Category: Short Stories

The Coffin Factory – Review of a Literary Magazine

The Coffin Factory serves as a nexus between readers, writers, and the book publishing industry.  Our mission is to provide great literature and art to people who love books, including those who do not usually read literary magazines. We believe that quality literature and art are essential for the existence of an intelligent society.  In order …

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Midsummer Night in the Workhouse: Stories – Book Review

Love, she thought. What a tangle. And she danced a few steps at being alone in the quiet street. The branch of a tree reached over a wall above a lamp-post, its leaves still young and fresh, a brilliant theatrical green in the artificial light. Between the lamp-posts the sky reappeared, a deep purple-blue where …

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Men In the Making: Stories – Book Review

These are rough-hewn and heavy men, men with calluses thick as rawhide, men who aren’t afraid to keep something tender beneath their rib cages, and to expose it to the elements when occasion calls for it, no matter how it hurts.  – from the collection Men in the Making, page 139 – Bruce Machart writes …

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Little America – Book Review

How good it feels to drive a car you didn’t steal. How good it feels to have a stomach full of food. How good the little breeze, flowing through the cab.  – from Holy Sisters, page 31 – Diane Simmons has given readers a lovely and poignant collection of short stories where characters travel across …

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For Sale By Owner – Book Review

It was a maternal failure: how can one protect her children when she doesn’t even pay attention to the very air they breathe? It is, as you said, like not noticing the weather – not providing your child an umbrella for the rain, no mittens for the snow. But then, as you conceded your comparison …

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The Secret Lives of People in Love – Book Review

Love reveals the beauty of seemingly trivial things – a pair of shoes, an empty wine glass, an open drawer, cracks on the avenue. – from The World Laughs in Flowers, page 48 of The Secret Lives of People in Love – Simon Van Booy weaves tales of ordinary people and makes them extraordinary in …

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Love Begins In Winter – Book Review

And then suddenly an arm of sunlight reached through a high window and opened its hand upon her face. I saw her eyes as clearly as if we had been pressed against one another in a very small space. – from Love Begins in Winter, page 41 – Simon Van Booy’s five story collection, Love …

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Months and Seasons Makes International Award Long List

For those of you who regularly read my blog, you already know that I think Christopher Meeks is a talented writer. I have read and enjoyed all three of his books: The Middle-Aged Man and The Sea (reviewed here), Months and Seasons (reviewed here), and his debut novel The Brightest Moon of the Century (reviewed …

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The Mechanics of Falling – Book Review

Some people are too stupid to be afraid on a runaway horse. Some people seize up. Some people turn cold and clear inside, like Clay, and only start to shake afterward. Annie sails into trouble like she wants it to last forever, like she can skim off from fear only what’s precious. She almost never …

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Kate’s Short Story Reading Challenge


January 1 – December 31, 2008

Could you resist this button? Come on, be honest. You couldn’t. And neither could I…that, and I love the art of the short story.

Kate at Kate’s Book Blog (and A Curious Singularity) has come up with the 2008 Short Story Challenge. And she’s made it flexible and individualized…AND she’s given it its own blog. So there you go. I’m in.

I’ve chosen option #5 – the custom option. And here is my plan:

I. Read six (6) individual short stories by authors I have not read before and  which I will choose as I go along.

1. Black Ice, by Cate Kennedy (finished January 21, 2008; rated 3.5/5; read my review)
2. The Overcoat, by Nikolai Gogol (finished March 1, 2008; rated 4/5; read my review)

II. Read a minimum of three (3) collections chosen from these books:

1. Selected Short Stories of William Faulkner, by William Faulkner
2. The Country of Pointed Firs and Selected Short Fiction, by Sarah Orne Jewett (let it be noted that I have already read The Country of Pointed Firs and won’t re-read it, but all the other stories in this collection are up for grabs)
3. Open Secrets, by Alice Munro
4. Tooth and Claw, by T.C. Boyle
5. A Private State, by Charlotte Bacon
6. Friend of My Youth, by Alice Munro
7. All Aunt Hager’s Children, by Edward P. Jones

I reserve the right to change the titles or add to them…but, I promise you I will read six (6) individual shorts, and three (3) collections!

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