Wednesday, January 11, 2012


After coming up for air after reading Haruki Murakami's 1Q84 (at a well-worthwhile 925 pages), I've been seeking out shorter works of fiction. Maile Meloy's collections of stories are just the thing.

After reading Both Ways Is The Only Way I Want It, I turned to her first collection, Half in Love. Ranch girls, a lovesick ranger, a homesick serviceman, and an ice harvester all have a story to be told. For many of the characters, shaped by their environment, weather plays a devastating role. If it's not a blizzard, it's black ice. If it's not winter, it's a scorching, windy heat.

For some reason, stories featuring the hardships of Montana winters are comforting while experiencing a relatively snowless winter here in Michigan. Come February, I may need a different story to read.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

With Character

Looking back at last year's reading, I've compiled this list. From finding love among the headstones to cooking recipes to conjure departed cooks, these books embody quirky settings, characters, and/or situations.

Benny and Shrimp by The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry