Book of the Month/November 2022

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I am a day or so early with my book-of-the-month selection, which I am doing so as to not clutter up the first part of November next week. I hear other stuff is going to be happening then. For being early like this, I resolutely refuse to apologize.

Let me tell you first how I came across this book. While at the Fight Laugh Feast conference in Knoxville, I was a few minutes away from giving my talk, and was standing in the vendor area, holding a cup of coffee. While standing there, I was chatting with the good folks at Nogginnose, when the lid came loose on my coffee cup, and the coffee itself then came loose, and headed straight for the front of my shirt. But if I gave the talk in the condition I was subsequently in, the people there assembled would come to a conclusion other than the one I was trying to get across to them, with their conclusion being that I was a slop tot. The emergency team swung into action, meaning that Nancy dashed back to the hotel room to get me another shirt, and the crisis was averted. So we all lived happily ever after.

But the upshot of all this excitement was that my conversation with the Nogginnose people was interrupted. So then, just the other day, I received a consolation package in the mail from them, and it included two of their books, both by Rivers Houseal. One of them, the book you see here, is a collection of short stories about inanimate “things.” I took a look at it, and got dragged right in.

I need to explain something else here. I am given quite a few books by aspiring authors. Sometimes they are looking for a blurb, sometimes it is just a thank you from them , other times it is a manuscript in search of a publisher, and so on. But I am given a lot of books, which creates a conflicting situation for me. I really do wish I could read them all, but the press of my other reading responsibilities prohibits it. Part of the reason I wish I could read them all is that I can acutely remember being on the other side of the how-can-we-get-this-published? hustle. One time, many years ago, at a conference, I was placed in the very awkward position of asking J.I. Packer for a blurb for a manuscript. That task was no fun at all, I can tell you.

But the other side of all my “conflictedness” is the fact that a lot of these projects are either no good at all, or fairly nondescript. It is like I am routinely asked to be a judge in a cute baby contest with a line-up of ugly babies. And the people are nice Christian folks, and I don’t want to be rude, and some of them are not ugly babies, and I am really busy anyway.

I say all this because of how gobsmacked I was with this book. The cover design was good, the production quality was good, and the writing was stellar. That girl can write. Do you want any more light, engaging, thoughtful short fiction in your life? Then get this book.

Check out Nogginnose Press here. You can get The Thing Is from them there, or from Amazon. Which you really ought to do. If you have readers, this is an ideal Christmas present, by the way.