April Read of the Month: “Oh, Florida: How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country,” by Craig Pittman

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro With Oh, Florida, a book that defies easy categorization, award-winning journalist Craig Pittman has penned a definite winner. Oh, Florida is nonfiction, though its legends and lore add a devilish charm and a wicked-fast pace more commonly associated with Florida thrillers and their motifs of death, crime and gore; their […]

March Read of the Month: “The Last Treasure,” by Erika Marks

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Erika Marks’s latest novel, The Last Treasure, is a delicious romance, well-timed to capitalize on the current Hamilton frenzy. Hamilton assassin Aaron Burr’s daughter Theodosia is one of those lost aboard the Patriot, a schooner which disappeared without a trace in 1813 off the Carolina coast during a storm. The novel’s […]

February Read of the Month: “Kiss of the Jewel Bird,” by Dale Cramer

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl All things being equal: Possessed by spiritual dissatisfaction, or a hunger for knowledge or mastery, Faust makes a pact with the devil. It’s an old legend, of course, with tales told as early as the 1500s, and the stuff of drama, Marlowe and Goethe, and then Thomas Mann. The Faustian […]

January Read of the Month: “The Ocean’s Edge,” by William Bernhardt

Reviewed by Carl Sennhenn  No one perhaps would suspect, surely not expect, the author of acclaimed and prize-winning mystery novels to write and publish poetry.  But William Bernhardt, the author of the successful Ben Kincaid series, has done just that with two volumes of poetry, The White Bird and now The Ocean’s Edge.  If The […]

November Read of the Month: “Don’t Try,” by Nathan Brown and Jon Dee Graham

Reviewed by William Bernhardt Though many contemporary poets pen wonderful work, this is not an age characterized by innovation. The free verse/blank verse modern poem looks much the same from one page to the next. Consequently, when a couple of artists jointly produce something genuinely innovative, we should all sit up and notice. This is just […]

October Read of the Month: “Edge of the Wind,” by James E. Cherry

Reviewed by Ryan Guth I was watching an episode of The West Wing a few nights ago on Netflix. As a group of President Bartlet’s staffers walked into a blues club in DC, I suddenly found myself thinking that would have amused an acquaintance of mine … only I couldn’t quite recall his name. Then […]

September Read of the Month: “Book of the Beloved,” by Carolyn Haines

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro The amazing Carolyn Haines is at it again. The compelling, complex and darkly fascinating Book of the Beloved illustrates all over again just how talented and versatile the award-winning Haines is as a writer. Beloved is a book you won’t be able to put down, Southern to the core, and […]

August Read of the Month: “Punch,” by Ray McManus

Reviewed by William Bernhardt I should have seen it coming. The book opens with an epigraph from Philip Levine that provides fair warning: “You’ve never done something simple, so obvious…because you don’t know what work is.” That quote is a clear indicator of the informative and enlightening pleasures to be found in Ray McManus’s fascinating […]