The High Heart by Joseph Bathanti - Book Giveaway and Review

Tuesday, 4 March 2008, 10:04 | Category : Book Review and Giveaway
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Set in the less-than-perfect Philadelphia of the ’60s and ’70s, Joseph Bathanti’s book The High Heart reads as both a collection of short stories and a novel. Each story of Fritz Sweeny, the only son of two unconventional parents, stands alone as a short. But placed all together, you come away with a captivating look at an unusual family.

Bathanti has a way of writing dialog that makes the characters jump off the page. Reading the banter between Fritz’s mismatched parents was completely entertaining. I found myself rereading some conversations; they made me feel like I was listening in on my neighbors - if my neighbors were a fiery Italian woman married to an Irish American, that is.

While reading The High Heart, it’s easy to feel Bathanti’s poetry roots within the stories. The sentences are dense with meaning and enjoyably visual. Overall, this book was a fulfilling read, hitting all the right chords of well-chosen words and rich, unpredictable characters. And here’s the good news - I have an extra copy.

To win The High Heart, please leave a comment here telling me what intrigues you about the book. Or subscribe to carp(e) libris reviews to be entered in this and all book giveaways. Or link to this contest from your blog. Do all three, and you’ve got three entries. I’ll randomly select a winner this Friday, March 7, 2008, at 12noon EST. The winner will be contacted by email.

Published by Eastern Washington University Press.

Buy The High Heart here and support carp(e) libris reviews and your local bookseller!

78 Comments for “The High Heart by Joseph Bathanti - Book Giveaway and Review”

  1. 1Tara

    I am already subscribed… but the thing that intrigues me about this book is that I am fascinated with life in the 60’s. I think it would be an interesting read.

  2. 2Rawlings

    It looks like a good read that you could read a little every night.

  3. 3Louise A Brouillete

    It sounds like a good read.

  4. 4Joseph

    this seems like an interesting book.

  5. 5aBookworm

    I like that it’s a series of short stories and yet one story.

    I’ve posted it at my book review/contest blog - A Book Blogger’s Diary. Thanks!


  6. 6adrienne gordon

    as a native of philly, this would be cool to read.

  7. 7Linda

    A great era to write about.

  8. 8Cindi Hoppes

    I think the relationship between his unconventional parents would be intriguing to read. Please enter me in your drawing. Thanks,Cindi

  9. 9Bernadette Holbrook

    Sounds fascinating!!!

  10. 10Susan Smith

    looks like a good read

  11. 11Annette

    The unconventional parents.

  12. 12Lara Aleff

    I would love to read this book!

  13. 13Vicki wurgler

    always fun to read about someone’s family problems!

  14. 14jesy

    How close it may/not mirrow the real ’60s

  15. 15susan varney

    love to read about the time period reminds ne when i was young

  16. 16janeh

    as a product of the 60’s, I love to read anything about that time.

  17. 17LIsa

    Hi Diane, not really entering…just saying hello and thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment last week. My niece finally arrived - 7 hours late due to typical Michigan weather. She’s soaking up sun as I type.

    Sending warm thoughts to GR.


  18. 18Chris

    This is the time period I grew was an adolescent in and I enjoy reading other perspectives on it.

  19. 19Linda Moeller

    I’ve subscribed before.
    Looks like a great book.

  20. 20Meredith Peters

    The 60’s/70’s era Phillie Italians intrigue me!

  21. 21Lori Berman

    Love to find new books/authors

  22. 22Elaine Rosser

    The characters in this book sound so interesting!

  23. 23christopher h

    love reading new authors

  24. 24zoe lee

    I would love to read this, as it looks exciting…

  25. 25Bunny B

    Hi, I’m subscribed already - would love to read this book! Thanks!

  26. 26Karrie

    it looks good

  27. 27Nancy

    The concept of this book sounds very intriguing. I would like to read it to see how each chapter stands alone as a short story, but still can fit together as a novel.

  28. 28Sharon Jones

    I’m a ’60’s kid…and love to read about this time in my life

  29. 29Carla Cui

    I am intrigued about the 60’s aspect of the story, count me in to win!

  30. 30Paul

    Sounds like a good read !

  31. 31vicky boackle

    the manner that the book is written is intriqueing.

  32. 32Terry Cover

    Thisd would sure bring back memories of an era passed

  33. 33Kathi Book

    Sounds really fascinating! I could do with a good read!!

  34. 34david basile

    sounds good

  35. 35Susan Chester

    The mismatched parents intrigue me. I love stories with a lot of conversation.

