Welcome to the June edition of Bookish. I’ve had the chance to read some fantastic books over the last month. I’ve compiled my three favourites for you, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy them if you give them a chance. This month is special because I’ve got the privilege to read and review local author Rebecca Calderon’s new book – spoiler alert, it’s excellent; be sure to get yourself a copy!
If you like my suggestions, consider joining my book club on Facebook. Just search for The Bookmarkers Bookclub group!
Ten Thousand Words
Genre: Creative Fiction/Flash Fiction
For Fans Of: Jeffrey Archer
What’s in the pages? Ten Thousand Words is a series of short stories by local author Rebecca Calderon. What makes this collection interesting is that each story contains one thousand words exactly.
The ten stories within this book range from Warsaw museums, immigrant widows and their plight and a fantastic chocolate shop with witches inside!
Why should you read it? In this book, Rebecca Calderon manages to perfect the art of writing Flash Fiction. In just one thousand words, she manages to capture a complete character arc while also leaving the reader wanting more of each of the stories.
My favourite stories in this book were “The Immigrant Widow”, “Purple Flowers in April” and “Jalil’s Quest”. These narratives stood out due to their characters; they all felt fully developed, realistic and beautifully thought out.
Ten Thousand Words by Rebecca Calderon shows us an author who has mastered flash fiction over the years and has honed her craft. It is a delightful collection of true stories told extremely artfully and is available now on Kindle or by contacting Rebecca directly!
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
Matthew J. Sullivan
Genre: Murder Mystery / Books About Books For Fans Of: Louise Penny
What’s in the pages? Lydia Smith lives her life hiding in plain sight among her books at the Bright Ideas Bookstore. She spends her time around novels, eccentric colleagues and the lost and lonely regulars who call themselves the BookFrogs.
But when Joey Molina, Lydia’s favourite BookFrog, kills himself one night in the bookstore, her whole life unravels before her eyes. Joey had left Lydia all of his possessions: Trinkets, disturbingly defaced books and even more concerning – a photo of herself when she was very young.
As Lydia untangles the mysterious web of Joey’s suicide, she unearths a buried memory from her childhood and the truth about the Hammerman, a murderer who came into Lydia’s life and may not have ever left.
Why should you read it? Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore is Sullivan’s debut, and it is one of the best debuts I’ve read in a really long time; it’s funny, intelligent and terrifying all at the same time.
From the second chapter until the end, I literally could not stop thinking about this book even when I wasn’t reading about it; I found myself discussing it with other people in my book club because it was just that intriguing.
Sullivan’s characterisation of this cast is second to none, and his mysteries are genius almost to a fault. I don’t think this book could be any better if it tried, and I never feel that way. I can’t wait to read more of Sullivan’s work.
Crossing To Safety
Genre: Classic Fiction For Fans Of: Maggie O’Farrell
What’s in the pages? Crossing To Safety is a book that traces the lives, loves and aspirations of two couples: Sid and Charity Lang and Larry and Sally Morgan, who meet during the 1930s in Great Depression-era America. Told through a retrospective by Larry Morgan, this is a story about the magic of friendships and marriages and the ups and downs that come with it.
Why should you read it? What Stenger lacks in action within his novels, he regains in the elegance of his writing. If you are looking for a book where a lot happens, this is not the book. Still, suppose you are looking for a character-driven book about the evolution of people throughout their lives.
In that case, you are going to love it. I don’t think I’ve read a story that had me as invested in the mundane aspects of people’s lives as much as Crossing to Safety did. Afterwards, I had to sit with it and bask in the lives of these four strangers for a little while longer.