Summer Days and Summer Nights ed. by Stephanie Perkins
Feeling like some summer love? Summer Days and Summer Nights is a book of twelve short stories written by some bestselling YA authors and edited by Stephanie Perkins. Each of the stories has their own flavor and tone but with a high level of imagination. I particularly enjoyed “The End of Love” by Nina LaCour, “A Thousand Ways This Could Go All Wrong” by Jennifer E. Smith and “The Map of Tiny Perfect Things” by Lev Grossman. So grab your sunscreen and hit the beach with this fun compilation of summer stories.
Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
I have to remember that I shouldn’t read Neil Gaiman right before I go to bed. His darkly, beautiful prose is vivid enough to invade my dreams with eerie illusions. Trigger Warning is a collection of short stories and poems. While the collection doesn’t have a noticeably common thread, it does feel like the entries go together. The tone of the book is consistent and the writing is impeccable as you would come to expect from Neil Gaiman. I particularly enjoyed “Nothing O’Clock,” a story in the Doctor Who universe, and “The Sleeper and the Spindle,” a very interesting take on the Snow White and Sleeping Beauty fairytales. I whole-heartedly recommend Trigger Warning and Neil Gaiman in general as everything I have read has been expertly written and wonderfully creative.
One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak
Review: Crude, offbeat, imaginative. B.J. Novak, writer & actor for The Office, has released a collection of original short stories developed from a series of public readings. The stories range from less than a page to maybe 20 pages. They each have a unique flavor and many exude a dark sense of humor. I appreciated the fact that little details from previous stories come back in subsequent ones if you are paying close enough attention and while I didn’t laugh out loud, I did find some of them quite humorous. I particularly liked “The Something by John Grisham,” “The Girl Who Gave Great Advice,” and “If I Had a Nickel.”
Let’s take a look at the second BookRiot Quarterly Box!
This box included “Parnassus on Wheels,” a novella by Christopher Morley, “Judging a Book by Its Lover” by Lauren Leto which I’m excited to read, a tin of book dart bookmarks, a “Yay! Books!” magnet which promptly went up on my fridge, a banned books mug and a flash drive loaded with a introduction to Short Story Thursdays.
If you would like to get your hands on the next installment of BookRiot’s Quarterly Box, you can sign up here.
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
Total Reading Time: 2.5 hours
Review: Ray Bradbury sure had a way with words. The Martian Chronicles is a masterful piece of storytelling. Each standalone short story weaves a piece of a larger tale. The themes and imagery have held up quite well over the years making this a timeless classic.
Jane Austen Made Me Do It: Original Stories Inspired by Literature’s Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart, edited by Laurel Ann Nattress
Total Reading Time: 3.75 hours
Review: Well, this one is a no-brainer. As a self-professed Austenphile, any excuse to read anything remotely close to Jane Austen’s work is something I’m going to enjoy. (As evidenced by the many Austen sequels, retellings & other Austenesque books I’ve read.) These 22 short stories are wonderfully creative and seem to spring directly from the mind of the Lady herself or are inspired by her life. Lovely.
The Knife Thrower and Other Stories by Steven Millhauser
Total Reading Time: 2.25 hours
Review: These stories reminded me a lot of episodes of “The Twilight Zone.” They had seemingly dark undertones and always a feeling like you’re missing some deeper meaning. Several of the “stories” read more like histories of imaginary places that feel incredibly real and rich but just strange enough to be unique. I don’t know if I could really call the book enjoyable due to the creepiness factor but I was entertained enough to read the whole thing.