Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Pleasure of a Short Story

This is the time of year when days vanish in a blink of the eye.  There are more things on the "to do" list than minutes in the day.  November through December finds everyone rushing around taking care of family, preparing for the holidays or just trying to finish up end of the year obligations.  

It is a time when I see more of folks going than coming.
We certainly know how to spin ourselves into a frenzy.

With all the comings and goings of the holiday season it is difficult to find the time
 to just sit and enjoy my favorite pastime, reading.   My solution is

the short story.

I have accumulated a decent collection.   I never tire of opening or reopening these books.  There is always a story I missed, or one I've long ago forgotten and rediscovered remembering it to be a favorite.  I can get my literature "fix" in just a few pages.   Two or three pieces while walking on the treadmill.  I can begin and finish another before turning out the light at night.

If I was to pull my complete collection I think I would find it somewhat eclectic, maybe slightly heavy on the southern side.  I admit I am a southern girl with a love for the richness of southern literature.

Last week needing to lift my spirits, after finishing possibly the most depressing
book I have ever opened and felt obligated to finish, I pulled
Queen of the Turtle Derby and Other Southern Phenonomena, Julia Reed,
off the shelf to reread a few of the essays.

Ms Reed, a contributing editor for Newsweek, describes our unique culture as only a
southerner can.   She explains and defends the holiest of what is, guns, pearls and tiaras, while adding a few "bless your hearts" in for good measure.  Once finished reading the last delicious essay you will never want to wear white before Easter or after Labor Day again.

I did put down my book just long enough to begin a sweater for our little
Waldi.  I was told he was getting a little cold when needing to
go out.

Oh I do think he is going to be quite handsome in houndstooth.
Don't you?
Bless him!


  1. Hello Bonnie:
    We are great lovers of the short story which, when done well, is a most effective branch of fiction [if that is the correct term?]. We have also always considered a short story possibly more difficult to write than a longer novel. Do look out for those by William Trevor and Patrick Gale, amongst others.

    We leave very shortly for Venice and will be without the internet for a week or so. We shall look forward to catching up on our return.

    1. Yes, I agree, short stories are the most difficult form of fiction to write. One must be able to set the scene, tone, develop characters and move the story along in only a few pages. I will most definitely add Trevor and Gale to my list of authors. Thank you the suggestion.

      Have a most wonderful stay in Venice. I do hope some of the water has receded. I know you will share something wonderful with us upon your return. Stay safe. Bonnie

  2. What a great title, and the book sounds wonderful! I don't read a lot of short stories, but I usually enjoy them when I do. Do you ever read Alice Munro or William Trevor? They, along with Raymond Carver, are three of my favorites.

  3. Beth, I do know the name of Alice Munro and thought I had read something of hers, but upon researching I find I have not. I also look forward to and appreciate suggestions of authors and titles. Thanks! Bonnie

  4. Great HoundsTooth . . . in the rush and hustle bustle . . . I read too. Not sure if short stories would doit for me though . . . I will think on it . . .

  5. Hi Bonnie,
    So, short stories it is for these last two months of this year. Perfect idea....Well, I finished "Cutting for Stone" and I can only recommend it. It's a lot of pages, so don't read it till the beginning of next year. It was a slow start for me and I almost thought of giving up, did not have the time to invest in a slow moving book, but I did not and then I could not put it down anymore. The Professor that recommended this book to me is also from Ethiopia and we had a nice chat about the book and his country and customs...
    I love your knitting and the colors are beautiful. Your little Waldi will stay warm and in style.
    Take care.

  6. Hi Bonnie,
    Love the squirrel photos and the fact that it still looks like fall at your house! I know so little about southern life... perhaps I will be able to find this book at the library and learn a thing or two! :)

    1. Zuzu, Oh I do hope you might be able to find "Queen of the Turtle Derby". I is a fairly honest and humorous look at the way so many of us were raised in the south. It is changing. Sometimes I think it a good thing. Other times, I think maybe not so much. I hope you enjoy!

      We had our first freeze last week. It has been so warm here several of my maples are just now changing. I believe this week the temps go back up into the high 60s and low 70s.

      I hope you are having a wonderful weekend. Bonnie

  7. What an adorable little sweater that is going to be!

    I'm not a southern girl, but love southern literature. Adding Julia Reed to my list!

  8. Houndstooth for the hound, how appropriate. I hope he will model it for us on a future post.
    I love the short story format. This year a paperback edition of the complete short stories of the English novelist, Elizabeth Taylor, has been published, which I recommend.

    1. Rosemary, I have difficulty finding anything by Elizabeth Taylor in my area. I am going away for Thanksgiving, I will look for it.

      I am withholding my opinion on "Hedgehog" until I am further along. Bonnie

  9. Forgot to add that a friend loved 'The Elegance of the Hedgehog' and lent it too me but I could not get on with it, although we usually share enthusiasm for the same books.

  10. I seldom think to read short stories. What a great suggestion! I see you also liked one of my favourite books, "Rules of Civility".

    1. I loved "Rules of Civility". It was one of those stay up all night to finish books. Thank you so much for visiting and welcome to Living Life. I am so enjoying your lovely blog. Bonnie