• ReadingWhileMommying

Spring Break - The Book Beat Returns 4/17/20!


Hi book friends! With the holiday, I didn't write a post last Friday, but I'm already collecting links for this Friday's installment. Until then, I leave you with some wonderful quotes I've collected from the 104 short stories I read so far this year. I'm in the midst of a run of some truly stellar short stories. And best of all, no #readersremorse for not finishing! Happy Tuesday, and I'll "chat" with you on Friday!


First, a quote from Raymond Carver about short stories...

“It’s possible, in a poem or a short story, to write about commonplace things and objects using commonplace but precise language, and to endow those things–a chair, a window curtain, a fork, a stone, a woman’s earring–with immense, even startling power.”

—Raymond Carver


"The Semplica-Girls Diaries" by George Saunders

“At window, Eva quiet. Deep well. So sensitive. Even when tiny, Eva sensitive. Kindest kid. Biggest heart. Once, when little, found dead bird in yard and placed on swing-set slide, so it could “see him fambly.” Cried when we threw out old rocking chair, claiming it told her it wanted to live out rest of life in basement. But I worry, Pam worries: if kid too sensitive, kid goes out in world, world rips kid’s guts out, i.e., some toughness req’d?”


"The Graveless Doll of Eric Mutis" by Karen Russell

“If flowers bloomed on our sooty sills, it must have been because of some plant Stockholm syndrome, a love our sun did not deserve.”


"The Great Silence" by Thomas Chiang

"It’s no coincidence that 'aspiration' means both hope and the act of breathing."


"Ghosts and Empties" by Lauren Groff

"During the day, while my sons are in school, I can’t stop reading about the disaster of the world, the glaciers dying like living creatures, the great Pacific trash gyre, the hundreds of unrecorded deaths of species, millennia snuffed out as if they were not precious. I read and savagely mourn, as if reading could somehow sate this hunger for grief, instead of what it does, which is fuel it."


Another one. This is one amazing short story...

“Mostly, however, I see the mothers I know in glimpses, bent like shepherdess crooks, scanning the floor for tiny Legos or half-chewed grapes or the people they once were slumped in the corners.”


"Go, Team" by Samantha Hunt

“Really our jobs are not permeable, but we lie to our employers, pretending we are not mothers, or that mothering is simple. Then, like an intricate, silent network from the natural world—say, a creek flowing to a stream, to a river, to the ocean, to the clouds, to return as rain—we rely on other mothers. Systems, delicately complex and ever-changing, carry and care for our young.”


"The Veldt" by Ray Bradbury

“Long before you knew what death was you were wishing it on someone else. When you were two years old you were shooting people with toy guns.”


"Speech Sounds" by Octavia Butler

"I'm Valerie Rye. It's all right for you to talk to me."


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