Tag Archive: anthology



Happiness is a CollageHappiness is a Collage by Gita V. Reddy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don’t like short stories. Give me a long series any day. But this book was marvelous! It is a collection of stories of women who have paths of their own and how they deal with cultural, spiritual, educational issues and mix that with those mores of American feminism and ‘modern’ ways of life and these stories seem nearly as truth, not fiction.

If there were more story for each told here I would be happy. Nearly any of these stories can be full novels, that I would love reading. I love the education I pick up as I read of each of these life situations.

This wasn’t a long read. I think it was a couple of nights. With text-to-speech it was often hard to know when I had moved into another story, but other than that I enjoyed Gita V. Reddy’s writing. I think others will like it, too.

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Bold: Stories of Strong WomenBold: Stories of Strong Women by Sandy Ward Bell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I won this book from GoodReads Giveaway. Though I knew it was an anthology of short stories I thought reading about strong women would make it worth my while. So thank you for letting me read your book.

BUT, I just don’t like short stories. Yes, the women seemed to have opinions but I didn’t see them as any stronger than others. Maybe with more story, I would have been impressed with them but, not so much. And it is worse is you read with text-to-speech as it is hard to know when the last story ended and the next story starts. I can’t tell you how many times I had to go back and figure out why it wasn’t making sense suddenly. OH! It’s a new story. I guess that is something to keep in mind when writing for the Kindle market, make sure to put a something there at the end and start the new one with a hashtag or something.

I finished this book a week or so ago but life got busy and I had to wait to write the review. I honestly can’t remember any of the stories to say more about them. Obviously, there are folks that loved these stories so go read their reviews. You may be one who loves them, too. But give me a series and depth of characters. The stories are well written, I do remember that. I like the cover!

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Debriefing: Collected StoriesDebriefing: Collected Stories by Susan Sontag
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Though I was grateful for the opportunity to read this, I am sorry I couldn’t finish it. I found it stuffy and boring. I don’t like anthologies or short stories. So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that I couldn’t handle this.

Don’t take my word for it. Read it for yourself as plenty love this book.

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Horton and the Kwuggerbug and more Lost StoriesHorton and the Kwuggerbug and more Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Now, here is a special book! A long lost treasure. And you know what? I couldn’t wait to read it. I had to read the first story out loud to the dog. I don’t think she appreciated the subtleties of the story. And my throat hurt since I haven’t read aloud in years!

What made this book a treasure is the Introduction. It told about this book and other stories. Then having a deeper understanding of where the stories came from made the reader even more happy to see how wonderful and crazy Dr. Seuss’s stories were.

And it isn’t just crazy. zaniness Ted’s stories there are always little morals or thought processes for the reader to get into and squeeze the life out of.

I hope you are able to get this book to enjoy.

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Blackbird HouseBlackbird House by Alice Hoffman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Let’s suppose there was a plot of land that was the main character of a book. I would have done better had I known that simple fact. For some reason, the Kindle version did not download properly so I just listened to the Audible version.

I could have done without the first narrator. Oh, goodness what a bombastic voice! The rest of the narrators were great. In fact, it was fun that each chapter, which was each new inhabitant of the property got a new voice many of them were fantastic!

When I finally got my Kindle to download, I did much better as I could read along with the Audible. In fact, it synched perfectly.

Alice Hoffman has become one of my favorite authors. Remember she is the one who wrote Practical Magic. So I had to grab this when it was on special. This one read similarly to the Red Garden. She refers to witches and red shoes and other symbolism that would be fun to discuss in a book group.

I may have to read this again someday as I know there was a lot more there than I absorbed. One of my issues with the book was I wanted more of each resident. I always felt each story too short. Maybe I wanted a series?

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The Witch's Vacuum CleanerThe Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you are looking for a light, funny read, this is your book. It was like watching cartoons or Monty Python. Very bad for a bedtime book for me. I found it hard to stop reading, well, actually, listening to this one. 3:00 came too quickly. So, sorry if this sounds more disjointed than my usual reviews.

Oh, I listened to the Audible using the whispersynch. Julian Rhind-Tutt (Narrator) is facinating! His voice changes with every character. He tells the story with so much gusto that sometimes I think I missed story for enthusiastic energy. Even still, at the end of each story I had that sigh of fulfillment.

The stories themselves are sadly, mostly, male. In fact, the very first one ended with the main character marrying the witch with us hardly knowing a thing about the witch except that she was a witch. I wanted more about her and that parrot. Please forget that you just read the last two sentences if they seem spoilers. After all, the title of the book is The Witch’s Vacuum. Seems like there should be a lot more witch and vacuums than men in the form of police or gnomes. But hey, Mr. Pratchett wrote this when he was a teen and the adage says ‘write what you know’. Sadly, Mr. Pratchett knew nothing about the other half of society then. Later he did write some fun books that did have fems but mostly they are witches. Is it any wonder how the world is now if this is all anyone has read most of their lives?

