So folks, I have been reading (okay, I’ve been reading and playing with kittens) for two hours now, and I’ve made it through several short stories. In brief, here are my reviews:
1. “What You Pawn I Will Redeem” in Ten Little Indians by Sherman Alexie – A great story. Very honest, a bit funny . . . full of great voice – the narrator is wonderful and the story heartening but not sentimental. Great read.
2. “Drinking Coffee Elsewhere” by ZZ Packer – Honesty out the ears here. Another great narrative voice. Excellent use of pacing for a subtle and largely interior story. Also Packer establishes a wonderful sense of place.
3. “The Catbird Seat” by James Thurber – I have never read Thurber before, but this was a wonderful way to start. Such a delightful plot with a great twist that seems to unlike the narrator – which of course it the point. The antagonist is subtly awful and wonderful.
4. “Why I Live at the P.O.” by Eudora Welty – The use of dialect and dialogue here carries everything. Such a great depiction of a family only through their word choice and their conversations. A touch of mystery and a great dysfunctionality.
5. “Which Is More than I can Say about Some People” by Lorrie Moore – Everyone raves about Moore, and I can see why. She has a great ability to describe things with few words. Take, for instance, how her characters in this story “slept lumpily.” Excellent stuff.

All in all, a good set of stories. I have Carver’s “A Small Good Thing” left to read, and I’ll work that in amongst books later. Back to the reading.