November Read of the Month: “Tampa Bay Noir,” edited by Colette Bancroft

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Akashic Books has long made a name for itself with an impressive string of award-winning original noir anthologies; thus, it is no surprise that its latest, Tampa Bay Noir, continues in that edgy, first-rate, compellingly dark tradition. Edited by Tampa Bay Times Book Critic Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Noir contains […]

October Read of the Month: “Second Blooming,” edited by Susan Cushman

Reviewed by Robert Kostuck “I was given a second chance, as were others in this anthology. Some of their lives were changed by trauma, some by incarceration, some by the loss of a loved one, some by marriages gone wrong or by new careers gone right.” —Susan Cushman “The explorer who will not come back […]

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, […]

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 […]

July Read of the Month: “The Archive of Alternative Endings,” by Lindsey Drager

Reviewed by Donna Meredith How to describe it? Exquisite. Literary. Experimental. Perfect in its own unique way, The Archive of Alternative Endings is unlike any other novel I’ve ever read. It’s different. Really different. It doesn’t have a plot, not in the usual sense. The characters don’t invite you to crawl into their skin, walk […]

June Read of the Month: “Buried Seeds,” by Donna Meredith

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Women through the ages have had to choose between their own needs and those of their families. In her newest book, Buried Seeds (Wild Women Writers, April 2020), award-winning author Donna Meredith takes this basic conflict further by asking how much two women will risk to take strong stands on […]

May Read of the Month: “Fly Fishing in Times Square,” by William Walsh

Reviewed by Claire Bateman  …[C]onsciousness needs the world and other people to develop, but then it can grow and exist on its own; once external relations become internal, the universe exists from within…”  Marcello Massimini and Giulo Tononi, Sizing Up Consciousness “What happens when imagination confronts the universe?” Walsh explores this instigating question by revealing […]

April Read of the Month: “To the Bones,” by Valerie Nieman

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Edgy suspense, Scottish paranormal legend, and a beautiful river transformed into a wicked orange brew—these ingredients in the skilled hands of journalist Valerie Nieman create a whip-smart novel, To the Bones (West Virginia University Press, 2019). The story presents a classic hero’s quest in which an ordinary person discovers new strengths […]