Issue #271
Late Winter 2015 - 2016
Title Author Publisher Subject
The (Welcome) Absence of Arizona
To Purchase a Work of Art from RALPH
An Important Letter to RALPH From Janet Yellen at the Federal Reserve Board
The Readers of RALPH [Letters] Correspondence with the Magazine
Concerning Previous
Reviews, Articles,
Poems, Readings, and
Letters to RALPH
Twelve Great "Mystical" Books and Readings
from Our First Twenty-One Years
The Editors of RALPH [List] Twelve Interesting Books and Readings
Having to Do with Zen, Buddhism, "Eastern" Mysticism,
and Western Spiritualism.
Project Animal Farm
An Accidental Journey into the Secret World
of Farming and the Truth about Our Food
Sonia Faruqi (Pegasus Books) Stuff You Don't Want to Be Reading
While You Are Chowing Down on KFC
or a MacBurger
The Gambler's Apprentice* H. Lee Barnes (University of Nevada Press) Willie Bobbins Goes from Being a Low-Level
Mexican Cattle Rustler to a Fast Man with the Cards ---
All in One Entrancing Volume
New Voices from China
Ou Ning and Austin Woerner, Editors (University of Oklahoma Press) Fifteen Stories from the Defunct Chutzpah! Magazine
--- Showing Many of the Predilections of Today's Young Chinese Writers
The Blue Guitar
A Novel
John Banville (Knopf) John Banville Being John Banville with
The Usual Thieving, Swiving, and Adultery
A Cat, a Man, & Two Women Junichiro Tanizaki (New Directions) The Man Who Brought The Tale of Genji to Japan Eighty Years Ago
--- This Time on the Cat that
Destroyed Two Marriages
Wide Awake
Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond
Suzanne Lummis, Editor (Pacific Coast Poetry Series) 112 New Poets on Smog, Freeways,
Dope, Love, Passion, and the Jurassic
The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake
A Samuel Craddock Mystery
Terry Shames (Seventh Street Books) A Murder in the Texas Panhandle ---
With the Loveable Old Sheriff
(and His Cows)
A Kind of Compass
Stories on Distance
Belinda McKeon, Editor (Tramp Press) Seventeen Stories --- Which May Have Everything
(Or Nothing) to Do with "Distance"
The Curse of Jacob Tracy* Holly Messinger (Thomas Dunne Books) A Delightful Romp with Spooks and
Werewolves from the Old West ---
With a Cowboy Who Could Care Less
The Cairo Affair Olen Steinhauer (St. Martin's Press) Murder in a Restaurant in Budapest
Leads Us Back to Egypt during Arab Spring
A Passion to Win[G] Sumner Redstone and Peter Knobler (Simon & Schuster) Some Reflections on the Story of Redstone's Life,
along with New Aging and Personal Troubles
A Chronicle of Jazz[G] Mervyn Cooke (Oxford) Reflections on the History of Jazz and Herbie Hancock,
Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong
The Way We Wore[O]
A Life in Threads
Robert Elms (Picador --- 2005) Stories of How Clothes Made the Young Men
Who Made a Fashion Statement with their Lives
Disgrace[O] J.M. Coetzee (Vintage --- 2009) Schadenfreude --- the Decline and Fall of a Professor
Who Just Didn't Know How to Stop
The Genesis of Sex & Broadcasting Lorenzo W. Milam [Article] The Genesis of the Book from 1972 on
Building a Radio Station for the Community
Where the Fake Spiritualist
Meets the Real Spiritualist
Holly Messinger [Reading] A Riotous Account of a Seance Where
The Cowboy Does All the Work
Three Poems from Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond Suzanne Lummis, Editor [Poetry] Three Modern Poems from Young Writers of Los Angeles
[G] = Great Reviews, Readings, or Poems of the Past
[O] = Books from Past Years Reviewed
[B] = Brief Reviews
*A Book that the Editors Believe Merits Your Attention

Issue #272
Early Spring 2016
Title Author Publisher Subject
Odd Friendships [Among Animals]
Russian Artists under Stalin
Getting Mooned by God
The Readers of RALPH [Letters] Correspondence with the Magazine
Concerning Previous
Reviews, Articles,
Poems, Readings, and
Letters to RALPH
Twelve Interesting Reviews and Readings
From the Last Twenty-One Years of RALPH
The Editors of RALPH [List] Twelve Interesting Books
Treating with Subjects Ranging from Obituaries from the New York Times to
Poems about Parenting Grown Children to
Medical Care During the American Civil War
The Guilty*
Juan Villoro (George Braziller) Stories from the Yucatán,
Oaxaca, and Mexico City
Tram 83* Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Deep Vellum Publishing) The Bittersweet Experience of Urban Africa
