Tag Archives: scott stabile

Review of the Year 2012- Fiction


This year I read quite a few books which scored 5/5 so could be my best fiction book of the year.

The Secret Keeper- Kate Morton

As a child Laurel witnessed her mother stabbing a man, as her mother is dying years later Laurel begins to wonder who that man was, and what had driven her mother to do such things. As with Morton’s previous work it’s a story of family history, family secrets, and family love.


Charlotte Street- Danny Wallace

Completely different to The Secret Keeper Charlotte Street is a romantic comedy. A chance meeting on Charlotte Street leaves a man with a woman’s camera and sparks off an adventure across London- and the wider UK area- to find her. It’s a funny book and reminds me a lot of Nick Hornby’s writing

The Brooklyn Bites Books 1 & 2- Scott Stabile

I’ve been championing these beautiful short stories all year. The imagery of food is beautiful, and the relationships well written, I am eagerly anticipating book 4.

 

The Last 100 Days- Patrick McGuinness

The Last 100 Days is a story of the last 100 days in communist Romanian. It took a while for me to get into but was very realistic.

 

The Hunger Games books 1 & 2- Suzanne Collins

Every year in Panem 2 children in each district have to fight in a battle to the death in the annual Hunger Games. In The Hunger Games Katniss is the tribute for district 12 and the story continues in a further 2 books. After initially being sceptical I ended up loving these books, I even have 2 copies of the first one, one on my kindle and one in paperback.

It’s a bit difficult to really compare these books. they are all so different. One mystery, one comedy, one short story, one historical, and one young adult. However looking at them it’s obvious which one sticks out for me…

Scott Stabile’s Brooklyn Bites Series



I never thought I would say that the best book(s) I had read all year were short stories. I generally find that short stories lack something- like they don’t go into enough depth. The Brooklyn Bites stories however are pretty simple plotwise, and that means that more words can be devoted to things like building character and atmosphere. All the stories are about food, and they’re all about people. Stabile does fantastic work in really giving a good sense of the characters and their relationships, combined with mouth-watering descriptions of food. I recommend these pretty much every time I get a chance, plus they’re only 77p on the kindle, so you can’t really say you can’ afford it!

The third books A Pickle and Carrot Cake is also very good, just not quite as fantastic as the previous 2

3 Comments

Filed under general

Top 10 Indie


Top 10 Tuesday is a meme hosted every Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish where bloggers compile lists of different top 10s. This week it’s free choice

Top Ten Indie Authors/Books

I think as bloggers we are in a great position to promote indie authors. Unlike professional reviewers we can read whatever we want and that means we can more easily review lesser known authors and books. I have read some great indie authors (and let’s face it, some not so great ones!). I’m not sure if I can make 10 but for once they are sot of in an order of preference, 1 being first of course!

1) Scott StabileIf you’re a regular reader of this blog you may well know how much I love Scott Stabile’s Brooklyn Bites series of short stories. I’m not a big reader of short stories but I adored these. The descriptions of food and sense of relationships are particularly good. Read my reviews 1, 2, 3. Stabile has also co-written some children’s stories, a children’s film, a crime show, has a full length novel in the works, and plans for a further volume of Brooklyn Bites (does this guy ever sleep?).

2) Linda Gillard I first encountered Gillard as a published writer but she now self-publishes as she often find publishers want to pigeon-hole her books a bit. Her last 2 (possibly 3, although I have a feeling one had been published before?) novels were completely self-published (House of Silence, The Glass Guardian, possibly Untying the Knot), and her first three (A Lifetime Burning, Emotional Geology, Star Gazing) were ‘professionally’ published in the past. My favourite is A Lifetime Burning, closely followed by House of Silence.

3) That Day in September- Artie Van Why  this 9/11ir is incredibly moving without a shred of self-pity. It’s not easy to read in an emotional sense but it’s one of those types of books you should really give a try to. That Day in September was originally written as a play (which has been preformed off-Broadway) before it became a book.

4) My Dead Friend Sarah- Peter Rosch A crime/mystery novel with a bit of a twist, My Dead Friend Sarah follows a man who attempts to prevent the abduction and murder of a woman he has dreamt about. It’s a novel I can see appealing to a wide variety of readers and is one of the most professional self-published novels I have come across.

5) Pegasus Falling- William E. Thomas: essentially Pegasus Falling is a war novel, however it is more of a novel about the effects of war than about the war itself. There is also a love story element which has some messages about love. Pegasus Falling is the first book in The Cyprus Branches Trilogy, the second part It Never Was You is due out later this year.

6) 27- R.J. Heald This novel has an air of One Day around it which could make it very popular, but I actually preferred it. A perfect one for 20-somethings.

 

12 Comments

Filed under Memes, Top 10 Tuesday

Brooklyn Bites: A Pickle & Carrot Cake- Scott Stabile


Image from Amazon

Synopsis (from Amazon)

Brooklyn Bites is a collection of short stories that centers around the compelling people, diverse relationships and simply remarkable food in Brooklyn, New York. A Pickle & Carrot Cake are the fifth and sixth stories in the compilation.

In A Pickle, two close friends—a man and a woman—enjoy some deli sandwiches and new dill pickles while they discuss the frustrations of dating in New York City. As the woman pressures the man to reveal more about himself, she finds herself incapable of digesting what he ultimately reveals.

