My Favorite Short-Stories

My Favorite Short-Stories


Its very difficult for me to finish full-length classic novels at a good place; then I turn to short-stories. I have read quite a few short-stories by now and I have loved almost all of them. As a literature student, we had short-stories as a part of our syllabus and that in a way started my fascination for short fiction. I have listed my absolute favorite short-stories from the ones I have read so far.


1) The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe

This was the first story by Edgar Allen Poe that I read and ended up loving it. The narrator of the story who has actually murdered someone is trying to convey to the readers his sanity throughout the story. The murder of the old man by the narrator is planned and then executed by him and it is hinted that the narrator suffers from some form of mental illness. The story is simply amazing with its element of thriller, suspense mixed with the right amount of creepy.

2) Winter Dreams by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The story which depicts the dark side of the American dream is my favorite short story by Fitzgerald. In some ways, I did find some aspects of the story similar to The Great Gatsby but that might be because read these two stories back to back. It is slightly longer than I had first anticipated but the plot has a good pace overall and it is an enjoyable read for sure. I liked the fact that we get the see Dexter, the protagonist since the age of 14 and to see the character development was a bonus aspect for me.

3) The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway

The story of The Snows of Kilimanjaro is focused on the central character of Harry, a writer, who is in Africa for a safari with his wife but gets injured and is dying of gangrene. The story jumps from the present to the past a few times through its course as Harry thinks about his life. The stream of consciousness narration gives a deeper and complete understanding of Harry’s characters with his flaws and strengths. It is one my all-time favorite short stories.

4) The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant

I read The Necklace twice, once in school and then once later. The first time honestly, I didn’t concentrate much, I read it because I had to. The second time I read it, I actually appreciated it. It is simple yet so meaningful. The theme of appearance versus the reality is pretty subtle throughout the plot but it’s a constant. The ending of the story is completely unexpected, I didn’t see it coming and it elevates the story. It is a must read.

5) The Nightingale and the Rose by Oscar Wilde

A story of a lovestruck boy who must find a red rose for the girl he likes in order to win her heart. The start of the story is pretty simple but then the plot takes an unexpected turn; the nightingale decides to help the boy find a red rose for the girl after he hears the boy’s lamenting. This story shows the materialistic aspect of love. As a reader, one is left thinking if the nightingale’s sacrifice was worth it. It is one of my favorite short stories; sad yet realistic.

These five short stories are my favorites short-stories of the ones I have read as of now. I am sure there will be many additions to this list in the future and there are so many more short stories I haven’t even got around to reading yet.

Wish

Wish

I wish I could tell you,

What you mean to me.

I wish I could tell you,

That you are constantly on my mind.

I wish there was way to tell you,

How I feel about you and,

How much I actually care,

Without ever losing you.

I wish I could pour my heart out,

If it made you stay.

I wish I could tell you,

Everything you make me feel,

But I can’t,

I can only wish.

Lost

Lost

Lost in the void,

A place deep within,

Felt something was amiss.

Lost in the void,

The tunnel grew darker and melancholic.

Stuck without any light,

Wanted to stop or be stopped,

It was nothing but false hope.

The void grew bigger as did the darkness,

And with no way out,

The battle was lost.

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Book review: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain).

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

-Mark Twain.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a sequel to the book The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. It’s in Tom Sawyer that Huck first appears but this book definitely can be read as a standalone. I read this book as standalone since I am yet to read Tom Sawyer completely. A story about a boy from a Mississippi River Town recounts his adventures when he travels down the river with a runaway slave named Jim. The setting of the book is rustic and it takes place in the nineteenth century before the Civil War in America.

The novel is about friendship, identity, racism, freedom, and war. The gradual change in the character of Huck Finn is so interesting. This novel by Mark Twain is considered to be The Great American Novel. I had studied about Mark Twain in my American Literature class in college and I always wanted to read it because it’s one of a kind. It’s the first novel of American literature which is actually written in an American vernacular. The language of the descriptions and dialogues is the way Americans actually speak. Before this novel American writers imitated the European style of writing and language. It was a revolutionary novel of the time.

The novel sheds light on the topic of identity and race. The novel since its publication has been controversial. The novel though is anti-racism; it is believed by many to be racially insensitive and stereotyping towards the African American community. The use of the word ‘nigger’ is offending and vulgar and there are editions where that word has been replaced. While reading the book it does seem too much, a little crude maybe but you have to consider the time it was written in as well. It has a pretty good pace and managed to keep me intrigued by the unfolding of the story.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is such an important novel because of its content. The book has managed to be lighthearted and witty even while dealing with the heavy theme of racism. The characters are intriguing and the plot moves ahead at a good pace and it never gets dull. Honestly, it took some time for me to finish the novel even when I liked it like it is the case when I am reading any classic but it is definitely a good read.

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Book Review: The Age of Innocence (Edith Wharton).

The Age of Innocence.

–    Edith Wharton.

I picked up this book with few expectations because honestly, I didn’t know much about the writer or the novel itself. Once I started reading it though, I was delightfully surprised. I had to read a little about the age and times in America when the novel is set to make it easier for myself to understand the story in context.

The book begins with the impending marriage of Newland Archer and May Welland, enters May’s cousin the Countess Ellen Olenska who returns to New York City after many years living abroad. Newland is fascinated with the independent and worldly Ellen whose personality is in a way opposite of May’s personality. A sort of love triangle is formed in the story as the plot progresses with Newland, May, and Ellen. Newland is torn by his conscience to keep his promise to May while a part of him longs for freedom he could have with Ellen; the inner conflict of his character is relatable and human. The Age of Innocence is a social commentary about the society in the 1870s and their concerns with at times trivial things but the hypocrisy that persisted makes you cringe.

