Magic for Beginners

Author: Kelly Link Type: Fiction, short stories Published: 2005 I read it: March 2017 “You can’t have everything,” the cheerleader says. “Not even in a story. You can’t have all the stories you want.” “I know,” the Devil says. He whines. “But I still want it.” Kelly Link acts as her own Devil throughout this…

Pastoralia

Author: George Saunders Type: Fiction, short stories Published: 2000 I read it: January 2017 I remember a short story writing class at ISU where one of the texts was The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, and the story “Sea Oak” from this collection was definitely in that book. I instantly recalled the title, but…

A Collapse of Horses

Author: Brian Evenson Type: Fiction, short stories Published: 2016 I read it: November 2016 This review was originally published on The Stake. In opener “Black Bark,” two men ride on horseback, trading brief exchanges in a Cormac McCarthy setting. One is badly injured but seemingly unfazed; the other worries for his partner and keeps pressing…

Exile and the Kingdom

Author: Albert Camus Translator: Justin O’Brien Type: Fiction, short stories Published: 1957 I read it: November 2016 I read The Stranger because it was a short one to check off the list, and then around the same time I found Exile and the Kingdom in the closest Little Free Library to hour house. The battered…

Smith of Wootton Major and Farmer Giles of Ham

Author: J.R.R. Tolkien Artist: Pauline Diana Baynes Type: Fiction, short stories Published: 1967 (original “Smith”), 1949 (original “Farmer Giles”) I read it: September 2016 I’d long known there were Tolkien works peripheral to his popular series, and whenever I’d glanced this book I thought it was a single title: Smith of Wootton Major and Farmer…

The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip

Author: George Saunders Artist: Lane Smith Type: Fiction, short story Published: 2000 I read it: September 2016 I received a free copy of this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway. Compact is what Saunders does best (so far), and a fable for readers of all ages seems up his alley to such a degree it may…