Add a Short Story to Your Summer Reading

reading on grass

May, June, July, August are months of conflict. Reading or gardening? Reading or swimming?

I think I have hit on a solution. Short stories.  If you don’t have a lot of time or you are likely to be interrupted, short stories provide fast reading.

And then there is the tension of choosing a specific book. Should it be a new author or a trusted favorite?  Or maybe a new genre? Not sure if you ready to return to the Classics?  Short stories may be the answer for those quandaries also.

Good HangingIslandI was introduced to Ian Rankin through his collection of short stories, A Good Hanging.  He is now a favorite author. Alistair MacLeod is a wonderful writer but has only one novel; his collection of short stories, Island: The Complete Stories, offers additional insight into the lives of the people of Cape Breton.

Science Fiction can be sampled in Best of the Best: 20 Years of the Year’s Best Science Fiction. If you are ready for mysteries, try The Oxford Book of American Detective Stories which includes Edgar Allan Poe, Raymond Chandler and Sue Grafton. Do you want to try fantasy? There are thirty-two stories in  Modern Classics of Fantasy.

Treasury of Great Russian Short StoriesThe idea of classics can seem daunting. Have you been intimidated by the thought of tackling Pushkin or Dostoevsky? They are among Russian writers included in A Treasury of Great Russian Short Stories: Pushkin to Gorky.  The library has collections of short stories by Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, Henry James, H.G. Wells, and others.

For some summer fun try Baseball’s Best Short Stories or Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories by Agatha Christie, or Ian Fleming’s Quantum of Solace: 007, The Complete James Bond Short Stories.

If you want to experience a new culture, take a trip through the short story writings of western women writers (Women of the West: an Anthology of Short Stories), Native Americans (Earth Song, Sky Spirit: Short Stories of the Contemporary Native American Experience), Spanish authors (Origins of Desire: Modern Spanish Short Stories) or Scottish writers (Oxford Book of Scottish Short Stories).

Ah…short and sweet!

– posted by Brenda, Reference Services

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