Corset Blues


I write poetry, stories, madness. I transcribe my life into words. Beauty can be found anywhere and I guess I'm here chasing after my muse. Yet again. To contact:

Welcome to the past: historical fiction month

Welcome to the past: historical fiction month

What’s the first thing that springs to your mind when you hear someone say “historical fiction”?

Admit it, the first image was something from the middle ages, peasants wallowing in hovels or nobles garbed in silk and velvet, riding noble steeds or strolling down the marble halls of a palace. Or else of pirates. Or else (embarrassing, but be honest) the mental image was of some bodice ripper you…

View On WordPress

Rags and Bones: New Twists On Timeless Tales

Rags and Bones: New Twists On Timeless Tales

… and here we are. Tomorrow. That is to say, today. And today, I’m going to talk about this beasty here- Rags & Bones!

You guys, I got this *sigh* last November … and I finally got around to reading it.

Apparently, it is just the case that with every short story collection I am doomed to like about 64-65% of the book, and just not anymore. (Though I do try.) Now, while Grimis primarily a…

View On WordPress

A few more short stories

A few more short stories

Steph’s post the other day got me thinking. I know how I read short stories – straight through, cover to cover, unless I enjoy a story so much that I want to linger in the world and therefore put the book down for a while to bask in the narrative in my mind before continuing – but why do we read short stories?

One of the main reasons I’m drawn to an anthology is because it has a story by an…

View On WordPress

Grim: A Twisted Fairy Tale Collection

Grim: A Twisted Fairy Tale Collection

In the beginning of the month, I said I would review three fairy tale collections, but I feel like only two made the cut. (It was a simple criteria- I picked the books on the basis of whether the stories I liked outnumbered the stories I didn’t.) Today, I’m going to talk about Grim, a collection edited by Christine Johnson.

It has stories from a lot of great writers, and out of the 17 stories, I…

View On WordPress

Hello lovely people. I’ve been absent for almost a week which…I am sorry about. But Ramadan is over and so is Eid and all I’m doing now is the second set of revisions for my thesis and looking for a job (ugh, I feel depressed thinking about that now) and feeling angry about the ongoing tragedy that is Palestina and Gaza BUT I’m planning on reading lots. How else do I escape this world, huh?

I can’t promise to review every single book I read but are there is any that you guys want me to review, let me know and I shall make every effort to do. So, let’s talk about the books.

I am currently reading:

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

If you ignore the completely hideous cover, actually if you make a concentrated to ignore the cover, you will find the story inside to be quite readable. Kate Elliott (who wrote the Spiritwalker trilogy) recommended this book to me and I had seen the book and been turned off by the cover (so much so that it just wasn’t on my radar). I’m about a 106 pages in and really liking it so far. I will probably review this one because I feel not many people have read it and it should be read.

Worn: Stories – Edited by Emily Spivack

This is a collection of people’s stories about their attachment to a particular piece of clothing. I’m about 29 pages in and while there are some stories that are a fascinating commentary about a person’s relationship to objects, there are other stories which make me think that maybe the story shouldn’t have been in the collection. I will be reviewing this as well.

What I plan on reading…

There are some graphic novels I have out from the library that I should read before they come due. I also should probably finish The Secret Hum of a Daisy. For some reason, I haven’t been able to get into it. I am probably also going to read Elizabeth is Missing or start it and read it slowly as I think it’s a book that needs to be savoured. I also may be picking up the Seven Realms series sooner rather than later. All of the wonderful reviews and status updates have made me keep to read it again.

Of course how much I read depends on how much I want to go out and play or how fast I want to do all the edits on my thesis. But we’ll see.

The Reading Forecast! Hello lovely people. I’ve been absent for almost a week which…I am sorry about. But Ramadan is over and so is Eid and all I’m doing now is the second set of revisions for my thesis and looking for a job (ugh, I feel depressed thinking about that now) and feeling angry about the ongoing tragedy that is Palestina and Gaza BUT I’m planning on reading lots.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Settings

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Settings

Would you like to read books set somewhere other than North America? If so, where? Why? (The Book Wars topic though I reckon BrokeandBookish have done the same topic or a variation of it some time in the past.)

Top Ten Tuesday


I am going to be totally unimaginative and pick the places I have a. lived at/visited or b. would like to visit:

  1. Hyderabad, India:My hometown. An absolutely crazy city that (I hear)…

View On WordPress

This month, short story month, has been a new and intriguing experience for me.

I, like many of our readers (we have noticed the lower hits!), have never really been that into short stories. Sure, I like fairy tales and myth, but they aren’t quite the same as a whole anthology of 20-40 page stories written by a bunch of different authors (some known and some not). In fact, before this month I don’t think I’d ever read a short story anthology from cover to cover before, only single stories for classes or from online (I’ve read some Neil Gaiman short stories, for instance) but a whole book? Never.

To date now, I’ve read a small, but a fairly varied selection…

In every one of these books there were stories that riveted me (and not always by the headlining author) and there were stories that were just good or O.K. But there was always at least one story that (to be brutally honest) that was just terrible i.e., not on theme, not fully rounded out (plot, characters, pacing), badly written/illustrated and even, at times, too critical and mocking of the form itself (see: Gregory Maguire’s dialect and story in After for an example). The art of the short story is so tricky, it has to come full circle and have a well developped concept or character or plot (or all) and well, it has the expectations as a novel only in less space – which, to me, sounds terrifying.

