Sticks, The Outing, Chess, The Huntress, plus This Week’s Lunch Reads

  • Sticks (George Saunders, 1994?)
  • The Outing (Lydia Davis, ?)
  • Chess (Stefan Zweig, 1943)
  • The Huntress (Sofia Samatar, ?)

Pretty pleased with my newly instilled lunch reading routine, and sneaking in some very short pieces throughout the workday breaks the routine and gives me something to look forward to during self-designated (story) breaks:

Every year Thanksgiving night we flocked out behind Dad as he dragged the Santa suit to the road and draped it over a kind of crucifix he’d built out of metal pole in the yard. Super Bowl week the pole was dressed in a jersey and Rod’s helmet and Rod had to clear it with Dad if he wanted to take the helmet off. On the Fourth of July the pole was Uncle Sam, on Veteran’s Day a soldier, on Halloween a ghost. The pole was Dad’s only concession to glee. We were allowed a single Crayola from the box at a time. One Christmas Eve he shrieked at Kimmie for wasting an apple slice. He hovered over us as we poured ketchup saying: good enough good enough good enough. Birthday parties consisted of cupcakes, no ice cream. The first time I brought a date over she said: what’s with your dad and that pole? and I sat there blinking.

That’s half of “Sticks” – you can read the rest of it here.

This week’s lunch reads will be New Women & Fiction: Short Stories Since the Sixties (edited by Susan Cahill, 1986). It’s a tattered, old book I read a while back, and, now that I’m onto this short story project, will reread it before passing it on to someone else. I have poor reading recollection and don’t remember a lot of what I’ve read over the years, which in a way is a good thing as every time seems like the first time!

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