Since I’ve been so errant lately, I have some catching up to do here.

On the way to visit my parents for Christmas, I brought along this collection of short stories:

I’ve had it since 2006, but never read all the stories. I got so caught up in loving one (Conceived, David Lawrence Morse) that I overlooked most of the others. Now that I’ve read almost all of them, I’m glad I hung onto the whole book. Wolves, by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer is now among my other favorite pieces of short fiction.

Later, while hunkered down by the wood stove at my parents’ house, I read Voyager, by Diana Gabaldon. I had read this whole series in tandem with my best friend when we were 16 and 17. It’s good in the same way that Interview With the Vampire was good… which is to say, involving, but not great literature. The story is so long and twisty and adventure packed and specific that giving a “brief” description to Matt took at least 20 minutes.

On trip to the bookstore during which I was “not going to buy anything,” I bought American Short Fiction, fall 2010. You know when you find something and you realize instantly that it’s going to occupy a lot of your time and money? This is going to be one of those things. It’s a book/ magazine with great stories and nice production quality. Luckily, it comes out quarterly, so I should be able to keep myself in check.

Since finishing that, I picked up Little Bee.

I’m a firm believer in the public library, but the number of holds on this one were getting out of hand. I was lucky to find a used copy in town and I’m working my way through it now. So far, Chris Cleave does a beautiful job in creating interesting and distinct voices for his characters. And I wont lie, I was completely drawn in by the cover art by Roberto de Vinq de Cumptich.