Best Books: Short Stories and Short Story Collections

I really believe, this time, that this is the last reading list I am going to give you. It’s just that I recently read a short story collection (The Martian Chronicles, which snuck in there as a “novel,” just like Olive Kitteridge), and it got me thinking that I didn’t have any short stories on my TBR and only one short story recommend on the Recommended Reading page. There are some short story collections on the general reading list, but not for quite some time. I don’t come across them, naturally, too often. However, my writing group is full of short story writers (and I, in fact, write shorts now and again, interspersing my novel-writing time). At our writing meetings, we open up by sharing what we are writing and what we are reading. Most of the other writers are forever reading short story collections, which makes sense because they are short story writers. However, I think that I must have had some bad experiences with short stories. Okay, so I know I have. It’s those darned literary journals! (Not all of them, but some of them strike me as trying too hard, trying to be weird and unconventional and shocking.) And then coupled with the short stories that they make you read in high school. I dunno’. There’s something about short stories that often strikes me as unnecessarily falutin’. And there is also something I love about the pacing of a novel and how deep you can go in the story and the characters.

At any rate, I do appreciate a great short story and so, I’m sure, do many of you. So, for the last time, I will warn you that I am not recommending these stories or books. I have not read the vast majority of them. I found lists of recommendations on the internet and squished several of those together to make one big list of short story TBRs and short story collections TBRs. It will be interesting, over time, to see if I can find the stories individually, or if I will need to buy (or check out from the library) collections in order to read the one story. It will also be interesting to see how many short stories are IN the recommended collections. Certainly, there are many authors who are repeated on the two lists.

