Category: Book Reviews

Book Reviews

A review of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate You Give is a story of both justice and injustice, love and family. This book will have you laughing one minute and crying the next. An exquisite novel, I would recommend to not only YA but adults as well. This novel has a powerful message which needs to be spread.

A review of Crossing the Threshold by Katalin Kennedy

To write a novel so replete with historical and geographic information requires both research ability and personal experience. Author Katalin Kennedy, a graduate of Carleton University in Ottawa, is a Canadian of Hungarian background who took many coach tours with her husband over a forty year period, seeing much of Britain and continental Europe.

A review of That Strapless Bra in Heaven by Sarah Sarai

Many of Sarai’s lines have the declarative emphasis of aphorisms. “Easier to make an enemy than beef Wellington” begins the poem, “Call Me Sheena.” “Tenderness isn’t necessary but there it is / like a chemical we write to Congress about,” she writes in “Not Simple Is Joy nor Cosmology.” “Wedding planners are a food group,” she writes in “A Scarlet Moss,” “So is roast beef.”

A review of Axiomatic by Maria Tumarkin

Axiomatic is a gorgeous, difficult and extraordinary book that demands deep engagement from the reader. Tumarkin’s humility, dark humour, scholarship, and above all, the empathy with which she connects her own experience to that of her subjects and ultimately to that of the reader creates a tapestry that is moving, powerful, and important. This is a book that seeps under the skin, changing perception.  It’s vital reading.

A review of The Grace of Distance by Matthew Thorburn

The Grace of Distance  has an immediate appeal with a parabola of terse phrases and expressions turning into maxims. The poems of the first section have a wider spectrum of portraying the human emotions, drawing upon the spiritual wanderings through the labyrinths of one’s mind or hint of rebirth or reincarnation of human souls, as propounded by Lord Buddha.

A review of Asylum Garden: after Van Gogh by Alan Catlin

As Catlin himself notes, Asylum Garden “is a book about seeing: what we see and how we see it.” Like his previous volumes, Wild Beauty and American Odyssey, Catlin’s poems here are inspired by artists and photographers. Blue Velvet and Hollyweird, two other recent collections, similarly find inspiration in grade B movies.

A review of Nina’s Memento Mori by Mathias Freese

Nina Wingard Freese was a retired special education teacher of autistic students who died as a result of ALS – Lou Gehrig’s disease. Contemplative and enhanced with photographs, the book presents Nina as a little girl and again several more times as she is growing up and as a young mother and then as a handsome, mature woman.

A review of The Land of Last Chances by Joan Cohen

It is fascinating to watch Jeanne’s character transformation. Early in the novel, she is businesslike, professional, and analytical. She wishes to get things done quickly so she can get back to work. But slowly, cracks in that façade emerge, and she learns human emotions are not business transactions or “deals” to be made.