Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri (migrated from bookblogger)

This is an excellent book of short stories; nevertheless, it reminds me why I don’t like short stories — I always want more!  This one is unique, though, as (SPOILER ALERT:) there ultimately is a connecting thread to the stories at the end, which satisfied my “need to know!”

And as usual, Lahiri’s writing is beautiful.  Her stories are a window into American-Indian culture, with the recurrent themes of traditional vs. modern, Indian vs. American, and arranged marriages vs. marriages for love.  The writing is very descriptive and one can easily picture each scene as it plays out.  Each character is built so lovingly that the reader has to know what happens and is personally affected by each outcome.

This is a great collection of stories — she could develop a whole book from each one…  I wish she would!

Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris (migrated from bookblogger)

If you’re in need of a sardonic, comedic reality break from the Thanksgiving-till-Christmas holiday glitter and forced cheer, this little book by David Sedaris is the perfect antidote.  In this book are 6 vignettes/short stories set at Thanksgiving/Christmastime which all start as familiar scenes and generally progress to the outrageous.   I have to confess that as someone who is usually not happy with “outrageous,” I did laugh (and sometimes groan) out loud at some of the lines in this book.

There is no character development and probably all-too-blatant moral lessons, but it s a delightful, indulgent respite from making latkes or stuffing stockings!