Does My Head Look Big In This?

This is a frequently funny, occasionally poignant story about an Arab-Australian teenager who decides she’s going to start wearing the hijab full-time (including to her private school.)  It dives right into serious issues without making them seem at all heavy (faith, women’s rights, cross-cultural communication, the immigrant experience, getting along in families).  It also touches on lots of lighter teenage experiences.  It was a fun, worthwhile read.

Rejection, Romance & Royalties

This collection of essays about making a living as a fiction writer had me laughing out loud and reading extended sections (when I could get them out without cracking up) to my critique group and long-suffering husband.  Besides being a healthy dose of fun, these  essays were practical and encouraging.  I’m currently borrowing my copy from the library, but I may just get one of my own. Yes, it’s that good.  If you’re a writer, or even if you just need a good laugh, you might want to check this book out.

Every Living Thing

I’m usually more into novels than short stories; more into fantasy, sci-fi, romance and mystery than humor, but this collection was great fun.  The stories were just the right length to read while a child was occupied with a meal or a short computer game, and they kept me laughing when laughs were hard to come by. I appreciated the well-written prose and the immersion in a simpler time as well.

I have a bit more time for reading these days, so I’m back to novels, but I might still seek out another few of James Herriot’s short story collections.