Category Archives: Reviews

A selection of recent reviews our publishers’ books have received.

This Week’s Reviews

Love Minus Love
Wayne Holloway-Smith | Bloodaxe Books | 9781780375083 | November 2020

“Disease, trauma, wit, sex, love, addiction, looping time, family history, a changing world, work—all evaporate and condense into the best collection I’ve read in 2020. . . .Shortlisted for the 2020 T.S Eliot Prize, Love Minus Love could win, should win, might win, better win—who knows with such things… In my humble 2020 ranking, Holloway-Smith takes top slot.”—RHINO

Reel Bay
Jana Larson | Coffee House Press | 9781566895989 | January 2021
“Softens the divisions separating genres by interweaving memoir, travelogue, and screenplay…cleverly aberrant.”—Star Tribune

Jump the Clock
Erica Hunt | Nightboat Books | 9781643620244 | October 2020
“We have lived in one chronology for many decades, of disrepair, divisions and fears. In response, Erica Hunt’s is a full-fronted other way of naming. In every detail and crevasse, her work unmutes voices and refigures necessary community.”—Poetry in Review

Black Heroes of the Wild West
James Otis Smith | TOON Books/ TOON Graphics | 9781943145515 | September 2020
“An inherently fascinating, entertaining, and informative read from first page to last, Black Heroes of the Wild West will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to elementary school, middle school, and community library Graphic Novel collections in general, and Black History/Biography collections in particular.”—Midwest Book Review

Put Yourself in My Shoes
Susanna Isern, illus. Mylène Rigaudie | NubeOcho | 9788417673376 | September 2020
“I can see this being a valuable resource for classrooms, special education classes and families wanting to impart the importance of empathy into their children.”—Oregon Coast Youth Review

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This Week’s News

Several Consortium titles were longlisted for the Believer Magazine book awards, including The Baudelaire Fractal by Lisa Robertson (Coach House Press), Stranger Faces by Namwali Serpell (Transit Books), Lecture by Mary Cappello (Transit Books), Underworld Litby Srikanth Reddy (Wave Books), Shame Pudding by Danny Noble (Street Noise Books), and Apsara Engine by Bishakh Som (The Feminist Press at CUNY).

A poem from Emma Hine’s Stay Safe (Sarabande Books) was included in Foreword Reviews.

Sarah Bowen, author Spiritual Rebel (Monkfish Book Publishing), was interviewed on I’m Awake! Now What? on January 17.

Jana Larson, author of Reel Bay (Coffee House Press), was interviewed in Poets & Writers.

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This Week’s News

An episode of Theatre Dybbuk’s Dybbukcast was released based on on the Blume Lempel story, “The Death of My Aunt” from the book, Oedipus in Brooklyn and Other Stories, translated by Ellen Cassedy and Yermiuyahu Ahron Taub (Mandel Vilar Press).

Spirituality & Health Magazine featured an article by Sarah Bowen, author of Spiritual Rebel (Monkfish Book Publishing), on January 6.

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This Week’s Reviews

Spirits Abroad
Zen Cho | Small Beer Press | 9781618731869 | April 2021
“Cho’s stories look at the intersection of those mundane and uncanny worlds—and the ways life among the humans can drive the spirit to distraction.”—BookMarks

The Youngest Boy
Jim Heynen, illus. Tom Pohrt | Holy Cow! Press | 9781513645599 | April 2021
“Heynen’s stories about unnamed farm boys first appeared years ago and several collections of the “boy stories” have been published since then. This is the first collection to focus on the youngest boy, who can be a dreamer one minute, a troublemaker the next, and a problem-solver the next.”—Pioneer Press

Hands and Heart Together: Daily Meditations for Caregivers
Patricia Hoolihan | Holy Cow! Press | 9781513645643 | January 2021
“For the 43 million family caregivers in the U.S., this book offers short meditations, each of which illuminates an aspect of caregiving, closing with an uplifting message. The author says this is the book she wished she had when she was a family caregiver.”—Pioneer Press

Mama Phife Represents: A Memoir
Cheryl Boyce-Taylor | Haymarket Books | 9781642592665 | January 2021
“[Boyce-Taylor] has an intimate familiarity with how the waves of emotion can crescendo into maddening heights, giving way to the empty ache left behind. That closeness gives way to clarity in her newest book: Mama Phife Represents, a delicate latticework of remembrance out this week that explores the days following Phife’s passing in print, photo, and sketch.”—Level

Never Have I Ever
Isabel Yap | Small Beer Press | 9781618731821 | February 2021
“These 13 captivating short stories entwine fantasy, horror, and science fiction to explore monsters, Filipino folklore, immigration, and queerness. . . . These ambiguous, vivid, and dark tales manage deep characterizations.”—Buzzfeed

Reconstruction
Alaya Dawn Johnson | Small Beer Press | 9781618731777 | January 2021

“These ten immersive stories embrace multiple speculative genres and take place in worlds both real and unreal. They’re well worth reading.”—Buzzfeed

No Water No Bread
Luis Amavisca, illus. Raúl Nieto Guridi | NubeOcho | 9788494597138 | October 2017
“The plight of refugee children unveils itself before us in this small book with a big message.”—Vermont Country Sampler

Stay Safe
Emma Hine | Sarabande Books | 9781946448682 | January 2021
“Emma Hine’s debut poetry collection Stay Safe is a fiercely, lovingly crafted book that celebrates the endurance of the human spirit in the face of an ever-dimming future.”—Arkansas International

American Madness
Tea Krulos | Feral House | 9781627310963 | August 2020
“It’s just so crazy to think about how much this has changed in the last 10 years or even in the last five years — or even in the last year. It’s just been progressively building more and more steam. Really QAnon, which is the biggest conspiracy problem today, is just the Satanic Panic all over again. ”—Religion News Service  

Underworld LitSrikanth Reddy | Wave Books | 9781940696935 | August 2020
“Underworld Lit is complicated yet inviting; with wit and sorrow, Reddy exposes the demands of the corporate university and the demands of the soul, the play of teaching and the play of children, the thrilling effort of sense-making and the futility of mastery in a complex and confusing world.”—Rain Taxi

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This Week’s News

Sergeant Salinger by Jerome Charyn (Bellevue Literary Press) was reviewed in the Washington Post on December 30: “But in this novel, as with much of Salinger’s life, we have to accept a certain amount of mystery.” 

Several Consortium titles were shortlisted for Rebel Women Lit‘s Caribbean Readers’ Awards, including three from Akashic: A Million Aunties by Alecia McKenzie, Polar Vortex by Shani Mootoo, and Cane Warriors by Alex Wheatle; plus The Wondrous Lives of Ivan and Ivana by Maryse Condé, trans. Richard Philcox (World Editions).

Black Heroes of the Wild West by James Otis Smith (TOON Books) was featured in a list of “2020 informational fiction” titles from the popular School Library Journal blog, A Fuse #8 Production.

Spirituality & Health featured an interview with Rabbi Wayne Dosick, author of Radical Loving: One God, One World, One People (Monkfish Book Publishing) on December 12. They are also going to feature it in their January print issue.

Camilla Grudova, author of The Doll’s Alphabet (Coffee House Press), published a story in the December issue of The White Review.

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