Everything to Nothing*
The Poetry of the Great War, Revolution,
And the Transformation of Europe
Geert Buelens (Verso) The Poet Turned into a Man of Action
Between 1914 and 1918
And Other Stories
Kathy Anderson (Autumn House Press) Thirteen Mind-Bending Stories ---
Some Way Beyond the Pale
American Candide Mahendra Singh (Rosarium Publishing) Voltaire's Seminal Novel
Transformed into America of
Reality Television and Televangelists,
Venal Businessmen and Cheating Bankers
Hot Milk*
A Novel
Deborah Levy (Bloomsbury) Levy Mixes it Up with
A Mother, Her Daughter
And the Love of the Almería Coast
Jonas Salk:
A Life
Charlotte DeCross Jacobs (Oxford) The Man Who Created the Vaccine
Made Very Human (and Very Sad)
The Living Bird
100 Years of Listening to Nature
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Photographs by Gerrit Vyn
(Mountaineers Books) Over Two Hundred Birds Pictured,
Described, and Given Fearful Notices
Fear and the Muse Kept Watch*
The Russian Masters --- From Akhmatova and Pasternak to
Shostakovich and Eisenstein --- Under Stalin
Andy McSmith (The New Press) The Great Writers, Musicians, and Film-Makers
As Terrorised by Stalin and the Soviet System
Greening Death
Reclaiming Burial Practices and
Restoring Our Tie to the Earth
Suzanne Kelly (Rowman & Littlefield) The New Funerary Movement ---
That Protects the Environment and
Our Love and Respect for the Newly-Deceased.
Martinique --- Snake Charmer[G]
Martinique --- Charmeuse de Serpents
André Breton (University of Texas Press) The Dada Master En Route
To the United States in 1940
Letter to D[G]
A Love Story
André Gorz (Polity) The Existentialist Revealed as a
Fearful Self-Loathing Worry-Wart
American Copia[G]
An Immigrant Epic
Javier O. Huerta (Arte/Publico Press /
University of Houston)
How to Fall in Love with
Shopping in American Supermarkets
Mark Twain in Hawaii Douglas Cruickshank [Article] How Samuel Clemens Found Himself
In the Sandwich Islands
Another Stinky Dog Story R. P. Warren [Reading] The Governor in a Photo-Op Finds Himself
In the Arms of a Dog with Terrible Halitosis
Child Soldiers in Literature David M. Rosen [Reading] The American Revolution and Civil War
As Proving Ground for Boy-Soldiers
Sergei Eisenstein in Mexico Andy McSmith [Reading] The Mad Director Toying with
The Powers That Be in Stalinist Russia
Olives, Her Long Illness Donald Hall [Poetry] Two Great Poems --- One on Youth,
Another on a Lingering Death
Pangur Bán[G]
My Cat
Anon [Poem] A Treasure in Verse Drawn from
A Friar's Manuscript from the 9th Century
In St. Paul's Monastery in Bodensee/th>
[G] = Great Reviews, Readings, or Poems of the Past
[O] = Books from Past Years Reviewed
[B] = Brief Reviews
*A Book that the Editors Believe Merits Your Attention

Issue #273
Mid-Spring 2016
Title Author Publisher Subject
American Candide
Images intégrées
Odd Letters from the Past
The Readers of RALPH [Letters] Correspondence with the Magazine
Concerning Previous
Reviews, Articles,
Poems, Readings, and
Letters to RALPH
Fifteen Great Animal Books The Editors of RALPH [List] Fifteen Interesting Books About Animals ---
Some Loving (and Licking) ---
Others with Definite Violence Afoot
Child Soldiers in the Western Imagination
From Patriots to Victims
David M. Rosen (Rutgers University Press) The Stories of Armies through the Ages ---
More often than not, Filled with Children Well Below Seventeen
Dinner with Buddha*
A Novel
Roland Merullo (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill) Rinpoche on the Road with
His Very American "Brother-in-Waw"
The Etymologicon
A Circular Stroll Through
The Hidden Connections of
The English Language
Mark Forsyth (Berkley Books) A Very Funny Look at the Origins,
The Uses, and the Misuses of Our Very Odd Language
Why Walls Won't Work*
Repairing the US-Mexico Divide
Michael Dear (Oxford University Press) A Penetrating Look at
The Pretend Divide between
Our Two Countries
A Kind of Dream
Kelly Cherry (Terrace) A Baker's Dozen of Stories
About Love and Family and
Dogs Who Come Back Lead Us Home
Perfect Lives
Polly Samson (Bloomsbury) Eleven Stories about Piano Tuners and
Ladies in Tune (and in Love)
The Viceroys (Verso) Federico De Roberto (Verso) "The rotten, greedy core of Sicilian feudalism"
in a novel of Italian "Verismo."
