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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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4 01, 2017

Review: Paris for One by Jojo Moyes

By | January 4th, 2017|Categories: Literature & Fiction, Romance, Short Stories, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , |3 Comments

Rating:

paris for one book coverReviewed by Christen Krumm

Jojo Moyes follows the releases of Me Before You and After You with a collection of short stories that are sure to please. Paris for One is perfect for that time when you want to sit down and enjoy a story or two, but have no time for a full length novel.

“Paris for One”, the cornerstone of the book, is a different coming of age story. Nell, our main character, is twenty-six and is living life in a bubble. She is the over cautious, never adventurous girl (unless you count that annual weekend with her girlfriends) who decides to step outside her comfort zone and plan a romantic getaway to Paris with her boyfriend.

12 12, 2016

Review: Mothers, Tell Your Daughters by Bonnie Jo Campbell

By | December 12th, 2016|Categories: Family Life, Genre Fiction, Literature & Fiction, Short Stories, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , |2 Comments

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mothers tell your daughters book coverReviewed by Alisha Churbe

Bonnie Jo Campbell’s short story collection, Mothers, Tell Your Daughters is honest, bitter, sad and powerful. The book consists of sixteen short stories, two of which run only about a page. The collection of stories centers around women, many about motherhood and the complicated relationships between mothers and daughter. The stories will remind you of your own mistakes. Many of the stories have been published in other publications prior to this collection.

The stories are far from happy tales of weddings and grandchildren, the stories are centered around the effects of relationships with men, the effect of life-altering decisions and how mothers and daughters cope with each other and the mistakes that are made. Campbell illuminates what its like to be a mother and how to cope as a daughter.

6 11, 2016

Review: God, Grace, Dumb Luck by Phloyd Knucklez

By | November 6th, 2016|Categories: Literature & Fiction, Short Stories|Tags: |1 Comment

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god grace dumb luck book coverReviewed by Lauren Cannavino

God, Grace, Dumb Luck is an interesting, yet scattered, read that complies the thoughts of the author into a variety of short scenarios, poems and lyrics. The book is billed as psychological fiction and does read with a literary tone similar to that of the Beats. There does not appear to be a cohesive story, one central character or even any particular goal for the novel at all, which ultimately, does not really matter. Much of the content does lean towards the darker side of emotion and life, many people have a particular struggle or complex and it seems to focus on insecurities and secrets that often plague humanity.

24 10, 2016

Review: Sex and Death: Stories

By | October 24th, 2016|Categories: Literary, Literature & Fiction, Short Stories|Tags: , |2 Comments

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sex and death book coverReviewed by Alisha Churbe

A substantial anthology of 20 stories by both American and European authors, Sex and Death is a short story collection edited by Sarah Hall and Peter Hobbs, writers of both short story and novel. They both reside in Great Britain and have published widely. Many of the authors within are well-established and award-winning such as Kevin Barry (“City of Bohane”) and Ali Smith, a Scottish author of many short story collections and novels such as “How to be Both” that was released in 2016.

The stories of the book all revolve around the centric themes of sex and death and how each of these events/emotions drive us through life.

4 10, 2016

Review: Postmodern Deconstruction Madhouse by Peter Quinones

By | October 4th, 2016|Categories: Literature & Fiction, Short Stories|Tags: |1 Comment

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postmodern deconstruction madhouse book coverReviewed by Alisha Churbe

Postmodern Deconstruction Madhouse is a collection of nine short pieces, some of which are stories, some more essays and one of the title pieces, “Postmodern Deconstruction Madhouse (i)” is a list of what is described as, “explorations of the one sentence short story” and numbers 98 different lines/stories. The words used by Quinones are vast, his vocabulary is impressive, but the use of obscure words seems to be used as the reason for each sentence rather than the stories themselves.

Quinones appears to be the narrator and/or main character of many of these stories. This suggests pieces of the collection may be more biographical than fiction, but the author’s intent is unclear.

