a Girl: The Blind Spot of Masculinity (Akashic Books/Edge of Sports), was interviewed on Syracuse, New York ABC affiliate WYSR 9’s Bridge Street, Syracuse, New York NPR affiliate WAER 88.3 FM on September 13, and Syracuse, New York local NBC-TV station CNY Central, all on September 13.

Paige Lewis, author of Space Struck (Sarabande Books), and bestselling author John Green launched their new initiative Ours Poetica, reported the Chicago Tribune on September 11.

Janaka Stucky created a playlist for his poetry collection Ascend Ascend (Third Man Books) on Largehearted Boy on September 6.

Alison C Rollins, author of Library of Small Catastrophes (Copper Canyon Press), was interviewed for Adroit on September 16.

Sarah Bowen, author of Spiritual Rebel: A Positively Addictive Guide to Finding Deeper Perspective and Higher Purpose (Monkfish Book Publishing), was interviewed on Seattle, Washington 1150 AM ConsciousTalk Radio on September 16.

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This Week’s News

Don McPherson, author of You Throw Like a Girl: The Blind Spot of Masculinity (Akashic Books/Edge of Sports) was interviewed on New York City NPR affiliate WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show on September 4.

Ms. Magazine’s September 2 list of “Reads for the Rest of Us” included Hustling Verse: An Anthology of Sex Workers’ Poetry edited by Amber Dawn and Justin Ducharme (Arsenal Pulp Press), The Not Wives by Carley Moore (The Feminist Press at CUNY/Amethyst Editions), SLINGSHOT by Cyrée Jarelle Johnson (Nightboat Books), and Axiomatic by Maria Tumarkin (Transit Books).

Ms. Magazine mentioned Joel Solomon’s The Clean Money Revolution: Reinventing Power, Purpose, and Capitalism (New Society Publishers) in an article on economic justice on September 4.

Knitting the Fog by Claudia D. Hernandez (The Feminist Press at CUNY) was excerpted in the Summer 2019 issue of Ms. Magazine.

Poems from Matthew Zapruder’s Father’s Day (Copper Canyon Press) were published by Literary Hub on September 4, the Los Angeles Review of Books on September 1, and in the September issue of Poetry. The Library of America published an article about Zapruder on September 4 and the book was recommended by the Millions on September 5.

An article about Noam Dorr, author of Love Drones (Sarabande Books), was published in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers.

Carley Moore’s The Not Wives (The Feminist Press at CUNY) was excerpted on Joyland on September 6. Electric Literature published a book list by Moore on September 9.

Chicago, Illinois news outlet These Days released a short feature documentary about Kevin Coval and Langston Allston’s Everything Must Go (Haymarket Books) on September 5. Coval was interviewed on Chicago radio station 91.1 Vocolo on September 5.

Three poems and the translator’s statement from Johanny Vázquez Paz’s I Offer My Heart as a Target / Ofrezco mi corazón como una diana (trans. Lawrence Schimel; Akashic Books) were recently published by Latin American Literature Today.

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This Week’s Reviews

The Remainder
Alia Trabucco Zerán, trans. Sophie Hughes | Coffee House Press | 9781566895507 | August 2019
“An affecting novel, with a strident and clear voice.”—Rain Taxi

Peter Mishler | Sarabande Books | 9781946448194 | May 2018
“A master of the bon mot, [Mishler] is totally unconstrained by the limits realism places on writing. . . . Fludde is, to borrow [Dean] Young’s description, ‘a companion for our dream life.’ Drink it in. Mishler fills any glass with words and knows every twist of phrase.”—Grist

Rat Time
Keiler Roberts | Koyama Press | 9781927668702 | September 2019
“With Rat Time, Keiler Roberts has given herself permission to go all-out in an attempt to be funny, knowing that her commitment to emotional honesty and deep sincerity will keep her and her readers grounded in reality.”—Your Chicken Enemy

Simon & Louise
Max de Radiguès, trans. Aleshia Jensen | Conundrum Press | 9781772620351 | August 2019
“Belgian cartoonist Max de Radiguès has established himself as a prime chronicler of the lives of young people. . . . Simon & Louise is a rather cautionary story that uses immaturity as its launch pad for examining teen relationships. In doing so, it also proposes calm in the face of calamity, and as the necessary balm to uncertainty in relationships.”—The Comics Beat

