I picked up this little short story collection at the library book sale. There was a sale last weekend, and though I still have a few left to read from the last sale, I couldn’t help myself. $3 for a brown bag filled with books. There is something so satisfying and therapeutic about book shopping for me. And especially at a sale, where there are others around me, hunting with the same frenzy as me. I snatch up books on a whim — books I’d never ordinarily give the time of day. And it’s always wonderful when something from my TBR list shows up in the book sale bins … this time it was Little Bee by Chris Cleave.
Anyway, by the title alone, and the slightly eerie cover, I put Cowboys are My Weakness into my brown bag. It was near the top of the pile, and it was calling out to me to read.
I was surprised to find that these were short stories. Similar themes are found throughout, such as a decisively Middle America feel, and a woman narrator who is looking for the right relationship but may be in a very wrong one. Nature and animals play a strong role, as almost every story contains one or both. The prose is smart, beautiful, memorable. Literary short fiction at its best. Although this book is over ten years old, it feels fresh.
Even though the title sounds like it could be written by the likes of a Sophie Kinsella or a Jennifer Weiner, they are not even in the same league. This is true brilliant writing and Houston has just gained a fan in me. And this is what pisses me off – the cover shown on Goodreads has totally made this book look like cheap chick lit. Check it out below. It’s way too cutesy and sexualized … totally not what you will find inside. I recommend reading it – and I’m glad that I judged this book by the cover above and not the cover below – otherwise, this probably would have ended up in someone else’s brown bag.