Why I Like Short Stories

Why I Like Short Stories

I’ve been interested in reading and writing since I was a little kid, and my go to type of book to read was a nice long chapter book. The thicker the better.

My philosophy was, the thicker it was, the more time and effort were put into it, therefore the book must be good right?

Well that’s not completely wrong, but it does have its faults. Just because a book is long, doesn’t mean it is good, but I would say a majority of them are.

What I didn’t realize until the last few years, is that short stories and anthology series really good. I read them in high-school and university, but they’re usually pretty bland and full of symbolism, plus schools rarely ever pick good reading material.

I didn’t mind short stories usually, but they weren’t my favorite thing, until recently. I’ve read a handful of short stories over the past few years, and I’ve really enjoyed them.

Usually a book with a more fleshed out story is better, because they have answers to all the questions and all of the story lines typically end some how.

What’s to complain about in that case? I’m getting the complete story, I should be happy about it.

That’s true, at least in my opinion, but there is another truth that goes along with it. Just because you don’t get the full story, doesn’t mean the story isn’t good.

There is some sort of magic that comes with creating your own story, or finishing a puzzle, and I think that’s something that short stories inspire in people.

They let people fill in the remaining pieces of the puzzle they started, and give people a chance to finish the story how they want it.

If a short story is done well, it tells just enough of a story to satisfy your needs, but not a complete enough story that it gives you all the answers.

It finds the fine line between mystery and answer. Giving you the steak, and you bring the potatoes.

It’s a near magical thing, creating a short story that makes the reader want more. I put the success of short stories up to a test. If a short story is done well, I imagine at least a half dozen different things that could happen in that story.

If a short story is done well, I go looking for more content from that world, author, or anything, just to help me finish it.

If a short story isn’t done well, that’s all there is to it. The story ends at the last word. There’s no wondering what happened next, there’s no finishing the puzzle. The story lives and dies in its own pages.

You might be thinking that you haven’t read a short story that was good, or maybe you haven’t read one that was bad. Either way, everyone has their opinions.

I’ve read a few short stories that fall into both categories, but its the ones that I crave more of that made me fall in love with short stories.

Advertisements

Book Review: The Book Thief

Book Review: The Book Thief

When I think back about this book, I can honestly say that there are no happy memories that come to mind. From how I recall The Book Thief, it’s similar to A Series of Unfortunate Events–it’s just miserable.

Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the book as a whole. I thought it was fantastic, but there weren’t any moments that I genuinely remember being happy about it.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.

By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.

I hadn’t heard of this book before I started reading it, but I really enjoyed the suspense and the drama that came from it. 

If you’ve ever read the book, you’ll remember that there is a very interesting narrator–Death. Yes death is the narrator of the story, and because this is World War Two, you can imagine how busy he was collecting the dead. 

Death foreshadows constantly throughout the story, so we know a bit about which of the characters will die. I think Death’s perspective adds to the building suspense through the story. 

You might assume that Death being a narrator can be sort of intimidating. I mean he’s Death, why wouldn’t his POV be dark and greusome right? 

The truth is, Death was one of the brigher parts of the story. He was a ray of sunshine through some of the darker moments. 

I do not carry a sickle or a scythe.
I only wear a hooded black robe when it’s cold.
And I don’t have those skull-like
facial features you seem to enjoy
pinning on me from a distance. You
want to know what I truly look like?
I’ll help you out. Find yourself a mirror while I continue.


The Book Thief is also a bit of a different view of the Holocaust, because it focuses on a little German girl, Liesel, who is living in Hitler’s birthplace.

And the character growth, in my opinion, is remarkable. There are many characters that we hate throughout the story, only to love them by the end. I definitely recommend picking this one up if you haven’t read it yet. It’s technically considered a YA book, but I think it has more impact the older you are.

I will give you a fair warning though, if you want a fast read, this book isn’t for you. It’s a bit of a grind at times. You’ll feel like your clawing your way through mud, but that slow crawl adds something to the story. It adds a sense of accomplishment and connection to the entire story. 

19063.jpg

I’m not one for re-reading a book, but this one is on the short list for books I plan to re-read in the future. 

I have never met someone, or found a single review that has said anything against The Book Thief. Many people state it is a modern classic. It is truly a remarkable book, and I will firmly recommend that EVERYONE should read this book if they call themselves a book lover.  

Type it Out Tuesday: April 30

Type it Out Tuesday: April 30

I’m back again this week with another writing prompt to get your creative juices flowing. I hope you all enkoy them.

