Tag: short stories

Short Story Sunday: This Telling by Cheryl Strayed

This Telling
Series: Out of Line Collection
Author: Cheryl Strayed
Narrator: Kristen Bell
Published: September 1, 2020
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: March 29, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Short Story Description:

A genealogy test sparks a woman’s reflection on the two accounts of her life—the real one and the one she’s always told the world—in this poignant short story by Cheryl Strayed, the bestselling author of Wild.

In 1964 teenage Geraldine Waters was sent away by her parents to an unwed mothers’ home, where she gave up her newborn for adoption. Ever since, she’s lived an alternative narrative. Decades later, it’s time for Geraldine to reconcile the telling of her life, to finally grieve, and to discover what happened to that part of her past that slipped away.

Cheryl Strayed’s This Telling is part of Out of Line, an incisive collection of funny, enraging, and hopeful stories of women’s empowerment and escape. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single thought-provoking sitting.

Jessica’s Review:

This short story was all that I thought it would be.  Taking place in 1964 when women were heavily shamed for pregnancy outside of marriage, we have Geraldine’s story. The father is going off to Vietnam and thinking of the different options available and even possibly going through with them, Geraldine ends up gives her baby away for adoption. Now, in present day with genealogy tests coming up everywhere, she must come to face her past.

This very well written short story covers all the angles that it should. The reader sees what an unwanted pregnancy at the time meant.  I only wish it was longer!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Happy Halloween! Book Review: Haunted Nights Edited by Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton

Happy Halloween!  This is our favorite holiday here at Jessica’s Reading Room. And if you could not tell before this month, I think you can now! We had almost a full month of reviews of horror/thrillers!  (With a couple of non-thrillers kicked in).

Enjoy today for what it is, don’t eat too much sugar, and watch some scary movies! That’s what I’ve been doing this weekend! 

For your review enjoyment Kim brings you a review of Haunted Nights, which is a short story anthology!

Haunted Nights
Editors:  Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton

Published: October 3, 2017
352 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Sixteen never-before-published chilling tales that explore every aspect of our darkest holiday, Halloween, co-edited by Ellen Datlow, one of the most successful and respected genre editors, and Lisa Morton, a leading authority on Halloween.

In addition to stories about scheming jack-o’-lanterns, vengeful ghosts, otherworldly changelings, disturbingly realistic haunted attractions, masks that cover terrifying faces, murderous urban legends, parties gone bad, cult Halloween movies, and trick or treating in the future, Haunted Nights also offers terrifying and mind-bending explorations of related holidays like All Souls’ Day, Dia de los Muertos, and Devil’s Night.

-With Graveyard Weeds and Wolfbane Seeds- by Seanan McGuire
-Dirtmouth- by Stephen Graham Jones-
-A Small Taste of the Old Countr- by Jonathan Maberry
-Wick’s End- by Joanna Parypinski
-The Seventeen Year Itch- by Garth Nix
-A Flicker of Light on Devil’s Night- by Kate Jonez
-Witch-Hazel- by Jeffrey Ford
-Nos Galen Gaeaf- by Kelley Armstrong
-We’re Never Inviting Amber Again- by S. P. Miskowski
-Sisters- by Brian Evenson
-All Through the Night- by Elise Forier Edie
-A Kingdom of Sugar Skulls and Marigolds- by Eric J. Guignard
-The Turn- by Paul Kane
-Jack- by Pat Cadigan
-Lost in the Dark- by John Langan
-The First Lunar Halloween- by John R. Little

Kim’s Review:

What a great anthology! Blumhouse is doing pretty well with their publishing … now if we can just get them that consistent with their movies! I loved all but one of these short stories. I was also distracted while reading that one story so I can’t really say it wasn’t my own fault. But the piece de resistance is the story of Bad Agatha; I loved it so much that I’m being Agatha for Halloween this year!! If they made that story into a movie, I’d watch it without question! Any of these stories would make an amazing horror movie. I highly recommend this anthology to any horror fan without a single reservation. Perfect for Halloween!

Well done, Blumhouse, well done!!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Kim as Bad Agatha!

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Blog Tour: Book Review: It Will Be Quick by Karl Drinkwater

Today I am sharing my review of It Will Be Quick by Karl Drinkwater: This book is made up of a variety of short stories.  There will be something for everyone here!

Book Description:

A single decision can save – or ruin – a life.

An opportunistic baby theft by a young woman in pain. Two strangers shipwrecked on a lifeless rock, unable to speak the same language. An isolated cycling holiday descends into terror. One woman seeks the courage to destroy her life. A miracle unites a community, and teenagers take a stand against hypocrisy.

Karl Drinkwater presents characters to root for – and characters to dread – in sixteen tales of humanity, endurance, and spirit.

It Will be Quick
Author: Karl Drinkwater
Published: November 1, 2020

280 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: January 6-14, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars

Jessica’s Review:

This collection of 16 short stories has something for everyone! All these tales center on a decision that is made and the story varies depending on that decision.  These stories will bring a variety of emotions to the reader, and each reader will have a favorite depending on how they feel at the time of reading It will be Quick.  My preferences are thriller focused, so my favorite story was FileKiller.  I was intently reading it and there was no way I could do what Trina did: I got anxiety just by reading this one!

The stories can range in length from a few pages to the longer ones.  Drinkwater also included notes at the end of the book on how and where each came from.  This adds to each of the stories and I enjoyed that.

Purchase Links:
All links here
Books 2 Read

About the Author:

Karl Drinkwater writes thrilling SF, suspenseful horror, and contemporary literary fiction. Whichever you pick you’ll find interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

Karl has lived in many places but now calls Scotland his home. He’s an ex-librarian with degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science. He also studied astrophysics for a year at university, surprising himself by winning a prize for “Outstanding Performance”. Karl is an active member of the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA), the Horror Writers Association (HWA), and the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi).

When he isn’t writing he loves guitars, exercise, computer and board games, nature, and vegan cake. Not necessarily in that order.

Contact Karl:
Website
Twitter @karldrinkwater
Instagram @authorkdrinkwater
Newsletter

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