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Oct/Nov 2009

e c l e c t i c a   r e v i e w s   a n d
i n t e r v i e w s

Reviews & Interviews


(These are excerpts—click on the title to view the whole piece!)

 

Gilbert Purdy reviews...

Reality Check
by Dennis O’Driscoll
 
He is no more a poet of doom than he is of manic flights. The poem that follows this one is about bread and butter—an every day, ordinary joy of life remembered with special fondness by anyone who has lived long enough to eat bread that has been made by hand.

How Beautiful the Beloved
by Gregory Orr
 
Who, after all, goes through a life-changing mystical conversion and then goes back to writing standard fare? Gregory Orr is a mystical poet: the prophet of the great collectively authored Book of our humanity. All the pieces fit for him and his readers adding a sense of richness to their lives.

 

Niranjana Iyer reviews...

Seven Wheelchairs
by Gary Presley
 
Unable to look beyond the unreason of his condition, an embittered Presley asked his father, “Do you think God wants me in this wheelchair?” The response was an honest if unhelpful “How should I know?” The tension between religion and reality, an omnipotent God and hapless subject, is one of the central conflicts in this work, and carried through till the surprising resolution near the book’s conclusion.

 

Tanya Twete reviews...

Books from a Mother's Bookshelf
by Various Authors
 
This is a book that parents, thankfully, won't mind reading over and over again and I have recommended it to all my friends.

 

Jill Noel Shreve reviews...

The Spare Room
by Helen Garner
 
Lies abound in the plot, lies about Nicola's health, about the cancer treatment, about her longevity, about her ability and until Helen demands the truth—that the death of her Nicola is near.

 

Colleen Mondor reviews...

American Tales for the Younger Set
by Various Authors
 
I can still—thirty years later—recite the states and capitals in alphabetical order. Other than winning a few bar games and rounds of Trivial Pursuit, this knowledge has not helped me in any way. It does however send me back to the fifth grade every single time I think about it and how we had to draw the state birds and fill in maps with appropriate symbols. (I can not draw; all my birds looked like feather covered lizards—and that is being generous.)

A Season for Dying: A Quartet of Mystery Novels
by Various Authors
 
They are brutal but brainy which basically means they are a couple of very human heroes. I wish they would make this into a television series (and not screw it up). If you read one new series this year then Limon's is the one.

The Scenic Route
by Binnie Kirshenbaum
 
Masterful in its execution, riveting in its expertise, on the smallest scale The Scenic Route is the story of a relationship. But as all adults know, who we are together is only part of the equation; it is everyone else we have been, all who live in our past, every moment touched by our hearts in the way of romance or family or friendship that forms the person we can be in any couple. Is it "women's fiction" for Binnie Kirshenbaum to know this essential human truth? Please.

Nature Titles for Middle Graders (and Maybe Younger)
by Various Authors
 
Beebe's life was awesome—just flat out awesome—and it is recounted here from an idyllic childhood in late 19th century New Jersey (where his parents moved from New York City to encourage his love of nature) that included animal collecting, plant and rock collections and the development of his very own natural history museum in his bedroom.

Revolutionary Tales
by Various Authors
 
I am constantly surprised by how after so many years of learning the Revolution there can still be significant stories that escaped me.

 

Elizabeth P. Glixman interviews...

Ron McLarty
author of The Dropper
 
In order to play a variety of roles, a character actor develops a little spot in the corner of the brain where he stores those primal observations, the idiosyncrasies of everyday people. So I subconsciously found myself studying folks everywhere I went and filing the information in my big head.

 

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