Book Review: Bangkok Belle

Bangkok Belle is not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill hardboiled detective story. Indeed, what makes this novel fascinating and engaging is its exotic location and colorful characters. The author, Ron McMillan, who has knocked around Asia for a couple decades, offers much more than a “travel guide” story by dropping in a steady flow of Asian references, […]

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National Geographic — December 1979

One of my prized possessions is a 1979 issue of National Geographic that I bought on eBay to remind me of what it was like to come to Korea in 1990. It was late summer 1990. Iraq had invaded Kuwait, Die Hard 2 and Ghost were two of the summer’s hottest movies, and I had […]

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Book Review: An Unknown Shore

One of the joys of discovering a new author is coming to the table without any expectations of the author’s previous work (if any). It’s all about what’s in front of you now and the literary journey the author will take you on. At the same time, it’s also, “Okay, buddy, I took a chance […]

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Book Review: Dear Petrov

Early in Susan Tepper’s brilliant collection of short fiction, Dear Petrov, her unnamed narrator asks, “Dear Petrov. Can you not take in, just out of range, a lady of wistful yearning. Who, by her own submission, adores you out of reach.” And so begins a mesmerizing and poignant spiritual journey into the heart and soul […]

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Book Review: Dust

It’s been a long time that a book of poetry moved me as much as Brady Peterson’s Dust did. A lot had to do with the topics, which reminds me of many of the things I like to write about, and the reasons why I write. Reading Dust reminded me of the important role we […]

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Book Review: Blood Soaked Dresses

Blood Soaked Dresses Gloria Mindock Paperback: 72 pages Publisher: Lulu.com (October 11, 2007) ISBN-10: 1430310340 ISBN-13: 978-1430310341 13.50 If there were one thing that a poet must do when approaching their craft, it would most certainly be never avoiding topics which are too horrific or frightful. To be sure, it is a poet’s responsibility to […]

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Book Review: Peek

I’m a big fan of flash fiction or short fiction and I always marvel at how writers are able to take brief, fleeting slice of life moments and bring them to life in this literary form. These are writers who have a very keen eye for detail who capture these snapshots of life and then […]

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Book Review: The Next Better Place

Imagine a young boy and his estranged father on the road traveling across the United States on their way to California. Imagine also, the boy and his father having one adventure after another and along the way, the boy and his father both learn something about themselves and each other. Could anything be more romantic […]

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Book Review: Sync City

I know it’s probably not fair to compare an author’s work with another literary or cinematic work, but a few pages into Peter Ryan’s sci-fi powerhouse Sync City, I’m thinking, “Wow, this reminds me so much of Blade Runner” – especially the hardboiled detective underpinnings with the characters and snappy dialogue. The fact that I love […]

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Book Review: Letters from Joseon

Korea in the late nineteenth century was a turbulent time. John Mahelm Berry Sill, the American Minister to Korea from 1894-1897, couldn’t have asked for a more difficult posting. In that time there would be the Sino-Japanese War, the Gabo Reforms, the murder of a Korean queen, and the subsequent refuge of King Gojong in […]

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