Wild by Nature
From Siberia to Australia ---
Three Years Alone in
The Wilderness on Foot
Sarah Marquis (Thomas Dunne/St. Martins) Ms Marquis in an Extended, Tortured,
Trekkie Selfie for Sarah Marquis
Rain Dogs*
A Detective Sean Duffy Novel
Adrian McKinty (Seventh Street Books) A Won't-Leave-You-Alone Mystery
Set in a Dark Castle in Carrickfergus
My Bright Midnight[O]
A Novel
Josh Russell (Louisiana University) A Love Triangle Set in the Miserable 1930s
and 1940s in Lovely Louisiana
The Moneymaker[O] Janet Gleeson (Bantam Press --- 1999) The Life and Times of the Great (and Greedy) John Law
City Requiem, Calcutta[G]
Gender and the Politics of Poverty
Ananya Roy (University of Minnesota Press) An Honest (and True) Look
At Life in Modern-Day Calcutta
My War Gone by,
I Miss it So[G]
Anthony Loyd (Penguin) The Truth of those "Little" Wars in
Bosnia, Servia, Croatia
Twentieth Century United States Photographers[G]
A Student's Guide
Kristin G. Congdon
Karas Kelley Hallmark
(Greenwood Press) One of those Books Where the Pictures Speak
Louder (and Better) than the Words
A Conversation with Screenwriter-
Author Ronald Harwood
Douglas Cruickshank [Interview] An Extended Conversation with the Director of
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Lunch at the Roadside Café
with Volya Rinpoche
Roland Merullo [Reading] Having Lunch with a Proto Buddha in a
Greasy Spoon in North Dakota
A Journey with Virgil Kelly Cherry [Reading] A Trip though the Divine Comedy
With a Dog Named Virgil
Borders and Passports and RFID Frances Saunders [Reading] How You and I Have Voluntarily
Set Ourselves Up to Be Traced
Every Moment, Every Day
Bean Soup
Or a Legume Miscellany
Philip Paradis [Poem] In Classical Praise of the Musical Fruit
Men As Trees, Walking William Greenway [Poem] Seeing through the Glass, Darkly
Cow Worship Gerald Stern [Poem] In Praise of Bovine Love
[GR] = Great Reviews, Readings, or Poems of the Past
[O] = Books from Past Years Reviewed
[B] = Brief Reviews
*A Book that the Editors Believe Merits Your Attention

Issue #274
Late Spring 2016
Title Author Publisher Subject
Junky Old Cars
Our Favorite War Books
Getting Rid of Arizona Once and for All
The Readers of RALPH [Letters] Correspondence with the Magazine
Concerning Previous
Reviews, Articles,
Poems, Readings, and
Letters to RALPH
Let's Examine What's Left of Your Brain, Please The Editors of RALPH [List] Eighteen Interesting Books, Readings, Poems
And Articles About Psychotherapy
Monticello in Mind
Fifty Contemporary Poems on Jefferson
Lisa Russ Spaar, Editor (University of Virginia Press) His Religious Thoughts, His 18th Century Rationality,
His Ability with Words, His Love of Poetry . . .
and the Supposed Children by His slaves.
Tales from the Couch*
A Clinical Psychologist's True Stories of Psychopathology
Bob Wendorf, PsyD (Carrel Books) A Charming Clinical Therapist with
Dozens of Fascinating Patients
Poetry of Resistance
Voices for Social Justice
Francisco X. Alarcón
Odilia Galván Rodríguea
(University of Arizona Press) Over a Hundred Poems about
Arizona's New Laws Directed at "Illegals."
The Battle for Room 314
My Year of Hope and Despair
In a New York City High School
Ed Boland (Grand Central) A Year of Teaching at Union Street School,
on New York City's East Side.
