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Book Review: ‘Writers of the Depths Anthology’

Writers of the Depths Anthology Erin Casey & Alex Penland, ed. — The Writers’ Rooms Like a river flowing into the sea, Writers of the Depths, the anthology from the Iowa City–Cedar Rapids workshop collective the Writers’ Rooms, injects a fresh perspective into ocean tales. One traditional story and six fantasy tales are studded with […]

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Book Review: ‘The Pawn of Isis’ by Catherine Schaff-Stump

The Pawn of Isis Catherine Schaff-Stump — Independently published The year is 1842, and powerful families control the magical resources of the world. This is the setup for The Pawn of Isis, the second of five books in Iowan author Catherine Schaff-Stump’s historical fantasy series, Klaereon Scroll. The story encompasses treachery, betrayal, politics, love and […]

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Book review and interview: Andrew Ridker, ‘The Altruists’

To read Andrew Ridker’s sparkling novel ‘The Altruists’ is to find oneself inside the claustrophobic confines of a dysfunctional family. The Alters are apparently normal St. Louis residents; parents Arthur and Francine are respectively a professor of engineering and a couples’ counselor, and the children, Ethan and Maggie, are being prepared for successful careers. Yet under their upper-middle-class veneer, there is a profound disconnection. […]

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Five questions with: Author Tom Hunt

A disastrous accident embroils a family in terror in Iowa native Tom Hunt’s new thriller, ‘One Fatal Mistake.’ When 18-year-old Joshua hits a man with his car, he has no idea that his choices will be the catalyst for a chain of horrifying events. Hunt will read from his novel at Prairie Lights. […]

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‘Cornfield Chronicles’ opens a window on mid-20th century Iowa

To open up Cornfield Chronicles: Featuring Snowball: Pony from Hell by Myron Williams is to open a window onto the Iowa of half a century ago. This set of short stories and vignettes tells of the author’s experiences growing up as an Iowa farm boy in the mid-20th century. […]

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‘This Void Beckons’ ventures into new poetic places

To pick up This Void Beckons, by former University of Iowa student A.J.K. O’Donnell, is to take a journey through the question of human destiny. This is not a simple book of poetry, but a linguistic feast evoking an emotional and psychological response to the nuanced question, “How do we express our common humanity?” […]

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Rae Meadows to read from her ‘lovely, evocative and powerful’ novel at Prairie Lights

Rae Meadows and Dean Bakopoulos Prairie Lights Bookstore — Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. With deft and lyrical prose, Rae Meadows weaves a tale of love, hope and survival in her recent novel, I Will Send Rain (Henry Holt & Co.), published Aug. 9. Meadows will read from the book Wednesday, Sept. 7 at […]

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Review: Book four in North Liberty author’s YA series is not your ordinary dystopian fiction

Iowa author B.C. Tweedt’s young adult novel Rubicon (Aug. 9) is not your ordinary dystopian fiction. The fourth book in the Greyson Gray series, it shows us a vision of a deeply divided, near-future America which is not as unimaginable as we would like to think. Though it is the fourth book, it does contain […]

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