Prime Book Review on Underground Book Reviews

April 9, 2015 § Leave a comment


GENRE: Post Apocalyptic
LENGTH: Novella
EDITOR: Sarah Kolb-Williams

Harboring genetics perfected over generations, Toch has been prepared since birth to be his race’s savior, but when the ruling Spidon get word of his powers before they’ve matured, the fate of humans hangs in the balance.

Read the full review at Underground Book Reviews.


Farmer’s Son Book Review and Author Interview on Underground Book Reviews

February 24, 2015 § Leave a comment



PAGES: 372
WORDS: 80-100k
GENRE(S): Literary Fiction

It is 1971 rural Middle America and Bobby McAllister wants out from under his cantankerous father’s thumb. About to finish high school and finally be free, only one thing holds him back: Bobby can’t read.

Read the full review at Underground Book Reviews. And check out my interview with Farmer’s Son author N.E. Lasater here!

Going Om: Real-Life Stories On and Off the Mat review on Foreword Reviews

January 16, 2015 § Leave a comment

Going Om

Real-Life Stories On and Off the Mat

Reviewed by Genevieve Shifke Ali
January 15, 2015

Going Om: Real-Life Stories On and Off the Yoga Mat reflects on the practice of applying yoga to everyday life. Edited by Melissa Carroll, this volume consists of essays by contributors who identify first as writers, then as yogis. Thus,Going Om does not take a deep historical look at the ancient philosophy and physical practice, but rather offers humor, sarcasm, solemnity, and occasional discomfort as each narrator tells a yoga-related story.

Read the full review at Foreword Reviews.

A Room of Rain Review on Independent Publisher

January 7, 2015 § Leave a comment

A Room of Rain cover

A Room of Rain

Comprised of twelve standalone short stories, Gary Fincke’s A Room of Rain examines individuals at varying degrees of separation from tragedy. In this collection, Fincke offers twelve separate glimpses at how people cope with, move on from, crack under, and drown in the waves of emotion brought by calamity. These haunting, thought-provoking studies come together to throw comfort out the window, opting instead for the quiet chaos of a post-trauma mind.

Read the full review at Independent Publisher. Purchase A Room of Rain (seriously, go buy it; it’s excellent!) at Vandalia Press.

01/01/15 Blackout Poem

January 1, 2015 § Leave a comment

Blackout poetry: the destruction of one literary work for the creation of another.blackout poem 01:01

Blogging for Books Review: In Her Kitchen: Stories and Recipes from Grandmas Around the World

December 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

The appeal of In Her Kitchen: Stories and Recipes from Grandmas Around the World by Gabriele Galimberti is multifaceted: part cookbook, part storybook, part photography, and part geography lesson. This book takes readers on a food tour across five continents and gives the ultimate insider look at what a “typical” family recipe or traditional dish might be. Galimberti begins with his grandmother’s own family recipe, Swiss Chard and Ricotta Ravioli with meat sauce, and the recipes that follow range from very accessible—vegetarian tamales—to entirely foreign (from a westerner’s perspective)—Honduran iguana with rice and beans.

The layout of the book is simple; for each recipe there are two two-page spreads. The first is entirely text: the left page is a story about the grandmother, the right is the recipe. The second is a color photo spread: on the left page is a photo of a grandmother standing in her kitchen with each ingredient laid out on the surface in front of her, the right is an overhead close-up of the final prepared dish. While the food looks and sounds delicious, I took more interest in the photos and stories of the grandmothers. As each grandmother is presumably placed in her kitchen, I found it fascinating to compare the tools, colors, and materials showcased in each photograph alongside the grandmothers. These periphery items, coupled with the accompanying recipes, lend additional details to the stories and give unique insights to otherwise foreign cultures.

Thank you, Blogging for Books and Clarkson Potter, for the free book in exchange for an honest review!

Some Literary Inspritation: A Quote

December 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

Show up: at your desk, on the page. Show up often, show up with an open heart, show up all hardcore and ready to work. But when you don’t show up, when it’s been days and weeks and months and you haven’t shown up, take a bath. By which I mean: be kind, be gentle. Whatever you do, don’t be an asshole to yourself. Screaming at yourself will—at best—carry you through an hour, a day of work. Ultimately, artistic journeys are about truth and self-discovery, and we can’t be truthful or discover ourselves when someone is yelling at us, even if (or especially if) the yelling is taking place inside our own heads. But here’s the thing: We all live with an inner asshole and he isn’t going anywhere. Which means, we kind of have to learn how to become best friends. Take your inner asshole out on a date. Go to your favorite gallery, spend two hours at a coffee shop with a book, visit a spa—whichever act of kindness can shock your system. When the date is over, ask, Hey, what do you need? Say, I’m trying to write this story, this essay, this novel; is there anything I can do that would make it possible to work tomorrow morning? Ask, how can we do this together? When we’re truly kind, something shifts in us.

Shelly Oria, author of New York 1, Tel Aviv 0 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014)

Review of How to be Alive by Mary Chris Escobar

December 2, 2014 § 1 Comment

PAGES: 233
WORDS: 60-80k
GENRE(S): Women’s Fiction
PUBLISHER: CreateSpace

Stuck in a small college town for the last eight years, Jen has always dreamed of something more for her and her fiancé, Tanner. A sudden opportunity to move forward with her life finally comes, but only in the wake of great tragedy.

*Read the full review at Underground Book Reviews!

Review of Bloom by Martin Kee on Underground Book Reviews

October 14, 2014 § 1 Comment

FULL TITLE: Bloom: Or, the unwritten memoir of Tennyson Middlebrook
LENGTH: 100-120k words (332 pages)
GENRES: science-fiction, fantasy, horror

When a prehistoric fungus that feeds on information is released back into the global waterways, the existence of humanity is threatened, and then changed forever.

*Read the full review at Underground Book Reviews!

Lost in Translation: Better in Theory Than in Practice

October 10, 2014 § 1 Comment

I came across Blogging For Books about a month ago by happy accident and immediately started hunting for the first book to order. I love the English language and the power of words in general, so much so that I went to school to study English and then started making a career out of editing books. Thus, I was naturally draw to Lost in Translation by Ella Frances Sanders, a cute little coffee table book that illustrates and defines 50 words that do not have direct English translations.

lost in trans cover

The idea of the book is great, and I’ve seen listicles online that do similar things, but I was disappointed in the execution of the material visually. For a book that seemed more focused on visuals than on the information itself, it did a poor job actually using visuals well to make the information more visible and, rather, the “artistic” parts of the book made it harder to actually understand the material. The words were great, explanations clear and often quite poetic, and the doodles to accompany each word were cute. However, the text and handwriting were very hard to read, and the pages should have been reversed to make more logical and spatial sense. Generally speaking, the English language (and many other languages, for that matter) is read left to right, thus when people read English books, they read the left page and then the right page. Lost in Translation is set up so the foreign language word and its English definition is on the right page and the little description by Sanders is on the left page. It’s backwards. After the first few pages, I got used to reading the right page first, but the general set-up of the book irked me because I feel like this would have been a very easy fix to make the book entirely more readable.

Despite my dislike for the presentation of the material, I do appreciate the efforts and enjoyed learning the new words. Thank you, Blogging for Books and Ten Speed Press, for the free book in exchange for an honest review!