Short and Sweet

Most of our reading recommendations here on the UGL blog have been novels and nonfiction. It can be immensely rewarding to invest your time and energy in a long read, and it can keep you entertained and stimulated for hours and hours. This week, however, we thought we’d recommend a different kind of reading experience: the pleasure of reading short stories.

Much has been said about the literary form of the short story. Noted short story writer and essayist David Sedaris has said that “A good [short story] would take me out of myself and then stuff me back in, outsized, now, and uneasy with the fit.” Rather than the dedicated effort that a novel requires, short stories allow you to quickly quickly immerse yourself in  a new world, and reemerge just as quickly, perhaps with a new idea or new perspective about something. You know that feelings you get after you finish a good book, where you’re still wrapped up in the story and riding the high of the emotions it gave you? Good short stories let you have that feeling over and over again, in a single volume! That’s just a good value.

Here are some short story collections available from the library that can help you get your toes wet in the short story pool:

Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell book in library catalogThe Best American Nonrequired Reading 2011 edited by Dave Eggers in library catalogFragile Things by Neil Gaiman in library catalogAn Empty Room by Mu Xin in library catalogThe House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros in library catalogThe Fertile Desert: Modern Writing from the United Arab Emirates edited by Denys Johnson-Davies  in library catalogThree Messages and a Warning: Contemporary Mexican Short Stories of the Fantastic edited by Eduardo Jiménez Mayo and Chris N. Brown in library catalogA Night in the Cemetery and Other Stories of Crime and Suspense by Anton Chekhov in library catalog

If none of the above seem like quite your cup of tea (or if they’re all checked out to voracious short story readers!), you can always find more by doing a search in the Library Catalog for books with ‘Short Story’ as a Subject. Like so:

Enter Short Stories into the catalog search bar, and select 'Subject' from the drop-down menu next to it.

You can also search in I-Share, of course, if you want even more options.

Once you have some results, you can narrow them down to your area of interest by using the Topic limiters that show up on the right-hand side of the results screen.

A list of topics within short stories, including stories from different countries.

And so on, and so forth.

If you have a favorite short story collection, let us know about it in the comments! We wish you happy reading, whatever format it takes.


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