Tips for Reading Olive Kitteridge by Emma Strout

  1. Read physical book rather than kindle edition. It seems the book is more suited to kindle particularly as apparently someone at my book club got confused because, it was not clear where the book ended and the abstract from next book started. Therefore they thought the abstract from the next book was the last chapter which threw them regarding what story was about. Therefore if you read on a kindle be warned.
  2. Treat each story as a separate story, do not try to make connections between stories or expect them all to tie up in the end.
  3. The key story is Tulips. If you read one story from the book; read that one. However much read of the book pay attention to Tulips; there is a lot of detail and action to take in with that story.


Reading short stories: Mark Haddon and Emma Strout

I do not usually find short stories fit into my prime reading time; in bed at night. Sometimes a short story is more than want to read in one night, but then next night you have barely and left, then hard to go straight into next.

Perhaps short stories are better for daytime reading? I have never taken a book of short stories on holiday.  However, whilst I was at the airport the other week I picked up Mark Haddon ‘a (famous author for Curious Dog in the Night) book of Short Stories The Pier Falls. I read the title story straight away and found it gripping, I could have stayed with the characters longer,  but equally it came to a logical end. The second story The Island, is more mythical, I enjoyed it  muchless but still devoured in the airport. The third story Bunny got the book on track, it is the story of a morbidly obese man; fantastic from first sentences ‘He loved Mars bars and kit Kats. He loved Double Deckers and Galaxy Caramels and Yorkies. He loved Reese’s pieces and Cadbury Crete eggs. He could eat a whole box of Quality Street in one sitting …right until, the very end captivating. The strangely titled Woodwo takes you on a bizzare journey that would not have been predicted from the cosy domestic setting at the start.

I have interrupted reading Hadden’s short stories to read Olive Kitteridge by Emma Stout. I was confused, after saying at book club our next book was short stories to read on the back of the book about it being a novel. In fact it is short stories but all mention the character Olive Kitteridge. The mention may be very small. The first story centred around Olive’s husband at work or the story may centre around neighbours with her just mentioned as being part of a crowd. I’m not sure whether all the stories are going to come to some sort of conclusion in the end. At the moment it is unclear whether the stories are random snapshots or whether together they will say something; they do not necessarily seem to be in chronological order. Again as each story is distinct and does not carry on from each other, it can be awakened reading these at night and not getting though a whole story in one go then having to decide to move from one story directly to the next. Interested to see whether the stories do ultimately intertwine however if they do not some of the stories have made interesting reading; so far I have particularly enjoyed the opening story.