Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sing to It: New Stories” as Want to Read:
Sing to It: New Stories
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Sing to It: New Stories

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  263 ratings  ·  65 reviews
All the tawdry details I’m dying for are in these stories, but they’re given out like old sweaters—without shame, without guile. Amy Hempel is the writer who makes me feel most affiliated with other humans; we are all living this way—hiding, alone, obsessed—and that’s ok.” —Miranda July

From legendary writer Amy Hempel, one of the most celebrated and original voices in Ame
Hardcover, 149 pages
Published March 26th 2019 by Scribner
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Sing to It, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Sing to It

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  263 ratings  ·  65 reviews

Sort order
From pogo stick to Complaint Board…

I gleefully pull out my pogo stick at the beginning of this small collection, and I boing on down the road—it’s heaven on a stick. But wait! I don’t want to hop anymore. I sigh, sullen, and read on even though most of these stories aren’t doing the trick. Oh sure, they have great language and style, but they don’t have much in the character and plot departments. They’re all too short, too. Short doesn’t usually bother me, but it does here. And forget about clos
Feb 06, 2019 rated it liked it
At the end, I wanted to comfort him. But what I said was, Sing to it. The Arab proverb: When danger approaches, sing to it.

The above quote is taken from the first story in this collection, Sing to It. The first story is not alone in being a very short story. Less than one page short. While it is not the only story in here that is that short, there is one that is probably around half the pages in the entire book, and one early on that is longer than the average length in this collection, but th
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sing to It is a short collection of short stories, many of which are a page or less long. What's amazing to me is that in a few hundred words, Amy Hempel can tell an amazing story--lyrical, gorgeous, and raw. These stories are livewires and they read like poetry to boot. I think The Orphan Lamb, The Doll Tornado, and the opener, Sing to It, are especially strong, but my favorite qas The Correct Grip, which left me awed and reeling.

Of the longer, more traditional short stories, the best by far i
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
I first heard about Amy Hempel around 2002 when I read an interview (at least I think it was an interview) with Chuck Palahniuk, who was one of my favorite writers at the time.  Palahniuk recommended Hempel in such a way that I felt it was necessary to read her work.  I'm so glad that I did.  I found her books Reasons to Live and Tumble Home: A Novella and Short Stories and they absolutely devastated me in the best possible way.

I am not a huge fan of short stories.   Saying they are hit or miss
Feb 10, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a collection of 15 short stories - and some are very short, about a page long. None of the stories seems to be related to each other. My favorite story was A Full Service Shelter about a volunteer at a dog shelter. It was heart-breaking. The other story I liked was the very first one - Sing To It, but it was because I liked the Arab proverb: When danger approaches, sing to it.

I appreciate that Amy Hempel is a great writer and says a great deal in a small amount of space which is the po
Vincent Scarpa
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In every way perfect, this set of stories. (Except, perhaps, “The Chicane,” though it’s likely I’m missing something and just need to read it a few more times, and carefully.)

Favorites include “A Full-Service Shelter,” “I Stay With Syd,” “Greed,” and “The Correct Grip,” stories I’ve admired since reading them when they first appeared in litmags. (Minor complaint: the substitution of “hell” for “fuck” in the latter story’s final line!)

New to me were three wonderfully sad short-shorts — “The Sec
Kasa Cotugno
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ranging in size from about a page to the length of a small novella, these 15 stories are proof that Amy Hempel's name belongs right up there with the best in short fiction. Some are snippets of observation and opinion, others, possibly semi-autobiography, and apart from knowing she is currently living in Florida, I don't know enough about her life to make that a solid judgment. Still, Cloudland, told in a voice almost of bemusement, seems to reflect thoughts of a careful mind if not the actions ...more
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's Amy Hempel -- we all know it's going to be good. But I was completely unprepared for just how astonishing Sing to It is. I repeatedly had to get up and pace back and forth, I was so startled and excited by Hempel's increasingly powerful ability to elevate and, really, define the short story form.

She is nothing short of a magician.
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Holy shit. Worship at the feet of the master, y’all.
Guillaume Morissette
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I don’t have a sword but I would pledge my sword to defend Amy Hempel, pledging my Macbook instead.
“When danger approaches, sing to it.” That Arabian proverb provides the title for Amy Hempel’s fifth collection of short fiction, and it’s no bad summary of the purpose of the arts in our time: creativity is for defusing or at least defying the innumerable threats to personal expression. Only roughly half of the flash fiction achieves a successful triumvirate of character, incident and meaning. One of the book’s overall standouts is “The Doll Tornado,” about a real-life Greensboro, North Carolin ...more
Andrew Moore
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Netgalley ARC
The writing here is often times gorgeous and Hempel is able to conjure so much thought with so few words. This book may only be 160 pages but to truly absorb it, you need to read slowly and thoroughly. I will add to this that even though I feel she's a beautiful writer, I didn't necessarily love all of the stories. And the fact that I wasn't all too fond of the final story which consumed nearly half of the pages, somewhat diminished my feelings towards the project as a whole. A
Cassie (book__gal)
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
How does Amy Hempel take a paragraph’s worth of writing and fill it with so much texture and nuance?

Many of Hempel’s stories in this collection are just 2 pages or less, but just because she’s austere with her words doesn’t mean there is any less feeling in them. These are stories of love, defeat, pain, and longing. It’s abstract, stories start in the middle, there’s no beginning and end, and you are often reading between the lines when you read Hempel, but I love every minute of it. This is a
Hempel has a very strong voice. I could read an unmarked short story in a lit magazine and quickly identify whether it was written by her or not. But I didn't find anything tying the stories together; no theme. Why these stories in this collection? It feels more like the author is adding an addendum to her already long list of published works.