I really enjoy the ones this week, and I think you will too. As always, I’d love to hear some ideas you guys have.

#1: Turn one of the last texts you sent into a story.

#2 Add an original scene to the last movie you watched.

#3 Write a letter to your 14-year old self

 

Book Review: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

Book Review: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

A century before A GAME OF THRONES, two unlikely heroes wandered Westeros…

Rating: ★★★★☆

Author: George R.R. Martin

Continueing with the Game of Thrones theme that has been so popular lately, for whatever reason, this week I decided I’d review A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, a prequel “series” to the main storyline.

18635622.jpg

Having read the main series before I got a hold of this, I had a basic understanding of some of the characters in the book.

What I really enjoy about the supplementary Game of Thrones books is that there is usually some really nice artwork to look at while you read. There is some artwork in this one, but not as much as I would prefer, and msot of it is sketches.

I read it probably three years ago now, and I still remember some of the moments in the book because of how cool they are. I remember tjere was one about Duncan, or Dunc, who is the main character of the book, and he is tried for a crime, which causes a trial by combat.

After the combat, which his team had one, multiple royal family members and Kingsguard members were left dead, all because they defended the innocence of some random guy, who was really a sorry excuse for a knight. His main feature was just finding Egg, and guiding him around the world and keeping him out of trouble.

Dunc and Egg make a wonderful pair, and become life-long friends because of the events in this book. Ser Duncan is not only a knight in name, but also one in deed. This is something increasingly rare in the seven kingdoms. There are few true knights and even fewer when the events of A Song of Ice and Fire take place.

tumblr_nvsbbpk8Ev1u2n5cyo1_500.png

Dunc is a strong and honorable knight, but isn’t all that smart. They call him “thick as a castle wall,” but that’s where Egg comes into play.

Egg is still a boy, though he has a fully developed mind that even the Maesters shall envy. He tempers Ser Duncan’s wrath, guiding him to choose the best course of action. Indeed he has the mind that Duncan lacks. However, for all his intelligence, he still has a whole world to see and understand; he still needs to develop his wisdom.

By being Duncan’s squire, he gets to see honour and decency; he begins to understand how people work, and how best to defeat them; he learns that it can be achieved through words as well as deeds.

The two embark on some interesting adventures. Their first (The Hedge Knight ) is by far my favourite. It depicts the pair’s first meeting, and they discover how important them coming together was. Dunc changes the fate of the Seven Kingdoms. The two only met by chance. Their actions lead to the altercation of who is to be the next King. So, it’s all rather far reaching stuff. The second story ( The Sworn Sword) didn’t quite work for me and felt a little flat in all. The third ( The Mystery Knight) made up for it, though, with its character defining moments.

image.jpeg

Overall they are all a short read, but nontheless are fun to read, and if you are a Game of Thrones fan, they are a necessity.

Quote of the Day: My Top 5 Marvel Cinematic Universe Quotes

Quote of the Day: My Top 5 Marvel Cinematic Universe Quotes

So since endgame came out yesterday, I figured what better way to celebrate the final movie of the Infinity Saga than some of the best quotes throughout the 20 odd movies.

Before I post them, I am letting you know that none of these quotes are from Endgame itself. They are all from the previous movies, and are not intended to spoil anything…they are just quotes that have already been spoken. I am not choosing them because of their relevance to the movies, they’re just ones I like.

 

 You get hurt, hurt ’em back. You get killed… walk it off.

-Captain America Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

 

” When I look around, you know what I see? Losers. I mean like, folks who have lost stuff. And we have, man, we have, all of us. Homes, and our families, normal lives. And you think life takes more than it gives, but not today. Today it’s giving us something. It is giving us a chance.

-Star Lord: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

 

Whatever happens tomorrow you must promise me one thing. That you will stay who you are. Not a perfect soldier, but a good man.

Dr. Erskine: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

 

You’re missing the point! There’s no throne, there is no version of this where you come out on top. Maybe your army comes and maybe it’s too much for us but it’s all on you. Because if we can’t protect the Earth, you can be damned well sure we’ll avenge it!

Tony Stark: The Avengers (2012)

 

We are Groot.

Groot: Guardian Of The Galaxy (2014)

The Book That I Destroyed The Most

The Book That I Destroyed The Most

As any good reader knows, every books can go through a lot of wear and tear during their lives. Some people go out of their way to keep a book in good condition, others don’t really care, I mean how much damage can really be done to a book right?

