Let’s hear it for the short books!
The slender ones that you can slip into your handbag, your “man-purse” or even a (very large) pocket. I almost always have one such book with me when I go to a place where I have to wait: hospitals, for example.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the following in recent months, and some I have even reread (short books are good for re-reading).
Unfinished Business by Michael Topa (available from: firstname.lastname@example.org)
This is poetry about everything from the creation of the universe, to growing up in a strange family situation, falling in love and travel to intriguing places. Some of these poems are very moving, and all are beautiful in some way.
This book is an anthology — an unusual mix of topics and story types — and, as Kevin says, “inadvertent run-ins with some quite unsavory characters”.
I have read and reread my favourites from it, including the author’s hilarious visit with a famous fictional character. Kevin is a musician, author, editor and blogger. Caboodle includes a mix of short stories, poetry and songs, and topics include romance, faith, family — the whole kit and caboodle of life.
I have loaned this book to 2 friends, and they also enjoyed it.
It asks the intriguing question: What if you are a girl growing up in 20th century Northern Ireland before, during and after the ‘Troubles’?
The answer comes in the clear, strong poetry – and humour — of Agnes Graham. The book was published (after her recent death) by her children, who said:
“From the poetic thoughts of our Mother, we get a sense of what it was like. Ranging from humour, sadness, wistful thinking and sometimes just downright nonsensical, these are the words of one such girl.”
Well-known book blogger Chris Graham is Agnes’ son, by the way.
D.G. Kaye writes on a powerful topic: forgiving a very difficult and abusive parent. Yet she does it in a clear-eyed way, in simple and taut writing. The topic may be difficult, but this book is easy to read, and more memorable for it.