Skip to main content

Short stories 321-330

 Merry Christmas, Everyone!

On with the reporting:
  • “Caravan” by Rosalyn Chissick. A fine little tale about a girl who joins the circus. Recommended.
  • “The Seven Steps from Shag to Spouse” by Tiffanie Darke . The stages of development in a relationship. About as dreary as the title suggests.
  • “Lip Service” by Karen Moline. A man tells his friends the story of a narrow escape from a woman.
  • “Saving Amsterdam” by Chris Manby. About finding love again.
  • “A Form of Release” by Daisy Waugh. About a has-been pop star yearning for a come-back.
  • “Hurrah for the Hols” by Helen Simpson. A family holiday and the woes of parenthood.
  • “No Worries” by Sarah Ingham. About travel as a metaphor for healing after a breakup.
  • “Re: The World”, by Amy Jenkins. GNI. About the one who got away.
This finishes Girls’ Night Out. I had some inkling of what I was getting myself into when I decided to read this book for the challenge: lots of light-hearted stories about romance and some stories about break-up crises and recovery, but what I didn’t expect was the sameness of other themes in the stories. It seems as if every other woman in these stories either works in publishing or either is a celebrity or ends up dating one, and at least a third of the stories involve the combination of heartbreak and travel followed by new love. I lay the blame for the publishing theme at the door of Bridget Jones, or rather Helen Fielding, and celebrities are always a popular subject for light-hearted stories, but I wonder what the reason for the popularity of the travel theme is - could it be the implied glamour of travel or the inevitable metaphor of travel as a journey towards recovery? Whatever the reasons, I just wish there hadn’t been so many versions of what was basically the same story.

The last of the November reads:

  • “The Corner Shop” by Cynthia Asquith. A chilling tale about an antiques shop. Recommended.

And now for the home stretch: December’s stories.

Most of the Christmas stories in my collection that aren’t novels are novellas and too long to include in the challenge, but I do have one book of Christmas mysteries that I plan to finish in December, and I will fill up the gaps with other, holiday and non-holiday stories that will enable me to finish a couple of books. I might also look farther afield and pull some classic Christmas stories off the Internet.

Starting with a spooky Christmas story from Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories, here are the December stories:

  • “Christmas Meeting” by Rosemary Timperley. A very short but nonetheless chilling Christmas ghost story, and proof that a story need not be long to be effective. Recommended.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How to make a simple origami bookmark

Here are some instructions on how to make a simple origami (paper folding) bookmark:

Take a square of paper. It can be patterned origami paper, gift paper or even office paper, just as long as it’s easy to fold. The square should not be much bigger than 10 cm/4 inches across, unless you intend to use the mark for a big book. The images show what the paper should look like after you follow each step of the instructions. The two sides of the paper are shown in different colours to make things easier, and the edges and fold lines are shown as black lines.


Fold the paper in half diagonally (corner to corner), and then unfold. Repeat with the other two corners. This is to find the middle and to make the rest of the folding easier. If the paper is thick or stiff it can help to reverse the folds.



Fold three of the corners in so that they meet in the middle. You now have a piece of paper resembling an open envelope. For the next two steps, ignore the flap.



Fold the square diagonally in two. You…

List love: A growing list of recommended books with elderly protagonists or significant elderly characters

I think it's about time I posted this, as I have been working on it for a couple of months.
I feel there isn’t enough fiction written about the elderly, or at least about the elderly as protagonists. The elderly in fiction tend to be supporting characters, often wise elders (such as  Dumbledore in the Harry Potter books) or cranky old neighbour types (e.g. the faculty of Unseen University in the Discworld series) or helpless oldsters (any number of books, especially children’s books) for the protagonist to either help or abuse (depending on whether they’re a hero or not).
Terry Pratchett has written several of my favourite elderly protagonists and they always kick ass in one way or another, so you will see several of his books on this list, either as listed items or ‘also’ mentions.
Without further ado: Here is a list of books with elderly protagonists or significant, important elderly characters. I leave it up to you to decide if you’re interested or not, but I certainly enjoyed…

Reading report for January 2014

Here it is, finally: the reading report for January. (February‘s report is in the works: I have it entered into Excel and I just need to transfer it into Word, edit the layout and write the preface. It will either take a couple of days or a couple of months).

I finished 26 books in January, although admittedly a number of them were novellas. As I mentioned in my previous post, I delved into a new(ish) type of genre: gay (or M/M) romance. I found everything from genuinely sweet romance to hardcore BDSM, in sub-genres like fantasy, suspense and mystery and even a quartet of entertaining (and unlikely) rock star romances. Other books I read in January include the highly enjoyable memoir of cooking doyenne Julia Child, two straight romances, and Jennifer Worth‘s trilogy of memoirs about her experiences as a midwife in a London slum in the 1950s. I also watched the first season of the TV series based on these books and may (I say 'may') write something about this when I have finis…