June Read of the Month: “Coyote Loop,” by L. C. Fiore

Reviewed by Donna Meredith If you like larger-than-life, irascible, narcissistic, rich, foul-mouthed muckspouts—think Tony Soprano—you will like the narrator of L. C. Fiore’s Coyote Loop. Granted, the setting is totally different. The trading floor of a Chicago Board Options Exchange. The beginning of the 2008 recession. But John Andrew Ganzi, also known as JAG, rules […]

“Country Dark” by Chris Offutt and “Dry County” by Jake Hinkson

Reviewed by Thomas O’Grady Recently, I read Daniel Woodrell’s novel Winter’s Bone (2006), the basis for the feature film of the same name that I declined to see when it was released in 2010: I knew its premise from reviews, and my soul didn’t want to descend into the abyss of the crystal meth-ravaged subculture […]

“Incognito,” by Terry Lewis

Reviewed by Claire Matturro Incognito (Moonshine Cove Publishing 2021) by Terry Lewis is a riveting, high-stakes adventure story with accurate, well-drawn history about the birth of the United States. Set in the early days of the American Revolution, the tale captures the tensions and conflicts of the time in compelling action and narrative. Lewis, a […]

“A Common Person and Other Stories,” by R. M. Kinder

Reviewed by C. D. Albin At first glance, characters in R. M. Kinder’s A Common Person and Other Stories appear ordinary enough.  Their occupations are quotidian—students, professors, retirees, an occasional factory worker or attorney—and outwardly their lives circumscribe regular routes and routines. Inwardly, however, Kinder’s characters are quietly rebellious, pushing back against louder, more forceful […]

C. D. Albin

C. D. Albin is author of the award-winning story collection Hard Toward Home (Press 53) and the poetry collection Axe, Fire, Mule (Golden Antelope Press). He has contributed nonfiction to a number of publications, including American Book Review, Georgia Review, and Harvard Review. For many years he has taught writing and literature at Missouri State […]

May Read of the Month: “The Tender Grave,” by Sheri Reynolds

Reviewed by Donna Meredith The Tender Grave, by Sheri Reynolds, not only offers interesting characters and strong imagery, but it also builds an unusual level of tension and suspense for a literary novel. Witness this early passage: She hadn’t been to bed, not all night, and though she’d brushed her teeth before she left, her […]

“The Favorite Daughter,” by Patti Callahan Henry

Reviewed by Becca Spence Dobias The Favorite Daughter begins with a shocking inciting incident—one that immediately hooks readers. After laying this exciting groundwork, however, the writing begins to feel predictable. The main character, Colleen, feels like someone we’ve read before—the cynical New Yorker, burned by betrayal, commitment-phobic, and married to her work. When news of […]

April Read of the Month: “The Memory House,” by Rachel Hauck

Reviewed by Honey Rand Three years ago, while training for a half-marathon, I listened to zombie books. I know, blasphemy, right? Audio and zombies, how low could I go? Then there is the success of Fifty Shades of Gray and its sequels in print and the movies. I can’t tell you the times I’ve heard […]