Saturday, June 7, 2014

Short, Quirky, and Lovable

I'm not the kind of reader who insists on always reading a "doorstopper size" novel. In fact, I like to vary my reading choices. After I read a long novel, I typically seek out something smaller for a change of pace, a novella or a young adult fiction. Sometimes, I will choose a book with a collection of stories and sprinkle of few of the stories between reading larger novels. It just depends on my mood and my time schedule. 

All that being said, I'd like to share about two books I recently enjoyed. While the books are not similar in plot or design (one is a collection of short stories, the other a novella), they share certain features that appeal to me. The stories are quirky, but completely lovable. They are the kind of stories that stick with you. They make you think a little deeper. Ponder life, and your place in it, a little more. They also make you get a lopsided grin now and then in the middle of your day when something you read comes to mind. 

Now, I know "quirky" doesn't suit everyone but, if it does, these two jewels are right up your alley...

Let's start with Thank You for the Music: Stories by Jane McCafferty. 

I found this book at Half-Price Books and was attracted to the title and the cover. I love music and thought it might be something like Rob Sheffield's book Love is a Mix Tape. When I realized it was a collection of short stories with music woven in to the stories, I decided to take a chance on it (there's that great book instinct rising to the occasion again). 

McCafferty has written fourteen short stories about the lives of other people, and I assure you there is something for everyone. I read the book straight through, which is unusual for me when it comes to collections. I liked the stories for McCafferty's subtle insights and her humor. She looks at life in both a mystical and a practical way. Some of the stories made me a bit melancholy, others made me smile, but all of them made me stop and think. To me, that's always a good thing.

Special note: After I read the book, I looked it up on Amazon and found that it is now one of their "bargain books," which means you can get it for a very low price AND if you're an Amazon Prime Member, like I am, the shipping is free. And, yes, I ordered another copy - one to keep and one to lend. Supplies are limited on "bargain books," so...go get a bargain while they last! :)

(When did I turn into a commercial announcer?) 

Next on my list is Andrew Kaufman's All My Friends Are Superheroes

First,  you just have to love the title, don't you? I know I do! I was actually attracted to this book through a quote I saw posted on a social media site. When I saw the title attached to the quote, I just had to look it up. 

Since my last post was about my love of book covers, I must mention that there was nothing that appealed to me about the cover of this book. There are two covers, actually, and neither of them 'spoke' to me, but I could not deny my love for the quote and the title. Reading the little introduction convinced me it was for me.

In Kaufman's novella, the main character is not a superhero,...but all his friends are (including his girlfriend). However, their 'superpowers' aren't necessarily...super. The book is really more a statement about relationships and about how we are as human beings. While there are many books written about these topics, Kaufman definitely has a unique way of approaching the subjects. While it is an odd little book, it is charming and precious and,...I ended up hugging it after I'd read it. That should tell you something, eh? 

Here's a suggestion for you, if you decided to purchase this book, be sure to get the Tenth Anniversary Edition. I found that I was glad I purchased that one because the author added a few extra superheroes in a special section at the end. It was fun to read about each one after finishing the story.

Oh, and by the way...

In all this talk about books, have I mentioned this is the first day of my summer break? (Big grin!) I am so excited about all the extra reading time I'll have to enjoy for the next couple of months!! I also have quite a bit of writing to do, as well. Both are two activities I enjoy, along with spending time with my family and traveling. Let the fun begin! 

Happy reading!!!


  1. The entire weekend after my last final exam, I just kept repeating to myself, "I can read a book!" at random times. I was too busy cleaning and taking care of other necessary tasks to read that weekend, but the thought that I could kept repeating itself to me and making me grin. :)

    1. Ah, yes,...I know exactly how you feel! In fact, I've been so busy this first week off from school that I haven't been able to read the book I started last weekend. No worries, though, I'll 'catch-up' some this week! :)