An Arrangement of Skin

by Anna Journey

I had a few unfinished reads this past week. I think my mood was off. An Arrangement of Skin– borrowed from the library- is a collection of essays on various subjects. The one I liked – \”Birds 101\”- was about the author\’s enrollment in a weekend class on basic taxidermy: how she cleaned, stuffed and posed a starling. Curious the reasons other students in the class wanted to attempt taxidermy. Made me interested in reading another book on my list, also about taxidermy. Other stories, I just couldn\’t click with. There\’s one about her mother\’s penchant for telling macabre stories at the dinner table. Another about her experience getting some chicken pox scars treated. I thought I would like the story that included her musings on horseback riding, but I was starting to loose touch with the author\’s voice. I didn\’t make it to the story about a tattoo artist.

The other two I abandoned this week were also library loans. In the Hall of Small Mammals by Tomas Pierce looked interesting- but I only read the first two short stories. I wanted to like the one about a dwarf woolly mammoth brought to life for a tv show stunt. When it turns out they accidentally cloned two mammoths and weren\’t supposed to keep the second one alive, it was hidden in the narrator\’s mother\’s house. She doesn\’t want it there, is rather indifferent to its presence. So what could have been interesting- well, the mammoth was just in the background. Unfortunately, the writing style didn\’t quite work for me, and even though I usually enjoy this type of material, I was just bored. (304 pages, 2016)

Unicorn Crossing by Dana Simpson was another dud for me. At the library I suddenly thought, hey, is there another Poebe and Her Unicorn book out? There was, and I was happy, but when I started to read it, I slowly started loosing steam. The characters felt flat. The storylines didn\’t interest me. It just wasn\’t as funny as I recall the previous four books being. I found I didn\’t want to pick it up off the bedside table to finish. Maybe I\’ll try it again another time. (160 pages, 2017)

Abandoned           225 pages, 2017

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All books reviewed on this site are owned by me, or borrowed from the public library. Exceptions are a very occasional review copy sent to me by a publisher or author, as noted. Receiving a book does not influence my opinion or evaluation of it

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