Friday, February 24, 2012

Tale Collections

I've read a few books that I don't think require an opinion -- mostly because they just went through me like water, instead of hitting me over the head (like the Maximum Ride Series, which I will finish and then give a huge report on -- IT IS AWESOME!) or tripping me (like those pesky books I get so frustrated with because they COULD BE BETTER).

Here they are:

a children's book called "Three By the Sea" -- Mini Grey (yes, her name's spelled like that)

-- Basically a dog, a cat, and a mouse live together in harmony...until a foxy visitor turns them against one another.  (The illustrations are gorgeous, the story adorable -- just not really memorable.  If there had been a twist, it would have been more interesting and I would have felt something about it.  I guess that's my review.)

The Ribbajack and Other Curious Yarns -- Brian Jacques (whom I adored, may he rest in peace)

The Chronicles of Harris Burdick -- Various (original illustrations and 1 story by Chris Van Allsburg, who is spectacular -- he wrote and illustrated my favorite Christmas book, The Polar Express)

-- I don't know why I keep reading short stories.  I rarely like them.  The few exceptions seem to be from Anton Chekhov and Edgar Allen Poe.  I just...they're always so morbid.  Either the children are wretched and get their come-uppance, or the adults are wretched and get theirs.  Or, everbody's lives are miserable.

I just don't get it.

The Ribbajack was at least amusing -- but again, not memorable.  Just lots of nasty accidents (or fun ones).

The Chronicles of Harris Burdick was very interesting because some of my favorite authors contributed -- Kate DiCamillo and Lois Lowry, among others.  And they were good stories...just...

I guess the word for today is memorable.

If you want to make something memorable, you have to turn things on their heads.  That's one thing I've learned from watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Supernatural, and Dollhouse.  Bring up a common storyline and then WHAM!  Bring out the unexpected.  Keeps your viewers (and readers) hooked!

That's all for now.

Do you enjoy short stories?  Which ones?  And do you ever find yourself reading a book you HATE but have to finish because, just HAVE to know the ending?  What is UP with that??

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