November 22

Review roundup

StillwellThe Life and Poetry of Ted Kooser
By Mary K. Stillwell
Reviewed in Ploughshares

“It’s an intimate portrait rich with details of how family history and life on the Plains influenced Kooser’s early world vision, and then how Kooser juggled his creative ambitions as a poet, publisher and ‘Sunday painter,’ along with his obligations as husband, father, and 9-5 insurance executive.”
-Kate Flaherty

Read an excerpt from the book.
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Jon Lewis Street
Photographs of the California Grape Strike
By Richard Steven Street
Reviewed in Lens, the photography blog of the The New York Times

“What makes these photographs different is their location and the subjects. Taken in central California and not in the Jim Crow South, they depict farm laborers of Mexican and Filipino descent, the vanguard of the historic Delano grape strike.”
-Maurice Berger
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EvansThe X-15 Rocket Plane
Flying the First Wings into Space
By Michelle Evans
Foreword by Joe H. Engle
Reviewed in AmericaSpace

“This book frequently delves into the personal costs that came with pioneering hypersonic flight, with interviews from families and close friends. The X-15 Rocket Plane is a valuable addition to libraries and goes past the technical jargon into the hearts of the pilots.”

Read an excerpt from the book.
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Domesticated Wild Things, and Other Stories Aliu
By Xhenet Aliu
Reviewed in Late Night Library

“Choices mostly exist in fairy tales and less so in (as the book’s back cover describes the setting) the ‘rusty underbelly’ of Connecticut. Perhaps Aliu’s stories deal with the massive gray area of human character located between the bad choices and the wrong ones.”
-Marina Petrova

Read an excerpt from the book.