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Comment Archives: stories: Books: Book Reviews + Features

Re: “English professor-turned-nurse Theresa Brown tells about her first year on the job in Critical Care.

Why were you called to my mother and my boyfriend Bonnie Underwood and OULAY Underwood. At the easy 8 motel in Lancaster ca. And what was your cellular signal doing in my room? Meaning you had to be either under my floor or in the plumbing

Posted by Justin Sane on 06/16/2015 at 6:22 PM

Re: “Reviews of the first 50 pages of two new novels by local authors

Steven Sherrill will be at Classic Lines (5825 Forbes Ave. Squirrel Hill) reading and signing his new book Joy, PA on Friday, March 27th, 7 - 9pm.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Dan Iddings on 03/18/2015 at 7:53 PM

Re: “Ed Ochester's new collection champions poetic simplicity

An excellent book. The explanatory of human life on the personal, cultural and universal levels very clear and without subterfuge. Re-reading various poems is a form of revisiting them and expressly intending to do so. These are wise, flesh and blood poems that have lived, loved and laughed in a candid, warm, open manner. Forthrightness and intellect merged. Ed Ochester is one of the best American poets there is as are many of the poets he refers to in his beautiful poems and we are privileged to read about them in such a vivid poetic context. The poems almost engage the reader in a form of literary time travel. We see stages of the poet's life and benchmarks of various events so clearly. These poems are exemplars of a human being with spiritual kindness, emotional maturity and insight engaged on the page.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Romell on 03/02/2015 at 11:23 PM

Re: “A new book argues that most hysterectomies are unnecessary.

I am so grateful for finding HERSFoundation and for Nora and Rick to publish the H Word Book. I have several copies and also donated the book to the local libraries. This is something all of you can do. Get the book into your libraries! Tiger

Posted by Gracie on 03/02/2015 at 1:06 PM

Re: “Reviews of poetry chapbooks The Buried Return, by Christine Stroud, and Argot, by Fred Shaw

I have read Shaw's "Argot". The reviewer is spot-on. The "things" Shaw writes about come into clear view as portals to memory and impression. The "thing" vs. "idea" break probably explains why I recall so many of his poems visually, as though I could also tell you the exactly length of shadows and the height of the sun without mention. Poignant stuff.

Posted by Thomas P. on 01/14/2015 at 6:19 PM

Re: “Reviews of poetry chapbooks The Buried Return, by Christine Stroud, and Argot, by Fred Shaw

To Fred Shaw:
Fred: hello from Ireland. I continue to admire your work whenever it is available to me. This review of ARGOT sounds exactly the right note through I haven't seen the book - the review captures the authenticity and gritty resonance of your work insofar as I remember it when last we met in Ireland. Very best wishes: MICHAEL COADY

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Michael Coady on 01/14/2015 at 12:12 PM

Re: “A new book tells the story of the iconic Mellon Square

Buy the book now at Classic Lines on Forbes Ave. in Squirrel Hill.

Posted by Dan Iddings on 01/09/2015 at 3:01 PM

Re: “Mark Zingarelli illustrated a new book-length comic about a little-known tale of the AIDS crisis

Buy Second Avenue Caper and Mellon Square (reviewed in this issue) at Classic Lines (Pittsburgh's newest bookstore) on Forbes Ave in Squirrel Hill.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Dan Iddings on 01/09/2015 at 3:00 PM

Re: “Don Wentworth's new collection of brief poems explores the transitoriness of life

Hi, rosellen ... you can get copies of "Yield to the Willow" at Caliban's Bookshop in Oakland or amazon online or via Paypal direct from the author at
thanks, Don

Posted by Don on 01/07/2015 at 9:04 AM
Posted by roesellen on 12/17/2014 at 7:44 PM

Re: “Karen Lillis' The Paul Simon Project, Karl Hendricks' Stan Getz Isn't Coming Back

You can also purchase "Stan Getz Isn't Coming Back" here:

Posted by Jon Solomon on 12/17/2014 at 10:13 AM

Re: “Local novelist explores an infamous shooting

Ah, those left-leaning East Enders, they sure do know how to tell a good story. I read and enjoyed this book very much.

Posted by Mary L Litman on 10/31/2014 at 1:40 PM

Re: “Jason Baldinger's new poetry collection travels the country

As a teacher, I respect and honor the intricate word webs woven by our best poets. Jason is one of these masters of the craft. Where Leonard Cohen ( one of my favorites) plays with reader's perception, Jason presents his landscapes and observations in an almost photographic sweep of images. You may have to read and re-read to gauge his emotion of the moment, but you'll be rewarded once you connect with his both weary and energetic sense of being. His travels have sharpened his vision. The daily mundane takes on some majesty here easy task. Buy this little volume, brew some coffee or tea and go on a little journey for an hour or two. It's a worthy ride.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by David Stash on 10/15/2014 at 9:19 AM

Re: “Venezuelan author living in exile in Pittsburgh publishes translated novel

Oh dear.

I do live in Venezuela. And yes, I would definitely love not living here and get all my family out of here because I know what this government is about.
Back in the 80's this was way too different from what it is now.
You should come again, live here, work here, spend the whole day in a line just to buy milk, shampoo or flour and then we could talk about how great things are. Don't you think?

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Paola Nava on 08/10/2014 at 3:21 PM

Re: “Venezuelan author living in exile in Pittsburgh publishes translated novel


Firstly, your presence here in the US at all means that you are likely a member of the wealthy minority, so you views are not representative of a majority of Venezuelans.