Michael DeForge | Koyama Press | 9781927668696 | September 2019
“At its very heart, Stunt is a chilling reminder of how we lose ourselves when we strive to become the very essence of those celebrities we admire and emulate.”—The Comics Beat

“Michael DeForge’s new graphic novella . . . is a compelling combination of excess and restraint.”—PopMatters

Stunt is a fitting farewell for DeForge’s work with Koyama Press. While it is a visceral, uncomfortable experience to read, DeForge’s sense of restraint never sees him overplaying his hand.”—Your Chicken Enemy

Night Angler 
Geffrey Davis | BOA Editions | 9781942683780 | April 2019
“Davis effectively captures situations where we feel as if we could be moments away from witnessing (or dare I say be a part of) tenderness or affliction. These poems do the hard work of singing hopeful in the face of tragedy and fixing our eyes on the complexities of situations that are often smoothed out when treated by less attention and awe-gathering poets.”—The Diagram

Personal Volcano
Laura Moriarty | Nightboat Books | 9781937658960 | May 2019
Personal Volcano is a poetic event of the highest order and we need its counsel now. . . . [it] teems with a lexicon whose scientific precision and sheer abundance produce inexplicable splendor. Lava, ash, and gases punctuate the various eruptions while calderas and fumaroles exert an eerie power of seduction.”—Fence Digital 

My Life on the Line: How the NFL Damn Near Killed Me, and Ended Up Saving My Life
Ryan O’Callaghan with Cyd Zeigler | Akashic Books | 9781617757594 | September 2019
“O’Callaghan has written a gripping and complex examination of the ways in which bigotry and self-hatred walk hand in hand, and the ways in which the snares we set for ourselves are often more dangerous than the ones which others set for us. It’s a shame that a book like this is still necessary. Thank goodness O’Callaghan wrote it.”—New York Journal of Books

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This Week’s Awards

Alicia Kopf’s Brother in Ice (trans. Mara Faye Lethem; And Other Stories), Roque Larraquy’s Comemadre (trans. Heather Cleary; Coffee House Press), Armonía Somers’s The Naked Woman (trans. Kit Maude; The Feminist Press at CUNY), Ófeigur Sigurdsson’s Öræfi: The Wasteland (trans. Lytton Smith; Deep Vellum Publishing), Cristina Rivera Garza’s The Taiga Syndrome (trans. Suzanne Jill Levine and Aviva Kana; And Other Stories), Ersi Sotiropoulos’s What’s Left of the Night (trans. Karen Emmerich; New Vessel Press, and Oliverio Girondo’s Decals (trans. Rachel Galvin and Harris Feinsod; Open Letter Books) are longlisted for the 2019 National Translation Awards!

Sydney Noir (edited by John Dale; Akashic Books) is shortlisted for the 2019 Danger Award.

StoryMaking: The Maker Movement Approach to Literacy for Early Learners by Michelle Kay Compton and Robin Chappele Thompson (Redleaf Press) won Learning Magazine’s 2020 Teachers Choice Award for Preschool.

This Mortal Boy by Fiona Kidman (Gallic Books/Aardvark Bureau) is a finalist for the 2019 Ngaio Marsh Awards.

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This Week’s News

On September 2, Popsugar published a list of all Barak Obama’s summer reading list picks, including Paul Harding’s Tinkers (Bellevue Literary Press).

On August 20, the Chicago Tribune’s column Biblioracle recommended Vintage 1954 by Antoine Lauraine (Gallic Books).

Interviews with Jericho Brown, author of The Tradition (Copper Canyon Press) were published in the July/August issue of Kenyon Review and by Atlanta Magazine on August 27.

Shelf Awareness Pro published a “Reading With” article by Lisa Sandlin, author of The Bird Boys (Cinco Puntos Press), on August 30.