  36. 36Deborah Wellenstein

    Always love a good book. Please enter me to win!

  37. 37Cindy San Antonio

    This family sounds as disfunctional as my family. Maybe it will give me a tip or two.

  38. 38Sara Alvaro

    This book sounds terrific. I am a huge fan of linked short stories, and it’s about my generation. Can’t wait to read it.

  39. 39sarah

    I love to find new books, especially ones with great visualizations.

  40. 40anne

    Interested in this era and the realtionships.

  41. 41Greg Duncan

    I bet I could write this book myself! I would still like to see what the author has to say.

  42. 42kevin

    Seems like an interesting book

  43. 43Desmond

    I’m a huge fan of short stories of all kinds

  44. 44Jennifer

    I love short stories that work together in a narrative. It’s a great way to tell a story.

  45. 45janice

    Thanks for an opportunity to win this book. My situation is unusual in that I grew up in this era, but my spouse is 20 years my junior, and he would like more insite into “my experience” and I have noticed this man does not have a book by this author. By the intro, I believe he might love this book as will myself.

  46. 46Elaine Miller

    looks like a great read!

  47. 47bethany canfield

    yay! this one looks good.

    Thanks for the givaways!! fun.

  48. 48Hesper Fry

    This looks like a fantastic read!

  49. 49Sara

    looks very cool

  50. 50Liz


  51. 51Christina Almond

    Sounds like a good book!

  52. 52K.C.

    Looks like a good book as long as it isn’t about my family. LOL

  53. 53Leanne C.

    I need a good read to get me through this endless winter!

  54. 54Samantha Pruitt

    the way the stories are split up sounds like it would make for an interesting read.

  55. 55Elizabeth

    I like how the short stories come together to create a complete picture.

  56. 56PeaceLady

    “The High Heart” sounds like an amazing book and one I most definitely would love to have. It was especially intriguing as it was endorsed by one of my favorite author’s Jess Walter’s (”The Zero”). Myself, coming from a firey Italian family (on my Mom’s side) had a saying, “Whoever is the loudest, is the rightest”. This was the truth, and as children it always appeared everyone was always arguing :)

  57. 57Ed Nemmers

    I so enjoy short stories.

  58. 58Louis Huf

    I am intrigued about the settings - the 60s seem perfect for the book

  59. 59michelle rosborough

    sounds like an interesting book

  60. 60Miranda Allen

    Please Enter me thanks

  61. 61Buddy Garrett

    I am intrigued by the dynamics of the family set in the era I grew up in.

  62. 62Kathleen Yohanna

    The review of the book says that Joseph Bathanti makes the characters “jump off the page”. I love good discriptive writing that lets you “see” the story.

  63. 63Joy Venters

    would like to read this

  64. 64Charlene

    I love poetry and the weaving
    of words to create a storyline
    and thats what intrigues me
    about this book

  65. 65Sylvia Porter

    i love stories about families, it’s always really interesting.

  66. 66A. Ashley

    I’m intrigued by the mismatched parents.
    I love unconventional families. I’m part of an unconventional family.
    I like the 60’s -70’s timeline.
    Those decades always make a good setting.
    I’m interested in reading the dialogue ,which you raved about.
    The High Heart sounds like a terrific novel.
    Thank you for the contest.

  67. 67Kayce

    The idea of short stories with good character development intrigues me.

  68. 68Lily Kwan

    What intrigues me about the book is that the main character has an Italian mother and an Irish father, like my fiance.

  69. 69Tamara

    The idea of being able to read a whole novel, in short stories, is wonderful. I often shy away from longer books, because I don’t have as much as I would like to read.

  70. 70kathy pease


  71. 71Catrina Pomerleau

    I like the idea of a single story made up of a bunch of short stories.

  72. 72Jennifer Barnett

    I have really been enjoying this website’s book reviews. This book sounds quite unique. I like the idea of small stories that can fit together into a larger whole. It sounds like a true reflection of how we live our lives.

  73. 73veronica

    good read I am always looking for something good to read

  74. 74Susan Chester

    I just got an email telling me I won this. I am so happy, I almost bought this, then decided to wait and see if I won. I am glad I waited.

  75. 75john pratt

    the book sounds very interesting. i am a people person so interaction of people intrigues me. would love to read it & could tell you what i thought of it after i read it. thanks in advance if i win & have a blessed day.

  76. 76barbara wild

    this book sounds interesting to me because it is not like ones i have read in the past. If i like it and win ill share it with my book club

  77. 77Irene Leung

    Sounds interestin - would love to read more about it.

  78. 78Cayla

    Thanks for writing this.

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