Thursday, January 03, 2008

St. Lucy's Home For Girls Raised By Wolves by Karen Russell has been on my list for ages but I can't remember exactly what it was that made me have to read it now. Whatever it was, I'm glad because I enjoyed these stories very much. Russell commits utterly to each premise whether it's girls literally raised by wolves or the family of the Minotaur making the great western migration. There is a general theme of children forced to grow up faster than they want to or should have to that breaks your heart a little bit in each story.

Next I read Cherie Priest's Not Flesh Nor Feathers which I'm happy to report was completely excellent after a slightly less compelling second entry in the series. Apocalyptic rainstorms, zombies, ghosts... what could be better?

Then I finished 20th Century Ghosts, short stories by Joe Hill which I'd been reading off and on for a couple of weeks. The title story, about an old theater haunted by a cinema-loving ghost was actually a sweet little love note to movies, but not all the stories contained ghosts or horror (although that was in there too occasionally). Some were odd or pretty out there, but they were never boring.

After that I read Shalom Auslander's Foreskin's Lament, a memoir of growing up Jewish Orthodox and his gradual break from both his religion and his family. There was a lot of anger there, still, but also humor and love. And there were entirely too many parts that made me wince in empathy.

I needed something fluffy after that so I read Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr, which is like the YA, (way, way) less pornographic version of Laurell K. Hamilton's Merry Gentry series. I suspect it was the dress for success scene that brought that comparison home. Heh. It reads like the first in a series and while I wouldn't necessarily go out of my way to seek out future entries, I'd probably pick them up if I came across them on the shelf.

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