Magical Thinking by Augusten Burroughs

MagicalThinking.BurroughsIt’s been a while since I’ve delved into the insanely entertaining (and entertainingly insane) world of Augusten Burroughs and I am very glad to have revisited it. While his captivating memoirs each focus on certain eras in his life (Running with Scissors on his relationship with his mother and his time spent living with her crazy psychologist / Dry on the time leading up to and following his stint in rehab / A Wolf at the Table on his chilling relationship with his father), the ‘true stories’ in Magical Thinking focus on his everyday escapades. Much like his memoirs, these stories are wickedly funny, shockingly inappropriate and—thanks to his extreme vanity, considerable loquaciousness, and flair for the dramatic—leave absolutely nothing to the imagination.

No. 10 on my challenge. I only wish these short stories were longer.

Games with All Lit Up – Golf

Welcome to another late entry.

We credit the sport of golf with a lot: wearing multiple, differing prints at once; our first summer jobs shilling drinks to thirsty golfers; and driving in tiny cars instead of walking. We’ll also give it the hole-in-one, a thing that almost never happens in real golf (we think?) but nonetheless symbolizes doing something amazing on your first try. Give us a mulligan on our deplorable golf knowledge and check out these incredible collections of short fiction that have all been recognized … for some hole-in-one storytelling. —All Lit Up

I have never been much of a reader of short stories. Not because I don’t like them, but because I never thought to read them. It wasn’t until I started working at B&G and read the work of the wonderful Julie Paul that I understood the pull of the short story. Now I get it. Since that first time I’ve read two more collections and I eagerly await my monthly newsletter from Little Fiction (if you haven’t visited before, you definitely should).

So, without further ado, the three short story collections I’ve read (all of which have been hole-in-one, as you can see by their astounding reviews):

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Games with All Lit Up – Pentathlon

We don’t know about you, but the modern pentathlon seems exhausting. Like, makes us want to sit down and take a nap just thinking about it. What is the pentathlon, you ask? We had to do some research as well. The modern pentathlon is actually meant to stimulate the diverse skills a 19th century cavalry officer would require, including fencing, swimming, equestrian, running, and shooting. And all these events take place in one day (like we said, exhausting). It may not take us a full day to read the titles of today’s contenders but their titles are a mouthful, giving readers a pretty clear idea of the diverse range of topics to be found within their covers. —All Lit Up

In preparation for this post I did some soul searching. I do believe that the longest title belonging to a book I’ve read is:

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One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak

OneMoreThing.BJNovak

Not at all what I had expected, but if I had a nickel for every time I said that… (inside joke for those smarties who have read the book). Very clever—entertaining with a few teaching moments thrown in.

ps. click on the cover to see the amazing book trailer starring Mindy Kaling.

No. 1 on my challenge. One of the many.