We Live in Water: Stories by Jess Walter
(Harper Perennial, 2013, 177 pages)
With a little one at home it’s harder than it used to be for me to squeeze in some quality reading time. Walter’s We Live in Water had been a book I’d wanted to read since we added it to the collection a few years ago. When I passed it on the shelf recently I decided to grab it. Short stories are easy to fit in when you don’t have a lot of time and because these stories aren’t part of a connected narrative (at least not in this case) I didn’t feel like I needed to refresh where I was in the book after putting it down for a bit.
We Live in Water was an entertaining collection and while a lot of the stories were pretty melancholic, there was also some humor interspersed throughout the book. A few of my favorite stories were “Virgo,” “Don’t Eat Cat” (zombies!), “The New Frontier” and “Statistical Abstract for My Hometown, Spokane, Washington.”
This is Walter’s first short story collection and it actually makes me want to revisit Beautiful Ruins, a popular book of his that I listened to as an audiobook and wasn’t really wowed by. Now I’m curious if that was just because of the narrator… Anyway, I also like Walter as a person based on listening to his podcast with Sherman Alexie, “A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment.”
I’d definitely recommend this if you’re looking for some short stories or just want to squeeze in another book for your yearly count (a lot of New Year’s Resolutions seem to revolve around reading more 😉 ). The stories read quickly, so enjoy!