Category: Book Reviews

Book Reviews

A review of Breakfast in Fur by Jessica Murray

This isn’t a book that makes decisions for the reader. Murray’s knowledge and reference to other forms of art, schools, and theories is broad enough that the reader can find their own stolen moments of either appreciation or critique. But there are consequences for not having an “intermediary structure” (Murray 51) as simple as a porch that potentially shelters a wild cat.

Amid the Glitz and Glam of Hollywood, City of Angles Just Can’t Find Its Light

We open on Vincenza Morgan, an aspiring young actress, who just so happens to have a corpse in her trunk. It’s a classic noir trope and rightfully so – the tension is immediate. As we untangle the strings that connect Vincenza to the man dead in her car – her lover, and one of the biggest stars of the screen – we explore Los Angeles and the entertainment industry.

A review of The Plotinus by Rikki Ducornet

In effortlessly elegant and comic prose, The Plotinus probes the impulses and desires that bring joy to human life while, at the same time, upending literary conventions that contemporary readers may take as immutable truths. As though she were playing with us from the title, she signals an exploration of The Plot In Us.

A review of Today in the Taxi by Sean Singer

Today in the Taxi is deceptively plain, its language is conversational and the voice used to describe its absurd situations is unembellished, often just describing things for what they are with concrete imagery. But underneath the unconcerned, detachedness of the narrator’s descriptions are deep ruminations on one’s own life, city, the lives of others, and how it all blends together.

A review of The Struggle for a Decent Politics by Michael Walzer

Liberalism may well be a sentiment, for Jews and everyone else, as Walzer argues. But it is far more than that, and we forget its political content at our peril. Liberalism forces hard political and economic choices and forecloses some options. Sentiment and moral stance, necessary though they may be, is not enough, and never has been.   

A review of The Book of Falling by David McCooey

There is no question that McCooey is a creative and sophisticated poet. In this collection he turns questions and lists into poems. He also has included various narrations and short poems which are precise and concise with manicured lines. One of the poems, “Your Life as a Movie”, cleverly shows the many ways we find meaning in life against its illogicality and incongruity.

A review of We Arrive Uninvited by Jen Knox

The author effectively balances an almost all-female cast of characters without falling prey to literary cliches or devolving into a feminist manifesto. In this intimate book centered around different ways of seeing and knowing, Knox takes on the challenge of trying to decipher the messy relationships that women have with each other and does so seamlessly while also highlighting the challenges of female agency in America over the past century.

A review of Jack Skelley’s Interstellar Theme Park: New and Selected Writing

How Skelley is able to write lines that simultaneously describe, illuminate, juxtapose, and contradict is anyone’s guess. There is an intimacy, a voyeuristic quality to this work overall, as we turn each page, as if we’ve happened upon these poems, found them stashed away in a jean jacket pocket or borrowed them from a friend, like that treasured indie rock vinyl record. The lines are meant to be savored and shared. This is a collection that slows down time, forces the reader to stop and linger awhile.