One Quick Flash: Book Club Roundup

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Lucky Fish by Aimee Nezhukumatathil has won the Eric Hoffer Grand Prize for books. The US Review of Books writes: “By enfolding folk beliefs, tales, or superstitions into contemporary experience, place, or situations, these poems delineate a fascinating, unexpected adventure.”

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reviews Tayari JonesSilver Sparrow, praising the way “the exchanges between mothers and daughters are often moving and always ring true.”

The Poetry Foundation points out how Tracy K. Smith‘s poetry collection Life on Mars jumped 23 spots on the contemporary best seller list to land at number 3, just behind Billy Collins’ Horoscopes for the Dead. Rumpus reader Taylor Hagood reviews Life on Mars, writing that Smith has ” established herself as a poet who continues to work out the nuances of body and spirit while also ranging literally into other parts of the universe.”

Reviews of Deborah Baker‘s The Convert appeared in the Chicago Tribune and in the Huffington Post’s Religion Summer Reading List.” “Baker’s book remarkably mirrors Jameelah’s vexing life,” writes Tribune reviewer Eric Banks, referring to the author and the protagonist.

The Indie Bookseller’s Choice Awards honored Adam Levin‘s The Instructions with one of their first annual awards.

Chicago Reader discusses Lidia Yuknavitch‘s The Chronology of Water, beginning with some flattery: “The Chronology of Water plays with language, but it also brings an extra dimension to the wordsmith memoir: it’s a sputteringly good read.”

The Outlet takes on Daniel Orozco‘s Orientation, claiming that the real magic of Orozco’s collection is “his ability to convince us that these characters exist, that they are just like us, and that if we could dip from consciousness to consciousness to view each one from the inside—the way a god’s eye might in one quick flash behold an entire life in an instant—then we might know better than to fume over a botched office romance, or pull a trigger and kill a man for no good reason, or spend a life grieving over some sad thing we wish we had never seen.”


Maddie Oatman has interviewed musicians and writers for The Rumpus. She's the research editor at Mother Jones, where she also writes. A Boulder transplant, she can often be found on her bike, skis, or cooking with vegetables, and she wrote her English thesis on a gay red-winged monster and Billy the Kid. Follow her on Twitter or read occasional musings on her blog Oats. More from this author →