A Short Story Omnibus Edition

I’ve reviewed short stories here and at my old blog for many years now.  Not quite on a weekly basis, not all the time anyway, but pretty close.  These are some of the reviews I ran at Ready When You Are, C.B. in the years 2009 to 2011.  I’m slowly migrating all of my old posts over to this new site.  I just can’t bare … Continue reading A Short Story Omnibus Edition

Joan Didion vs. Jessica Mitford: A Deal-Me-In Short Story Non-Fiction Special Edition

I’m really breaking Jay’s rules now. The Deal Me In Short Story Challenge asks readers to assign one story to each card in a deck of 52.  Draw one card each week; read and review the story that goes with it.  Since I joined, I’ve been drawing two cards at a time and looking for ways I can connect the randomly selected stories.   For … Continue reading Joan Didion vs. Jessica Mitford: A Deal-Me-In Short Story Non-Fiction Special Edition

Christa Wolf vs. Grace Ogot

I know this comment will make me look like a snob but I’m going to make it anyway. It was so nice to read two stories that were so well written. I’ve read a wide range a short stories for the Deal Me In Short Story Challenge.  But it’s been a while since I read two stories that featured such good writing.  At the risk … Continue reading Christa Wolf vs. Grace Ogot

Ken Lui vs. William Roughead: A Deal Me In Short “Story” Challenge

For this, my second round/deck in the Deal Me In Short Story Challenge,  I‘m going to continue my bonus challenge of selecting two stories per draw, reading both, and then trying to come up with a way to connect the two.  This may prove an even more difficult challenge in the long run since I’ve selected so many non-fiction pieces this time around. I’ve been inspired … Continue reading Ken Lui vs. William Roughead: A Deal Me In Short “Story” Challenge

Henry James vs. Haruki Murakami: A Deal Me In Short Story Challenge.

This post concludes my first round of the Deal Me In Short Story Reading Challenge. While I expected to finish back in August, I have enjoyed the challenge so much that I’ve already set up, and started on, a second set of stories and essays.  I’ve added essays to the challenge for  Non-fiction November. For this final round in my first deck I had only … Continue reading Henry James vs. Haruki Murakami: A Deal Me In Short Story Challenge.

The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sis

My second  book for Non-fiction November is a kids book, a little kids book.  This makes reviewing it something of a challenge for me. While I do read Young Adult fiction on a regular basis both for work and, sometimes, for pleasure, I rarely read books for elementary readers.  My school’s librarian had this one on display so I picked it up. But how do … Continue reading The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sis

An LGBT Short Story Omnibus: Ben Francisco, Paul Bowles, and Sherwood Anderson,

This one is a keeper. Before I can even ring, Uncle Gilberto opens the door and gives me a big hug and a kiss that smells of gin and menthol cigarettes. His dog, Ganymede, barks and snuggles his head between my legs. The cat eyes me suspiciously from the next room. From behind me, someone helps me slip off my jacket. I look over my … Continue reading An LGBT Short Story Omnibus: Ben Francisco, Paul Bowles, and Sherwood Anderson,

Grace Paley vs Alaya Dawn Johnson

The title to this post should be one of those colon titles– Grace Paley vs. Alaya Dawn Johnson: or Grace Paley Wears Out Her Welcome. One pleasant surprise I’ve had while doing this round of the Deal Me In Short Story Challenge is how much I have enjoyed Grace Paley’s short stories.  Her observations, her humor, her humanity, have all been very enjoyable. She deserves … Continue reading Grace Paley vs Alaya Dawn Johnson

A Short Story Review Omnibus with Carter, Borges, Russell, Fitzgerald, Lee, Chandler, Hemingway

Long before re-imagining fairy tales became a fantasy sub-genre Angela Carter published her volume of short stories The Bloody Chamber, a collection of fairy tales with her own modern twist. “The Company of Wolves” is Ms. Carter’s take on the classic story of Red Riding Hood. Ms. Carter’s stories are not for children. She typically takes the sexuality that is present underneath the children’s tale … Continue reading A Short Story Review Omnibus with Carter, Borges, Russell, Fitzgerald, Lee, Chandler, Hemingway

John Hersey vs. Haruki Murakami

For this round of the Deal-Me-In Short Story Challenge I drew John Hersey’s “To the End of the American Dream” and Haruki Murakami’s  “Man-Eating Cats.”  At the risk of making this a Haruki Murakami week I decided to go with what the cards dealt and give him another go, even though I just finished his new book.  Scroll down for the review. The title held out the … Continue reading John Hersey vs. Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami vs. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

For the Deal Me In Short Story Challenge this week I drew two of my favorite novelists. Novelists. As far as short stories go, well, one of them is pretty good. The thing is both of the stories I read this time around,  The Arrangers of Marriage by Adichie and The Year of Spaghetti by Murakami both feel like sketches done in preparation for a larger … Continue reading Haruki Murakami vs. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

A Short Story Review Anthology: Hemingway, Williams, Babel, Alexie, Cunningham, Paley, Murakami, Kinsella

The train passed very quickly a long, red stone house with a garden and four thick palm-trees with tables under them in the shade. I wonder how many graduate students have written papers on the use of railroads in the works of Ernest Hemingway. It’s striking how many of his stories are set on trains or in railroad stations. The railway journey as metaphor for … Continue reading A Short Story Review Anthology: Hemingway, Williams, Babel, Alexie, Cunningham, Paley, Murakami, Kinsella