2016 Library Challenge: A Book of Short Stories

Don’t feel like you have the emotional energy to devote to an entire novel?

Still looking for something different but the nonfiction post from last week isn’t really your thing?

Try a short story collection!

Personally, I love a good short story. This may be a form of heresy to many readers, but if I had to pick between a good short story and a good novel, I’d pick the short story just about every time.

To that end, here are a few short story collections released in the last year or so!

If you prefer to read something heartwarming:

Alexander McCall Smith’s Chance Developments (2016)


Alexander McCall Smith is best known for his cozy mystery No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, but he takes a break from that to present this collection of five short stories. All based on old photographs, these stories focus on the power of love, all tinged with the gentle humor and insight that McCall Smith’s writing is known for.

Recommended for those who enjoy Jon Hassler.

If you love science fiction:

Parker Peeveyhouse’s Where Futures End (2016)


Not in the mood for something billed “heartwarming”? Check out Parker Peeveyhouse’s YA science fiction collection Where Futures End. Billed as one of the more inventive books in the YA genre in recent years, this short story collection is also a novel–all of the stories are set in the same world. Their world is in decline, and some see glimpses of a new world that could be the solution or, maybe, an even worse problem. Spanning several science fiction genres, Peeveyhouse’s first published work is an unsettling and eerie dystopian work.

Recommended for those who enjoyed A. S. King’s I Crawl Through It and Marcus Sedgwick’s The Ghosts of Heaven.

If you enjoy romance:

Stephanie Perkins’s Summer Days and Summer Nights (2016)


Another YA pick, Summer Days and Summer Nights is an anthology of 12 short stories, written by top authors like Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, and Veronica Roth. If you don’t like one of the stories, just skip to the next one because a wide range of romance genres and tones–ranging from sweet to scary–exist in this collection.

Recommended for those who enjoy YA romances.

If you prefer literary fiction:

Anthony Marra’s The Tsar of Love and Techno (2015)


If you like short stories of a literary nature and enjoy historical fiction, you might want to try this collection by Anthony Marra. I covered his debut novel A Constellation of Vital Phenomena earlier this year when I looked at authors under 30. Continuing Marra’s interest in Eastern European settings, this book features 9 related short stories that span modern Russian history, starting with the grim days of Stalin’s purges in the 1930s on up to now.

Recommended for those who enjoyed Louise Erdrich’s LaRose.

What is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi (2016)*


If you like literary fiction with a dash of magical realism and fantastical elements, consider this collection from Helen Oyeyemi. Though all of the short stories are set in Europe and united with the recurring theme of keys and doors, this collection features a wide variety of genres, including fairy tales, allegories, and horror.

*Ebook also available on Libby.

Recommended for those who enjoyed Anthony Doerr’s All The Light We Cannot See.

If you want to read some nonfiction:

Neil Gaiman’s The View from the Cheap Seats (2016)**


If you want to read something set up like a short story collection but not a short story collection, try Neil Gaiman’s latest nonfiction essay collection.In it, the popular writer reflects on a wide range of topics in over 60 short pieces, touching on everything from writing to travel to libraries.

**Audiobook also available on Libby.

Recommended for those who enjoyed John Updike’s Due Considerations and (obviously) for Neil Gaiman fans.

As always, just follow this link to our online catalog to learn about any of these items.

Do you like reading short stories? What’s your favorite short story collection? What did you read for this challenge? Tell us in the comments!


Author: berryvillelibrary

"Our library, our future"

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