With only a few days left in September, we have recently said goodbye to those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer when time stands still long enough to get a sunburn. This is the likeliest time that we will be sitting on the beach, or on the patio by the pool, or in the garden, reading a book.
Many readers feel compelled to catch up on their reading over the summer months when life seems to be less demanding. Now, kids are back in school and the long list of “to do’s” has grown in epic proportion. Soccer, band practice, car- pooling, and a myriad of other school activities vie for your attention, and those precious moments of reading may not make the list.
If you have never been drawn to reading short stories, perhaps this is the time to look into the world of short story collections. Imagine the efficiency of being able to read a great, satisfying story in an hour or less, perhaps while waiting for soccer practice to let out, or maybe during lunch break, or even before your eyes close for that good night sleep. Reading a short story is a way to slip a little fiction into your hectic schedule.
If short stories are a brand new category for you, here are a few suggestions to get started. Trust me, there are short stories for everyone.
NHCPL possesses a treasure trove of books of short stories in many genres. For instance, if you are a fan of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series, then you might want to try out his new No middle name : the complete collected Jack Reacher short stories.
If you think Stephen King or Dean Koontz are your style, then Wilderness and Other Stories(Koontz) or The Bazaar of Bad Dreams (King) are waiting.
For stories about family relationships and the lives of everyday people, any of the following by these famous short story writers should satisfy your interest: Acts of God by Ellen Gilchrist, Bark Stories by Lorrie Moore, The Collected Stories by Grace Paley, Runaway: Stories by Alice Munro, Dancing After Hours: Stories by Andre Dubus, Deep Sightings and Rescue Missions by Toni Cade Bambara, Follies: New Stories by Ann Beattie, In the garden of the North American martyrs : a collection of short stories by Tobias Wolff, for starters.
So many others by all your favorite writers can be found on our shelves or through our NC Digital Library, including Kurt Vonnegut, Hilary Mantel, Alexander McCall Smith, Gore Vidal, Paul Theroux, Diana Gabaldon, Junot Diaz, Mary Higgins Clark, E. L. Doctorow, Joyce Carol Oates, John Grisham, P. D. James, Jo Jo Moyes, Nora Roberts and Margaret Atwood. And so many more!
If your taste runs more toward the older, more classic stories, check our catalog for the following:
Dubliners by James Joyce
The Cat’s Pajamas by Ray Bradbury
Collected Stories and Other writings by John Cheever
A night in the cemetery: and other stories of crime and suspense by Anton Checkhov
Early Novels and Stories by James Baldwin
A Good Man is Hard to Find and other stories by Flannery O’Connor
I love myself when I am laughing ... and then again when I am looking mean and impressive : a Zora Neale Hurston reader
The Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald: a new collection
Collected Stories by Rudyard Kipling
The Metamorphosis and other stories by Franz Kafka
The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty by Eudora Welty.
So many choices* and so little time, but a foray into the world of short stories could be good for the soul and still leave you time to keep those family commitments, enjoy a social life, and still feed that desire for “a good story.” And now that I’ve finished this blog, I shall go back to my newly found stories, The Seasons of Women: an anthology.
*This blog reflects the taste of only one reader. Another reader could choose an entirely different list of short story writers for you to sample.