Friday, April 25, 2014

Entry # 210 - "What I am Reading for May"

Tulip's from Alex & Aline for Jeanne's Birthday
I am off to Rehoboth Beach, DE in May for a week of reading, walking, and spending time with my partner as we celebrate our first anniversary. We are looking forward to quality time reading and talking about books, so I ordered some books that I long to read.

First, on my list is Elizabeth McCracken's new collection, Thunderstruck & Other Stories This is her first story collection in twenty years, but she is an amazingly talented short story writer and teacher whose work I have admired since I read her collection, Here's Your Hat, What's Your Hurry, many years ago. I recently read the lead story from the new collection, "Thunderstruck" in the new Story Quarterly, Vol. 46/47, which is (by the way) a dazzling collection of stories, essays, and an interview with Colm Toibin. I read another of Elizabeth's new stories, "Hungry"that was just published in the new Ploughshares, Spring 2014, Vol. 40, No. 1. Both of Elizabeth's two new stories are rich with the kind of wisdom that comes from surviving life's heartbreaks. So I can't wait to read the whole new collection.

And if you catch the light just right . . .
Second & Third, on my list are two collections, Starting Over: Stories and Collected Stories by Elizabeth Spencer, who won the 2014 REA Award last week.  She is probably one of the most amazing short story writers that no one knows. I have read individual stories over the years but never sat down with an entire collection so I am longing to do that.

Fourth, on my list is Leslie Jamison's The Empathy Exams. 
And Jeanne is reading Barbara Brown Taylor's Learning to Walk in the Dark. We will read, compare notes and share books. We won't likely read them all in one week, but I will plan to follow up with our impressions at end of May on all of these and perhaps others. 
Tulips are Almost Translucent
About Jan Bowman
Winner of the 2011 Roanoke Review Fiction Award, Jan's stories have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, Best American Short Stories, and a Pen/O’Henry award.  Glimmer Train named a recent story as Honorable Mention in the November 2012 Short Story Awards for New Writers.  A recent story was a finalist for the 2013 Broad River Review RASH Award for Fiction, another story was a 2013 finalist in the Phoebe Fiction Contest; another was a 2012 finalist in the “So To Speak” Fiction Contest.  Jan’s fiction has appeared in numerous publications including, Roanoke Review, Big Muddy, The Broadkill Review, Third Wednesday, Minimus, Buffalo Spree (97), Folio, The Potomac Review, Musings, Potato Eyes and others.   She is working on two collections of short stories while shopping for a publisher for a completed story collection, Mermaids & Other Stories.  She has nonfiction publications in Trajectory and Pen-in-Hand. She writes a weekly blog of “Reflections” on the writing life and posts regular interviews with writers and publishers.   Learn more at: or  visit blog:

So What's On Your Reading List? Feel free to drop me a note if you'd like to share your impressions.

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