Thursday, August 1, 2019

Short Forms

I did a lot of  'comfort reading' last month, much of which was short form work--short story collections and haiku.

Turbulence by David Szalay
I came across this collection of linked short stories when scrolling through the e-book section of the library website and it sounded intriguing, so I borrowed it. I’m glad I did! All of the stories involve journeys by plane, beginning in London and moving around the world to Madrid, South America, Hong Kong, Vietnam, India, the Middle East, Budapest, and back to London, to the same flat in which the book opens.

Home Remedies by Xuan Juliana Wang
This was a new addition to the short story offerings in the e-book section of the library website. The author was born in China and moved to the US as a small child. The stories are about the immigrant experience, how people navigate that, and the struggles to adapt. Some of the stories were a bit weird, but I really enjoyed the book.

The Matisse Stories by A.S, Byatt
I came across this book while checking the e-book section of the library website. Each story was inspired by a Matisse painting. I was particularly partial to the one involving a textile artist.

Between the Leaves: New Haiku Writing from Ireland, edited by Anatoly Kudryavitsky
I’ve always been interested, in a general sort of way, in haiku. I was looking up something related at the library, which I didn’t find, but I did come across this book and the fact of it intrigued me—a Japanese art form, written by Irish people, and edited by a guy with a name that seems like it could be Russian. It’s so cross-cultural. A few of the poems in the book took my breath away. I enjoyed it a lot.

Haiku Inspirations: Poems and Meditations on Nature and Beauty by Tom Lowenstein
Bill came across this book when he was looking for something else and bought it for me as a surprise. What a lovely book it is! It contains examples of haiku, along with lots of contextual information. The book does not get bogged down in a deep discussion of every aspect of the form, but rather gives general overviews of the historical context in which haiku developed and the cultures in which it evolved. There are brief biographies of a few well-known haiku practitioners and examples of their work. There is a section on Zen Buddhism and how that influenced the form. There is also a lot of beautiful artwork. I love this book—so glad he found it!

Happy August!


Vicki said...

I'm reading a collection of short stories now. I've always been a fan of haiku too. Love the photo!

Shari Burke said...

Thanks, Vicki! Golden Age mysteries, cosy mysteries, and short stories are my go-to comfort reading genres :-) Hope the collection you're reading is a good one!