Jess Walter continues to show his versatility and growth as a writer with his first absorbing collection of short stories, We Live In Water (2013). There are some common threads (absent fathers, crumbling poverty stricken families, petty criminals, redemption, are some of the themes among others) in several of the stories which all take place in the Great pacific Northwest (Spokane, Seattle, and Portland). One big exception is the entertaining zombie fiction of "Don't Eat Cat." Several of the stories are short vignettes: "Can a Corn" and "The Brakes." There were a couple of very funny stories as well: "Virgo"(about a psychopathic journalist), "Don't Eat Cat" (futuristic zombie fiction), and "Wheelbarrow Kings" (a day in the life of tweekers). I had previously read the first story, "Anything Helps" in McSweeney's and thematically it fits right in. In a strange way "Statistical Abstract for My Hometown of Spokane, Washington" (incidentally also my hometown), explains where a lot of the ideas and themes for these short stories came from.