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WAVES

A sublime poetry collection with a simple message: Embrace the ebb and flow of existence.

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This volume of poetry examines the various interpretations of the word waves and how they connect the author to the natural world.

Waves play a significant role in many of the collection’s poems. They range from the tiny waves on the sand in “Night Sense” that bind Thomas to the world around her to the “tidal waves of tears” in her friend’s eyes in “You’re Not Alone” and the waves of light in “Lions and Lizards” that emanate from within everyone and are created through experience and enlightenment. But perhaps the most powerful utilization of the word comes in “Midsummer’s Night,” in which the Canadian poet is engaged in sacred communion with the planet and the universe during a summer evening. The poem begins with a desire, a wish: “I want to absorb this night, / take in every morsel / of the full cheeks of the moon; / swallow whole the falling stars.” But the piece ends with Thomas understanding her want as actually something essential, a requirement to sustain her being: “I need fluidity, / so the waves can pass through me; / waves of the moon rays / glinting from the bay, / the song in the poplars, / and the silvery wind / playing across the wheat tops.” Another narrative thread running throughout this tapestry of poems is the use of nature and wildlife imagery taken from the poet’s quiet existence by the Otonabee River in central Ontario. For example, Thomas deftly immerses readers in her memory of every summer “that always ends just as it’s peaking” in “September Market,” with meticulous descriptions of place: “One minute it’s watermelon, / and the next, pumpkin squash on laden down tables / at the chilly fall fair. / The corn waits in its husk. / Crickets sing through the dusk / that comes so much earlier now. / The ducks are leaving the pond / to follow the bright, warm sun.”

A sublime poetry collection with a simple message: Embrace the ebb and flow of existence.

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2022

ISBN: 9781777283711

Page Count: 112

Publisher: PAJE Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 19, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2023

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A WEALTH OF PIGEONS

A CARTOON COLLECTION

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

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The veteran actor, comedian, and banjo player teams up with the acclaimed illustrator to create a unique book of cartoons that communicates their personalities.

Martin, also a prolific author, has always been intrigued by the cartoons strewn throughout the pages of the New Yorker. So when he was presented with the opportunity to work with Bliss, who has been a staff cartoonist at the magazine since 1997, he seized the moment. “The idea of a one-panel image with or without a caption mystified me,” he writes. “I felt like, yeah, sometimes I’m funny, but there are these other weird freaks who are actually funny.” Once the duo agreed to work together, they established their creative process, which consisted of working forward and backward: “Forwards was me conceiving of several cartoon images and captions, and Harry would select his favorites; backwards was Harry sending me sketched or fully drawn cartoons for dialogue or banners.” Sometimes, he writes, “the perfect joke occurs two seconds before deadline.” There are several cartoons depicting this method, including a humorous multipanel piece highlighting their first meeting called “They Meet,” in which Martin thinks to himself, “He’ll never be able to translate my delicate and finely honed droll notions.” In the next panel, Bliss thinks, “I’m sure he won’t understand that the comic art form is way more subtle than his blunt-force humor.” The team collaborated for a year and created 150 cartoons featuring an array of topics, “from dogs and cats to outer space and art museums.” A witty creation of a bovine family sitting down to a gourmet meal and one of Dumbo getting his comeuppance highlight the duo’s comedic talent. What also makes this project successful is the team’s keen understanding of human behavior as viewed through their unconventional comedic minds.

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-26289-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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A HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN TWELVE SHIPWRECKS

Gibbins combines historical knowledge with a sense of adventure, making this book a highly enjoyable package.

A popular novelist turns his hand to historical writing, focusing on what shipwrecks can tell us.

There’s something inherently romantic about shipwrecks: the mystery, the drama of disaster, the prospect of lost treasure. Gibbins, who’s found acclaim as an author of historical fiction, has long been fascinated with them, and his expertise in both archaeology and diving provides a tone of solid authority to his latest book. The author has personally dived on more than half the wrecks discussed in the book; for the other cases, he draws on historical records and accounts. “Wrecks offer special access to history at all…levels,” he writes. “Unlike many archaeological sites, a wreck represents a single event in which most of the objects were in use at that time and can often be closely dated. What might seem hazy in other evidence can be sharply defined, pointing the way to fresh insights.” Gibbins covers a wide variety of cases, including wrecks dating from classical times; a ship torpedoed during World War II; a Viking longship; a ship of Arab origin that foundered in Indonesian waters in the ninth century; the Mary Rose, the flagship of the navy of Henry VIII; and an Arctic exploring vessel, the Terror (for more on that ship, read Paul Watson’s Ice Ghost). Underwater excavation often produces valuable artifacts, but Gibbins is equally interested in the material that reveals the society of the time. He does an excellent job of placing each wreck within a broader context, as well as examining the human elements of the story. The result is a book that will appeal to readers with an interest in maritime history and who would enjoy a different, and enlightening, perspective.

Gibbins combines historical knowledge with a sense of adventure, making this book a highly enjoyable package.

Pub Date: April 2, 2024

ISBN: 9781250325372

Page Count: 304

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Nov. 28, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2024

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