My new Shorts on Sunday feature continues, with two recommendations from me and one from Perdita Cargill, co-author of the hilarious Waiting For Callback series with her daughter Honor (who'll be featured here next Sunday.) The second in the series, Waiting For Callback: Take Two, was released by Simon & Schuster last Thursday and is a great read which I'd highly recommend!
Plain Vanilla by Ines Bautista-Yao
Available: As an ebook
Story: Tempest Juan is the 'boring' one of her quirky family, and knows it. After reading a comment from Paco Lorenzo comparing her to vanilla ice cream, she decides to get out of her comfort zone by trying to complete a book of dares - but she can't get away from Paco, who seems to turn up at every dare.
Why I'm recommending: Fun, sweet romance novella with a lovely couple at the centre who I really liked together. Tempest's family are great too and I found this to be a quick and cute read. Would definitely read more by Ines Bautista-Yao!
Kendo Nagasaki and Me by Daniel York Loh
Available: As part of The Good Immigrant, edited by Nikesh Shukla
Story: An essay about growing up as a half-Chinese boy surrounded by white people, facing racism but taking some solace in the success of Japanese villain Kendo Nagasaki in the wrestling ring, who shows that Asian men can beat up English competitors. For a time, at least...
Why I'm recommending: One of the best events I went to last year was at The Big Green Bookshop, with The Good Immigrant contributors Daniel York Loh, Coco Khan, and my fabulous friend Wei Ming Kam. Daniel read part of his essay there and it was phenomenal, I raced to finish it once I got back home (despite knowing what happened to Kendo Nagasaki.) He has a fantastic sense of humour, his writing is powerful and his description of the racism he faced is a really moving read. And oh, that ending!
Guest post from Perdita Cargill
I’d recommend any of William Trevor’s books, novels (you must read The Story of Lucy Gault) and short stories. The collection that I have by me now is The Mark-2 Wife (another Penguin Modern Classics Edition – they are beautiful books to collect) and the title story is blackly wonderful.
The Mark-2 Wife by William Trevor
Available: As part of The Mark-2 Wife by William Trevor
The story: Childless middle-aged woman is at a terrible party, she knows no-one and her husband is late. Is he coming?
Why I’m recommending: The way Trevor draws (observes) characters and place is extraordinary (’There are too many people in this room.,’ she complained. ‘There’s not enough ventilation. It’s ideal for tragedy.’) I promise you that it will take no more than a handful of pages before you care deeply about Anna Mackintosh.