Carrot Cake is set in Mary’s kitchen, as she prepares a Lebanese feast for her family. When her son arrives with his fiancee, the ordinary meal takes an unexpected and uncomfortable turn, one that leaves Mary having to explain a lot more than her hummus recipe.

Review.
A Pickle & Carrot Cake is the third volume of Scott Stabile’s Brooklyn Bites story collections (read my reviews of volumes 1 & 2). I really think these stories are beautifully written especially when it comes to the descriptions of food. This volume probably has been my least favourite, however. I did enjoy the first story a lot. I didn’t really get much of a sense of the food (a pickle) as I had previously when reading the Brooklyn Bites stories. I did however really get a sense of the relationship between the two friends, and I enjoyed the different style of writing in the story, it read like a conversation and this really helped to make it seem like you were there listening to the two friends talk. That’s the link between the two stories, relationships, one the relationship between two friends, the other (Carrot Cake) about the relationship between a mother and her family. While with the first story you got a sense of how the relationship worked with the second I liked how well there was a sense of how the mother felt for her family. The second story was much more descriptive when it came to food, and sometimes I could almost taste the flavours, although there were so many dishes described that sometimes the descriptions were a little brief to really give a sense of the food.
These are still amongst some of the best stories I have read this year, but this volume doesn’t rank quite as high as the other 2.
4.5/5
Buy it for the Kindle:
This Volume (£0.77)
Volume 1 (£0.77)
Volume 2 (£0.77)

9 Comments

Filed under Fiction review, Short story

Brooklyn Bites: Meatball Sandwich & Cream Crumb- Scott Stabile


Image from Amazon

Synopsis (from Amazon)

Brooklyn Bites is a collection of shorts stories that centers around the compelling people, diverse relationships and simply remarkable food in Brooklyn, New York. Meatball Sandwich and Cream Crumb are the third and fourth stories in the compilation.

In Meatball Sandwich, Jeremy sits on the Brooklyn Heights promenade, miserable from having been dumped by text the night before. When some stranger named Maggie sits down next to him against his wishes, Jeremy imagines a giant fish leaping out of the East River and swallowing her whole. That is, until she offers him a homemade meatball sandwich and a night on the promenade he never expected.

Cream Crumb follows Josh into Peter Pan’s Donut Shop, where he is about to have his last meal before jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge. Josh orders a cream crumb donut for the first time and is so overwhelmed by its taste that his life changes in completely unexpected ways even before he finishes the last bite.

Review
Meatball Sandwich & Cream Crumb is the second volume of Scott Stabile’s Brooklyn Bites stories. Each volume contains 2 short stories focused around food, and around Brooklyn. I read the first volume (Truffle Fries and a Little Taste of Chocolate) as a review book earlier this year and fell in love. This second volume really keeps up the standard. The descriptions of food are so intense you can almost taste the food, I’m not a big meatball person but Sabile’s descriptions of the meatball sandwich had me  craving one, and after finishing Cream Crumb I wished I was in walking distance of Krispy Kreme! In some ways I actually prefered this volume. I didn’t think either story was stronger than the other, as I had with the first volume. I thought they linked together a bit better. They were both about hope, which is a lovely thing to read about in itself.
I had really wondered how a donut could really change someone’s life. As I started to find out I was a little skeptical but Stabile made a strange idea sound realistic, which is a real feat.
Seriously guys you have to read this series.
5/5
Buy it:
Kindle (£0.77)

10 Comments

Filed under Fiction review, Short story

Brooklyn Bites: Truffle Fries and a Little Taste of Chocolate- Scott Stabile


Image from Amazon

Disclaimer: I was sent this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis (from Amazon)

Brooklyn Bites is a collection of short stories that centers around the compelling people, diverse relationships and simply remarkable food in Brooklyn, New York. Truffle Fries and A Little Taste of Chocolate are the first two stories in the compilation.

In Truffle Fries, a steaming plate of truffle fries sits between a woman and the boyfriend she has loved for two years, the same man she now wants to punch in the eye or push off a cliff, or both. She lets the deliciousness of the pungent fries carry her away to far away lands of truffled decadence, where her boyfriend is no where to be found. Until he is.

A Little Taste of Chocolate opens with Rick and Shelly, a couple very much in love, as they awake, hungover, to the barks of the cute and irritating bulldog across the street. As Shelly dreads yet another tough day in the harsh economy, Rick cuddles her – the love of his life – and feeds her whispers of hope, his pure adoration, and a little taste of chocolate.

Review

Calling this book is a a bit rich. It’s two short stories really and it took me less than an hour to read both. However the two stories were beautifully crafted. In the first story (Truffle Fries) in particular you could really sense the tastes of the truffle fries, and you could almost feel the emotions that the main character was feeling. I found the way the two stories sat with each other was very clever too. After reading the second story it put a different twist on the first, and I don’t really want to say more than that for fear of giving things away. It’s only 77p so hardly breaks the bank. I would certainly recommend it.

When it comes down to it I would rather have a short story of this quality that a long one of middling quality.

5/5

Buy it:

Kindle (£0.77)

11 Comments

Filed under Fiction review, Short story