At midnight, my eyes are a little heavy. I didn’t have the attention span I had when I was younger to read a 300 plus page book in one sitting. I find myself searching for thin reads.
I took my car in for service at 8 A.M. this morning. As I walked out the door, without my tea and morning exercise, I realized that I might have a wait. I grabbed from the top of my books stacked on my dining table awaiting a read. My week started as one of those weeks that the books stared at me saying, “When are you going to read me?” Glancing at the book as I rammed it into my tote bag, I smiled knowing that it was not too heavy nor too thick. Arriving at the dealership and getting checked in, the specialist told me the car would be ready in two hours.
I sat down and pulled out my book hoping that I had grabbed one that was not boring. Hallelujah, it’s a collection of short stories.
Four hours later, standing in front of me was a young smiling person apologizing for taking so long. Glancing up, I wondered to whom he was talking. I was so mesmerized by the stories in the book until I lost track of time. I had two more of the 20 stories left to read. I was a little annoyed that I had to stop reading, but it was okay because I could finish at midnight very quickly and write my review.
My definition of short stories:
There’s a beginning to introduce and whet the appetite. An author can skip 20 years without losing the essence of the dialogue, bridge the work as not to lose the meaning, then boom, the dramatic ending that brings the story to a conclusion or an end that leaves the reader hanging and wishing for more. Throughout, the reader will discover threads of life lessons weaved throughout the story.
My hot seat author, Beem Weeks (@BeemWeeks) nailed this definition in his book, Slivers of Life – A collection of short stories.
My Rating: 5 Stars
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The author’s description of the contents as listed on Amazon.com
These twenty short stories are a peek into individual lives caught up in spectacular moments in time. Children, teens, mothers, and the elderly each have stories to share. Readers witness tragedy and fulfillment, love and hate, loss and renewal. Historical events become backdrops in the lives of ordinary people, those souls forgotten with the passage of time. Beem Weeks tackles diverse issues running the gamut from Alzheimer’s disease to civil rights, abandonment to abuse, from young love to the death of a child. Long-hidden secrets and notions of revenge unfold at the promptings of rich and realistic characters; plot lines often lead readers into strange and dark corners. Within Slivers of Life, Weeks proves that everybody has a story to tell—and no two are ever exactly alike.
Here’s What I think
This book has 118 pages. Nice. It has a collection of 20 short stories some as short as two and a half pages. Don’t that just make you want to pick up this book right now and read it? Two pages – Wow!
By reading most in one session revealed a common theme of broken families with either the father or mother absent. The author covered everything from peeping toms to ligamatrix attacks to bigfoot to homelessness to a high school shooting, to coping during a time of grievance. Each story is compelling holding the reader’s attention with great anticipation. I loved the story of old Charlie and his wife, Elmira. I couldn’t stop laughing. Although I do not condone violence, I like Elmira’s style. The story of Richie losing his baby brother is heart-wrenching.
I wasn’t very impressed with the appearance of the book cover although it indeed represented the dark side of some of the stories. Beem has an intriguing table of contents and equally as exciting chapter headings such as “When Jesus Left Birmingham” or “Peepers Creepers.” I found the stories to be vivid and coherent. I thought the story about the ligamatrix was a tad bit unrealistic but held my attention. I feel that the characters, for the most part, are well-defined forming a connection for the reader.
You can purchase copies of Beem Weeks books at:
FOOTNOTE: In light of the school shooting that occurred this Valentine’s Day in Parkland, Florida with 17 dead, I send my condolences to the families that lost their children and to the children and teachers who will never forget this horrendous day in history. Their lives will be forever changed. Let’s lift up the city of Parkland, Florida as you read this post.
Read Beem’s short story in his book entitled “Yearbook.” Yesterday’s fiction becomes today’s reality.