I am excited. This is my first author asked me to read and review their book review! How cool is that? Maybe you don't think it's that cool, but I do. Phil got a hold of me on twitter, asking if I'd be interested in a non-paranormal book of short stories to review. He also said there would be British humor. (He must have read my review of Unnatural Selection where I fangirled over the British terms.) I loaded the PDF (making the font larger made it display funny, but I think that's one of the flaws of PDFs) onto my Sony eReader and packed it up for my trip down to my sister's. I wasn't sure I'd have time to read, but once my nephew was in bed and the house quiet, I was able to read a little.
Little Things synopsis: Have you ever wondered why ants all fly on the same day? What do elves really think about their image? How did they measure customer satisfaction on RMS Titanic? What are the rules of Flan Club? And what happens when a police detective starts to obsess over Sudoku?
The answers to all of these questions - and more - are here. The 16 tales here - the 'Little Things' of the title - are short stories designed to give you quick, easy laughs and an insight into the odd world hiding just beneath the surface.
My favorites were Shouting "Lager, lager, lager, lager..." It was about having an alcohol ed class in school. Much like a sex ed class. What got me was how the teacher kept having to reprimand one student. I laughed each time because you know that's how some classes go. There is one student the teacher needs to keep an eye on. Another favorite was Away With the Fairies. That evil Peter Jackson raising everyone's expectations on mythical creatures. The poor Orcs' reputation was just ruined! Your Questions Answered was another good one. It just kept building and building and the end answer for the question asked was so head desk worthy I had to laugh.
Some of the stories were set up like a movie scene, a quick description of the location and then it was back and forth between two characters. Plenty More Fish in the Sea was like that and while it was a bit odd reading it like that, I still enjoyed the story. Plus, I was too busy waiting for the one scientist to lose count and see what he would do. Would he start over or make up a number? One or two stories, I didn't much care for the ending. They tended to end with punchlines, like a joke, and a few fell flat on me. My biggest confusion was flan. What is it? When I was reading that short, I was in bed and not about to get up, turn on my laptop to google it. The most I figured was it is a sweet dessert.
I didn't really notice anything in terms of errors. I recall a missed coma, but I can't remember where I saw it. The cover is beyond cute. Look at that little gnome. He's waving at you. Isn't he cute? Don't you want a garden to put him in? I do. He can go by the tomatoes.
Over all, I enjoyed reading Little Things. It's meant to be a light and humorous read, but not side splitting funny or full of mind numbing fancy prose. Which you can tell by the title: Little Things: Short stories of triumph and gravy. Gravy! If that goes over your head then you might not want to read this. I chuckled and laughed quite a bit. It wasn't a bother to put it down without finishing in one sitting (like I do most my books) and I found them relaxing as opposed to being on the edge of my chair wondering what will happen next. It was a good collection for light reading before bed or when you have time to kill while on a car ride or waiting for an appointment. I'd give 3.5 to 4 stars.