The Night Bookmobile

By Audrey Niffenegger

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Abrams, 2010

Genres: General fiction, short stories

Format: Graphic novel

Series: The Night Bookmobile is the first installment of a much larger work, The Library, which has its origins in a dream I had as a teenager” (from the first page of “After Words” at the end of the book).

ISBN: 9780810996175

Audience: Adult

Number of pages: Unpaginated

Setting: Chicago, IL

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: Alexandra relates her experiences with the Night Bookmobile and how she came to work at The Library. Continue reading

Six Kinds of Sky: A Collection of Short Fiction

By Luis Alberto Urrea

Place: Publisher & Year: El Paso: Cinco Puntos Press, 2002

Genres: Short stories, general fiction, magical realism

ISBN: 9780938317630

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 146 (includes an afterword)

Settings: Range from Rosario to the outskirts of the city dump in Tijuana, Mexico and various locations in the US, including the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

Time period: 1970’scontemporary

Description: This collection includes six stories which are followed by an afterword: “Mr. Medoza’s Paintbrush”, “Taped to the Sky”,  “First Light”, “A Day in the Life”, “Father Returns from the Mountain”, “Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses”, and “Amazing Grace: Story And Writer”.  In the author’s words – “the book is some kind of downward spiral.  It starts out all full of jokes and ends in fire and poverty and death.  It reflects an early fascination with escape, then deals with returning, then staying put and dealing with it, whatever it is” (p. 145).  While this is an accurate description of the collection, it’s not a depressing spiral, but rather an uplifting one.  In the non-joking stories, Urrea’s characters find grace and beauty in their situations. Continue reading

What the Mouse Found and Other Stories

By Charles de Lint

Place: Publisher & Year: Burton, MI: Subterranean Press, 2008

Genres: Fantasy, contemporary fantasy, short stories

ISBN: 9781596061590

Intended audience: “written for nieces, nephews, and the children of friends” (p. 10)

Number of pages: 64

Setting: Three stories are set in the woods; one is set in a neighborhood, and another along the sea shore

Time period: Contemporary

Description: Following a short introduction, “Kissing Frogs”, are five short magical tales – “What the Mouse Found”, “Gnomin’ in the Gloamin’”, “Oakey Bedokey”, “Maple Sugar”, and “Tip and the Lion”.  (The limited edition – which is not what I read – also contains “The Songs of Timothy Tomtit”). Continue reading