Hi guys! Apologies: I’ve been preoccupied with other things lately, and I missed the last two weeks’ recap. I’ll include them here with this week’s. Just a note: There isn’t a single book in this pile I wouldn’t recommend. God, I have good books!
April 22: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: Spending time with Saleema Nawaz Webster, who currently deals with the aftermath of a fire having ravaged her home last night. Reading “Scar Tissue,” from her collection MOTHER SUPERIOR. Freehand Books, 2008. Thinking of you, Saleema.
April 23: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: “Miracle Mile,” by Alexander MacLeod, from LIGHT LIFTING. @biblioasis. I LIVED (not a typo!) this story. Superb. Great tension, and so evocative, especially of school track meets. Fantastic similes and metaphors. Very glad I own this book! If I had time now, I’d read one by his father.
April 24: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: “Some Wife,” by Jessica Westhead, from AND ALSO SHARKS. Cormorant, 2011. Hilarious and so astute you’ll recognize everything in it as truth even if you don’t know anyone like these guys. A man becomes obsessed with his coworker’s wife.
April 25: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: “Slatland,” by Rebecca Lee, from BOBCAT AND OTHER STORIES. Penguin, 2012. Holy moly, this writer. I can’t wait to read this entire book. A story about a relationship but so original in its delivery. Also funny in parts! Penguin president and publisher Nicole Winstanley said to me: “It’s better than a kickass hot coffee first thing in the morning.” I agree.
April 26: “How We Avenged the Blums,” by Nathan Englander, from WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT ANNE FRANK. Knopf, 2012. A young Jewish boy is beaten up and the boys on his side plan revenge. Excellent! Very much liked this story. PS. This is one of the most best-smelling books I’ve had the pleasure of smelling in ages (hardcover edition).
April 27: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: “Gaining Ground,” by Robin Black, from IF I LOVED YOU, I WOULD TELL YOU THIS. Great narrative voice and characterization. And funny! Random House, 2011.
April 28: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: “The Slough,” by Pasha Malla, from THE WITHDRAWAL METHOD. Anansi Press, 2008. This is a freaking awesome story. I have to read it again.
April 29: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: “Guy in a Hoodie,” by Binnie Brennan, from A CERTAIN GRACE, Quattro Books, 2012. Two middle-aged teachers get tanked and try their luck scoring a joint. Funny, not so funny, and short. I think it could have worked a little harder at being better.
April 30: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: “Where the Bodies Are Kept” by @BarbaraLambert4, #JourneyPrizeAnthology No. 11, @writerstrust. Excellent. Reminds me somewhat of Carol Shields, but this has more of an edge. And so cool, now that I know Barbara, to recognize personal things in the story. Find Barbara’s site here. She’s the author of Cormorant’s The Whirling Girl.
May 1: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: “The Mud Below,” by Annie Proulx, from CLOSE RANGE. Scribner, 2003. Damn, woman! When I grow up, I want to write like Annie! Such a good story.
May 2: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: “The Killers,” by Hemingway, from MEN WITHOUT WOMEN. Two hitmen walk into a lunch room… Well-paced, funny, fantastic dialogue. Oh, pfft. Saying anything cheapens it. Perfection is what it is. But of course.  Arrow Books, 2004.
May 3: #shortstoryforbreakfast, “Corduroy,” by Adam Giles, finalist in the 2013 U of T Magazine short story contest. Sad, but good. Don’t want to give it away: you can read it here yourself!http://www.magazine.utoronto.ca/alumni-writing-contest/corduroy/.
May 4: Hmm. This seems to be missing. I have no idea what I read, if anything.
May 5: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: “Across the Lake,” by Deborah Eisenberg, from ALL AROUND ATLANTIS. Many thanks to David Penhale for the reco! Washington Square Press (Simon & Schuster), 1997.
May 6: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: “Loving Wanda Beaver,” from the collection of the same name, by Alison Baker (O. Henry Awards). Mmm. Takes me back to my summers in Chatham in the fields detasseling corn. Chronicle Books, 1995.
May 7: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: “Flirtations,” by Carrie Anne Snyder, from HAIR HAT. Penguin, 2004. Really great story, excellent, natural dialogue, too. A couple with a dubious relationship goes to an academic function together. Penguin, 2004.
May 8: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: “The Reverse Cowgirl,” by David Whitton, from the collection of the same name. Freehand Books, 2011. Not at all what I expected! The weirdest story I’ve ever read, I think, and I loved it. Enjoyed the narrative voice, the imaginativeness, the structure of the story. It involves time travel through a very interesting medium.
May 9: Was in TO and enjoyed freshly baked banana chocolate chip muffins instead for breakfast with friend AmandaLeduc (author of The Miracles of Ordinary Men, ECW Press, 2013) chez the other beautiful friend Allegra Young.
May 10: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: “A Drowning Incident,” by Cormac McCarthy. 1960.www.cormacmccarthy.com/works. He wrote it while still in college. An awful story: the content I mean.
May 11: #shortstoriesforbreakfast: “Ghost Stories,” by Alex Leslie, from PEOPLE WHO DISAPPEAR. Freehand Books, 2012. Very well-crafted! Excellent dialogue and such original use of language. A girl and her uncle trek through forests looking for a ghost town. ‘Course, there’s more to it than that. You’d have to read it to know.