Still, I have loved Terry Pratchett’s writing, so creative! Magick exists, but sadly without fems. Even colors we have never heard of exists. Don’t get me started! YET, I love his writing. Fun, fun stories!

So take it with a grain of salt that in male authors’ worlds, fems hardly exist. We will try to change that with our own writings and making sure they see us as the other humans. After all the whole language system leaves us behind. Even human. We could be called hu.

But it is for this teeny-tiny problem that I am giving the book four stars instead of five. If you can get the audio version you are in for the best story telling around–save for girls, fe=iron.

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A Tapestry of TearsA Tapestry of Tears by Gita V. Reddy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this book free of charge from the author.

Well, this was a treasure. You all know I don’t like short stories. I like getting to know characters deeply. That is why I read so many series. But Gita V. Reddy has pulled off keeping the story short while not leaving the reader empty.

If there was a theme running through these stories it would be “Love”. Though the stories are about Indian families/couples the American reader isn’t lost in cultural differences. The stray non-English word helps in keeping the story authentic but those aren’t over done.

The female dilemmas that plague many countries are merely spoken of in fact as part of the story and not the end goal. That made the stories more interesting.

I found re-reading the last couple stories from other books a little boring but if it were the first time for a reader to see them they might find these interesting.

Well-done, Gita! I do recommend that everyone read this book. It can make you see some of your own flaws to work on in love. It isn’t just for Indian women. It is for everyone!

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The Lonely Little Star & Other StoriesThe Lonely Little Star & Other Stories by Mary Beth Robb

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After reading a few books that were anxiety producing I thought this one would help ease me to sleep. I let my inner child be read to by the text-to-speech as I followed along in the book. Mary Beth Robb writes her stories in an uncomplicated way while covering some deep spiritual issues. I would have loved to read this book to my children when they were young.

Reach out and take a chance, seemed to be the theme of this group of stories. Shy people need this kind of advice regardless of age. I loved the stories about the witch who was shy and the stories about the ribbons of love. How tactile the story was. In fact, all the stories involve all of the readers’ senses as you move in life with the main characters of each story.

Learn about another point of view. If you have been raised in a certain religion here is a chance to learn how others have seen the world and life. Neither way is wrong. There is much to be learned from everyone. This would be a great place to start in learning about Paganism or Wiccan ways of life. These are the “Old Time Religions” the main theme of most religions I have seen is LOVE and acceptance. Ms. Robb’s books seem to teach that is spade!

I was so happy that Kindle has the Kindle Unlimited way of reading books I can’t afford. I hope the author gets a good financial kick-back from this. When I can afford them I will buy them. Maybe I will have them in time for grandchildren? Thanks for some awesome stories, Mary.

By the way, I follow Ms. Robb’s blog: Elfkat.wordpress.com I learn a lot from her point of view and enjoyher sense of humor.

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Inner Mind/Outer Space: Four Short Stories and a Novelette by the Author of Alien WithinInner Mind/Outer Space: Four Short Stories and a Novelette by the Author of Alien Within by Karen Forrester

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After finishing Karen Forrester’s book Alien Within, I wanted more. Though I don’t like short stories because they leave me wanting more, I have to admit that I liked these stories. I think I should have read these first for my own chronology of events. So that is my recommendation.

By the way, this one was free on Smashwords but either of these books can be obtained on Amazon for $.99 each. That is quite the bargain for a bit of imaginative adventure. Inner Mind/Outer Space has the beginning of the world of Alien Within and a bonus chapter of that book.

Though I loved the sci-fi parts, I have to admit that my favorite story was one of grief and gratitude. Again, I would have liked more about the characters in that story, still I got enough to make me love them and the situations presented.

I look forward to reading more by Karen Forrester. I love her writing style and imagination.

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Morning in the Burned House
Morning in the Burned House by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I borrowed this book from my daughter ages ago. She and I both forgot I had it. I remember visiting her and finding it and sitting and reading with fascination during some boring quiet time. She had many poems dogeared and I could say those were my favorites also. I like Margaret Atwood’s writing style, her descriptions were wonderful.

Though the font was small the format of poetry left plenty of empty page to rest my eyes. Even so I needed to take my time with it to fully absorb the depth of the poems before me. I haven’t read poetry for a long time so I had to remember how to think in that abstract way.

Still, I think it’s about time I read The Handmaid’s Tale that was recommended to me decades ago by my friend.

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