Category: Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Environmental Justice: Nature and Nation, Wealth and Waste in Carl A. Zimring’s scholarship (Clean and White)

Some questions remain.  How will different perspectives be reconciled?  How will a nation’s citizens conserve what is good, while achieving progress beyond what is bad?  How will people get what they need from the earth, while still protecting the land—and respecting all its people?  True prophecy is rare—and arrogance can lead to destruction.

A review of Dark Signal by Shannon Baker

It’s January and absolutely frigid in Fox’s world. Her little town of Hodgekiss really exists with one bar/restaurant, a new vet but no doctor, and eccentric, white characters who either work for the railroad or are ranchers. A few refer to ‘yotes, which intrigued me as I’ve never heard it before. It’s the dimunitive version of coyotes.

A review of The Ninja’s Daughter and Betrayal at IGA by Susan Spann

Spann skillfully navigates us through a large cast and new setting with multiple pivotal locations, as well as Hiro’s hidden emotional landscape. As the investigation goes on, tensions between Iga and Koga escalate. The flashpoint is coming; daggers and katana swords are drawn, Hiro and Neko grapple, and when it finally happens, the book’s title takes on more than one meaning.

A review of The Choke by Sofie Laguna

As has become something of a trademark for Laguna, Justine’s voice forms the narrative backdrop for the book. It’s an extraordinary combination of naïve, descriptive, and poetically dense, driving the reader through a story often harrowing and dark, but always with a sense of discovery.

A review of Be Still the Water by Karen Emilson

Be Still the Water is full of nuance, small moments that add dimension to the larger story. It’s the story of a family and how that family helped to build a community in a brand-new place. It’s the story of a young girl and how she was the anchor of her family in so many ways.

A review of LopLop in a Red City by Kenneth Pobo

The flight motif is also apparent and points to the necessity of progress (as in becoming a better self). This advice at first glance is self-evident, something that we all, or most of us, already know. But there is depth to Pobo’s poetry and that is why it is worth subsequent glances.

A review of The Museum of Words by Georgia Blain

The Museum of Words is a story about language and how it’s able to move between and beyond the constriction of time. At one point, Blain talks about the light coming in – a dawning awareness of the privilege of life.  In this The Museum of Words is a universal story which encompasses all of our frailty and impending demise and encourages all of us to be grateful for the little time we have.

A review of The Dark Net by Benjamin Percy

Percy’s skill as a novelist shines throughout The Dark Net. Each of his quirky, yet believable, characters are given interesting backgrounds and compelling motivations. The story is fast-paced, action-packed, and—at more junctures than I could count—intense to a delightfully uncomfortable degree.

A review of A Miscellany of Diverse Things by Philip Kobylarz

Many of the poems in the collection challenge the identity of the object in question. A loaf of bread becomes spies wearing raincoats, soap becomes dirty, and maps become the very cause of being lost. The dichotomous nature of the writing allows one to ponder about how the identity of something changes as it finishes its assigned purpose.