Happy new year, and welcome to 2018!
Here’s hoping you had a glorious new year’s eve with plenty of champagne toasts and sloppy midnight kisses.
…Or at least were able to stay up long enough to watch the ball drop on TV.
Since you now get a day off to rest and recuperate, chances are you’ll be needing some comfort food, both literally and metaphorically.
So grab your hot cocoa and mac and cheese, snuggle in with a blanket, and tuck in with any of these short fiction pieces from The New Yorker. They’re not exactly comforting, but they’re short. You don’t have to commit to anything big today.
“The Semplica Girl Diaries” by George Saunders
Not exactly a comforting read, and provides a dystopian view of servitude and wealth, but boy will this short story take your mind off of your own woes. Or it may bring your headache into sharper focus, in which case, sorry. But read it anyway. It’s that good. Then set a reminder to read the accompanying collection of short stories in Tenth of December.
“Cat Person” by Kristin Roupenian
This story published in The New Yorker recently got a lot of buzz, and with good reason. It’s about a meh date with a meh person. But really, it’s about Margot apologizing and taking responsibility for every slight, every awkwardness, each morsel of casual disdain he tosses her way. She’s not into it, but goes along anyway.
“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson
The New Yorker calls this perhaps the most controversial story they’ve published. Shirley Jackson is a master storyteller, and “The Lottery” is a prime example. Encompassing patriarchy, dystopian societies that aren’t far from reality, population control, and draconian methods for death, it packs a lot of behind-the-scene inferences into its short and simple framework.
“The Bear Came Over the Mountain” by Alice Munro
A long-married couple shifts to a new, uncomfortable normal when the wife gets dementia and must live in a care home. Sarah Polley turned this story into the quietly brilliant movie, Away From Her. It looks back to the affairs, the wasted time, and forth at the time that’s suddenly gone.
“The Christmas Miracle” by Rebecca Curtis
Tired of Christmas and all of the syrupy festivities? Here’s a dysfunctional family to feed your cynical heart. Trigger warning: it includes a molesty uncle.
Yeeeeeah, if you’re severely hungover, you may not want anything to do with reading. Your head might still be spinning. Just skip it today and look at the pretty pretty pictures in a magazine instead. Or better yet, drop it all together and fire up Netflix.
Need something more comforting? Watch this video for palate-cleanser book recommendations.
Looking forward to another year with you all. Happy reading!