The novel is set in 1870’s New York City in the “Gilded Age” which I had to read about a little beforehand; it focuses on upper-class characters living in New York City. The main focus is on an upper-class couple who are due to get married when the bride’s cousin who is plagued by scandals arrives and suddenly the couple’s future becomes uncertain. The novel effectively comments about the society at that time in New York City; about their moral misgivings, hypocrisies and cruelties in the period before World War I and during it as well. The society shown in the novel has no proper sense left of cultural sensibilities and it is in a way of losing its cultural identity.

A tale about love, passion, society, irony, acceptance, and struggle; this book captures perfectly what the society was like at the time where their morals and ethics were questionable and they had drifted away from culture. This classic is definitely among the best and shouldn’t be missed out on.

*Get a copy by clicking on the book cover above.

In My Dreams

In My Dreams

 

In my dreams I always find you,

Though in reality we are far apart.

In my dreams everything about us is rosy,

In reality it is grim.

I find a place to belong in my dreams,

Because I always end up in your arms.

Only in my dreams, you are mine,

And I am yours.

 

Know

Know

It is weird to say you know someone anymore

because that seems impossible.

You never really know someone, do you?

People keep changing and so do their feelings,

It doesn’t matter if you have known them for a year or all your life.

You can never really know someone and

you can never really know what you meant to them.

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My Favorite Book Quotes.

 

My Favourite Book Quotes.

 

There are lots of quotes from lots of books which I enjoyed reading. I can assure there will be many more lists here of my favorite quotes. This is the first of many. These quotes are the one that came to mind fairly easily so I decided to go with them.

 

1)    Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

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There are many emotional extracts in the book but this quote I like the most. Catherine says this to Nelly when she thinks they are alone but Heathcliff hears her. This moment changes the course of the entire plot ahead. I couldn’t help but feel heartbroken for both of them. Catherine is right in her own way though I wish she would listen to her heart and Heathcliff is left heartbroken after hearing this.

 

2)   The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

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This made me cry like a baby. Though I knew from the beginning that this book won’t have a happy ending, I was shocked. Augustus and Hazel as characters were so endearing; it was easy to get attached to them. This extract is from the letter Augustus leaves for Hazel as a kind of a comfort after his death and it perfectly sums up his feelings for her and it is a perfect goodbye he wanted her to have. It has the same effect even after re-reads.

 

3)  The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

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It tells about the biggest sin in life according to Amir’s father and it is true. No one realizes the impact there small selfish deeds have on the people who care about them. I never realized it before I read this; that stealing is a violation to all the good things in life and it leaves scars which don’t heal easily.

 

4) Easy by Tammara Webber.

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It tells us so much about the attraction between two people in simple words. Everyone desires someone this way at least once in their life and it is scary but a powerful emotion. It is about the pure passion between two people and it is described honestly through Jacqueline’s character throughout the book. The descriptions of emotions centering around lust and love throughout the book are really to the point and simply put, they are relatable.

 

5) A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway.

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I liked this quote the first time I read this book and I am not sure if I completely understood its depth. Now, after reading the book again, I understand the emotions so much better and this quote is one of most favorite ones. I can’t exactly explain its appeal to me but for some reason or the other, I find this quote extremely relatable. A Farewell to Arms is actually one of my all-time favorites books.

 

So, these are a few of my favorite quotes from books and there are many many more to go.

Book Review: Veronika Decides to Die (Paulo Coelho).

Veronika Decides to Die.
– Paulo Coelho.

I bought this book on a whim after reading its synopsis and Veronika Decides to Die doesn’t disappoint. I finished the book fairly quickly and it constantly kept me engaged as a reader. Now, I might watch the movie adaptation as well.

The novel is a story about a 24-year-old girl Veronika who lives in Slovenia. Veronika seems to have everything going on for her, she herself admits this but still decides to kill herself. After Veronika’s suicide attempt she is admitted to a mental institution for treatment. She develops a heart condition because of overdosing on the pills and has only a few days left to live. In the institution, Veronika meets a number of people who have different mental issues like depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia.

At Villete, she finally feels liberated from everything that bothered her before and slowly she feels like living again. The way Veronika describes the numbness that’s a part of her life is something many of us can relate to. There is a story that Zedka tells Veronika at the institution about a mad king; that story is so applicable and in a way makes lots of sense and it was one of my favorite parts of the story. The point of views keep changing throughout the novels and it gave a lot of insight into the characters minds.

The story slowly unravels or tries to unravel the reason Veronika felt the way she did and it makes sense for her as a character. The surprise of the story for me was Eduard, a schizophrenic patient at Villete who Veronika falls in love with. Eduard’s past is also heartbreaking and how circumstances led him to Villete and their love story is really cute.

Then there is the doctor at Villete, Dr. Igor. I didn’t understand in the beginning why he had chapters from his point of view but at the end it makes completes sense. All the characters in the book, add something important to the plot and to Veronika’s journey. After a hard couple of days, Veronika’s will to live is actually renewed. In the beginning, her heart condition doesn’t bother her as it was her aim to die. As the story progresses she realizes all the things she will miss out on and all the things she could do now. Finally, she starts to feel again hatred, love, frustration, hope, everything she probably hid away in herself for years.

The story is engaging and in a strange yet relatable way. When I bought the book I thought it will be too heavy and sad given its title but its surprisingly inspiring. It is an amazing book and it keeps you on the edge till the end and that ending; I didn’t see it coming whatsoever. The book just changed my perspective about the world. It is a must read.

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