storyteller and all-around creative distraction

weekend reads: stories about death

Just Finished: The Opposite of Love, by Julie Buxbaum

From Goodreads:

When successful twenty-nine-year-old Manhattan attorney Emily Haxby ends her happy relationship just as her boyfriend is on the verge of proposing, she cant explain to even her closest friends why she did it. Somewhere beneath her sense of fun, her bravado, and her independent exterior, Emily knows that her breakup with Andrew has less to do with him and more to do with…her. Youre your own worst enemy, her best friend Jess tells her. Its like you get pleasure out of breaking your own heart.

This is not just the story of a woman afraid ofcommitment. She is afraid, of course, but it runs so much deeper than that. So deep, in fact, that for much of the beginning of the novel, both the reader and the narrator, Emily herself, are floundering in confidence that she’ll ever figure out what exactly is wrong with her, or how she’ll find the strength to move forward. The story comes together with gut-punching emotion, and prose that is all at once sharp, refreshingly strange, and wonderful.

Tread carefully if you’re squeamish about Death Stories. Of course, Death Stories are right up my alley, and I found this one brilliantly done. Very much recommended!

(4.25* from me.)

On the side burner: Looking For Alaska, by John Green. At about 25% and I’m still waiting for this one to take hold of me. I do love his writing a lot though, so I’m going to jump back in and see where this is going.

Another story about death: Shelter Me, by Juliette Fay. I started this one on audiobook, but loved it so much I decided I wanted to read it with my eyes! 😉

I don’t think I’m sold on audio books. Do you guys like them?

Up Next: A Thirty-Something Girl, by L.M. Stull. I’m developing some thoughts on the topic of the “thirty-year crisis” (<– totally made that term up!) in women. Considering The Opposite of Love, which I’ve just finished, as well as some other books I’ve read recently, and even my own Exactly Where They’d Fall, I’ve been finding a lot of books recently that all revolve around women having a massive crisis around that age. It’s an interesting time in a woman’s life, either in self and identity, or in their place or direction in life. In any case, I figured this one by L.M. Stull would be a great addition to that mix, and it’s been getting lovely reviews too.

Short Fiction of the Week: “Cold Pastoral” by Marina Keegan, a beautiful short story by a writer who sadly died in a car accident last May. The story is about a college-aged young woman who reads the diary of her boyfriend after his death, and is forced to re-evaluate the realities of their short relationship. Such a gorgeous and heartbreaking little story! I grieve all the wonderful things this girl would have written had she had more time here with us.

Pimping my friends: new releases I’m looking forward to:

Submerging by Shana Norris
– this is the second in Shana’s Swans Landing series, so you’ll definitely want to check out Surfacing first! These are exciting and beautifully written YA paranormals, with romance and fantastic characters! Even if you don’t normally read YA, you want to check these out!

The Torturer’s Daughter by Zoe Cannon
– a brand new dark speculative fiction debut! Doesn’t that cover give you chills!?

Bonded by Michelle Davidson Argyle
– I read “Cinders” from this collection when it was first published, and it was amazing! I love Michelle’s writing, and I’m very much looking forward to this!

The Hero Sandwich by Karyn Gerrard and Gayl Taylor
– written by two of my blogging buddies, together! I haven’t read a co-written book before, so it sounds like an interesting concept. And knowing these two, it’s going to be a super steamy read to boot! 😉

5 thoughts on “weekend reads: stories about death”

  • I don’t like audio books. I think it’s because when I read, I don’t hear the words so much as make the scene, so listening sort of takes that away.

    Oh, man, so many books to read!

  • Thanks for all the recommendations! I’ll be checking them all out.

    I’ve never read an audio book but I am 100% positive that I wouldn’t like them. I have a huge problem taking in large amounts of information aurally. I need a visual to go along with it. I hate people reading things aloud to me, I had a huge problem with lectures while I was at uni and I even have trouble following a story someone is telling me if it’s very long and there’s no “break” where I can ask a question or clarify.

    I am actually amazed that people can read audiobooks and drive! I have to concentrate so hard to listen to a story and there’s no way I’d attempt it while behind the wheel. So yeah…no audiobooks for me! I prefer to have the words right in front of my eyes.

  • LOL… I love audiobooks. To me they’re wonderful because I can read the book, close my eyes and see the scene. Of course – I don’t do audiobooks in cars – that’s just crazy – I do them in bed! Or when I’m doing housework, or when I’m pottering around the house. And sometimes I just sit and listen to them without having any other task.

    To me, they hark back to the good old days when I was a nipper and loved to be read to last thing when I went to bed. It made going to bed and enjoyable activity!

    Nowadays, I use audiobooks to stop my mind from going everywhich way when I go to bed. They’re a great anti-anxiety tool.

    So yeah. I dig audiobooks.

  • Oh, Kiri, they would be good in bed! (Ha, good in bed, lol! So would a dirty book be even better in bed? 😉 ) But yes, if you could lie down and close your eyes, it would help you see the scene in a similar way you do when you’re reading. If you’re driving/walking/doing whatever else, I think all those conflicting images from the real world don’t allow you to fully imagine that scene.

    ^ My scientific analysis, lol!

  • I’ve never listened to ‘that’ sort of book in bed…. but you know? I think I’m going to see if I can find one! LOL

    When I’m doing other things, I pick and choose with the things that suit around the house. e.g. comedy programs that go for a half-hour, or short stories that go for 15 minutes. I also tend to pick ones I’m already familiar with – so there’s no preparation needed.

    I particularly love one set I’ve got by Christine di Pizan, a 13th Century Feminist who wrote The Book of the City of Ladies. It’s in 10 x 15 minute sections, it’s uplifting, and there are scenes in each episode it so it’s easy to turn off and on when I need to stop to do something else.

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