I adored Love, Nina, and this is more of the same, only Christmassy. There are autobiographical parts, telling of her aversion to cooking turkeys, the best Christmas music, or how to shop, as well as a few short stories, that might be nostalgic, or dark, but always funny. Nina Stibbe reads the audio version herself, and whether you love, or just endure Christmas, this book is bound to lift your mood.
I listened to the audiobook, read by the author, and found it utterly charming, moving, and thoughtful. Fox 8 is a young fox, who listens in every night as a woman reads to her children, and learns to speak “Yuman”. When developers cut down his wood, Fox 8 comes to know the Yumans much better than he would have liked. It’s a really beautiful story, only short, and great for children, but it has a lot of deep truths for all of us. It’s sad, very funny, and will stay with me.
Friday Black is a series of short stories, some of them connected, that probably fit into the sci-fi/horror genres. Extremely dark, violent, sad and disturbing, I didn’t enjoy them very much, and some I didn’t understand. Some are very thought-provoking, though, on the topics of race, consumerism, and violence.
No doubt about it; Kate Atkinson is one of my very favourite authors. I don’t tend to seek out short stories, but I really enjoyed these. There are twelve stories, recurring characters, and all the strange and wonderful twists and perspectives that I love in Atkinson’s writing. There is the ordinary next to the extraordinary, and lots of raw insights into people’s hearts and motivations. It’s only available at the Riverina Regional Library as an eBook.
A collection of historical short stories. I enjoyed dipping into different time periods and themes. Each story had an unique voice and tended be open ended. This allowed me to continue thinking about the stories and what happened next.
I very much enjoyed Any Human Heart, so was keen to read this, though I don’t usually seek out short stories. The stories are varied, fascinating, frustrating, and satisfyingly unsatisfying! Each story seems to lay bare our foibles as the characters thrash about, trying to make their paths smooth.
I read My Name is Lucy Barton last year and found it a beautiful story. Anything is Possible is a companion book, in which Lucy features. It is, essentially, connected short stories about people in the small town Lucy Barton grew up in. It’s about strength of character, loneliness, loss, hope and the endlessly bizarre turns life and people can take. It’s sad, sweet, puzzling, complex and hopeful; I enjoyed it very much.
Dubliners is a series of short stories, set in Dublin in the early 1900s. There isn’t a great deal of plot; it is a snapshot of the lives of different people across the city. Lives filled with love, frustration, contentment, rage, drunkenness, hope, loneliness, lust and despair. They are a little bleak, but beautifully so.
The View from the Cheap Seats is a collection of Neil Gaiman’s writing, all of it non-fiction. From his brilliant speech on the importance of libraries, reading and daydreaming to thoughts on music, film and writing, it’s like a long conversation, about a huge range of topics. There’s a lot of passion in this book; for people, for science fiction, for dreams and art. It’s a great read.
Four and a half stars for this beautiful novel, told in a series of short stories with different characters, set in a small, coastal town in Maine. Olive Kitteridge is a large, forthright, retired teacher, struggling to make sense of her marriage, her relationship with her son and the changes as she grows older. I loved her as a character, prickly, compassionate, patient and explosive all at once; perceptive when it comes to the lives of others, confounded about her close relationships. The setting is beautifully evoked, the characters ring so true, full of hope, despair, brokenness, kindness, confusion, malice and love. A short book that will stay with me for a long time. #bookface