A Book List for the Year of COVID-19

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Based on a photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash. Illustration by Emma Bowers.

A few days into quarantine and I’m feeling unmoored. …

Review of The Crying Book by Heather Christle

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Original photo by Antônia Felipe on Unsplash. Edits by me (Emma Bowers)

― William Shakespeare, King Henry VI, Part 3

I cry often. Too often I sometimes think. Gallons of tears that bubble and burst and soak my shirt, distorting my face with snot and uneven shades of red. So, it seemed like Heather Christle’s paperback The Crying Book would be the perfect thing for me to snatch from the bookshop recently. As it happens, yes. It was perfect. Beginning to end in its lyrical movement of short passages, quotes, and photos.

This was no 200-page lecture no dry scientific explanation for the perpetually dry-eyed. It was an epic poem built of prose and supported by the tears of history. By the words of those long dead and the inventions of the modern. It proved an intensely personal volume that draws you inward, entreating you to reflect on your own tears shed. …

Review of The Innocents by Michael Crummey

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Original photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen

~ Graham Greene

The Innocents by Michael Crummey does not begin by outlining a simple innocence of life. No merry joys and happy hours beneath a golden sun. It begins with the cruelties and pains of a wretched life, and only briefly throughout does it dwell in the realm of pretty relief. The book opens on a solitary cove on the grey washed Newfoundland coast in some unannounced time period, but clearly long ago. …


Emma Bowers

I’m a freelance author’s assistant and copywriter working and living in the Blue Ridge Mountains. emmabwrs.com

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