I did live in Venezuela for almost two years - back in the early 1980s working for an oil-field service company. Mostly I remember it as a country with great majority of people living is extreme poverty and a small wealthy elite, and an absolutely horrible highway and urban infrastructure with only unregulated jitneys (por puestos) for public transit in Maracaibo and Caracas. It was ruled by a phony democracy of two tweedledum and tweededee parties, AD and COPEI, similar to the phony democracy we "enjoy" here in the USA.

I have heard from numerous people reporting that things in Venezuela are much better now, and most of the current problems are due to economic sabotage by wealthy business interests. The PSUV is doing nothing much different from other other social democracies like Norway have done to create the most successful egalitarian societies in the world. If the Venezuelan upper classes would participate and provide constructive criticism as needed instead of sabotaging the entire project and engaging in violence - using the contemptible Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" as their manual, Venezuelans could achieve Norway-level living standards too.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Paul D. on 08/10/2014 at 3:00 PM

Re: “Venezuelan author living in exile in Pittsburgh publishes translated novel

It is really easy to judge someone when those experiences are far away from what you have lived, but only read about someone else's life.
Venezuela is a reality that very few people get to know very well. And its not only about the hate mails, books banning or anything. It's also about the violence, the hate in every Venezuelan's heart, the way we are being controlled, all of our media is owned by the government, the way that power has destroyed a "modern" society. That's what he has tried to show in his novels, that's what you should be aware of before criticizing.

I'm from Venezuela. I'm studying Journalism and I get very sentimental with what we are living.

Thank You Israel for your novels, they caught me.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Paola Nava on 07/28/2014 at 1:14 AM

Re: “Venezuelan author living in exile in Pittsburgh publishes translated novel

If this seems like overposting, I generally publish when I've been assaulted, or when my privacy is ignored, or when my cats cry out in pain by some action of government. I've been assaulted thousands of times over the past decade now, I'm sure that estimate is accurate....the other day one of my cats was bleeding, hair missing from its back, and two of them actually have scabs on their back as a result of being shot with energy weaponry. According to one report this results from my publication of Ronald Reagan quotes and biographical facts, indisputable and in fact from wikipedia. The federal government of course has all the power in the world to stop it. My tooth was knocked out in increments, over a 2 year span by energy weaponry assaults, for stating and proving the crimes committed by the federal government.
Typically operating through puppets--including puppets in the judiciary--the right wing has for decades been committing crimes and trying to classify them to cover them up, a move explicitly forbidden by the Code of Federal Regulations. The right has accomplished its political objectives by presenting a fraction of the evidence to judicial officials who, having seen the pattern dozens of times before, could not help but realize that they were being presented with incomplete and inaccurate information.
With either the willfully blind approval or the willful ignorance of the judiciary the right has killed & stolen several of my pets and routinely shoots energy weaponry at me and my pets. Recent harm to animals include: two kittens from a pregnant stray i took in were killed a few months ago. The remaining two, just 3 months old, shake their head as government operatives shoot them with energy weaponry. They shot the eye out or removed the eye of a large really good natured stray at the port, hobbled another cat at the port, shooting it with energy weaponry, and for years routinely killed and left dead animals in my path.

A few years ago one of them threatened 'we'll just kill a cat every so often', in so many words. This has continued despite my calls to the police, the FBI, Congress, and my petitions in court. In the usual case, it appears that the right goes to a judicial crony for a ruling permitting them to harm animals to retaliate against me for my free speech. The federal government, the right wing in particular, interfered with my personal life and economic options for 3 decades, so their solution to my noting it is to kill animals. Makes perfect sense right? It does if you're a sociopathic criminal, criminally stupid, and hawkish. Invariably their lies are exposed and the wrongfulness of the harm is clear to everyone, though not until the animals have been maimed or killed. There is really only one solution, and that's to disempower them politically and to impeach them.
If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth, right? the Democrats' great accomplishment is producing the political equivalent of a Rodney King video, clearly demonstrating the lies of the right, the right Hilary Clinton correctly identified as a vast conspiracy. Confirm by examining Central District of California Cases, 01-4340, 03-9097, 08-5515, 10-5193, US Tax Court 12000-07L --though I think you want to view my US Tax Court Appeal to the 9th Circuit for a good account of their day to day assaults, a few month time slice indicative of a decade of assault, and more recently 9th Circuit case 11-56043.

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Glen Broemer on 07/19/2014 at 1:32 PM

Re: “Venezuelan author living in exile in Pittsburgh publishes translated novel

Good grief.

The only "threats" this guy faced was some dirty letters and banning of his books in a few schools. Should Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, William Blum, or (if they were still alive) historian Howard Zinn, Kurt Vonnegut, Ken Kelsey, and dozens of other authors in the US seek asylum in another country too? Because all of them received hate mail, book-bannings in schools, and even firings from universities for their writings.

And, for the record, Fidel Castro really did face hundreds of assassination attempts.

Oh, how far the Pittsburgh City Paper, and it urban bourgeois liberal readership has descended since the late 1990's when I first moved to this city.

0 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Paul D on 07/18/2014 at 10:55 PM

Re: “With photos and oral history, a new book portrays Roberto Clemente mostly through the eyes of his family.

I have seen the book on Roberto.
My view is simply wonderful to read.
Roberto was a wonderful man I admire him and the Clemente family.

Posted by marie on 07/09/2014 at 10:31 PM

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