lousy-smarch-weather-600x400-1I’ve been making the “Lousy Smarch weather” joke all day, and neither my husband or daughter (aged three) laughs. I’m wasted on this audience. Wasted.

Anyway, another week of bloody marvelous short story reading for me. I’ve read a few crackers this week, more about those shortly. Here’s the complete run-down:

2/22/20 Carter’s Back Flannery O’Connor
2/22/20 One in Four Sarah Hall
2/22/20 02. El Diablito Cynthia Pelayo
2/23/20 03. La Dama (The Lady) Cynthia Pelayo
2/24/20 04. El Catrin (The Gentlemen) Cynthia Pelayo
2/25/20 Hoo Hoo Camilla Grudova
2/25/20 05. El Paraguas (The Umbrella) Cynthia Pelayo
2/26/20 She Would Walk Them Daisy Johnson
2/27/20 06. La Sirena (The Mermaid) Cynthia Pelayo
2/27/20 & 2/28/20 Endoskeletal Sarah Read
2/28/20 The Debutante Leonora Carrington
2/28/20 07. La Escalera (The Ladder) Cynthia Pelayo
2/29/20 08. La Botella (The Bottle) Cynthia Pelayo
3/1/20 Sentinel Catriona Ward
3/1/20 The Sketch Alison Moore

That’s a total of 15 stories this week! Yowza!

As you can see, I’m continuing to bash through Cynthia Pelayo’s incredible collection, Loteria. The stories are very short, and I’ve not idea how she keeps figuring out new, horrific plots. My favorite story so far has been El Diablito, but they’re all worth your time.

How do I love Flannery O’Connor, let me count the ways. A Good Man is Hard to Find, Everything That Rises Must Converge, and Good Country People are just three examples of her genius. I’m savoring every story of hers, much like Shirley Jackson’s writing. This week I read Carter’s Back, which is another miniature wonder. I just get a really warm feeling when I read her stories, like an inner yellow light. I can’t guarantee it will be the same for you, but I highly recommend you try.

I adored Camilla Grudova’s collection, The Doll’s Alphabet, which I unfortunately finished last year. So this week I went searching for more of Grudova’s work, and came across the literary magazine, Bourbon Penn. How had I never heard of this before? I signed up to their Patreon instantly.

Anyway, it was in this magazine I read Grudova’s amazing story, Hoo Hoo, and Daisy Johnson’s She Would Walk Them. Both stories were instantly placed on the favorites tab of my spreadsheet. Hoo Hoo is a post-apocalyptical tale with a fantastic sense of uncertainty and unease. She Would Walk Them follows a woman who has a certain knack for selling difficult properties. Incredible stuff, so excited to have found Bourbon Penn. By the by, Daisy Johnson’s incredible debut novel, Everything Under, is one of my favorite books of the last few years.

Speaking of Camilla Grudova, I read somewhere this week that Leonora Carrington was a big influence on her work. Carrington was born in Lancashire (like yours truly), and spent most of her adult life in Mexico. This week I picked up her collection, and read The Debutante. It’s about a debutante who makes friends with a hyena. So yes, this is very much up my street.

The collection New Fears 2 is currently $2 on Kindle, and although I thought I already owned it, apparently I didn’t. I instantly read the stories by Catriona Ward (author of the incredible, award-winning Little Eve), and Alison Moore. I recently read another story by Moore called The Stone Dead, from the astounding anthology This Dreaming Isle, which genuinely creeped me out, and this one had the same themes of family resentment, and quiet domestic horror.

I’ve decided against a theme for March. February’s was female authors, but that’s what I mostly read anyway, so it wasn’t exactly a stretch. I’ve got lots of collections, both physical and ebooks, that I haven’t cracked open yet. I still have an unbuilt bookshelf on my floor.

Here’s the spreadsheet. If you’ve got any recommendations, do let me know. Hope you have a wonderful week.

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