October with its dark and stormy nights makes me think of childhood campfirestories. Around the fire, beneath the stars, everyone had to have one scary story and you took turns telling those beating, thumping, howling tales until at last Dad told the one that sent you shivering to the safety of your sleeping bag. These were folktales, urban myths, Edgar Allan Poe ripoffs. Short stories that had instant atmosphere, a hook, a little journey, a twist, and a full stop ending. Stories for one sitting.
This month we are celebrating short stories in the store. Sure, there will be scary ones, but there are also the tales you tell your two-year-old lying on the bed winding towards the end of a very full day. Peter Rabbit, Miss Rumphius, Curious George. And then there are the tales that hitchhikers tell, or barkeeps, lovers, travelers, or spiritual guides. Stories that have a frame, a time, a place; stories that carry us; stories that we can carry with us. Pocket stories. Common coal.
Modern short story writers have applied pressure to the old forms and produced startling gems. Unforgettable, challenging, lovely, perfect pieces that can be read in a single go. I highly recommend the new collection Object Lessons from the editors of Paris Review in which twenty contempory authors introduce their favorite short stories from the last fifty years. It comes (as do many, many stories--see below) with that ultimate commendation, “you gotta read this.”
Sun, Oct 21, 1:00pm: Jane Isenberg, author of The Bones and the Book
Mon, Oct 22, 7:00pm: Vanessa Van Petten, author of Do I Get My Allowance Before Or After I'm Grounded? @ MIHS Performing Arts Center
Thurs, Oct 25, 7:30pm: Open Book Club: The Marriage Plot by Eugenides
Tues, Oct 30, all day: Type-A-Thon!
Sat, Nov 3, 6:30pm: PJ Story Time with Judy Bordeaux
Sunday, Nov 4, 3:00pm: Alice Currah, author of Savory Sweet Life
Island Books hosts an open book club run by our staff facilitator that meets the last Thursday of each month at 7:30pm. All are welcome to attend, and if you purchase your book here in the store you'll always get a 10% discount.
Catch up on the titles dominating the indie bestseller lists and save 20% when you order online.
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"Easy reading is damn hard writing." —Nathaniel Hawthorne