This Week’s Reviews

Sansei and Sensibility
Karen Tei Yamashita | Coffee House Press | 9781566895781 | May 2020
“Karen Tei Yamashita contends with the Western canon in this astute, pitch-perfect, and wryly funny short story collection. . . . A genuine pleasure to read.”—Publishers Weekly

Sky Contains the Plans
Matthew Rohrer | Wave Books | 9781950268047 | April 2020
“Serene, odd, and quietly captivating, this is a celebration of the unconscious mind’s delights.”—Publishers Weekly 

The Walrus and the Caribou
Maika Harper, illus. Marcus Cutler | Inhabit Media | 9781772272567 | April 2020
“A fun final challenge asks readers to imagine the possibilities of creating their own animal.”—Booklist

A Shameful Life
Osamu Dazai, trans. Mark Gibeau | Stone Bridge Press | 9781611720440 | November 2018
“Dazai’s novel is unrelentingly bleak . . . but the joylessness here is unique, yet still strangely readable. It’s a grim portrait of post-war ennui and failure of nerve.”—Pacific Rim Review

The Rapture Index
Molly Reid | BOA Editions | 9781942683827 | May 2019
“But what’s so striking about The Rapture Index, in particular, is the way the narration and pacing work in concert to draw the reader in, make us a part of the narrator’s worry, her nagging sense that something is wrong in the world.”—Fiction Writers Review

Seeing Red
Lina Meruane, trans. Megan McDowell | Deep Vellum Publishing | 9781941920244 | February 2016

“[A] searing autobiographical novel.”—Words Without Borders

Above Us the Milky Way
Fowzia Karmi | Deep Vellum Publishing | 9781646050024 | April 2020
“The writing is seductive, compelling, horrifying, irresistible. The story is dreamlike in its framework and structure, with adult Karimi and the reader dragged back into a spectral but all-too-real childhood, and that is key: the dead are never really gone if they live on in the childhood memories she—and we—can never relinquish.”—Lone Star Literary

Carteras y carteros
Caracolino, Canizales | NubeOcho | 9788417673468 | June 2020
“To whom would you recommend this book? Spanish speaking families to share with their little ones or a great singing story for those learning Spanish.”—Youth Services Book Review

Dunce
Mary Ruefle | Wave Books | 9781940696997 | September 2020
“Reading this book of poems, maybe more than some of her others, is an experience that echoes reading her erasures. . . . Because reading erasures requires belief in the blankness and delight in what discoveries are found there, which is also true of these poems.”—Newfound

Evie and the Truth About Witches
John Martz | Koyama Press | 9781927668597 | October 2018
“This truly is an all-ages book, as its themes work on multiple levels—young readers will enjoy the spooky, unpredictable narrative, while older readers will appreciate the bittersweet message on the last page.”—Spooky KidLit

Get Off That Camel
AH Benjamin, illus. Krishna Bala Shenoi | Karadi Tales Picturebooks | 9788193903315 | October 2019
“The vibrant illustrations are superbly executed to capture the reader’s attention with a warm color palette that characterizes the humor of the text. The fun facts about camels included after the story are interesting… a delightful combination of humor and kindness makes this book uplifting and fun.”—BYU Children’s Book & Media Review

Girls Lost
Jessica Schiefauer, trans. Saskia Vogel | Deep Vellum Publishing | 9781941920954 | March 2020
“A powerful novel about gender, sexuality and power relations that will have you turn page after page without even realizing it. Thanks to Saskia Vogel, the poetic and empathetic voice of this novel has found its way into the English version.”—24 Stories

Illustrated Animals: Caribou
Dorothy Aglukark and David Aglukark, illus. Amanda Sandland | Inhabit Media | 9781772272345 | January 2020
“This is a great quick read about caribou… The illustrations are rich and realistic, there is even an illustration of the skeleton of the Caribou for reference… this is an excellent resource for classrooms and students doing animal units or reports.”—Youth Services Book Review

La jirafa Rafa
Caracolino, illus. Canizales | NubeOcho | 9788417673444 | June 2020
“A delightful song book about a giraffe that lives on the savanna.”—Youth Services Book Review

Princess Jill Never Sits Still
Margarita del Mazo, illus. José Fragoso | NubeOcho | 9788417123833 | April 2020
“It’s a fun tale of acceptance and unconventional talents that is suitable for storytimes or one-on-one reading.”—Booklist

Repetition Nineteen
Monica de la Torre | Nightboat Books | 9781643620145 | March 2020
Repetition Nineteen is an interactive book of opportunity and possibility, a spirited exploration of the cultural differences of the use of language… Language in any form is a versatile gift, and de la Torre presents it to us, wraps and unwraps it, each time with a new balance and resonance.”—Vagabond City

Santa Fe Noir
edit. Ariel Gore | Akashic Books | 9781617757228 | March 2020
“Because each story is identified by the neighborhood or specific location in which it takes place, Santa Fe Noir is a veritable road map of the city and surrounding area. It stretches from El Dorado to the Southside, Casa Solana and Cerrillos Road to the Santa Fe National Forest. The protagonists of the stories are psychotherapists, vagrants, teenagers, and gig workers. They drink and smoke. They drop acid and have sex. And more than a few are guilty of murder (or at least of justifiable homicide).”—Sante Fe New Mexican
“There is a real charm to the local specificity of Santa Fe Noir, and it’s a pleasure to discover how different imaginations can channel the chiaroscuro energy of well-known places.”—Santa Fe Reporter

Tanna’s Owl
Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley, illus. Yong Ling Kang | Inhabit Media | 9781772272505 | January 2020
Kang’s digital art in line and watercolor style is low key in its streamlined figures but perceptive in its inclusion of details about Tanna’s Canadian Inuit lifestyle. . . . This is a different kind of wildlife story that’s more about the rigors of service than the temptation of ownership, and kids will appreciate the realism and humor as well as the eventual reward. A note about Inuktitut pronunciation is included.”—The Bulletin from the Center for Children’s Books

The Clever Tailor
Srividhya Venkat, illus. Nayantara Surendranath |
Karadi Tales Picturebooks | 9788193388907 | September 2019
“Venkat skillfully incorporates well-placed words that are likely unfamiliar to western audiences, thus adding realism to the story while a glossary allows readers to learn their definitions. Vibrant jewel-toned, pastel and colored pencil illustrations literally swirl through the pages of the book, supporting readers’ understanding of the unfamiliar words while also propelling the storyline. This is an excellent multicultural book with a message of upcycling and creativity that will inspire young readers to think twice before throwing something away.”—BYU Children’s Book & Media Review

The Problem of the Many
Timothy Donnelly | Wave Books | 9781940696492 | October 2019
“But what ultimately makes this book work, what keeps its brilliant leaps from becoming performative and its capacious hunger from consuming itself, is Donnelly’s adherence to form. His respect for the line, as a unit of composition, remains absolute, and this formal discipline allows him to bottle the lightning: the endless associations of his disobedient mind.”—Rain Taxi

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