Finnian Burnett

Author, Educator, Cat Person

Y’all, I’m not doing too badly on my goal to read for pleasure more in 2021. Admittedly, school hasn’t started back up and I’m sure when I’m knee-deep in obscure 19th-centrury poets and pedagogy in the digital age, I’ll be less-inclined to pick up a good fiction book when I could be staring into space drooling after hours. I have a long list of books I want to read this year and I have to admit, the more I read, the more I up my own writing game. I just submitted a short story to a contest and it felt like the best story I’ve ever written.

To that end, I read People Like You, a short story collection by Margaret Malone. I had the good fortune to take a workshop with Margaret last year. It was so great, it inspired me to seek out her work. I’m glad I did.

I very much enjoyed this collection of short stories. The author has a good grasp of the awkward and realistic ways in which people exist in the world. If you’re a fan of all tidily wrapped up endings, you may not enjoy these. But if you’re like me and you like stories that kind of leave you saying, “Yeah. It’s like that” at the end, you should enjoy these. There are some absolute standouts in the so-awkward-it-makes-my-toes-feel-weird category, especially “I’m Your Man” which is cringe-worthy in how realistic the process of trying to conceive can be. If you’re a fan of short stories and of the human condition in general, check these out.

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