Mini-Reviews: Short Story Collections Part 2

Daddy by Emma Cline

50984842Published by Random House, September 1st 2020

I am having troubles writing this review. I really enjoyed Cline’s debut novel and thought I would adore this – I thought her writing style (vague, filled with weird metaphors) that worked well for me in novel form would work even better in the short format; this, however, was really not the case. I found this disappointingly and surprisingly bad. The prose was clumsy, filled to the absolute brim with unecessary commas, and the stories felt unfocussed, as if the interesting stuff was happening just off page.

The stories, as the title alludes to, often feature father figures – and most of those were horrible. This could have worked for me as I often enjoy difficult characters in fiction but here I did not find them drawn vividly enough (or too vividly, having them remain vague might have worked better for me). The stories are, without exception very grim in a way that felt hopeless to me.

I did not get on with this at all.

My rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars

I received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I Hold a Wolf by the Ears by Laura van den Berg

48126820._sy475_Published by Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, July 28th 2020

I adored this! These stories were often sad, sometimes creepy, always impeccably structured. Van den Berg tells her stories unchronologically, often circularly, but always in a way that feels very deliberate and I appreciated this. The stories are told with a conscious darkness but never feel hopeless. Van den Berg focusses on characters that seem unmoored but are still anchored by something, often a sibling (I adore this!). Even when the subject matter is dark (and it is!) it never felt gratuitous or unnecessary to me.

I did enjoy the first half of the book more, but even the stories that did not completely work for me were never a chore to read. I am very happy to have two more short story collections of hers ahead of me as collections that work this well for me are rare.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Wrap Up June 2020 or Reading Whatever Works

I have stopped pretending that I will be back to my pre-pregnancy reading pace any time soon and am now just taking the months as they come. Having said that, this was still a surprisingly good month quantitiy wise, especially given that my daughter apparently decided that sleeping anywhere that isn’t her father’s or my body is unacceptable, at least during the day. Which is lovely! But also kind of exhausting. Also, I have not managed to drink my one tea a day while it was still hot for what feels like ages.

I have also stopped pretending that I can adhere to any sort of TBR or reading challenge and will now just read whatever I can manage. I have been saying that for ages and still held out hope.

Books I read in June:

  1. The Chiffon Trenches by André Leon Talley: 3 out of 5 stars
  2. Black Light by Kimberly King Parsons: 3 out of 5 stars (mini-review)
  3. Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall: 4 out of 5 stars
  4. Archangel’s Heart (Guild Hunter #9) by Nalini Singh: 4 out of 5 stars
  5. Daddy by Emma Cline: 1.5 out of 5 stars

Favourite of the Month:

Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall is all kinds of brilliant. I listened to the audiobook read by the author herself and really appreciated it.


I read 5 books, 4 of which were written by women and one by a man. I read two short story collections (none of which blew me away), one paranormal romance, one memoir, and one essay collection. Three of those books were ARCs. I am not doing well with reviews but I am trying my best.

Currently Reading: