September Read of the Month: “The Smuggler’s Daughter,” by Claire Hamner Matturro

Reviewed by Marina Brown A really superb writer can gather all of the ravelings, the dozens of characters, the seemingly impossible happenstances of a novel and, in a few deftly written pages, offer us a revelatory and thoroughly satisfying denouement. And it’s not easy. Claire Matturro has, in The Smuggler’s Daughter, accomplished all of those, […]

“Buena Suerte in Red Glitter,” by Bruce Craven

Reviewed by Lei Lei In Buena Suerte in Red Glitter, Bruce Craven brings his keenly lyrical sensibility to shed new light on the modern person’s existence in a capitalist society. When the poet exclaims that “a poem is an organization. Of moments, a strategy for memory. A hope to be captured, not managed like a […]

“Scratched,” by Elizabeth Tallent

Reviewed by J.R. Davidson Elizabeth Tallent’s mother refused to hold her when she was born.  This rejection was a triggering point, subconsciously stored until years later, sending Tallent on a lifelong quest to make herself lovable.  By her mid-thirties, having written four novels and several short stories, Tallent collapsed into a “perfectionist seizure.”  She couldn’t […]

August Read of the Month: “Old Lovegood Girls,” by Gail Godwin

  Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Gail Godwin is a Southern treasure who is both critically acclaimed and commercially successful, counting five best-sellers and three finalists for the National Book Award among her many novels. Born in Alabama, raised in North Carolina, and educated at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (and later […]

“In Sun’s Shadow,” by Paul Sohar

Reviewed by Mike Foldes Paul Sohar’s latest collection, In Sun’s Shadow, divides a life into seven sections. Sohar explains in his introduction that his poems here do not appear chronologically but are grouped by their relation to general themes: War & Peace (autobiographical), The Orphan Key (riffs on the sensations of being), Insomniac Dreams (art […]

“Unlocking: A Memoir of Family and Art,” by Nancy Pressley

Reviewed by Honey Rand Ever since Mary Karr put thoughts to paper in The Liars Club sharing her personal slice of life about “growing up, crazy,” writers have amped their disclosures of people and events in memoirs. As writers, that’s what we are often coached or compelled to do; put your experience on the page. […]

“America’s Alligator,” by Doug Alderson

Review by Phil Jason Author-adventurer Doug Alderson has had a lifelong love for nature, especially that of Florida and the American South. His several books attest to his knowledge and dedication to sharing it. This latest, on the American alligator, is filled with information and enthusiasm. Indeed, it has everything a non-specialist reader would want […]

“The Devil’s Bones,” by Carolyn Haines

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Best-selling, award-winning author Carolyn Haines writes wickedly entertaining, intelligent, and consistently compelling books, some dark, some cozy, some spiritual, and some just plain fun. In her prolific and diverse writing career, she has authored more than eighty books, including several series and one nonfiction publication. Inducted into the Alabama Writers’ […]