Like an abstract painting, I know it's art, I know it's beautiful and impactful, but I'm on the outside. The pure depth and beauty of the piece is at arms
Mar 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: stories
I love Amy Hempel’s stories so much. The way she writes just astonishes me. I reread her
Collected Stories and still can’t believe something this good exists. So it was too much, I think my expectations were too high. These might really charm someone who didn’t fall in love with her writing in a different way. Maybe that’s not fair, she can’t write the same way always. But these didn’t feel fully fleshed out, for the most part.

I liked the longest story, “Cloudland,” which makes up about half of
Morgan Schulman
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reader-s-copy
I received an advanced reader’s in exchange for an honest review

These writings are a cross between poetry and short stories, short snippets of a person’s impression of an experience. Beautiful, and it works.
Nicole D.
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019, o-magazine
I'm not a fan of short stories; I am a fan of Amy Hempel, however, I found this collection really uninspiring. Her writing usually knocks my socks off, but I got nothing out of this. Some of the "stories" were so short they didn't even cover a page.... 2-3 little paragraph snippets.

This felt like a hard drive data dump.
I decided to pick up Sing to It on a whim after seeing the book featured on Scribd as a new release, hoping that it would finally get me into the world of contemporary fiction. After reading young-adult novels for the majority of my life so far, I was hoping that there'd be that one book that would expand my horizons and let me dive into the world of anthologies. Well, Sing to It was not that book.

I enjoyed the first few stories of Sing to It, but I didn't care for the rest for whatever reason.
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
amy hempel is here with a new short story collection, let us all rejoice. a number of short shorts here and a novella, all written with hempel's distinct voice that moves between wry observational comedy and detached heartbreak. very simply put: amy hempel is the best writer of short stories in america, I don't think there's anyone else even in the running.

the standout here, 'full-service shelter' doesn't exactly pluck the heartstrings, she wrenches them until her fingers are bleeding and the st
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Best living American writer today. "A Full-Service Shelter" is genius alone. As with all her other collections, you can read the whole thing in a day, and spend the rest of your life returning to its pages. Long live the Amy Hempel short-short, and also all the rest.
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent, as anticipated.
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Meh. Literally all i can think to say about this one
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Full Service Shelter will ruin you and build you back again. That short story alone is worth picking this one up.
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I intended to dip in and out of the short stories in Amy Hempel’s Sing To It over the course of a month. Instead, I read them all in just over a day—being in her voice and world was so good I didn’t want to leave. From a one-page stunner like The Orphan Lamb, which delivers an almost physical gut punch in so few words, to a longer story like The Correct Grip, about the aftermath of an assault, or the heartbreaking novella-length story Cloudland that closes out the collection—all are razor-sharp, ...more
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
I can definitely see why this is getting good reviews, but it wasn't for me. My bias up front: I like poetry, short stories, prose poems, but I'm not a fan of microfictions, which make up the bulk of the collection. There are a handful of longer stories, here, though, and I liked those a bit better. "A Full-Service Shelter" is a beatific piece about volunteers in a dog shelter, and it has a nifty structure. "Cloudland" (three stars), about a woman who has given up a child for adoption, is the co ...more
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've read the title story half a dozen times, and every time -- EVERY time -- it blows me away.
Heather Boaz ( mlleboaz.bibliophile)
3.42 - reviews coming! Promise I'm working on designing this blog!
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: not-reading
I have been looking at the reviews written by other readers to see what they liked about the book. Saying it was written by Amy Hempel, and thus it is wonderful, was not helpful. The reviewer who said every story was perfect- that also was not helpful. I read these other reviews looking for the magic I somehow missed. (SPOILERS after this point!)

The story about working in a high kill shelter at the beginning of the book would have been the end of my reading the book, had I not been given a copy
Sarah Baenen
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Since Amy Hempel is one of my favorite authors, I was anxiously awaiting this collection. However, this book simultaneously disappointed me and delighted me.

The first half of the book was a letdown. Although the terseness of her writing has always dazzled me, these short short stories just didn't click with me. Sure, a clever sentence lands here and there. Yeah. a joke made me laugh once in a while. But the stories seemed like they were written by a grad student trying to be clever for the sake
Prior to now, I'd never heard of Amy Hempel, so I held no expectations of what Sing to It would be like; consequently, because I have zero familiarity with her work, it's wholly possible that I missed the point of Sing to It completely.

The first collection of stories felt unfinished; all were well-written but, because of the brevity of each, I often had the sensation that I was walking in on a conversation--a highly interesting conversation but one where I didn't have the benefit of context--an
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Combine Editions - "Sing to It" by Amy Hempel 2 12 Jan 31, 2019 04:12AM  
  • Guestbook: Ghost Stories
  • Lot
  • You Should Pity Us Instead
  • Your Duck Is My Duck: Stories
  • The Stories of Jane Gardam
  • Attrib. and other stories
  • Wait Till You See Me Dance
  • The Bigness of the World
  • Dinosaurs On Other Planets
  • Domesticated Wild Things and Other Stories
  • Dictionary Stories: Short Fictions and Other Findings
  • Hardly Children: Stories
  • A Hand Reached Down to Guide Me
  • In the Season of Blood and Gold
  • Things to Make and Break
  • Olive, Again (Olive Kitteridge, #2)
  • The Man Who Shot Out My Eye Is Dead
  • The Island Dwellers: Stories
Amy Hempel is an American short story writer, journalist, and university professor at Brooklyn College. Hempel was a former student of Gordon Lish, who eventually helped her publish her first collection of short stories. Hempel has been published in Harper's, Vanity Fair, GQ, and Bomb. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as the Ambassador Book Award in 2007, the Rea Award for ...more