We’re Not Sixteen Anymore is the short title of a novel published in 2016 by Becky Andersen. In addition, the subtitle notes that this is A Baby Boomer’s Adventures With Online Dating. In the Tinder (and not necessarily tender) age of 2019, is an update called for? Just a note of what to look for. Chapter One, Welcome to the Sixties is about both THE 60s (time) and the 60s (personal, as in had a birthday). Andersen compares changes in body shape and physical capabilities between herself at sixteen and sixty. When does what appears to be a smudge in the mirror become a uni-brow? For me, the novel was a page-turner after that.
The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry is a somewhat disturbing psychological thriller if the reader can buy into the incredible stupidity and naivete of two important characters, Christopher and Hannah Bauer, the parents of an adopted child, Janie. This is a story of domestic abuse, terror, and torture both physical and psychological. The terrorist, in this case, is Janie, a child that looks two or three years old at the time of adoption. A medical examination will reveal that the Bauers have adopted a six-year-old child who is very, very disturbed. Janie had lived in a closet where she had been confined and tortured for an indeterminate number of her years by her mother, Becky. Somehow, she had escaped from the closet and was found wandering in a park. She was filthy, covered with cuts, rashes, and bruises and wore a dog collar around her neck. Janie was taken to a hospital where both the Bauers worked. Christopher, a surgeon would spend many hours in corrective surgery followed by a lot of time spent at Janie’s bedside. Eventually, Chris would introduce Janie to Hannah, a nurse in the same hospital. Janie had a crush on or was in love with Dr. Bauer and could only sleep when Christopher was around. Christopher was completely taken in by Janie’s displays of trust and affection. Janie did not care for Hannah and was clearly hostile to Christopher’s wife.
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I think Michelle Miller writes great short stories. I have been reading one of her collections, The Fairer Sex, which I haven’t quite finished. I have two left in that eight-part series, but I am going to take a detour with this collection of several short stories by Miller. The cover that appears on Kindle for Boys, Booze and Bathroom Floors catches the eye and is supported by a catchy subtitle, Forty-Six Tales about the Collusion of Suicide Grief and Dating. The 149-page novel sells for USD 7.99 but is available on Kindle Unlimited for free.
I was attracted to Exorcising Aaron Nguyen by Lauren Harris because of its unusual title. Exorcising and exorcisms sound entertaining. The name Aaron Nguyen seems to have a Vietnamese origin and I like most things with a Vietnamese origin. The subtitle, The Millroad Academy Exorcists, Book I, tells me that if I like this book, there will be other interesting ones in a series. The result: I liked this book. The plot, characters, and scene setting were all unremarkable. It was the creative use of language that made it worth reading. I won’t give it five Amazon stars, but the language used deserves a 4.5 rating.
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Clara by Michelle Miller can be found as one of the Amazon Original Stories (AOS) in a collection titled The Fairer Sex. Clara is Book Five of an eight-book series. All can be read one at a time for free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription or the collection can be purchased as a set (not for free). All the short stories emphasize “short.” Clara, the fifth story in the series is only twenty-four pages. Clara is a frustrated writer looking for a reader. Can you empathize? Grab a cup of your favorite cha. Or whatever people call tea in your language.
Wonder When You’ll Miss Me by Amanda Davis is a richly complex novel with at least three plot arcs. By definition, the arcs are not presented in a linear fashion. The reader is aware that Davis is uncovering all three plots at the same time. Elements of each plot march forth for reader examination at unexpected times. Each plot is complex and invites reader reflection. This means that the novel is not a fast read. As I mulled over each element of a plot and its relation to the entire story, the novel falls short of description as a page-turner. I was happy to read an entertaining story that is also intelligent. All plots deserve a five-star Amazon rating.
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Heidi by Michelle Miller can be found as one of the Amazon Original Stories (AOS) in a collection titled The Fairer Sex. Heidi is Book Four of an eight-book series. All can be read one at a time for free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription or the collection can be purchased as a set (not for free). All the short stories emphasize “short.” Heidi, the third story in the series is only forty pages. Grab a cup of your favorite tea. This story is longer than others in the series. You may need a refill. This is about your favorite topic, money. That is your favorite topic, right?
On the not-so-fake-news (‘cause we can see it with our own eyes) we have been treated recently to scenes of the aftermath of wars. One of the least gruesome views has been of the staggering amounts of material left behind in the countries where wars have taken place. As I looked upon a huge store of abandoned US military equipment, I couldn’t understand why the military had not destroyed equipment they could not take home.
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Alicia by Michelle Miller can be found as one of the Amazon Original Stories (AOS) in a collection titled The Fairer Sex. This is Book Three of an eight-book series. All can be read one at a time for free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription or the collection can be purchased as a set (not for free). All the short stories emphasize “short.” Alicia, the third story in the series is only twenty pages. Grab a mug of your favorite brew. Not a large mug, you won’t be able to finish it before you finish the story.
Lauren by Michelle Miller is either a short read or a short listen and can be found as one of the offerings from Amazon Original Stories. This collection, The Fairer Sex, has eight stories ranging from a 16-minute read to the longest one at 56 minutes. Lauren is an 18-minute read. All works in the collection are available for “free” with a Kindle Unlimited subscription.