The Tales of Mother Goose (1697) by Charles Perrault is a wonderful read.
In the book, Perrault has gathered together some of the most well-known fairytales and fairytale characters in literature in their original form. So many of these stories have been adapted a lot and it was nice to see how they were originally written and see where the changes were and just to see in general how it all began. There is slight changes in them but overall the essence of the tales have made it through the decades.
It is a lovely light-hearted read with great messages. We have Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Little Thumb (which wasn’t one I knew prior to reading this collection), Puss In Boots (Still love Puss but he is defo more savage in the original write), Riquet With The Tuft, Blue Beard, The Fairy (I didn’t know those three too well either prior to reading this book) and Little Red Riding Hood. It is a great read, one that you could read in one sitting but also could read a story a night from. It is great to see all these amazing short classics in childrens’ literature together and kudos to Charles Perrault for getting them all in one place.
Really great, fun read.
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Two Knots of Love – II: Short Love Stories (2019) by SA Krishnan is a wonderful read featuring two romantic short stories.
The first story is Wedding Blues. In this story we meet Vikram Saral who is at a wedding when he suddenly sees a fellow guest – his ex girlfriend Ankita Rajwat. They haven’t spoken in quite a while and the story while being a romance has a suspense element to it as bit by bit the pieces unravel about their past together. It is very gripping and well-written. You get very engrossed in the story and whether or not they will get back together or not.
The second story is Lost Lives where we meet Atreya who is in love with Anjali. Atreya is a TTI operative so he lives a very dangerous lifestyle which leaves room for much edge-of-your-seat moments. But there is the tender side of Atreya’s life too when it comes to his love for Anjali who he met in college. I love Atreya’s Dad. He was my favourite character in the collection.
I found some of the female characters violent. Some of the male ones were too but they were villains. The female ones who were it came across that they were supposed to be likeable so that didn’t fit. They never showed remorse or seemed in a situation where they needed to defend themselves by hitting people. I love strong characters but verbally strong characters unless violence is needed.
This collection is full of romance and great dialogue. It’s really well-written and brings you on a real journey into these characters’ lives. There is also a first part to this series of short stories which I would love to read at some stage.
A superb read.
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Murder by Bear and Other Short Stories (2016) by Marlow Kelly is a collection of short stories about women in various stages of their lives facing all manner of situations.
There is four short stories in the collection. The first story is Murder by Bear and though I liked all the stories in the collection, this was one of my two favourites. The protagonist in this short is Julia Hepburn and she is currently married to a man called Mike. They have an unhappy marriage and they trek off to Churchill, Manitoba where Julia encounters a polar bear who is out to kill her. I don’t want to give away the story but there is numerous twists and turns and she meets another man on the trip called Jake who something may happen with. Very fast-paced and so much packed into such a short piece. I was enthralled from start to finish and intrigued to know where this was going. Oh and I couldn’t stand Mike at all. The writer said in the collection that Murder by Bear was her first piece that she wrote and it is not only a very strong first attempt, it is simply a very strong piece and I knew from it that this was penned by a very good writer with great storytelling techniques which hook readers in. Next up is Escape where our protagonist is Marilee who is running away from her past in a small town in British Colombia, Canada. For much of this story, I didn’t know where it was going. As it went on, I started to. It works very well because the author gives you little clues as to where it is going, hoodwinks the reader when needed but is also fair to the reader to allow them work it out and again and it was something that ran throughout this collection, there is a sense of suspense and intrigue which keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happen next. Marlow also wrote small-town life perfectly and I lived in a small-town most of my life so I think I can judge that fairly.
In the third story, we meet Emily. This story is called The Encounter and is the shortest in the collection. Set in Victorian England, specifically 1838, Emily is out to make ends meat in London. In so few words, we get a lot about Emily’s backstory and once again the suspense of where this is leading is very well crafted and documented. The final story in the collection is First Impressions where the main character is Ann Hamilton. The story is a Mother’s Day story by the author who gives a brief bit of history about the day which I didn’t know and found very interesting. The story is based in England in 1905 and is about Ann who loves to draw and George who loves taking notes on wildlife. Through their mothers they are reluctantly forced together and I would say this is my other favourite story in the collection. The dialogue is great, very believable. Ann is very likeable and George, though he has a few flaws which made me go whoa, I liked too and I was rooting for them. Some of it was a bit predictable but just when you think you know where this is going, you don’t. There is more than meets the eye. Very imaginative and flows very easily.
Marlow also includes the first chapter of her 2017 novel Sun Seeker which certainly made me interested to read more of that particular book in the future.
Dubliners (1914) by James Joyce is a collection of fifteen short stories all revolving around the lives of Dubliners as the title suggests.
It is a wonderful read. The dialogue is spot-on. In a lot of ways, Dublin and Ireland in general has become more modern than some of the characters but also there is a lot of modern characters in the collection and it was cool to see someone writing how that modernity was there even in a time it wasn’t thought to be. It’s a very realistic book. I have definitely being acquainted with many people like a lot of characters in this book or know of them. It’s very authentic.