SHORT STORIES

  • “The Tribute,” Jane Gardham
  • “The Stone Boy,” Gina Barriault
  • “The Love of a Good Woman,” Alice Munro
  • “The Siren,” Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
  • “A Simple Heart,” Gustave Flaubert
  • “Friends,” Grace Paley
  • “My Life,” Anton Chekov
  • “In the Night,” Jamaica Kincaid
  • “Music at Annahullion,” Eugene McCabe
  • “Werner,” Jo Ann Beard
  • “The Signal Man,” Charles Dickens
  • “The Magic Shop,” H.G. Wells
  • “The Gift of the Magi,” O. Henry
  • “Rip Van Winkle,” Washington Irving
  • “The Body Snatcher,” Robert Louis Stephenson
  • “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Charlotte Perkins Gillman
  • “B24,” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • “Lamb to the Slaughter,” Roald Dahl
  • “The Window Theater,” Ilse Aichinger
  • “The Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” Ambrose Bierce
  • “After Rain,” William Trevor
  • “In the Heart of the Heart of the Country,” William H. Gass
  • “American Express,” James Salter
  • “Paradise,” Edna O’Brien
  • “Hands,” Sherwood Anderson
  • “Let It Snow,” David Sedaris
  • “The Distance of the Moon,” Italo Calvino
  • “Civil Peace,” Chinua Achebe
  • “In a Bamboo Grove,” Ryunosuke Akutagawa
  • “Happy Endings,” Margaret Atwood
  • “Going to Meet the Man,” James Baldwin
  • “Godspeed and Perpetua,” A. Igoni Barrett
  • “I Bought a Little City,” Donald Barthelme
  • “The Night Driver,” Italo Calvino
  • “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” Raymond Carver
  • “The Swimmer,” John Cheever
  • “Desiree’s Baby,” Kate Chopin
  • “The Landlady,” Roald Dahl
  • “The Outing,” Lydia Davis
  • “Private Tuition,” Brose and Desai
  • “Don’t Look Now,” Daphne du Maurier
  • “A View from the Observatory,” Helen Dunmore
  • “Glittering City,” Cyprian Ekwensi
  • “In Plain Sight,” Mavis Gallant
  • “The Nose,” Nikolai Gogol
  • “The Midnight Zone,” Lauren Groff
  • “How to Become a Writer,” Lorrie Moore
  • “Cat Person,” Kristen Roupenian
  • “Cathedral,” Raymond Carver
  • “Sticks,” George Saunders
  • “The Veldt,” Ray Bradbury
  • “Flowers for Algernon,” Daniel Keyes
  • “Funny Little Snakes,” Tessa Hadley
  • Alan Bean Plus Four,” Tom Hanks
  • “Big Two-Hearted River,” Ernest Hemingway
  • “The Lottery,” Shirley Jackson
  • “The Superstition of Albatross,” Daisy Johnson
  • “The Largesse of the Sea Maiden,” Denis Johnson
  • “Araby,” James Joyce
  • “What, of This Goldfish, Would You Wish?,” Etgar Keret
  • “The Daughters of the Late Colonel,” Katherine Mansfield
  • “A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud.,” Carson McCullers
  • “Butterflies,” Ian McEwan
  • “Going to Meet the Man,” James Baldwin
  • “The Garden of Forking Paths,” Jorge Luis Borges
  • “This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen,” Tadeusz Borowski
  • “The Company of Wolves,” Angela Carter
  • “Why Don’t You Dance?,” Raymond Carver
  • “The Country Husband,” John Cheever
  • “An Outpost of Progress,” Joseph Conrad
  • “Twilight of the Superheroes,” Deborah Eisenberg
  • “In the Tunnel,” Mavis Gallant
  • “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Charlotte Perkins Gillman
  • “The Overcoat,” Nokolai Gogol
  • “Six Feet of the Country,” Nadine Gordimer
  • “Big Two-Hearted River,” Ernest Hemingway
  • “A Village After Dark,” Kazuo Ishiguro
  • “The Lottery,” Shirley Jackson
  • “Emergency,” Denis Johnson
  • “Bettering Myself,” Ottessa Moshfegh
  • “The Elephant,” Slawomir Mrozek
  • “Runaway,” Alice Munro
  • “The Elephant Vanishes,” Haruki Murakami
  • “Symbols and Signs,” Vladimir Nabokov
  • “A Horse and Two Goats,” R.K. Narayan
  • “Over the River and Through the Wood,” John O’Hara
  • “if a book is locked, there’s probably a good reason for that, don’t you think,” Helen Oyeyemi
  • “Trilobites,” Breece D’J Pancake
  • “A Telephone Call,” Dorothy Parker
  • “Vampire,” Intan Paramaditha
  • “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Charlotte Perkins-Gilman
  • “The Tell-Tale Heart,” Edgar Allan Poe
  • “Vampires in the Lemon Grove,” Karen Russell
  • “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” J.D. Salinger
  • “The Beholder,” Ali Smith
  • “Moonlit Landscape with Bridge,” Zadie Smith
  • “Remember This,” Graham Swift
  • “Minutes of Glory,” Ngugi was Thiong’o
  • “A Conversation About Bread,” Nafissa Thompson-Spires
  • “Elspeth’s Boyfriend,” Irvine Welsh
  • “The Happy Prince,” Oscar Wilde
  • “Bee Honey,” Banana Yoshimoto
  • “A Bright Green Field,” Anna Kavan
  • “Extra,” Yiyun Li
  • “The Husband Stitch,” Carmen Maria Machado
  • “Madame Tellier’s House,” Guy de Maupassant
  • “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” Flannery O’Connor
  • “We Didn’t Like Him,” Akhil Sharma
  • “Heads of the Colored People,” Nafissa Thompson-Spires
  • “Smote,” Eley Williams
  • “The Flints of Memory Lane,” Neil Gaiman
  • “The Pig,” Roald Dahl
  • “To Build a Fire,” Jack London
  • “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” Mark Twain
  • “The Lady with a Dog,” Anton Chekov
  • “The Fall of the House of Usher,” Edgar Allan Poe
  • “The Dead,” James Joyce
  • “In the Penal Colony,” Franz Kafka
  • “A Rose for Emily,” William Faulkner
  • “Vanka,” Anton Chekov
  • “Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?,” Joyce Carol Oates
  • “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings,” Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • “Young Goodman Brown,” Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi,” Rudyard Kipling
  • “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” Ernest Hemingway
  • Bartleby, The Scrivener, Herman Melville
  • “A Jury of Her Peers,” Susan Glaspell
  • “The Most Dangerous Game,” Richard Connell
  • “The Rocking-Horse Winner,” D.H. Lawrence
  • “The Garden of Forking Paths,” Jorge Luis Borges
  • “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” James Thurber
  • “A Christmas Tree and a Wedding,” Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • “A Worn Path,” Eudora Welty
  • “A Bottle of Perrier,” Edith Wharton

 