Michael DeForge’s Stunt (Koyama Press), Joel Orff’s Twice Shy (Alternative Comics), Will Dinski’s Holy Hannah (Uncivilized Books), and Lucas Harari’s Swimming in Darkness (trans. David Homel; Arsenal Pulp Press) were included on The Comic Beat’s list of 41 highly anticipated graphic novels of fall 2019 on September 2.

On August 29, Electric Literature included Curdella Forbes’s A Tall History of Sugar (Akashic Books), Alia Trabucco Zerán’s The Remainder (trans. Sophie Hughes; Coffee House Press), Zahia Rahmani’s “Muslim”: A Novel (trans. Matt Reek; Deep Vellum Publishers), Melissa Michal’s Living on the Borderlines (The Feminist Press at CUNY), and Suneeta Peres da Costa’s Saudade (Transit Books) on a list of recommended books from indie presses.

The Los Angeles Review of Books published an interview with Maria Tumarkin, author of Axiomatic (Transit Books), on September 3.

On September 1, Edge Magazine included Animal Sutras by Stephen Levine and Wounds into Wisdom by Tirzah Firestone (both Monkfish Book Publishing) on a list of recommended books for fall 2019.

On September 3, the Chicago Review of Books named When Death Takes Something from You Give It Back: Carl’s Book by Naja Marie Aidt (trans. Denise Newman; Coffee House Press), Father’s Day by Matthew Zapruder (Copper Canyon Press), and Cyborg Detective by Jillian Weise (BOA Editions) to its list of the best books of September.

Literary Hub published and excerpt from When Death Takes Something from You Give It Back: Carl’s Book, by Naja Marie Aidt (trans. Denise Newman; Coffee House Press), on August 30 and recommended the book on September 3.

Guernica excerpted poems from Johanny Vázquez Paz’s I Offer My Heart as a Target / Ofrezco mi corazón como una diana (trans. Lawrence Schimel; Akashic Books) on August 28.

Book Riot included Cutting Edge: New Stories of Mystery and Crime by Women Writers (edited by Joyce Carol Oates, Akashic Books) on its August 15 list of “Noir by Women, Not Just Femme Fatales.”

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This Week’s Reviews

Lima :: Limón
Natalie Scenters-Zapico | Copper Canyon Press | 9781556595318 | May 2019
“Mostly brutal, occasionally tender, and sometimes insurgent, Natalie Scenters-Zapico’s Lima :: Limón is as hostile and beckoning to be crossed into as the U.S./Mexico borderlands it explores. . . . These poems and their techniques are unfiltered and bitter and ruthless in their look at the lives of those who—due to cultural, socioeconomic, and political circumstances—are most vulnerable to being sliced open and ravaged at their cores.”—On the Seawall

Bloody Seoul
Sonia Patel | Cinco Puntos Press | 9781947627215 | August 2019
“Poetic, fast-paced and electrifying . . . Patel’s writing shines. Her words flow across the page like a poem—descriptive yet succinct, observant of an entire world in so few phrases.”—Cleaver Magazine

And the Bride Closed the Door
Ronit Matalon, trans. Jessica Cohen | New Vessel Press | 9781939931757 | October 2019
“Brim­ming with wise and com­pas­sion­ate com­men­tary on a pletho­ra of con­cerns: cul­tur­al­ly-imposed gen­der roles, the role of pub­lic and pri­vate mem­o­ry, and the dys­func­tions that dri­ve fam­i­lies apart. . . . And the Bride Closed the Door offers its read­ers all the more rea­son to mourn the loss of Matalon’s bold, uncom­pro­mis­ing voice.”—Jewish Book Council

The Big Ideas for Curious Minds: An Introduction to Philosophy
edited by The School of Life | The School of Life | 9781999747145 | September 2019
“This compassionate work also imparts the hows of being compassionate and empathetic to others, and the language is always clear. Refined, warm, and inviting illustrations of philosophers, objects, and scenes have a hint of the irreverence, showcasing playful facial expressions through impeccable sketches.”—Foreword Reviews

Blood Sisters
Kim Yideum, trans. Jiyoon Lee | Deep Vellum Publishing | 9781941920770 | July 2019
“A thought-provoking and powerful novel.”—Three Percent

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