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Review: Jennifer Colville’s ‘Elegies …’ evoke a vibrant sense of life

Although one should never judge books by covers alone, the one gracing Jenny Colville’s Elegies for Uncanny Girls conveys an apt sense of the book’s contents. This befits Colville’s work as the editor of PromptPress, which invites authors to create verbal reflections inspired by images. […]

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‘Good Apples’ details the curious history of apples and challenges facing farmers

Author and Iowa City resident Susan Futrell starts out her book ‘Good Apples: Behind Every Bite’ with the auction of the oldest commercial apple orchard in Iowa: an orchard outside Fort Madison that had been in the same family for five generations, but now faced an uncertain future dependent upon the winning bidder. It’s a fitting place to start a book about the long history of apples in the United States and the uncertain future the apple industry faces in a global economy.
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Marc Nieson’s ‘Schoolhouse: Lessons on Love and Landscape’ has intensity, clarity and elegance

Marc Nieson at the Iowa City Book Festival Sense of Place I panel: City Hall Council Chambers — Saturday, Oct. 8 at 10 a.m. Reading: Prairie Lights Books — Saturday, Oct. 8 at 4 p.m. In the fall of 1993, while attending the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Marc Nieson moved into a one-room schoolhouse on Redbird […]

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An iconic life revealed: A review of ‘Juxtapositions’

Juxtapositions photo slide show and talk Prairie Lights Bookstore — Tuesday, June 21 at 7 p.m. There is a pair of eye-catching photos near the center of a new book celebrating the work of renowned photographer Ted Polumbaum. On the left is a stark black & white photo of a visibly distressed African-American child standing […]

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Book Plug: Stories of true crime

The True American

Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade By Walter Kirn The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas By Anand Giridharadas HBO’s latest hit, True Detective, shows just how far the detective story has come. Edgar Allen Poe’s The Murders at the Rue Morgue launched the genre’s formulaic […]

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Book Review: Rebecca Rotert’s ‘Last Night at the Blue Angel’

Rebecca Rotert’s debut novel, ‘Last Night at the Blue Angel’, is a literary page-turner with lovely prose and heart-wrenching relationships. It presents a singer on the brink of something big — be it fame, self-destruction or both. The singer’s name is Naomi, dysfunctional mother to Sophia, whose own name comes from a story of love and loss. […]

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Book Plug: Mortom by Erik Therme

Mortom by Erik Therme

The internet may have democratized publishing, but not everyone has something to write. Iowa City native Erik Therme did, and he self-published his first novel, Mortom, in February. Mortom unravels the story of Andy Crowl, an oddly chosen heir and cousin to a recently-deceased loner, playing “the game” his cousin set up for him. A […]

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Book Plug: Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

Book Plug

Boy, Snow, Bird By Helen Oyeyemi Helen Oyeyemi wins this month’s award for “book I’m most curious about.” Her newest novel, Boy, Snow, Bird takes inspiration from Snow White and wicked stepmothers in order to launch a complex discussion about race, identity, beauty and suffering. The setting is 1950s New England. The title comes from […]

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Book Plug: B.J. Novak’s literary debut

Book Plug

In February, B.J. Novak made his literary fiction debut with One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories, a collection of 64 darkly comic vignettes. Novak is most well known for his work as a writer, actor and producer of NBC’s The Office. His comedy writing chops shine bright as short fiction. One More Thing shares […]

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