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Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday Discussion: Favorite Short Story Collections

Last week I started a new feature here on RA for All and now I am calling it the Monday Discussion.

Last week I posed the question of what 1 book you would suggest to an eighth, going into ninth grader.  Click here to see the post and the discussion. The staff at the BPL did a great job adding to the conversation. They will get involved every week, but so can you.

This week, I was thinking about short story collections since I am reading the deliciously evil and twisted collection These Children Who Come At You With Knives and Other Fairy Tales by Jim Knipfel. I also just bought my husband the brand new collection edited by Neil Gaiman, called simply Stories.

I happen to enjoy short story collections myself, but I am always having trouble finding resources to identify good story collections for my patrons. There are very few resources for Short Story RA out there. So, using the collective brain of our wonderful BPL staff, and you, the blog readers, I thought we would compile a list of our favorite short story collections.

First a note: at the BPL, we do not note if a book is a collection of stories in the catalog, but we do put a big "Short Stories" stickers on the book itself.

Here are some ideas from Lit Lists to start us off:
Next, here are some of my favorite story collections:
20th Century Ghost by Joe Hill
Any collection by Steven Millhauser, Lorrie Moore, or Alice Munro
Olive Kittridge by Elizabeth Strout (which I read here)
Different Seasons by Stephen King

But my all-time favorite short story collection is still Twice Told Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Now it is your turn. What are your favorite short story collections?

Also, click here to view past Monday Discussions.


John BPL RA said...

My favorite collection of short stories is, by far, American Gothic Tales edited by Joyce Carol Oates. The stories are arranged in chronological order spanning three centuries and include some of the greatest names in American literature. Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, H.P. Lovecraft, Anne Rice and Stephen King are only some of the authors featured. You just won't find better writers than these or a more eclectic blend of writing styles. Most of all, the stories themselves are thought provoking, dark, and just plain disturbing. The very first (and oldest) story in the collection is one of my personal favorites of all time. I recommend this book all the time to fans of horror and they never cease to be amazed. Equally amazing is how few people know about it.

Ross Betzer said...

The Story Prize (www.thestoryprize.org) is a good source for short story picks - it is awarded annually to a collection by a single author.

My favorite short stories are the Fahrd and Grey Mouser tales by Fritz Leiber: classic swashbuckling fantasy adventures. Sort of like Conan, but better written and with more interesting characters (at least in my opinion).

Rebecca said...

I am a big fan of the "100" Anthologies (featuring 100 Malicious Little Mysteries, 100 Dastardly Little Detective Stories and 100 Hair Raising Little Horror Stories, among others) – These are wonderful collections, reprinted in paperback by Barnes and Noble Books in the 90s, collecting a bevy of famous short stories that are truly, short – averaging about 5 pages per story.
To me they are perfect bedtime reading when I can't concentrate on a novel. : )

Betty/RA said...

A collection that comes to mind is "Interpreter of Maladies" by Jhumpa Lahiri. I read it a couple of years ago, so the details are vague, but a thread of India runs through all the stories.

As a debut collection, this was a real eye opener. After I read this, I was excited to read "The Namesake." I have her next collection, "Unaccustomed Earth" on my reading list.