These anthologies are just curious creatures. And I still have no idea how to tackle them.

They are these shambling masses of a cobbled together theme. In a way they are wonderful and inspiring because they contain so many contrasting interpretations of ideas (my mind if still wondering what I would write for After or Diverse Energies for example) making them interesting writing prompt and classroom tools. They also introduce authors, meant to be paired with similar authors, to readers (I know that I’ve met a few!). Furthermore, they give new and upcoming authors a chance at publications as well, and at experience with the editing and publishing world and process. Yet, on the reverse, they are terribly hard to get published and to sell – probably because what is within them is of such variable quality.

Then, of course there are the short story anthologies created by a single author which have a kind of cohesion that a collection just cannot (kind of like a picturebook created by an author/illustrator as opposed to an author being paired to an illustrator and never speaking).

There is a cohesion that is just so appealing to these few and far between collections. While I enjoy reading them cover to cover a lot more, I also find that they lack a little spark, because they come from one mind and they tell a very rounded story there is no diversity in intention and creativity – I guess, in a way, they are less inspiring.

What I really wanted to post about today was actually a posting of a question.

How do you guys read short stories?

Do you read from cover to cover? Do you read only the stories you are interested in, or only those by an author you know? Do you skip a story after a certain point?

And, if you do, why do you read short stories? Why not? Do you, or would you, prefer anthologies by one author, or by a collection of authors?

I, traditional book lover that I am, read from cover to cover. I can’t help it. It feels wrong to skip ahead. I will admit to skimming once I realize that don’t care for a story, but I still read it out. I am a little torn on which kind of anthology I enjoy more, I think, for a reading experience I really enjoy the anthologies by one author, but in terms of thought provoking and interest (despite the bad, because sometimes you read a bad story and go… “that could have been SO MUCH BETTER!” and in that way the story was actually, kind of good) I think I’m leaning towards the collections of stories by various authors.

:) Cheers guys and thanks for joining us for short story month!

How do you read Short Stories? This month, short story month, has been a new and intriguing experience for me. I, like many of our readers (we have noticed the lower hits!), have never really been 

The Cover Wars: Cheerful Picturebooks

The Cover Wars: Cheerful Picturebooks





Welcome to the Cover Wars, where we consider books based on their covers! This week’s Cover Wars revolves around picturebooks  with cheerful covers (at least, according to Janet)… As always, we look forward to hearing your opinions on the covers.

cw a

Janet:Not the sort of picturebook I would have been particularly drawn to as a child, but I have to admire the panache and guts of…

View On WordPress

Among Others by Jo Walton

Among Others by Jo Walton


Hardcover 302 pages
Published January 18th 2011 by Tor Books
Source: Purchased


Startling, unusual, and yet irresistably readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.

Raised by…

View On WordPress

Vacations from Hell: With Comments from Steph and Yash!

Vacations from Hell: With Comments from Steph and Yash!


Hello! Yash and Steph here. We haven’t done “buddy reads” yet, so forgive us if it feels a little clunky (we’re still working on it!). We thought we should give buddy posts a try before we reach our one year anniversary! Expect a few more of these and hopefully up to one a month from now on.


The back cover copy on this text reads:

“[S]upernatural tales of vacations gone awry. Lost luggage is…

View On WordPress

Deliciously Dark Short Stories

Deliciously Dark Short Stories

Sometimes with short stories, as with chocolate, you crave something deliciously dark with the barest hint of sweetness. In that case, you’ve come to the right post. Here are a few dark – but not bleak – tales for your consideration.

“The Green Woman” by Meghan B. Collins is narrated by a single woman who lives beyond the edge of a small village, to whom visitors come almost entirely after…

View On WordPress

Dear Husband,

A high school friend just alerted me. It seems that you are missing. You are in none of my Facebook pictures, none of my instagram pictures seem to feature you, even my phone doesn’t know your number and let’s not even think about Twitter.

Obviously I couldn’t have made it to the elevated (shelf-worthy) age of 30 without you so you must exist. Somewhere, in a place Facebook pictures don’t exist. If the justification for your existence seems nebulous, you have my apologies.  My femininity depends on your existence, see, so you are more potent in idea than actuality. You do exist, I think. Maybe in a cupboard? Maybe I forgot to take you out after winter ended? Maybe you went to get milk and forgot to come back?

I’m sure I love you. Why wouldn’t I? You give me legitimacy and make what I say worth hearing because a woman with a husband is so much more accomplished than a woman without (the wisdom my relatives impart). So do be a dear and show yourself occasionally.



(This was written in response to a friend asking me why she couldn’t see my husband in any of my pictures. It didn’t occur to her that maybe I didn’t have one.)

Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine

Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine

17303139Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: August 5th 2014 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Source: Edelweiss

There are whispers of a ghost in the slaughterhouse where sixteen-year-old Wen assists her father in his medical clinic—a ghost who grants wishes to those who need them most. When one of the Noor, men hired as cheap factory labor, humiliates Wen, she makes an impulsive wish of her…

View On WordPress

New short stories

I’d thought I’d just about exhausted my repertoire of short stories. I contemplated a mad dash to the library for some of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s collections, or bribing a librarian to put an emergency no-holds-barred ILL on Firebirds Soaring (ed. Sharyn November), which I haven’t read yet, or searching for the anthologies I studied in high school, or digging through my shelves to find Star Wars:…

View On WordPress