“Riding on Comets,” by Cat Pleska

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Though her family was hardly perfect, Cat Pleska leaves readers feeling uplifted rather than grungy from being dragged through the dirty laundry in her memoir, Riding on Comets. In part, the warm tone results because she never doubted that her parents wanted the best for her. Without words, they implied that she […]

“Crum,” by Lee Maynard

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Even though the West Virginia town I grew up in is nothing—nothing—like the town of 219 residents Lee Maynard describes in his 1988 novel Crum, I related strongly to this coming-of-age story. The novel is now, deservedly, in its third printing through Vandalia/WVU Press. It is the first volume of a […]

“Fetish and Other Stories,” Second Edition, by Amy Susan Wilson

Reviewed by William Bernhardt Just when the cynics begin to wonder if the short story as a literary form is lost, moribund, or permanently encased in amber, The Balkan Press presents a collection that reminds us how rich, how enriching, and how truly American this form is. Fetish and Other Stories is the second edition […]

August Read of the Month: “Hopscotch,” by Steve Cushman

Reviewed by Claire Matturro Someone draws a hopscotch board on a sidewalk by a hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina. The hospital CEO with a Grinch persona orders it cleared off and a recently released felon, John Deaver, glad for his job as a janitor, erases it. But the chalk hopscotch board reappears on the sidewalk—again […]

“The Southern Philosopher: Collected Essays of John William Corrington,” Edited by Allen Mendenhall

Reviewed by Jay Langdale  Poet, attorney and film-writer John William Corrington was an enigmatic artist whose life (1932-1988) spanned a pivotal era in the history of Southern letters.  Raised Catholic during the Great Depression, Corrington attended Centenary College and completed a graduate degree in Renaissance literature from Rice University as well as a D.Phil from […]

“By the Numbers,” by Jen Lancaster

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl The summer reading season is upon us; park-goers and beach-goers and vacation-goers and back-yard goers are relaxing with sun screen (we hope) and sun glasses and books and magazines.  Children will frolic. So much tonic for the spirit these lovely warm days; more so when readers look for wit and […]

“Miss Julia Weathers the Storm,” by Ann B. Ross

Reviewed by Johnnie Bernhard Ann B. Ross, New York Times bestselling author of the “Miss Julia” series, returns with the eighteenth installment, Miss Julia Weathers the Storm. And like the seventeen books before, this comic southern tale makes for great summer reading as protagonist Miss Julie battles a hurricane during a trip to the beach with […]

“The Ex-Suicide,” by Katherine Clark

  Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl A few brief words on this novel’s title, first of all, since it philosophically “lurks.” We know that Walker Percy was no stranger to suicide with a good list of his family members having taken their own lives, and with Percy himself suffering from melancholy, an ailment different from […]