PositiveThe MillionsCash, who has often written of society and scandal, is adept at setting dramatic scenes throughout his memoir. Yet there’s another layer to Restoration Heart—an acute literary sense ... Restoration Heart is buoyed by Cash’s self-effacing humor. He’s a romantic when it comes to love, and also writing ... Cash puts his life—loves, losses, and longings—on display here, and the result is a paean to hard-worn optimism, and an affirmation of the epistle as cherished form.
Eduardo C. Corral
RaveThe MillionsAn excellent second collection ... No matter what his subject, Corral is a gifted storyteller, precise and dizzying with his imagery ... I can’t help but linger over his finely-wrought phrases that anchor each poem ... Corral can capture a world in a poem’s single scene ... An accomplished book in both style and sense.
PositiveThe MillionsThe Silence , from start to finish, feels like an overcast book ... DeLillo’s characters have lost their faith. They are anatheist—they seek faith after faith.
PositiveThe Millions...poetry should transform lived reality into a new plane. Limón’s poems are like fires in this way: charring the page, but leaving a smoke that remains past the close of the book ... Bright Dead Things is an outdoor book, but this is not to say that Limón can’t write a poem about domestic and mundane spaces ... The big-sky poems of this book are well-contrasted with heart-skipping narratives like \'The Riveter\' ... Bright Dead Things offers many answers, but is equally appealing for its questions.
PositiveThe MillionsKois is funny and sometimes satirical, but always in service of a great end: the very real lament that family life is \'flying past in a blur of petty arguments, overworked days, exhausted nights, an inchoate longing for some kind of existence that made more sense.\' Kois and his family actually take the dizzying leap to leave behind their lives for a year—a trek that takes them from New Zealand to Kansas—and the result is a unique book that every overstressed and anxious (meaning = every) parent should read.
B. J. Hollars
PositiveThe Millions... a fun and fascinating romp through those tales—delivered with Hollars’s talent for connecting dots while remaining comfortable with unanswered questions.
RaveThe Millions... a beautiful meditation of home and hope and hurt ... a song of love, and creation myths; or perhaps they are our creation truths ... Chang’s talent in capturing how our past breathes in our present makes for poems that feel birthed over years. Her lines are realistic, cautious, and yet ultimately optimistic.
RaveThe Millions\"A whirlwind debut. Stories of sclerotic lives told in wrought images, Kunz arrives with real poetic talent ... Tap Out lives in a bittersweet world, and does so well, but there’s also fine touches here...\
Sally Wen Mao
RaveThe Millions\"Whether wayward spirit or nefarious satyr, Mao’s narrators and characters inhabit the sense of oculus as eye-opening, a transformative door ... Mao’s descriptions are precise and surreal, a next phase of evolution ... An expansive book, but each poem bears careful reading.\
RaveThe Millions\"... unflinching ... Helpless but not hapless, [Laux] deftly writes of heartbreak—the absolute, gutting, severe loss of the one who brought her into this world ... Laux is majestic ... The elegies accumulate, settle into our throats, drill down—her selected poems are gorgeous to revisit, but these new pieces are symphonic—and they become a perfect coda of grief.\
RaveThe MillionsFinely curated, as expected for an essayist who lives and breathes structure ... McPhee flawlessly moves from gravity to levity ... Such pieces are tastes of his willingness to let the world around him just be and to marvel at mysteries of all variety ... One wishes John McPhee would write about everything, his words an introduction to all of life’s flavors.
RaveThe Millions[An] often stunning, always measured debut ... wry, ambitious ... curiously powerful ... O’Gieblyn is a writer worth trusting, a writer who audaciously, and stylistically, seeks truth.
RaveThe Millions\"The stanzas brew and burst, but they build across pages. It feels like a book born to be read aloud ... Read this book and you’ll want Dawson to sing of everything.\
PositiveThe MillionsSotelo’s poetry reveals the weight of desire, how our hearts drag our bodies ... Sotelo mines the Marian paradox with complexity, grace, and power ... Her narrators want more out of life, but they clench what they have—and draw us back to her pages. A significant debut.
