There are some books you like, others that you don’t, and that rare book that you like in spite of yourself. This book fits into the latter category. Originally posted as a series of status updates on Beach’s Facebook page (which limits each entry to no more than 420 characters), these stories might easily be read as little more than a novelty, the first cousin of the Twitter novel or those books that appropriate the abbreviated language of texting. But it takes the reader only a few pages to realize that Beach’s book is more than simple experimentation. The language is sharp and driven by a droll wit that attracts and repels, with results both endearing and estranging. Given Beach’s background as an illustrator, it should come as no surprise that many of these pieces have an almost cinematic immediacy to them, and the unexpected, almost surrealistic twists make this a sharp and wonderfully funny debut. VERDICT Like a tasting menu, these stories add up to something wonderful. Readers of short fiction will love this one.