Friday, April 5, 2013

Book Review Friday: Stephen Marche, Kristen Simmons, Essays on Poetry and more

Photo by Leah Likes Lemon courtesy of Flickr
(Creative Commons)

It's Friday, which means it's time for another weekly round-up of book reviews and previews from the local blogosphere.

Novels and Non-Fiction

Literary Tourist recommends Stephen Marche's novel Love and the Mess We’re In, which was published last year by Andrew Steeves. "Quick, easy and pleasing, the book transports its readers to James Joyce meets Tristram Shandy territory," says the review. "A topsy-turvy voyage through marriage and madness, love and lunacy."

Bjütie, a blog that was reviewed this past Wednesday, offers an interesting analysis of the non-fiction book  Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough by Lori Gottlieb.

Family doctor YoniFreedhoff, who is also an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa and creator of the blog Weighty Matters, looks at The Fast Diet Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer.  At the end of the review, the post contains this summary, "[I]f you want to try fasting as a means to control available energy intake - by all means go for it, but as the authors in rare moments of clarity between wild conjectures and unsupported statements point out, the science is still far too young to be conclusive."


Literary Tourist gives a positive review to Lazy Bastardism: Essays & Reviews on Contemporary Poetry
by Carmine Starnino’s, which the blog describes as a, "serious, direct, densely packed, often beautifully tempered analysis of Canada’s recent poetic output."

Young Adult Novels (reviews)

Feeling a Little Bookish writes about This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith, which describes an email correspondence between teenage movie star Graham Larkin and a small town girl called Ellie O'Neill.  At first, the two electronic pen pals talk about everything, except for their names and backgrounds, until Graham decides to visit Ellie's hometown.

Kelsey's Cluttered Bookshelf looks at Article 5 by Kristen Simmons, which was published this past January and is the first installment in a trilogy.  The story is set in a world where war has broken out in United States, leading to the re-writing of the Bill of Rights.  Women who break Article 5 and have children out of wedlock
are imprisoned, such as the mother of protagonist Ember Miller.

Read My Breath Away raves about In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters.  Set in 1918, the novel describes a world where people wear gauze masks to fight a fatal Spanish influenza, and in which a terrible war is creating panic.  Amidst this apocalyptic setting, teenage girl Mary Shelley Black observes the people around her flock to séances and spirit photographers.

Pingwing's Bookshelf gives a positive review to The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd, which tells the story of sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau, who travels to a remote island where she discovers her father working on gruesome experiments.

In another review, Pingwing writes about Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield, about an unidentified girl who is found dead, sending a small town and the protagonist Becca into confusion.

Young Adult Novels (previews)

Read My Breath Away previews Born of Illusion by Teri Brown, set to be released on June 11, about a teenage girl named Anna Van Housen who assists her renowned medium Marguerite Van Housen in her stage show and séances.

Finally, Glass of Wine previews Night Film by Marisha Pessl, scheduled to be released this coming August.  The novel tells the story of the beautiful and young Ashley Cordova who is found dead of an apparent suicide.  An investigative journalist, however, suspects otherwise and begins to unravel what really happened.


  1. Andrew Steeves didn't write Love and the Mess We’re In. He published it. Stephen Marche is the actual author of the book.

  2. Carmine, you are absolutely right. It appears that I went a bit cross-eyed when I linked to that post. I have made the correction that you suggested, and thank you for bringing this to my attention.

  3. No worries. Great work on the blog.