In recent months I’ve read a number of books and short stories that I have not received yet for various reasons. I either didn’t like them very much, didn’t have much to say or the book has been reviewed so many times and is so popular that reviewing them would just be a wasted effort. Therefore I’m here again with a list of mini reviews:
Nowhere to Be Found by Bae Suah
This novella tells the story of a young Korean woman on a journey in finding herself while living a poverty-stricken life. This story is a bit depressing, but at the same time eye opening in terms of the (little) insight we get into the culture of the young protagonist. She has to deal with an alcoholic mother and living in poverty and yet she still finds love, but loses him. There is so much in this story to ponder about. I’d really recommend it. It’s not a happy story, but it’s short enough to read in about an hour or 2.
A nameless narrator passes through her life, searching for meaning and connection in experiences she barely feels. For her, time and identity blur, and all action is reaction. She can’t quite understand what motivates others to take life seriously enough to focus on anything—for her existence is a loosely woven tapestry of fleeting concepts. From losing her virginity to mindless jobs and a splintered, unsupportive family, the lessons learned have less to do with the reality we all share and more to do with the truth of the imagination, which is where the narrator focuses to discover herself.
Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King
I read this when I “participated” in King’s March, hosted by Wensend and Fourth Street Review. I say “participated”, because I had full intention of doing so even though I was a bit reluctant to read Stephen King (I’m a huge wimp!). I seeked out one of his novels/stories that aren’t scary and I was advised by a friend to try his collection of short stories called “Different Seasons”. I’ve heard of the movie Shawshank Redemption and believe it’s rather good, so I started with this short story called Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption. It is a prison story about the inmates and their life in prison. My honest opinion? I did not like it. It was such a boring read for me. I am planning on watching the movie though to see if I like it better.
Bearing Witness: Beloved Maryam and Other Poems by Merlynn Edelstein
This is a collection of poems written by one of my acquaintances. It was written in dedication of children of war and it’s a beautiful collection of poems. One of my favourites are called “Collateral Damage”
Little bodies in body bags
lying broken in debris
clasped and clung to
collected in heaps
in long rows
and fathers weep”
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I loved this book! Really loved it. Everyone knows what it’s about: the love story of two teenagers who both suffer from cancer. They met at a cancer support group, became instant friends and then fell in love. I cried for the movie, I cried even more when reading the book. It’s a beautiful story, even for me who don’t enjoy reading romance novels. This is so much more as it brings in the reality of living with cancer and having the fear of falling in love, because you don’t want there to be too many casualties when you pass on. But love is an emotion you can’t control and therefore this lovely story. Totally recommend it!
Larger Than Life by Jodi Picoult
This short story plays off in Botswana, Africa. This tells the story of a researching who specializes in researching elephants. The story is meant to be a novella as an introduction to Jodi’s latest novel, Leaving Time. I really liked this story and therefore got my hands on Leaving Time, which I’m yet to read. It’s only 78 pages, so it won’t take up much of your time.
Where There’s Smoke by Jodi Picoult
This is a short story about a woman, Serenity Jones, who is a medium, because she has psychic powers. This story I didn’t enjoy as much as Larger than Life. I do believe in spirits, but I don’t really believe in having psychic powers, therefore this story wasn’t very believable. It’s only 41 pages, but I think skip it…
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
I watched the movie, but don’t remember much and of course I enjoyed this story as well! Coraline is an adventurous little girl who gets herself into trouble and I enjoyed reading about her adventures. It’s a sweet story I’m sure a lot of children would enjoy!
Have you read a lot of short stories recently? Have you read novels where you just don’t have much to say about after you’ve read it? If so, do you choose to review it still (full reviews or mini reviews) or do you just skip it?