There are two things that are making the Yummy Mummy Book Club totally rock these days. First, publishers are getting connected to Wanda, our leader and we are getting free books ( (check her out at Bookalicious or over at Yummy Mummy Club) . Second, authors are hanging out with us on Twitter during #YMBC online meetings and participating in our conversations. How awesome is that!
This time around, we had Julie Booker online to participate in our chat about her new collection of short stores: Up Up Up. The publisher, House of Anansi, sent us YMBC members a copy of the book about a week before it was released. I found it very cool that by the time the book hit the shelves, I was already finished and talking about it to my friends.
I have commented a couple of times on the fact that I'm not a big short story reader. In Light Lifting (see my review here), it took a couple of stories for me to start to get into the collection. With Up Up Up though, the first couple of stories hooked me in very quickly.
The great thing about Julie's stories is that pretty much all of them are relatable in some way or another. Whether it's the guy that you decide to go to bed with only to find out he's really not that good ("Tree Man") or how mean young girls can be to each other ("Levitate"), there were lots of moments where I found myself thinking, "been there, done that". Julie also has a way of mixing in a light and charming sense of humour into her stories, even ones that have an underlying sadness. Much like life, the stories find a laugh or a smile in small and unexpected things. She also has a bit of the macabre in there with one of the creepiest stories I've read in a long time ("Spears").
Some of my favourite pieces in the collection (like "Tree Man"), I would not even call a short story. They were more like vignettes; a window into a moment in time told with such great descriptive talent and honesty that you almost felt like you were there, actually witnessing that moment.
I didn't get a chance to ask Julie if she is going to tackle writing a novel. I hope she does and then lets YMBC have it early and then comes online to talk with us again. Just sayin....
Up Up Up is already making the rounds in the family and friends loaner circuit. It will be great on the beach. Or bedtime reading. Or rainy day reading. Or streetcar/bus reading. This is a good one to take with you anywhere.