It’s just some pieces of paper stuck together, and I’m not gonna throw it in a fire or anything so it should be fine (though I do know some people who use old books as firewood and I do not agree!).

IMG_1272.jpeg

Personally, I would say I’m the type that doesn’t worry about what damage can be done to a book, because I just want to enjoy reading the book.

It’s also pretty hard to avoid ruining the book at least a little bit, in my opinion. Hardcover books are a bit safer because they keep themselves open more than paperbacks, but sometimes I notice that there is an oily fingerprint on the bottom corner of the page, or the cover is faded or ripped a bit from being carried in my backpack all day long.

Plus hardcovers usually have a sleeve, which hides the damage done to the book itself, so I tend to worry a bit less when it comes to those.

Paperbacks are much worse. Just carrying them to and from school I’ve spilled water on them, been splashed by cars, or had covers rip and pages fold when something else in my bag squished it.

Honestly, even after all of that I don’t care. I don’t want to ruin my experience of reading a book just because I don’t want it to get dirty or ruined.

If a book was ruined beyond repair or pages get torn out, then I might be a bit upset, but that would be pretty difficult to do, so I don’t worry about that too much.

IMG_1270.jpeg

Now maybe I am going a bit crazy, and people aren’t these perfect book keepers I assume they are, but I have proof of at least one person who is! I know someone who will not and can not ruin a book. It’s impossible. Destiny has forbidden it.

They wrap their book in a soft cloth cover when they aren’t reading it, and they have a special pocket on their bag dedicated to nothing but the book. Nothing bends, rips, or even touches it except the cover.

I’ve even seen them handle the book pretty nonchalantly and it’s like the Book Gods won’t let their books be ruined. There’s a small force field or something around the book that prevents any harmful materials from entering.

They can’t even ruin the spine of a paperback book! How is that possible?

A 800+ page book and they don’t have one single crease mark on the spine? I call bullshit.

It’s either some sort of witchcraft or they only carry around books and don’t actually read them.

Either way, that’s not my life. I’ve yet to ruin a book beyond repair (but I have come pretty damn close) and that’s all I care about.

As long as the book has two covers, legible words on the pages, and the pages are all there, I will read it, though I’m pretty sure I have read a book with no front or back covers before.

Now…

To get to the point of this post… the book that I have ruined the most.

This book has been through it all. I spilled water on it, put oily fingerprints on the pages, dropped food on the pages, squished bugs between its pages, dropped it in dirt, and even dropped it down a two-story building by accident.

The worst thing that happened to it was actually when I first started reading it though. I was on a boat with my girlfriend and her family, and I had brought the book along for the day because it was a nice summer day and I didn’t want to swim…so I figured I’d stay on the boat, enjoy the sun, and read.

It was going well. I had crushed through 75, maybe 100 pages in an hour or so and we started heading back to shore because it was getting late and we were getting hungry.

My girlfriend and I were sitting at the front of the boat, and were getting splashed a bit by some of the waves, so I threw my book and phone under my hoodie and put it at our feet.

WELL that turned out to be a big mistake because not a few minutes later, a HUGE wave came and splashed the boat, leaving the entire floor covered in 4-5 inches of water for a good 30 seconds.

Worried about my phone, I quickly grabbed it and put it somewhere more dry, but as I did my book started floating to the back of the boat.

IMG_1271.jpeg

I was devastated, but there were more important things to worry about.

When we finally made it back to shore, the cover had been basically torn off, paged bent beyond repair, and some of the words wee smudged, BUT all in all it was still a book, and I ended up finishing it a few weeks later when I was on the boat again…clearly not learning from my previous mistakes.

What’s the worst you’ve ever dont to a book? Let me know in the comments. 

Wednesday News: Could you give up your books?

Wednesday News: Could you give up your books?

I’m sure we have all heard of Marie Kondo by now. She’s the Netflix lady that has the show about tidying up and getting rid of unneeded items in the home.

I haven’t gotten around to watching it quite yet, but I hear it’s good, and I think the point of the show has some relevancy in society. Too many people hold on to things that are pointless and unnecessary.

I myself of guilty of just that, but one thing I don’t think I could ever give up is my books. I’m sure some of them I could get rid of pretty easily. I read them once and I don’t really have a desire to read them again.

SOme of my books though, I can’t see myself parting with ever. Even if I don’t read them again, I think the simple fact that I own them is comforting in a way.

 from The Millions wrote an interesting article about her opinion on whether she could give up some of her books or not and you should check it out below.

Does it Spark Joy?

%d bloggers like this: