A Work in Progress

I am not sure quite what this is. I wanted to read it because it was referenced by the author on a blog post I found interesting. This work is interesting in a very narrow way; the author is good at description. When focused on a description of a person, place or thing, the descriptions are good. But it is not a stand-alone book, short story, or novella.

The Girl in the City                                                    by Philip Harris

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Move Along, It Is All Admin

After one month of trying to set up a blog, after one month of trying to read a book per day and post a review of said book, I am going to take a day (one post) to sort of clean up things administratively.

My blog purpose is to get my English as a Second Language students to read. I hope short reviews do that. I also want to expose them to sources for interesting stuff. So, some definitions.

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Dark Doors From Dark Minds

Great short stories to carry around on boring, routine days, the organization of this short story collection offers even more than great content and surprises in the stories themselves. After you are impressed with a few of the stories, go back and read “Welcome to my world(s),” the introduction. May will list the authors that warped her mind in such a way that she could write this stuff. Sounds like a good way to build a reading list for the ever full TBR shelf.

Behind Dark Doors                                        by Susan May

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Who Is Using Whom?

This is in the genre of Young Adult. I read it from a Kindle Unlimited download. It is quite short (a  30 minute read) but I liked it for its possible use in a classroom for English Language Learners. This review was written on 08 June 2016 but posted in the 06 June 2016 position because I did not want to interrupt the flow of another project.

Nala is a slave girl, the younger sister of Hazina. Culturally, Hazina should be the protector, but due to personality factors, Nala seems better at this role. Forced into a harem, realizing her ultimate fate (at least according to the other harem girls) Nala decides she has to kill her owner. Caught in a situation similar to 1001 Arabian Nights Nala bides her time until she can find a time when she will be able to carry out an assassination of the arrogant owner who is using her. But, using her for what? On this point turns a possibly surprise ending.

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Dark, Obsessive Tale of Incest

This is a dark short story about survival, compulsion, and an inevitably developing obsession. As the reader goes forward, an expectation develops of WHAT is going to happen. The artistry of the author is in the description of HOW the expectation is realized.

The Cement Garden                                                               by Ian McEwan

Seven characters move this story forward. Dad and Mom appear and disappear early in the story. Dad has a bit of obsession. He, Mom, and the kids live in a stark, fortress like stone building. This image complements the idea of “cement.” Dad is going to extend the solid image of the house by extending the amount of land covered by cement to create a “rock garden.” Despite a heart condition, Dad works hard. The main narrator, a son late in the story identified as Jack, helps Dad move and mix the cement for the garden construction. Jack is careful to not help too much. He wants Dad to overstress. Dad complies out of a sense of stubbornness, pride, and immortality. Wrong choice. Dad dies.

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True Love and Blackmail and Sextapes

Here is another type of novel that I would never normally choose to read, but I am happy that I did. I may have learned more than I ever wanted to know about the competition that goes on in the world of clothing design. There are also great details about the world of dance, as in ballet, and the world of modelling. For those who have struggled with diets and weight control schemes, there are anecdotes of calorie counting and diets which substitute health foods for comfort foods. So why would an old, could-care-less-about-diets guy read this? Because there are several good stories inside a nicely done larger one.

The Standout                                     by Laurel Osterkamp

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Horror, Violence, Sex, Not a YA Book

Seventeen stories of horror to carry with you to the appointments you do not really want to go to. Also for classes that are boring. But not my classes; there will be a quiz.

Kindle Unlimited Alert: This book is available to Kindle Unlimited subscribers. If you like short stories and flash fiction, this is a good way to read a lot of stuff at a low price.

The Dark Has Teeth                                      by Billy Wells

Obviously, these are horror stories. There is blood, guts, gore, violence, and some weird sex. Once we get to necrophilia, for me, that is weird sex. There were surprise ending for about 70% of the following stories; the other 30% still had good endings, but they could be anticipated. What follows are my quick takeaways or memorable lines from each story.

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