Best New Poems --- 2015
50 Poems from Emerging Writers
Tracy K. Smith, Editor (University of Virginia Press) Quite a Few Abstract-Expressionist Poems
In Gratitude* Jenny Diski (Bloomsbury) Cancer of the Lymph Nodes, Fibrosis of the Lungs and
Dying and Death (On the Final Pages)
The Timid Cabbage*
A Poem by Charles Krafft
Illustrated by Femke Hiemstra (Sympathetic Press) Supposedly a Poem about Brassica
In Reality a Riff on Lutheranism
A Human History
Kurt Stenn (Pegasus Books) A Thousand Things You Might Not
Want to Know about Your Hair
Travels in the Interior of Africa[G] Mungo Park (Wordsworth Classics of World Literature) One of Those Nutty Colonialists Wandering through 1795 Gambia
To Trace the Course of the Niger River
My 'Dam Life[G]
Three Years in Holland
Sean Condon (Lonely Planet) Everything You Need to Know about
Why You Don't Want to Live (and Work)
in Amsterdam
Mao Zedong[G] Jonathan Spence (Viking/Penguin) A Terrific Study of Mao --- that Sounds Like
An American Up-from-the-Bottom Tale
Edward Weston[G]
Photographs from the Getty Museum
Brett Abbott (J. Paul Getty Museum) Dozens of Shots from One of the Master
Photographers of the Middle of the 20th Century
Getting Rid of Arizona
(Once and for All)
C. A. Amantea [Article] All the Reasons We Should Force Mexico
To Reclaim that Wretched State
C'est Absurde
Le Pacte des Loups
Dr. Phage [Article] Review of an Impossibly Paradoxical Movie
Paris' Hairy Bottom Street Graham Robb [Reading] Odd Names Given to the Streets in Beaubourg
The Perfect Baby Polly Samson (Bloomsbury) What Happens if You Find Your
New Kid Is Well (Cough) Not Exactly Gorgeous
Arachnophobia Jenny Diski (LRB) Terror in Face of the Chance Spider
Isabel's Corrido Martín Espada (University of Arizona Press) Un Mariage de Convenance
Lo Prohibido Renato Rosaldo (University of Arizona Press) Arresting the Children of the "Illegals"
Ghost Town
24 Hours B4 Arizona's SB 1070
Gerardo Pacheco Matus (University of Arizona Press) Leaving Town Before
They Declare You An "Illegal"

Issue #275
Early Summer 2016
Title Author Publisher Subject
Fiddling Around in
Handel's "Orlando"
The Readers of RALPH [Letters] Correspondence with the Magazine
Concerning Previous
Reviews, Articles,
Poems, Readings, and
Letters to RALPH
Our Favorite Wars The Editors of RALPH [List] Fifteen Interesting Books, Readings, Poems
And Articles About the Killing Fields
Red Cavalry* Isaac Babel (Pushkin Press) The Writings of the Brilliant Bolshevik
War Correspondent from the Crimea, 1920
Do No Harm
Stories of Life, Death,
And Brain Surgery
Henry Marsh (Thomas Dunne / St. Martin's) An English Neurosurgeon Talks about
The Scariest Part of
Working on Your Brain
The Sonoran Desert
A Literary Field Guide
Eric Magrane
Christopher Cokinos
(University of Arizona Press) A Charming Visit (with Poetry and Pictures)
To One of the Hottest Places on Earth
The Abundance
Essays Old and New
Annie Dillard (Brilliance Audio) One of America's Great Stylists
With a Dozen or So
Old (But Good) Articles
No Picnic on Mount Kenya Felice Renuzzi (MacLehose Press) Three Italians Escape from a POW Camp
To Climb Mount Kenya
(And Then Return)
Someone Is Watching Joy Fielding
Read by Christina Traister
(Brilliance Audio) The Story of a Rape - - -
And What It
Does to the Psyche
Unexpected Journey
A Physician's Life in the Shadow of Polio
Lauro S. Halstead, M. D. (Amazon) After Developing Polio in the Early 50's
Halstead Goes to Medical School and
Becomes One of the World's Experts on Rehabilitation
Flying Blind*
One Man's Adventures Battling Buckthorn,
Making Peace with Authority, and
Creating a Home for Endangered Bats
Don Mitchell (Chelsea Green) Two Old Hippies Move to Vermont
And Become Saviors to the Indiana Bat
Norwood[O]* Charles Portis (Simon & Schuster) The Works of Portis Are Designated
To Be Among the Most Pure of
American Novels
The Naked and the Dead[G] Norman Mailer (Picador USA) One of the Best Novels of WWII Revisited
Taking Haiti[O]
Military Occupation and the Culture of
U. S. Imperialism 1915 - 1940
Mary A. Renda (Chapel Hill) Another Tale of America's Self-Proclaimed
Role in Saving the Heathen World
from Itself
Happy Baby[G] Stephen Elliott (Picador) An Elegant Presentation of
One Man's Need for Pain
Viols and Rackett Dr. Phage [Article] Three Americans
Who Taught Us to Love
Medieval and Renaissance Music
Trauma Henry Marsh [Reading] A Conference of Neurosurgeons
Deal with a Patient After a Trauma
To His Brain
Dust Annie Dillard [Reading] Things You Only Suspected - - -
But Never Knew - - - about Dust
How to Kick a Duck[G] Ed Zern [Reading] An Instructive Reading on
The Mauling of Innocent Ducks
Bomber's Moon Mike Harding [Poem] Reflections of the Mass Bombng of Germany During WWII
Ethiopia Shall Stretch Forth Her Hands
(The Seven Commandments of Joe Louis)
Declan Ryan [Poem] Joe Louis and His Fight with Primo Carnera

Go back to the Index for the second half of 2015