Reading Short Stories

I am in a fuzzy mood today, a perfect mood for a muddled, everything-thrown-in-for-good-measure kind of post. I have seen with great interest Kate’s Short Story Reading challenge. Her post itself and the different links she offers are very precious. That said, I am not very persistent at reading challenges and am easily derailed by life events or new literary discoveries. While not committing myself to a number of short stories for 2008, I will certainly follow this challenge as closely as possible and post about short stories of interest… 

Speaking of which, did you listen to Kate’s The Story of Her Life? It’s from her recent collection and she read it aloud for Christmas (but it’s not too late!): an excellent, intimate glimpse of a mother and a daughter. She captures tiny events showing misunderstandings between both characters while interrogating what each person sees as “the story of one’s life”.  

As a breach to my resolution to reduce the number of books on our shelves, I jumped on the opportunity and requested Alice Munro’s Selected Stories on Bookmooch. As a matter of fact, I have already read a few stories of this collection, but that’s the kind of books that I really want to own, not just borrow from a public library. I’m quite looking forward to receiving this book, even though it will probably be weeks because of international delivery. 

I’m currently reading a thematic short story collection by several Japanese authors on Youth. The subject is vague and it’s a bit uneven, but an interesting read nonetheless. I’ll review it more properly as soon as I’ll finish it. 

I also want to mention this week’s short story at The NewYorker: Outage by John Updike. When a storm shuts down the power in a small New England village, people are thrown out of their routine and do things they might not have in other circumstances. I found the ending a little abrupt, but I liked the main character progressively drifting away from his rational behavior. 

This month’s short story at A Curious Singularity is Gogol’s The Overcoat. The discussion starts next week. Check it out!

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3 thoughts on “Reading Short Stories

  1. I’m trying to reduce the number of unread books I own, but when interesting Book Mooch books come up I really can’t resist — they feel like free books after all, and who can turn those down? I’ve already mooched two this year.

  2. Dorothy, Luckily, the number of books I mooch out outweighs the number of mooched-in, so there is still some hope that the pile will dwindle before Baby Smithereens arrives…

    Stefanie, I just can’t keep resolutions with Alice Munro… I admire her too much, I just can’t resist!

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