Essays & Anthologies Book Reviews

FAR AND AWAY by Andrew Solomon
Released: April 19, 2016

"Agile, informative, even revelatory pieces that, together, show us both the great variety of humanity and the interior of a gifted writer's heart."
A veteran journalist and travel writer collects pieces dating back to the late 1980s. Read full book review >
Released: April 12, 2016

"Boilen's warm, engaging voice pervades this treat for music aficionados."
Interviews with nearly three dozen musicians about the life-altering songs that inspired their musical careers. Read full book review >

WIND SPRINTS by Joseph Epstein
Released: April 7, 2016

"Another subtitle might have been Healthful Snacks, for these bite-size pieces are both enjoyable to ingest and good for you."
A master of the essay form returns with a collection of brief pieces spanning nearly 20 years, 1996 to 2015. Read full book review >
CRUSH by Cathy Alter
Released: April 5, 2016

"The seemingly lightweight premise of an anthology built around celebrity crushes yields an outstanding selection of poignant and thought-provoking stories."
A few dozen writers recall their childhood infatuations with celebrated media stars or iconic characters (literary or animated) and how these crushes influenced their future lives. Read full book review >
THE GIRLS IN MY TOWN by Angela Morales
Released: April 1, 2016

"Essays that are as thematically ambitious as they are deeply personal."
Morales (English/Glendale Community Coll.) debuts with a compellingly rendered collection of essays, the winner of the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize.Read full book review >

Somehow I Am Different by Alyssa Petersel
Released: March 17, 2016

"A journey through the lives of young Eastern European Jews that's not to be missed."
Petersel's debut explores the revitalization of the Hungarian Jewish community in 21 oral histories of millennial Jews. Read full book review >
Released: March 15, 2016

"Wise, fresh, captivating essays."
Radiant essays inspired by "slivers and bits" of real women's lives. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 2016

"A shrewd, illuminating, and entertaining exploration of the twisted roots of writerly creativity."
Behind the gangsters, corrupt plutocrats, stoic gumshoes, and femmes fatales hovers Dr. Sigmund Freud, who masterminds the mayhem in classic private-eye stories, according to this study in Freudian lit-crit. Read full book review >
LIVING ON PAPER by Iris Murdoch
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"An impressively edited, sharply revealing life in letters."
An intimate view of the prolific British novelist and philosopher. Read full book review >
HALLOW THIS GROUND by Colin Rafferty
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"Though fixed on what remains of some of history's darkest moments, Rafferty's essays, both gripping and wonderfully reflective, illuminate."
Moving reflections on the literal remembrance of acts too significant to forget. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"With lively, colorful writing and inspired practical advice, this guide earns a spot along with Clark's Writing Tools (2006) as essential reading for writers. Recommended for book lovers as well."
Just when you think Poynter Institute senior scholar Clark, who has written some of the best books on the writer's craft, has covered everything related to the subject, he digs deep into literature and excavates a gold mine of artistic strategies for great writing. Read full book review >
SHAME AND WONDER by David Searcy
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"Ultimately, meaning and mystery coexist in Searcy's mind, and his offbeat, exciting writing will resonate with readers for whom 'you never know' and 'who knew?' might be mantras."
A Texas essayist goes looking for meaning in all the right places. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Emma Straub
May 30, 2016

In Emma Straub’s new novel Modern Lovers, friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch (of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool) to their own offspring. Back in the band’s heyday, Elizabeth put on a snarl over her Midwestern smile, Andrew let his unwashed hair grow past his chin, and Zoe was the lesbian all the straight women wanted to sleep with. Now nearing fifty, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn, and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. But the summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adult lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose—about themselves, and about the famous fourth band member who soared and fell without them—can never be reclaimed. “Straub’s characters are a quirky and interesting bunch, well aware of their own good fortune, and it’s a pleasure spending time with them in leafy Ditmas Park,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >