Wednesday, November 27, 2013

WWW.Wednesday: Turkey Week Book Selections

John Warner writes a column called "The Biblioracle" for the Printer’s Row Journal (the book arm of the Chicago Tribune). In it he reviews books or discusses the merits of different genres but it’s invariably all about books.

Last Sunday, he described his feelings about the short story. After reading a great number of such these last two weeks (by Alice Munro), short story collections may now be a new favorite type. I’m including an excerpt from that article here:

“The very best ones have a kind of diamond hardness, a compression down to only the most essential elements. The sensation of reading a great short story is like having the author remove part of your skull, reach in and scoop out some essential part of your brain you didn't previously know existed, and then display it in front of you.
Reading that over, I realize I've made it sound gross, but I mean to convey how a short story can simultaneously dislocate and reorient the reader. As we are immersed in the narrative, we are quickly and thoroughly dislocated from our own consciousness (a blessing in my case) until the narrative ends and we return to our senses, with a fresh understanding of the world we inhabit. I even occasionally find myself holding my breath as I read, as though I need to suspend all activity while I exist in this other world.”

This is how I feel, too.

What have I recently finished?

I loved every single minute spent with each and every story in this book. If you have not read anything by her, please do. She writes about women of all ages and circumstances, and everyone involved in their lives. Her writing is simply stunning.

What are you reading now?

Because I am currently obsessed with Munro and will read many more (or every) collection written by this author. More than halfway through and I believe I love it even more than the previous one, which is saying a lot.

A few weeks ago I mentioned I was in the mood to read some more spicy material. So I downloaded: 

Wikipedia notes "it was published posthumously in 1977- though largely written in the 1940s as erotica for a private collector." Hmm…

Having read only a few stories, I will reserve judgment on the spice quotient until next week.

What will you read next?

I really have no idea how I’ll feel after Thanksgiving and the kids go back to school. Maybe:

Thanks to Should Be Reading for making this happen!


Kinley Dane said...

I haven't read a good set of short stories in forever. I find I have to be in the mood for them. I have wanted to try that Alice Monroe book, though, so now I think I will. I think it's the perfect thing for a long holiday weekend!

Kenya G. Johnson said...

I'm supporting a few bloggers books, but I'm going to write these titles down. Thanks!

Kenya G. Johnson said...

Do you have to read Alice's books in order?

Gina said...

They are both short story collections so reading either or stories from both would work.

Gina said...

Let me know if you read any of her stories.

Gina said...

Fantastic! Do, then let me know what you think! I'm going to be blogging less but I plan to keep up with books.