December Read of the Month: “Wins and Losses,” by Peter Makuck

Reviewed by Brendan Galvin Wins and Losses is Peter Makuck’s fourth collection of short stories, a dozen to be exact, and as in the earlier three books his settings are mostly blue collar towns and his characters are usually middle-class Americans, sometimes retired, sometimes trying to get by in questionable financial weather. Makuck was a […]

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 […]

July Read of the Month: “Noah’s Wife,” by Lindsay Starck

Reviewed by Sean Ennis Lindsay Starck’s debut novel, Noah’s Wife, centers on a town inexplicably inundated with a soaking, seemingly never-ending rain. The subsequent flooding threatens the local economy and tests the faith of the community in terms of whether to see the storm through (the rain must end sometime, right?) or abandon the town […]

June Read of the Month: “Damn Yankees,” by George C. Rable

Reviewed by Joshua S. Fullman From cinematic accounts alone, one might be tempted to conclude that the American Civil War brought out the better angels of our nature instead of our devils. Indeed, one does not need to go all the way back to Selznick’s Gone With the Wind to find romantic portraits of nineteenth-century […]

March Read of the Month: “Driftwood Tides,” by Gina Holmes

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl The American poet Hart Crane wrote in a late letter that “[t]here is constantly an inward struggle.”   More often than not such is the case with any artist, novelist, poet, sculptor, or wood-worker.  Inside the soul, inside the imagination, there’s a stirring, a warring, contradictions of personality, affirmation, enthusiasm, skepticism […]

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 […]

Mark Mustian Discusses His Latest Book, The Gendarme

Written by Donna Meredith A desire to understand the dark force that allows people to participate in a genocide led Mark Mustian to choose a Turk rather than an Armenian as the narrator of his novel, The Gendarme. The choice may appear unusual at first, since Mustian is of Armenian heritage himself. “Perhaps it comes […]

October Read of the Month – Sacred Ties: From West Point Brothers to Battlefield Rivals, by Tom Carhart

Sacred Ties: From West Point Brothers to Battlefield Rivals: A True Story of the Civil War Reviewed by Philip K. Jason Subtitled “From West Point Brothers to Battlefield Rivals: A True Story of the Civil War,” Sacred Ties, by Tom Carhart, aims to envision what is otherwise familiar material through a new lens. Though Civil […]