I tend not to like short pieces because they leave me feeling unfulfilled and wanting more. However, when I learned about SheBooks this was the first title that caught my eye. My Great-Great Grandparents came out of Ireland in the late 1800’s and settled in New York. Here was a contemporary emigration and not to the east coast, but to San Francisco, a city I have loved and lived in. I wondered why the author left and how she felt about NorCal. I worried that the short format wouldn’t allow me to grasp either answer.
Let me tell you, I cried. That’s right, Ethel Rohan was able to pluck my heart strings by bringing me back in my own time machine in less than 38 pages. It’s embarrassing; very few books make me cry, but this one had me balling and I’ll tell why.
This isn’t so much a story of going away as it is a story of coming home and taking care of those that took such wonderful care of you as a wee bairn. Rohan made every word count in recounting her childhood and the lengths she took to make her mother feel useful and uses just 4 teeny paragraphs to explain the burden that no child should have, little own, to themselves.
Fast forward to years later when first she loses her mother than perhaps the most heart wrenching of all, her father while back in Ireland. If was the most heartfelt, vulnerable, and touching few paragraphs of goodbye that I have ever read. Grab Out of Dublin if you love your family, if you have lost members of your family, or just because you could use a good cry. I did.
Out of Dublin by Ethel Rohan
Peggy Northrop, Laura Fraser, and Rachel Greenfield have gotten together and created something really special. They gather short e-stories written for women, by women and they even have come up with a unique delivery/subscription system.
You can buy the books individually or for $7.95 a month, you can have access to their entire library and with up to 15 coming out every month, that is a lot of fiction, memoirs, and journalistic pieces.
Many readers love short stories and I fall into anther category where I can take them or leave them, but I am usually disappointed after being so used to the depth in novel and longer non-fiction. However, I have read two so far and the first actually made me cry and I bet the others in my line up will not let me down either.
So, have you read any of these? Shebooks Works
What do you think about Subscription Book services in General? Like Oyster if you have an iThing or now Kindle Unlimited if you have a Kindle. I tried Oyster out , but since I only have an iPod, I wasn’t really thrilled to read on it 24/7 and letting my kindles collect dust. I just started the first free month of Kindle Unlimited and so far have been able to lessen the vast numbers on my wish lists, but haven’t really looked for more current or better known books to borrow yet.
My next few reviews will be of the of the offerings from Shebooks and I really don’t think I have ever approached short stories and pieces with such excitement.
Back for round two in reviewing short books, stories, and even kid’s reads on the weekends.
You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins
Goins is a pretty good cheerleader in this. The 77 page book is less about writing and more about changing your mindset.
Common sense, yet something that we all need to be reminded of often. The section on building your ‘brand’ was really well done and, thankfully, wasn’t just a series of “you must do’s”.
Writing is all about making a connection and Goins gets that.
Swim by Jennifer Weiner
Confession time. This was the first Weiner book for me.
Double secret confession time. Nothing in this made me want to run out and read the rest of her work.
This is a prequel of sorts for The Next Best Thing and the version that I read had a the first few chapters of that one included.
Maybe I am too used to action or nonfiction; but I was so meh that I didn’t even read the sampler chapters.