Season of the Dragonflies by Sarah Creech

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Sarah Creech’s first novel, Season of the Dragonflies (William Morrow 2014), is a beautiful book and mesmerizing story. The story is about the Lenore women and their perfumery in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and it is, as the synopsis promises, “a beguiling tale of practical magic, old secrets, and new love.”  Continue reading

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Review of Louisiana Purchase by Elizabeth Burk

Here, in Charlotte, North Carolina, early winter is grey with rain and clouds and cold. And something about the color of the sky makes me miss Louisiana. I picked up Louisiana Purchase by Elizabeth Burk (Yellow Flag Press 2014), and while I hoped that it would quell my craving for roux-based poetry, I did not know how fully it would suit.

YFP-124 Cover final

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Notes to a Husband by J. Bruce Fuller

Notes cover

When I was reading J. Bruce Fuller’s Notes to a Husband this summer, I was also moving in with my boyfriend. And while Fuller’s chapbook is about a relationship ending, there is so much wisdom in these short notes from a wife to her husband that rather than finding a guide to ending a relationship, I found reminders of how to be fully in one. And yes, this is a composition of loss, but it’s also a guide to mindfulness.

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Catastrophe Theory by Susan Yount and By Fire by Jessica Cuello

Self-defined as a two-woman operation, Hyacinth Girl Press (HPG) is micro-press that publishes up to six handmade poetry chapbooks per year. After being introduced to its editor, Margaret Bashaar at AWP 2014, Bashaar asked what kind of poetry I write, and in the haze of the AWP Bookfair, I completely failed at selling myself. Fortunately, Bashaar was much better at selling her press and convinced me to buy two of its chapbooks: Catastrophe Theory by Susan Yount (2012) and By Fire by Jessica Cuello (2013).

By Fire copy Catastrophe Theory

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The Unincorporated Man by Dany & Eytan Kollin

The Unincorporated ManI stumbled across The Unincorporated Man by brothers Dani and Eytan Kollin in my GoodReads recommendations a few weeks ago and the description immediately piqued my interest. The Unincorporated Man explores issues around social justice, individualism, and freedom. As an enthusiastic reader of Saint Augustine, Kant, Locke, and Rawls you might see the immediate appeal the Kollin brothers’ utopian / dystopian future of social, political, and economic equality of opportunity holds for me.

The Kollin brothers craft an intriguing socio-economic future which literally left me riveted to the edge of my seat for the first third of the novel. If you just burst out laughing over the visual of someone eagerly yearning for macro-economics, my only defense is at least I fly my nerd flag openly. Nevertheless, I think you will agree the economic system and world building of The Unincorporated Man almost singularly makes it a compelling novel. Continue reading

This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz

This Is How You Lose HerA week or two ago, a friend of mine on Facebook posted a link to an article that focused on overrated writers.  At the bottom of the article was a slideshow breaking down the literary crimes of fifteen different authors.  Their sins, according to the writer of the article, range from obscurantism to over-specificity.  Mid-way through this slideshow – which was already chockfull of writers I love and admire – up popped a picture of my current literary objet d’amour. Continue reading