Rules of thumb: 1. If you are ever in need of a constant influx of free reading material, start a literary magazine review. 2. If you are ever in need of a constant influx of free reading material written by a certain prolific writer, and you already run a literary magazine review, publish one of the writer's pieces.

Such is the case with the author Jacob M. Appel, where after having reprinted a dazzling short story of his several years ago ("The Passenger" — Fall 2012), we find in our mailbox a newly release book of his practically every month.

This fall, it was Phoning Home (University of South Carolina Press — 2014) — a collection of essays — that arrived at our front door. All pieces therein having been previously published in literary magazines over the past eight years, the author/doctor/attorney/bioethicist continues to entertain us with interesting accounts and adventures.*

Some will enjoy the five grandparent-based essays in the earlier portion of the collection, but for me, it was the latter essays that proved once more this is an author who can continue to entertain throughout the years with crisp, new material. The piece, "She Loves Me Not," is an adorable take on unrequited love, and the three medical/psych-related pieces (grouped sequentially) are a perfect blend of interesting fact and storytelling. I particularly enjoyed "Livery," where we learn of the author's favorite hospital patient, an old man named Mr. Nimble, and the effort to get him released.

After finishing the book shortly after it arrived, and having moved on to other things, one of which being assembly of this Winter 2015 issue, I see now another package in my mailbox. Its contents: Einstein's Beach House — stories by Jacob M. Appel. The man just never stops.

Wishing you all a warm and safe winter season -


*You will note that this article you are reading sounds like a book review. You may be asking yourself why such a thing is appearing in our Editor's Notes. There is a separate Book Review section, you might point out. Surely The Summerset Review is having a senior moment.

Theme graphics this issue - "Crack'd"
Copyright © The Summerset Review, Inc. 2014.