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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Staff Picks: Short Story Collections

Posted by Staff

Sometimes you don't want to read a whole book, but still crave a good story.  What to do?  Try a short story collection. Some authors specialize in shorts, but quite a few well known writers regularly create less wordy works.  If you are a fan of any of these author's novels, you will love the collections. Give one a try!

Alana T.:  The Best of Kim Stanley Robinson by Kim Stanley Robinson.  (Overdrive e-book).  Robinson is best known for his lengthy sci-fi novels, often part of very lengthy series.  An excellent storyteller, he is able to create interesting characters and gripping situations in much shorter formats.  This collection includes sci-fi, but also has some great general fiction.  Highly recommended.

Fragile Things by Neil Gaimen (Overdrive e-book).  A compelling collection of stories, mostly with a supernatural bent.

20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill. One of the best classic-style ghost story writers today.  His novels are all great, and he is able to write compelling short stories that keep you hooked.  His gift for the shorter works is also exemplified by his Locke & Key graphic novels (jump to a previous post for a short review).

Riley W.: Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell.  Short stories involving  vampires, people that turn into moths and other topics that captivate you, all while teaching lovely lessons about life struggles.

Susan C.:FaceOff (edited by David Baldacci).  Eleven stories featuring twenty-two authorsmembers of International Thriller Writers—who pair-off to present their characters together in the same story.This concept for an anthology is unique, and readers familiar with the characters will jump right into the stories like meeting a familiar friend. New readers will find the main players quickly defined and presented in full character. Recommended for all!

Below are two other highly rated collections that both staff and patrons have recommended:

This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz. In prose that is endlessly, inventive, tender, and funny, the stories in This Is How You Lose Her lay bare the infinite longing and weakness of the human heart. They remind us that passion always triumphs over experience, and that “the half-life of love is forever.

St. Lucy's Home For Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell.  Russell's stories are beautifully written and exuberantly imagined, but it is the emotional precision behind their wondrous surfaces that makes them unforgettable. Magically, from the spiritual wilderness and ghostly swamps of the Florida Everglades, against a backdrop of ancient lizards and disconcertingly lush plant life 'in an idiom that is as arrestingly lovely as it is surreal' Karen Russell shows us who we are and how we live.

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