December Read of the Month: “Want v. Need: Stories from Pottawatomie County,” 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, Third Lung Press presents a collection that reminds us how rich, how enriching, and how truly American this form is. Want v. Need: Stories from Pottawatomie County is […]

November Read of the Month: “A Hanging at Cinder Bottom,” by Glenn Taylor

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Glenn Taylor’s new over-the-top caper sparkles with cinematic scenes begging to be transformed into film. A Hanging at Cinder Bottom: A Novel (Tin House Books) is primarily set in West Virginia coal country with occasional forays into Baltimore. The white-faced monkey depicted on the cover plays a role in a story […]

October Read of the Month: “Reading Life,” by Michael Pearson

Reviewed by Elisabeth Aiken In Reading Life, Michael Pearson paraphrases a famous writer’s definition of an essayist as “a self-liberated man with the childish belief that everything he thinks about, every one of his experiences, will be fascinating to others.” While that definition is not wholly flattering, it is applicable to Pearson as the author […]

September Read of the Month: “The Wiregrass,” by Pam Webber

Reviewed by Phil Jason It’s 1969 and helicopters drum above the town of Crystal Springs, Alabama twice a day. At ten each morning they leave Fort Rucker for a training field: Field 10. Twelve hours later, the choppers leave in formation to make the return trip. The scheduled explosions of light and noise define the […]

August Read of the Month: “Glimmerglass,” by Marly Youmans

Reviewed by Tara Mettler Marly Youmans’s novel Glimmerglass is a mash-up of the gothic romance, fairy tale, and late-in-life coming-of-age genres. We are taken to the village of Cooper Patent, a town peppered with odd characters and described by one of its villagers as “the most eccentric place I’ve ever lived.” Cynthia Sorrel, a middle-aged […]

July Read of the Month: “A Tree Born Crooked,” by Steph Post

Reviewed by Phil Jason I almost missed this one, which is among the most original and striking Florida novels I’ve encountered in my almost nine years of walking this beat. No gorgeously hued Sunshine State here. This is the Florida of grit and grime state: the North Florida that is really Southern, rather than the […]

June Read of the Month: “Song of the Vagabond Bird,” by Terry Kay

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Novels about male bonding are fairly unusual—unless the band of brothers emerges from war. Armed conflict plays no part in Terry Kay’s latest novel, though the major characters are all wounded. Not by guns or I.E.D.’s. By women. Lost love. Crushing guilt. Georgia Hall of Fame writer Terry Kay has written […]

May Read of the Month: “Study of Scarletts,” by Margaret Donovan Bauer

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Think you know everything there is to know about Scarlett O’Hara? Not so fast! Margaret Donovan Bauer’s newest book will likely have you reexamining the true nature of this American icon. Bauer’s intelligent analysis of five novels with strong female characters in A Study of Scarletts: Scarlett O’Hara and Her Literary […]