You have stories in this collection of regret and pain as well as stories of joy and happiness. They aren’t stories which are neatly tied up with a bow which is very reflective of life. There is an unpredictable vibe to them. There is many people caught up in situations which they have no chance or little chance of getting out of. There is definitely a sense of all these stories happening in a big city and no one outside their circle caring but their story being the biggest thing in their lives which is so true of us all. We’re just a tiny dot on the earth. Joyce perfectly balances it is what is with caring for the emotions and the lives of the characters and what you get is a stunning portrait of characters living in or from Dublin from all backgrounds especially from working-class backgrounds. The stories are different but they feel quite similar in the sense of you get the impression that half these people would pass each other on O’Connell Street and not know each other’s stories. There is an atmosphere of claustrophobia but also a sense of freedom and distance.
This collection shows the preciousness of life. Seeing so many of the characters let their potential or what could have been slip through their fingers inspires you to do your thing, get out there, not take life for granted. But in reality we often do. We put things off and sometimes we never get around to the things we have planned to do and this is written in a very true way. It’s a story of people trying their best but not always being sure what the right course of action is and I think to some extent we can all relate to that. Even though the stories jump, you instantly find yourself getting into the next story so you never feel like you were grabbed out of one story and pulled into one you wish you weren’t. The snapshot and slices of life are all brilliantly done.
It is quite a thought-provoking collection. Joyce never really closes the stories in a way that there is closure. He leaves it as their lives just went on like this and that makes the stories all the more powerful. I like Joyce’s style of writing. It is very down-to-earth and is modern too. His writing was tremendously modern for the time he was writing in. He painted a vivid and real picture of Dublin and Ireland, not a mythical leprechaun and fairies story or a top of the morning story. He brings drink into it, has it as part of the culture but without a everyone drinks from morning, noon and night kind of story. It was real and I liked that.
Stunning write. Great storytelling. Very much enjoyed it.
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Faith in a Flash (2018) by Kelvin M. Knight is a great collection of short stories relating to the themes of faith and religion.
In the book, which is split into fifteen different sections, Knight looks at these topics in a very human way which was cool and fresh to see as these topics are very often dealt with in an abstract, philosophical way. So I really liked that. While I’m now part of the faithless, I grow up in a religious background so many of the characters and the rituals are familiar to me. Knight has written a collection very true to life here.
It is no easy job to pack a lot into so few words but it is done quite effortlessly here by the author. The reader gets to know the characters quite well in each piece. There is characters at various different stages of their faith journeys but they all share one common trait: learning how to better their faith and how to better themselves as people. The latter is something any reader can relate to and strive for regardless of religious identity. The writing is simply gorgeous. It is edited to perfection and each piece paints a vivid image. This collection is a great read. It is a very truthful read that doesn’t ram religion down the reader’s throat but simply wants to tell the stories of those with faith without making readers without faith feel bad for not believing. Many preachers could take note of that. The book shows both the wonderful things about religion and also it’s flaws in a very well-crafted selection of stories.
This book is very much for everyone at any stage of the faith spectrum or outside it. Reading is about taking yourself out of your own life and looking at other peoples’ lives with an open mind and most importantly an open heart. This is a wonderful book and I’m sure you will not regret purchasing it whether you are faithful or faithless. The character portrayals are stunning and reading about both them and their faith journeys is a pure joy.
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I have put together a collection of six short stories called Ketchup & Other Short Christmas Stories which is now available on Amazon. It’s the first Christmas book I’ve written and I loved putting it together. Now it’s back to writing my next novel 🙂 …
Hope you all enjoy it. 🙂
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My short story collection All You Need Is Love: Short Story Collection is now available to buy on Amazon. There is six stories in it: a longer short story and five shorter ones. I enjoyed putting and hope that everyone will enjoy reading it too. 🙂
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Bonds That Bind: A Short Story Collection (2016) by Writings by Ender and Beautiful / Losers Magazine founder Austin L. Wiggins is a beautifully written collection of six short stories: The Bird That Flew Overhead, One Man’s Sin, Radiance, The Outsider, Of Flowers and What Ails Us. The book is thought-provoking and asks of readers exactly how far their moral compass goes.
The characters in each of these collections share two traits: a sense of being flawed but also of being human. These stories have very realistic and relateable characters in extraordinary circumstances which many readers will hope they are never in. Written in a very accessible style each story drags you in making you want to continue reading to find out what will happen. There is a beautiful descriptive style to the writing.
The Bird That Flew Overhead has many stunning descriptive lines and is a great opener for the book. The tension and anticipation is very well written in this story and leaves the reader wanting to know how it will end. One Man’s Sin is an intriguing tale of a 40-year-old revenge and once again the reader’s attention is held brilliantly throughout. Although all the stories are great, the best in my opinion is the third story entitled Radiance. The plot is so good and so original. It is the story of George whose best friend Joe has had an affair with George’s wife but is now going to kill himself out of guilt. It is down to George to stop him from doing so. A very interesting plot and keeps your attention to the end as you wait to see whether George will show his humanity or not in light of what he knows. The Outsider is wonderfully written. It deals with quite a mundane situation. Derek is in The Pacific City Wind Ensemble and we as readers get a great sense of his inner feelings about being part of the ensemble and the different personalities of the members. Fascinating and an excellent commentary on human communications. Of Flowers is an interesting story with a bit of a James Patterson feel to it. From one best-selling crime writer to another the final story What Ails Us has a bit of a John Grisham feel to it. We follow Glenda’s story as Price interviews her and it is a cleverly written and thought-provoking plot.
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