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review 2018-03-20 08:36
Short Stories of the Normal In An Extraordinary Way.
The Lottery and Other Stories - Shirley Jackson

Before, I did mention I enjoyed reading short stories. There aren't many books with short stories today and for a long time, I heard about The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, which is one of the reasons why I had been looking high and low for this collection. There are 24 short stories altogether and to my amazement, I really enjoyed reading all of them.


The Lottery and Other Stories is divided into 5 parts and to its own theme. Here's a short summary for each of these stories:-


The Intoxicated - When a drunk meets the daughter of the host of the party. The Daemon Lover - A girl looking for her future husband on her wedding day. Like Mother Used to Make - A man cooks dinner for his guest only to be thrown out of his house. Trial By Combat - A woman's apartment been robbed by another tenant. The Villager - A woman pretend to be a buyer of things. My Life With R.H. Macy - A man works in Macys. The Witch - A man tells a story of a scary witch to a child in gruesome details. The Renegade - When an owner's dog kills a farmers chicken. After You, My Dear Alphonse - A game played between two children. Charles - A boy shares his school days with his parents about a naughty student. Afternoon in Linen - A grandmother proud of his grand daughter of a poem she wrote. Flower Garden - A wife who fell in love with a cottage meets the new owner that the neighbors do not want to be friends with. Dorothy and My Grandmother and The Sailors- A trip to a town only to avoid sailors. Colloquy - A patient shares her problems with a doctor. Elizabeth - A day of a literary agent. A Fine Old Firm - A meeting of new neighbors. The Dummy - One night show of a ventriloquist. Seven Types of Ambiguity - A couple going into a bookstore to buy books. Come Dance With Me In Ireland - When three women shown kindness to an Irish old man. Of Course - Greeting a new neighbor. Pillars of Salt An experience trip to New York to remember by a couple. Men With Their Big Shoes - When an expected married wife gets a different view about husbands from a caretaker. The Tooth - When a married woman goes on a trip to New York to extract a tooth with devastating change. The Lottery - A lottery that is held with unexpected results.


There is a small poem as a companion to The Daemon Loverwhich can be read at the end of the book. This is my first time reading a Shirley Jackson book without any expectations. I never thought I would be amazed by her writing, let alone magnetize by her way of story telling. There is some thing about her writings that really makes an interesting read. These stories, some doesn't have an ending. Its like a pick out of the blue chapter from some where. Its plot isn't interesting but by way of reading, its something else. I followed to each of their own and to each of them, they are all good (for me any way). Usually I won't enjoy a short story if it lingers in the end but this is an exception for me because, its just the way she writes that I like about. I had invested in her other books (bought almost all of them I think) and I can't wait to read them all. The Lottery and Other Stories is a book picking up because of its writing but yes, it may not be anyone's cup of tea but still, I would highly recommend it for its weirdness, twist and unexpected spin of tales of the normal that makes it quite extraordinary.

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review 2018-03-20 00:00
Be My Midnight Kiss: Sweetgrass Springs Stories
Be My Midnight Kiss: Sweetgrass Springs Stories - Jean Brashear Love takes time. Jean Brashear gets that. The beauty of a Brashear novel is that despite the complications of life, love finds a way. Be My Midnight Kiss brings a chance to hope, a time to heal and the prospect of happily ever after. For Steph the road to happiness has had many boulders, but Gavin won't let that stand in his way. On it's own, Be My Midnight Kiss is an inspiration, but add in narration by Eric G. Dove and he takes the story in a whole new direction. Either way Gavin and Steph are a treat.
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review 2018-03-18 19:23
Stories Beneath Our Skin
Stories Beneath Our Skin - Veronica Sloane

This is a simple story with some great characters, and the various relationships are generally well done. I did feel like the some of the side stories, in particular the one of Joy and Cole, were lost in the shuffle, which is strange since it's needing to help take care of Cole while Joy's in rehab that acts as the catalyst for Liam and Ace to take the next step. I really liked the friendship between Liam and Ace, though I didn't really feel the romantic relationship between them. Thankfully, there was enough else going on that it didn't bother me. (Frankie and Goose had more chemistry going on, and they were just the subplot.)


I know this is a reissue and this was previously released by a publisher that I'm not familiar with. I'm going to assume that the various technical issues are due to the reissue. There were missing paragraph breaks, especially when dialogue was involved, and it made it difficult at times to figure out who was speaking when. However, there were various grammar issues too: words split in the middle, incorrect punctuation (again, usually around dialogue), missing words and even incorrect words (then instead of than, duel instead of dual, etc) and just weird word choices that I couldn't tell if the author was just trying to reinvent the wheel or really didn't know how those words were supposed to be used.


I was also expecting more detail on the tattooing, since that was a big part of the plot, but that left a lot to be desired. Oh, and how did no one correct poor Cole when he thought Mars was closer to the sun than Earth? Sure, he's four, but that's no reason not to correct him. Bad parenting, guys. Bad!


So 3 stars overall for the story, but half a star off for bad editing/formatting.

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text 2018-03-15 13:10
KYD Green Round: Victim Guess - Team MbD / TA / Lillelara

The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories: 75th-Anniversary Edition (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) - Kelly Link, Angela Carter


The Bloody Chamber is a short story collection, which reimagines fairy tales. So this book fits the task for a book that is set in an imaginary place.

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review 2018-03-13 22:27
A Collection of Twisted Tales
A Collection of Twisted Tales - Kraig W. Dafoe
A Collection of Twisted Tales is a selection of short stories and poetry that is written in the style of beloved Edgar Allen Poe.  Many of the stories revolve around death; however, how the death is achieved in each story is done in a variety of interesting ways.  Like many collections of stories, I had my favorites.  Two stories that stuck out to me were The Clock and My Friend, The Wanderer. 
In The Clock a series of letters recounts the series of events that led up to the death of the owner of a family home with a peculiar clock.  This story walked the line of supernatural and psychosis leaving me wondering if there truly was an evil clock or if mental health issues run in the family.  
My Friend, The Wanderer opens with a time travel mystery and ends on a much sinister note.  This story drew me in with adventure and intrigue and finished with gore and cruelty.
My only wish for this collection is that I could delve deeper into some of the stories.  Overall, a nice mix of horror, thriller and supernatural short stories for a quick read on a rainy day.  
This book was received in exchange for an honest review. 
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