Category: Book Reviews

Book Reviews

An interview with John Reed

Associate Professor of Writing Across Media and author of A Drama in Time: The New School Century talks about his new book, The New School and its history, about moving fluidly between genres, what teaching has opened up, his new work in progress, and lots more.

A review of Mammoth by Chris Flynn

Most of the human characters in the book are real, and an attempt to bring back the Wooly Mammoth is happening, as detailed in the “Epilogus hominum” in order to try and slow global warming.  Flynn does a stellar job of bringing together fantasy and history and Mammoth is a joy to read.  The book is a cautionary, bold, loving and instructive tale that is mostly historically accurate, always funny, and often poignant. 

A review of My Skin its Own Sky by Gillian Swain

My skin its own sky is an intensely honest book, one that doesn’t shirk at going into dark places or sharing what is unbearable.  But always, and throughout this gorgeous collection, in every poem, there is a moment of transformation, where pain becomes beauty. This is the power of the work—by looking and exploring these domestic, broken, and charged moments with the clarity of a poetic gaze, Gillian Swain gives them back to us whole.

A review of Becoming Lady Washington by Betty Bolté

Reading Becoming Lady Washington, one feels a little like Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice (published 1813) when she first sets eyes on Mr. Darcy’s palatial home and vast landholdings. Martha’s lifestyle on her first husband’s estate and then at Mount Vernon was similarly luxurious.

A review of Knitting Mangrove Roots by Kerri Shying

Shying’s themes are powerful and topical, exploring violence, drug use and dealing, parenting, ecological destruction, disability, prejudice, and sensual joy.  The mix is natural and compelling, working through a distinctive voice intensely, sometimes painfully honest.

A review of The Nail in the Tree by Carol Ann Davis

Davis expertly controls the narrative threads of their day-to-day reality while explaining what inspires her to write. Further into the book, these intimate details open up into a wider scope of the connection between life and art. She accomplishes this without appropriating the grief of the families with murdered children, instead Nail in the Tree tells how Davis’ life became what it is.

A review of Griffins Perch by Ian Conner

Lovers of the fantasy genre will find many of their favourite creatures in this world, each with their own stories and important parts to play in making this an outstanding fantasy adventure. There are nasty little gargoyles, and black fairies with lots of tiny teeth, trolls, elves and pixies.

A review of Shrapnel Maps by Philip Metres

An Arab-American who feels strongly about the Palestinian homeland, Metres clearly sees the complexities in the region and reflects them so succinctly and comprehensively in his poems and prose sketches, reflecting the good and bad on both sides.