PositiveThe MillionsPale Horse Rider: William Cooper, the Rise of Conspiracy, and the Fall of Trust in America by Mark Jacobson is a worthwhile introduction to one of the most unique personalities in the world of conspiracy theories. In a business full of hucksters, paranoiacs, and would-be messiahs, Cooper is the prototype: the insider-turned-outsider, the radio show host behind a movement. Jacobson, an investigative journalist and contributing editor for New York magazine, creates a complex portrayal of Cooper that recognizes why he has become a mythic figure but doesn’t fall prey to the legend. Jacobson is clear that Cooper was physically abusive in his personal relationships and that his paranoid view of the world reached a dangerous fever pitch.
PositiveThe National Review[Giraldi is] a talented, ambitious critic who is unafraid to take hard stances and ruffle literary feathers — which means that sometimes his opinions feel like invectives. He’s also the only critic in America who in his mid 40s deserves a book as expansive as American Audacity ... Giraldi, though critical, is not cynical. He’s a generous and wide reader, and American Audacity covers a healthy amount of literary terrain ... Giraldi’s critical writing makes you want to read more, right now.
PositiveThe MillionsJones’s biographical, narrative poems exist without artifice and pretense. In The Biscuit Tin, he recalls his father’s Kodachrome slides: \'I remember him sitting in the dark / behind the projector, the beam of light / shooting across the room, / the white screen filling with image after image, / the sound of locks opening.\' ... Jones is the type of poet to send readers outside, or even to look within ourselves for emotions that we’ve taken for granted.
RaveThe Millions\"There are so many reasons to return to Nezhukumatathil’s poems—her affinity for the natural world, her ability to write a love poem that truly works, her humor that surprises and salves—and Oceanic reminds me of yet another: how she can offer readers so many routes within a single poem.\
RaveThe MillionsPoet of place, generations, elegies, spirit, and love, Kooser’s poetry deserves continual praise. He’s often noted as a poet for a broad audience, and certainly his two terms as U.S. Poet Laureate and continued cheerleading for poetry attest to his appeal, but let’s not forget that he is also incredibly skilled. His poems are generous; their profluence nearly effortless ... This collection is a gift.
RaveThe MillionsAn excellent debut. Xie is particularly gifted with precise description; I want to linger on these poems ... masterful and patient, expansive without becoming lost.
RaveThe Millions\"I like when poets write prose. Air Traffic, Pardlo’s new memoir, is a masterful consideration of manhood in contemporary America: the lies we tell ourselves, the struggle to find our own identity in the shadow of fathers, and the sweet perils of ambition.\
RaveThe MillionsYoung is a fine poet and his often recursive, textured prose is the perfect delivery for the cyclical nature of literary lies ... Bunk is teeming with these types of insights. As a poet and historian, Young has the particular skill of seeing the unseen. He understands that at the heart of every lie is a good, perhaps great, story. Often the act of story is the act of persuasion, hypnosis, delusion. For better or worse, we love to be lied to if the song sounds good ... Bunk contains a laundry list of charlatans, including Rachel Dolezal, Stephen Glass, James Frey, and Laura Albert. But what is most powerful is Young’s examination of American lies about race ... Young might just have written the most important book this year. Sadly, his book suggests that we might make the same statement for 2018—and the next year, and the next.
PositiveThe MillionsA new biography reveals how Hynek’s life and legend exemplify a lost era. UFO sightings still make the news, but Hynek was something different: a public intellectual who told us to watch the skies ... In The Close Encounters Man, Mark O’Connell notes that Spielberg’s friend suggested the title to the director after reading Hynek’s book The UFO Experience ... His [Hynek's] contributions were brief, but as McConnell demonstrates, cultural history is often the result of unlikely coincidence ... Hynek is a deserving subject, but O’Connell’s book also is notable as a methodical history of the UFO phenomena in America—a story so often overshadowed by the Roswell incident ... McConnell’s a great storyteller, and that’s what needed in a history of American ufology: someone to connect the dots into a narrative.
PositiveThe MillionsSadness might seem too sincere an emotion to ascribe to a novel written by a postmodernist, but Zero K pushes its readers to feel. It is almost impossible to not. With its confluence of screens, strange artwork, empty rooms, long hallways, and shaved hands of those soon to be frozen, Zero K creates an experiment, and we, its subjects, feel pulled to interact.