29 08, 2016

Review: Night at the Fiestas by Kirstin Valdez Quade

By | August 29th, 2016|Categories: Hispanic American, Literary, Literature & Fiction, Short Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

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night at the fiestas book coverReviewed by Alisha Churbe

Kirstin Valdez Quade’s debut short story collection, Night at the Fiestas is well written, dramatic and memorable. The collection consists of ten short stories, all quite long for short stories (ranging from 24 – 33 pages). Many of the stories have appeared previously in publications such as The New Yorker, Guernica and The Narrative Magazine. The first story, “Nemecia,” a story of x and y appeared in both The Best American Short Stories 2013 and The O. Henry Prize Stories 2014.

Valdez Quade has a proven track record. We will see much more by her before the end of this decade. She’s a name worth recognizing and a name that will appear on many more lists and shelves.

18 05, 2016

Review: Dreams of Distant Shores by Patricia A. McKillip

By | May 18th, 2016|Categories: Literary, Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Short Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

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dreams of distant shores book coverReviewed by Jamie Friddle

Dreams of Distant Shores by Patricia A. McKillip is unique, captivating, and a work of art. The fantasy writer certainly paints intricate scenes that draw the reader in from the first sentence. McKillip transports us to different dimensions throughout the collection, from a young artist who is in love with his art and the model who posed for the art, to a witch that takes on the role of being a sea goddess’ host body for a hundred years, among many other short stories.

My favorite short story, though hard to choose, is “Weird”. “Weird” is about two adults who bar themselves in a bathroom full of gourmet food while an ancient being (or beings) torments them on the other sides of the walls. The being bangs and growls, makes the walls shake and

10 05, 2016

Review: Why They Run the Way They Do by Susan Perabo

By | May 10th, 2016|Categories: Literary, Literature & Fiction, Short Stories, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , |2 Comments

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why-they-run-the-way-they-do-9781476761435_hrReviewed by Alisha Churbe

Susan Perabo’s newest release, Why They Run the Way They Do is a very enjoyable collection of short stories. Her characters are real, honest and memorable. Her stories are heartfelt and show all the ways that we interact and relate to each other. Perabo’s stories are not overly wordy or descriptive. They are witty, energetic and surprising. The stories show the give and take between two people in the middle of affairs, friendships, and relationships. The stories illustrate people banding together and falling apart.

The collection contains twelve medium length (10-20 page) stories that illuminate the human experience of interaction and getting along.  In “Michael the Armadillo,” a daughter’s new toy brings up old memoris and feelings about a wife’s earlier affair, to be dealt with all over again. In “This is Not That Story,” Perabo tells the tragic

29 04, 2016

Review: In the Country by Mia Alvar

By | April 29th, 2016|Categories: Cultural Heritage, Genre Fiction, Historical, Literary, Literature & Fiction, Short Stories|Tags: , , , , |1 Comment

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in the country book coverReviewed by Nina Longfield

In the Country by Mia Alvar is a collection of finely crafted short stories about people from the Philippines. These are rich stories that span the globe from the Philippines to Bahrain to New York and places in between. In the Country is a collection of captivating snapshots of people tied to history or beauty or family or living or attempting to live in an ever changing world.

In the opening story, “The Kontrabida”, a young man returns home to the Philippines. After years of living and working in New York, he is an outsider in Manila and seeing his childhood home and family as perhaps a familiar stranger might see things. In the story “Legends of the White Lady”, a fading beauty is contemplating her empty life as she ponders leaving the modeling

13 03, 2016

Review: Amish Christmas at North Star

By | March 13th, 2016|Categories: Christian Literature & Fiction, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Short Stories|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

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amish christmas at north star book coverReviewed by Charity Lyman

I know it is well after Christmas but for those of you who like to carry the feelings throughout the year, Amish Christmas at North Star: Four Stories of Love and Family is a perfect way to keep the spirit going. This is a book composed of four novella stories by four different authors. The stories stories are all related by the town the character call home–the little town of North Star. It is a quaint community, mainly inhabited by the Amish.

The first story was “Guiding Star” from author Katie Ganshert. It follows Noelle – Elle to her friends – and Chase Wellington. This great little novella and was probably my favorite out of them all. I liked how the author drew the readers in and though it was short, I