This Week’s Reviews

We Too: Essays on Sex Work and Survival
edit. Natalie West | The Feminist Press at CUNY | 9781558612853 | February 2021
“This book is salvation. The writing is unfailingly keen, each piece individually capable of inducing radical empathy. This book and its fierce creators are ready to change the world.”—Booklist, starred review

Seeking an Aurora
Elizabeth Pulford, illus. Anne Bannock | Blue Dot Kids Press | 9781733121279 | January 2021
“A memorable picture book that captures an unforgettable experience.”—Booklist, starred review

Shifting the Silence
Etel Adnan | Nightboat Books | 9781643620305 | October 2020
“A quietly shattering meditation on death, which interweaves memoir with observations both geopolitical and galactic.”—The New Yorker

Classic Black
Brain D. Gallagher | GILES | 9781911282358 | February 2020
“A handsomely illustrated catalog written by Mr. Gallagher, with contributions by several eminent colleagues in the field.”—The New Yorker

Cold Moon
Roger Rosenblatt | Turtle Point Press | 9781885983886 | October 2020  
“The celebrated author and essayist takes us on a tour of his ‘weathered mind’ at age 80 [and] his memories of his life summon ours, without warning or apology. Line by line, he helps us find softer landings.”—The Washington Post

The Night Monster
Sushree Mishra, illus. Sanket Pethkar | Karadi Tales | 9788181903310 | September 2018
“Honestly delightful. . . . A wonderful story that explores fear and how you can conquer it, especially with loved ones lending a helping hand.”—Book Riot

Black & White & Weird All Over
Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz | 1984 Publishing | 9781948221160 | November 2020
“A beautiful, new, personal book that will have fans flipping.”—LaughButton

“Gorgeous. Black & White & Weird All Over is well worth the admission price, and it has instantly become one of my most treasured art books to arrive in recent years.”—MovieWeb

The Theory of Flight
Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu | Catalyst Press | 9781946395412 | January 2021
The Theory of Flight is full of magic, a magic willing to be observed by eyes that can see the beauty in knowledge, facts and far beyond.”—Full Stop

Red Wave: An American in the Soviet Music Underground
Joanna Stingray, Madison Stingray | Doppelhouse Press | 9781733957922 | September 2020
“Few rock albums are “daring” in any real sense, but Red Wave: 4 Underground Bands from the USSR was one of the bravest. . . . The California woman responsible for that comp album tells her story in Red Wave: An American in the Soviet Music Underground. Joanna Stingray was an also-ran rocker [who] was connected just enough to deliver on her chutzpah. Stingray was floored by [the musicians’] thoughtful profundity—theirs was not a ‘wave’ floating on shallow fashion statements—and makes the keen observation that oppression, coupled with lack of distraction, nurtured their art.”—Shepherd Express

Under the Dome: Walks with Paul Celan
Jean Daive, trans. Rosmarie Waldrop | City Lights Publishers | 9780872868083 | November 2020
“[Under the Dome’s] form aptly mirrors Celan’s own: it is composed in short fragments, its style is hallucinatory and obsessive. . . . And though it is steeped in melancholy, the memoir also shows Celan absorbed in the quiet happiness of his work. Daive watches from a distance and leaves him undisturbed.”—Boston Review

The Complete Writings of Art Smith, the Bird Boy of Fort Wayne, Edited by Michael Mortone
Michal Martone | BOA Editions | 9781950774210 | October 2020
“Misspellings, miscommunications, romantic missteps, and many, many plane crashes color the life of Art Smith through a seamless blend of fact and fiction in a literary form that I can’t seem to pin down. Not quite a biography, but not entirely a work of fiction either, Martone’s mythology is a self-defining exploration of purpose.”—Indiana Review

“Martone blurs the line between fact and fiction in his latest work, which focuses less on Smith’s contribution to aviation, and more on his contribution to writing.”—ABC WBTA 21

GG | Koyama Press | 9781927668726 | January 2020
“Constantly is another (mostly) silent work, rendered in pastel and watercolour shades and painted lines. The art looks so delicate it’s as if it’s barely staying on the page, like some whisper only half heard.”—The Quietus

Reaching Mithymna
Steve Heighton | Biblioasis | 9781771963763 | November 2020
In 2015, Steven Heighton went to the Greek island of Lesbos to put his halting Greek, his mother’s native tongue, to work as a volunteer among the surge of Syrian refugees arriving in Europe. The Canadian author wasn’t starry-eyed to begin with, and there was little in his experiences alongside dedicated aid workers—under-resourced or, like him, unqualified—and traumatized refugees, to change that. Even more than pandemic fatigue, the refugee tragedy illustrates our ability to normalize what should never be normalized. What once dominated headlines began fading from global attention long before COVID-19. Heighton’s harrowing and moving book about his time in Greece, with its rich array of characters and finely expressed understanding of the pain of exile, wrenches our gaze back to the refugees and refuses to let go.”—Maclean

Take Me Outdoors
Mary Richards | Agnes & Aubrey | 9781916474581 | April 2021
“For those of you in search of a guided journal that’s great for a bit of independent reading and ideal for home learners, this book has your number.”—School Library Journal Blog

Villa of Delirium
Adrian Goetz, trans. Natasha Lehrer | New Vessel Press | 9781939931801 | August 2020

Adrien Goetz’s Villa of Delirium is not merely a historical novel, it’s a novel about history. Belle Époque France, Ancient Greece, the two World Wars and the Holocaust: each provides the author his narrative setting but also the ideas he reckons with. . . . Exhilarating . . . It’s a remarkable feat of storytelling.”—Open Letters Review

The Legend of the First Unicorn
Lari Don, illus. Nataša Ilincic | Kelpies | 9781782506478 | September 2020
“Not only is this a Scottish legend that includes a griffon but it shows a female heroine with magic who saves the prince’s smile, a ferocious battle between the griffon and the unicorn, and a happy ending.”—Imagination Soup

Mountains of Mumbai
Labanya Ghosh, illus. by Pallavi Jain | Karadi Tales Picturebooks | 9788193654293 | September 2020
“This gorgeous hardcover picture book from Karadi Tales has won the Neev Book Award this year and is a sheer delight to read and flip through.”—Huffington Post India

The Night Monster
Sushree Mishra, illus. Sanket Pethkar | Karadi Tales Picturebooks | 9788181903310 | September 2018
“The art picks up where the words leave off in a perfect balance so that you know exactly how Avi’s fears are manifesting and also how much of a safe harbor he finds in his sister’s love.”—Book Riot

Bright Green Lies
Derrick Jensen, Lierre Keith, Max Wilbert | Monkfish Book Publishing | 9781948626392 | March 2021
“True environmentalists don’t buy into The Green New Deal. They think all the encouraging words from other environmentalists are bright green lies. Because at bottom, all the positive noises are simply a sop to industrialized society and the giant industries that run it. And according to Bright Green Lies, the book, it’s all about maintaining the current opulent lifestyle, and continuing to destroy the planet. No sacrifices will be made that might slow the consumer economy. This dramatic, sane and passionate book lays out the lies with evidence like simple math and direct observation.”—The Straight Dope

Comments Off on This Week’s Reviews

Filed under Reviews

Comments are closed.