SHORT STORY COMPILATIONS AND ANTHOLOGIES

  • A Manual for Cleaning Women, Lucia BerlinA MANUAL FOR CLEANING WOMEN
  • Blow-Up and Other Stories, Julio Cortazar
  • Drifting House, Krys Lee
  • Dubliners, James Joyce
  • Everything’s Eventual, Stephen King
  • Ficciones, Jorge Luis Borges
  • Florida, Lauren Groff
  • Fragile Things, Neil Gaiman
  • Kiss Kiss, Roald Dahl
  • Men Without Women, Haruki Murakami
  • Nine Stories, J.D. Salinger
  • Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction
  • Ghostly Writes Anthology 2018
  • The Scribner Anthology of Comparatively Short Fiction
  • The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction
  • Champions: An Anthology of Winning Fantasy Stories
  • The Norton Anthology of American Literature
  • Glimpses: An Anthology of 16 Short Fantasy Stories
  • Literature: A Portable AnthologyGLIMPSES
  • Apothecary: Fantasy Anthology
  • Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories, Ryunosuke Akutagawa
  • Runaway, Alice Munro
  • Strange Pilgrims, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • The Collected Stories of Grace Paley
  • The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway
  • The Complete Stories, Flannery O’Connor
  • The Essential Tales of Chekov
  • The Refugees, Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • The Thing Around Your Neck, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • The Youngest Doll, Rosario Ferre
  • The Safety of Objects, A.M. Homes
  • American Housewife, Helen Ellis
  • Awayland, Ramona Ausubel
  • Sour Heart, Jenny ZhangSOUR HEART
  • The King is Always Above the People, Daniel Alarcon
  • After the Quake, Haruki Murakami
  • Arrival, Ted Chiang
  • The Boat, Nam Lee
  • Tenth of December, George Saunders
  • The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God, Etgar Keret
  • What Is Not Yours Is Yours, Helen Oyeyemi
  • Homesick for Another World, Ottessa Moshfegh
  • Things We Lost in the Fire, Mariana Enriquez
  • The Bed Moved, Rebecca Schiff
  • This Is How You Lose Here, Junot Diaz
  • Dear Life, Alice Munro
  • Lovers on All Saints’ Day, Juan Gabriel Vasquez
  • 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, Mona Awad
  • Alligator and Other Stories, Dima Alzayat13 WAYS OF LOOKING AT A FAT GIRL
  • A Registry of My Passage Upon the Earth, Daniel Mason
  • Exhalation, Ted Chiang
  • Salt Slow, Julia Armfield
  • Sweet Home, Wendy Erskine
  • Civilwarland in Bad Decline, George Saunders
  • Tales of Mystery and Imagination, Edgar Allan Poe
  • The Bloody Chamber, Angela Carter
  • How to Love a Jamaican, Alexia Arthurs
  • The Not-Dead and the Saved, Kate Clanchy
  • Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado
  • Grand Union, Zadie Smith
  • Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
  • You Know You Want This, Kristen Roupenian
  • There Are Little Kingdoms, Kevin Barry
  • The Garden Party and Other Stories, Katherine MansfieldTHE GARDEN PARTY AND OTHER STORIES
  • The Love Object, Edna O’Brien
  • The Awakening and Other Stories, Kate Chopin
  • Attrib. and Other Stories, Eley Williams
  • The Avid House, Irvine Welsh
  • The Nick Adams Stories, Ernest Hemingway
  • What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Raymond Carver
  • Madame Zero, Sarah Hall
  • First Love Last Rights, Ian McEwan
  • The Moons of Jupiter, Alice Munro
  • Heathcliff Redux, Lily Tuck
  • Best American Short Stories 2018
  • Transactions in a Foreign Currency, Deborah Eisenberg
  • Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom, Sylvia Plath
  • The Human Comedy, Honore de Balzac
  • The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Vol 1THE HUMAN COMEDY
  • The Soho Press Book of 80s Short Fiction
  • Jenny and the Jaws of Life, Jincy Willett
  • Delicate Edible Birds, Lauren Groff
  • The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel
  • Red Cavalry, Isaac Babel
  • Drifting House, Krys Lee
  • Open Secrets, Alice Munro
  • Our Story Begins, Tobias Wolff
  • Behind the Short Story, Van Cleave and Pierce
  • A Good Man Is Hard to Find, Flannery O’Connor
  • The Collected Tales, Nicolai Gogol
  • The Secret Self, Hermione Lee
  • Magic for Beginners, Kelly Link
    THE ESSENTIAL TALES OF CHEKOV
  • Airships, Barry Hannah
  • Rennai Shosetsushu’s Collected Love Stories, Sachiko Kishimoto
  • Will You Be Quiet, Please?, Raymond Carver
  • Runaway, Alice Munro
  • The Garden Party and Other Stories, Katherine Mansfield
  • Pulse, Julian Barnes
  • The Collected Stories, Lorrie Moore
  • Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri
  • That Glimpse of Truth, David Miller

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