Apr/May 2010

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

Reviews & Interviews

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

Ann Skea reviews...

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
by Helen Simonson

From the moment that 68-year-old Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired) answers the doorbell wearing a clematis-patterned housecoat, it is clear that he is not your usual romantic hero. Nor is Mrs Jasmina Ali, the Muslim owner of the village Supersaver Supermart (the name says much about recent changes in village England), your run-of-the mill heroine.

Gilbert Wesley Purdy reviews...

by Sue Sinclair

But there are hints everywhere that Sue Sinclair is impressed by her smallness, her vulnerability, and at least one hint that, in moments yet too vague to find their place in her poetry, she feels called upon to write poems much too big for her.

Lao-tzu's Taoteching: with selected commentaries of the past 2,ooo years
Translation by Red Pine

While the first four lines of Red Pine's translation might warm the cockles of a Rush Limbaugh's reputed heart, on the other hand, the rest of the verse makes them utterly unusable as contemporary political or ideological fodder.

Tanya Tweete reviews...

From a Mother's Bookshelf: Spring Titles for the Little Ones
by Various Authors

Everyone will enjoy Novak's Seussian style of illustrations. The pictures are so vibrant, emotional and detailed, it will take you awhile to be able to turn the page because the kids will be finding all the little treasures in the artwork. The wild illustrations seamlessly match the out of this out-of-this-world title.

Niranjana Iyer reviews...

Secret Keeper
by Mitali Perkins

If I had to use just one word to describe Secret Keeper, it'd be "unputdownable"; the other time I locked myself into a bathroom so I wouldn't be disturbed while reading, I was thirteen and clutching a Sidney Sheldon between damp palms.

Colleen Mondor reviews...

Books that Capture Truly Historic Moments
by Various Authors

All of them have some origin in what transpired between 1914 and 1918; the last great war of global aggression changed everything for the century that followed. And yet it receives less attention from teachers than the Pilgrims... This completely drives me crazy.

Books about the Kings of Baseball
by Various Authors

The book includes several exciting game moments as Aaron fulfils his dreams but fans of the game will take away a more significant story as they learn just how difficult it was for him and for all African American players for years after Jackie Robinson.

Books that Provide Way New Perspectives on the Civil War
by Various Authors

Textbooks are, to be frank, remarkable mostly for their dullness and we all know it. Sheinkin and Robinson have hit on a fantastic formula of short chapters focused on interesting historic figures (many completely overlooked) with witty asides, pithy illustrations and a continuously forward moving narrative. These books never slow down and really, history shouldn't. There is plenty in the Civil War to keep a reader riveted and it's all here, from the commanders in the field to the spies to the abolitionists and politicians.

Vivekanand Jha interviews...

Jayanta Mahapatra

During election time they do visit the villages once, and next five years nothing happens. The same poverty. They sell their children to keep their own stomachs. Mothers sell their daughters, fathers sell their daughters. Even today it's happening. Especially in Orissa and the interior of India.

Diane Lockward interviews...

Penolope Scambly Schott

Moving to Oregon required that I become a new person. For years the center of my life had been a large oak tree at the intersection of four soybean fields uphill from home. I almost believed someone had buried my umbilical cord under that tree. Even as I packed up my life and watched the moving van carry it away, I felt the oak pulling me back.

Chloe Yelena Miller interviews...

Jee Leong Koh

There is a danger of writing what pleases the crowd because the immediate response is so gratifying. One may stick to a particular style or theme that has proven to be popular, and so limit one's poetic development. Or one may accentuate the well-received aspects of one's writing, and so distort the form of the original inspiration. When I read in public, I choose poems that the audience will grasp readily. When I write, I try to make sense slowly to myself.

Elizabeth P. Glixman interviews...

Muriel Prince

I loved the idea of "wearing" a book, particularly one whose focus is on a journey of some sort. I love to sew, particularly patchwork, and that seemed the ideal form to represent the fragmented texts within the books.