The Thing About Great White Sharks, by Rebecca Adams Wright (@rvleeadams) – #Review #Bibliotica

About the book, The Thing About Great White SharksThe Thing About Great White Sharks

  • Paperback: 182 pages
  • Publisher: Little A (February 10, 2015)

In this collection’s richly imagined title story, our brutal and resourceful protagonist is determined to protect her family from a murderous, shark-ridden world—at any cost. Elsewhere, an old woman uncovers a sinister plot while looking after a friend’s plants (“Orchids”), and a girl in the war-torn countryside befriends an unlikely creature (“Keeper of the Glass”). In “Barnstormers,” a futuristic flying circus tries to forestall bankruptcy with one last memorable show. At the heart of “Sheila” is the terrible choice a retired judge must make when faced with the destruction of his beloved robotic dog, and “Yuri, in a Blue Dress” follows one of the last survivors of an alien invasion as she seeks help.

Extending from World War II to the far future, these fifteen stories offer a gorgeously observed perspective on our desire for connection and what it means to have compassion—for ourselves, for one another, for our past…and for whatever lies beyond.

Buy, read, and discuss The Thing About Great White Sharks

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About the author, Rebecca Adams Wright Rebecca Adams Wright

Rebecca Adams Wright is a 2011 graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop and a former University of Michigan Zell Writing Fellow. She has an MFA in fiction from the University of Michigan and has won the Leonard and Eileen Newman Writing Prize. Rebecca lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan, with her husband and daughter.

Connect with Rebecca

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My Thoughts

Short stories are a great way to get to know an author if you’re unfamiliar with her work, or if you don’t have the time to really sink into a novel. (Personally, I like to keep collections of short stories in the bathroom. Oh, come on, you all know you read there, too.)
I’ve come to think of them as a textual sampler platter. You get all sorts of characters and voices, and you don’t have to choose one to stay with.

Rebecca Adams Wright’s collection of short stories, The Thing About Great White Sharks (and Other Stories), is a prize among short story collections, because it’s fresh and unique, and just a little twisted in places…all things I appreciate.

While the title of the book (and the eponymous short story within) are what drew me to this collection (because I do have a ‘thing’ about great white sharks), and while that story – a whole new way to look at post-Apocalyptic society that (thank you, Ms. Wright) does not involve any humans shambling around or moaning for brains – was compelling, and dark, and even a little dangerous, it wasn’t my favorite of the fifteen.

That honor went to “Orchids,” which starts out as a simple little tale of a woman watering her neighbors plants and turns into something that would make Hitchcock sit up in his grave and demand to film, were that possible.

I also want to give a shout-out to “Sheila” which was sweet and sentimental without being sappy, and reminded me of both the questions that will start to come up as AIs become more widespread and more advanced (Siri has some growing up to do) and of the contemporary, and very real, issue of Breed-Selective Legislation (the laws which ban people from owning “bully” breed dogs like American Staffordshire Terriers, and other ‘pit bull types’).

But those are just three of the collection, and there are twelve others that take us back in time to World War II, and forward to when aliens are a real presence, and span many years and moods in between.

I would say that I’d love to see Ms. Wright give us a whole novel, but I’ve enjoyed her short stories so much, that my greediest self wants to demand another volume.

Goes well with Tapas and sangria or sushi and plum wine – anything that involves small bites of diverse flavors.

Rebecca Adams Wright’s TLC Book Tours Tour Stops: TLC Book Tours

This review is part of a tour organized by TLC Book Tours. For a guest post from the author, click HERE. For the complete list of tour stops, see below. For more information, click HERE.

Friday, February 13th: Book Snob – author guest post

Monday, February 16th: No More Grumpy Bookseller

Monday, February 16th: Bibliophilia, Please

Wednesday, February 18th: From the TBR Pile

Thursday, February 19th: 5 Minutes for Books

Thursday, February 19th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Monday, February 23rd: Conceptual Reception

Tuesday, February 24th: Bibliotica review and author guest post

Tuesday, February 24th: Savvy Verse and Wit – author guest post

Wednesday, February 25th: Bibliophiliac

Thursday, February 26th: The Relentless Reader

Monday, March 2nd: A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall

Tuesday, March 3rd: Patricia’s Wisdom

Thursday, March 5th: Guiltless Reading

Monday, March 9th: Kahakai Kitchen

Thursday, March 12th: The Book Binder’s Daughter – author guest post

TBD: Bound by Words

TBD: Life is Story



In Progress: Animals In Translation by Temple Grandin

My birthday was last Monday (the 17th), and, as usual, I received a book from my aunt in Connecticut. In recent years she’s been sending more non-fiction than fiction, but I’m not sure that’s intentional.

In any case, she knows that there is no drug rehab equivalent for bibliophiles, and really, as addictions go, reading is a pretty safe one. I mean, what other substance sends you to a bookstore or library when you’re jonesing for a fix? How often do you see a voracious reader begging on the street corner, “Man, I just need a dollar for another book?”

But I digress.

My birthday book this year is Animals in Translation, by Temple Grandin. I’m barely into it, but already I’m fascinated. It’s about how people with autism respond to animals, often understanding them on levels that neuro-typical humans cannot. I’m reading it as a dog-lover and animal rescue volunteer who loves animals, but apparently this book is quite well regarded. In fact, I found a link to it on the PLoS Biology website, in which the editors actually asked Ms. Grandin to respond to something they’d posted. The complete article is here.

It’s all really interesting, and makes me look at my dogs in a new light. I’ll review the book when I’ve finished with it, of course, but I wanted to share what I have in progress for a change.

Review: Dog Years, by Mark Doty

Dog YearsDog Years
by Mark Doty
Get it from Amazon

Dog Years was, perhaps, not the best choice of read for a time when I was convinced we were going to lose our chihuahua, Zorro. (He’s got a heart condition, and while we know we don’t have much time with him, he’s no longer in that “death rattle” stage.), but I couldn’t resist the happy golden retriever on the cover.

This memoir of the author’s last months with his partner Wally, of the new relationship with partner Paul, and of his two dogs, Arden and Beau, is a rambling story, loosely chronological, but not entirely orderly, in much the same way that walking the dog around the block really involves zigging this way to sniff a fence post, or zooming the opposite direction to pee on that particular blade of grass, or going wildly off course because it was imperative to chase a bird/cat/squirrel/kid on a bicycle.

A gentle read, parts that stood out for me were moments on the beach at Sandy Hook, NJ, which is where I grew up, and the daily routine of dog stewardship (because really, they own us more than we ever own them), and the pain of loss when each finally went to his end – this isn’t a spoiler – it’s obvious from the back cover that the dogs would not survive the book. I laughed when I read about Arden spitting out his medication, and cried when I read that he suffered from anxiety attacks after 9/11 (the dogs lived a good part of their lives in New York).

Dog Years is, in many ways, a memoir of a man told through the eyes of his dogs, though it’s never in their voice. Author Mark Doty is also a poet, and you can hear the poetry underlying the rhythm of his prose.

Goes well with:: Cool water and bits of cheese to share with a cuddly canine friend.