Although novels usually get the most recognition when discussing books, May is the official time to celebrate Short Story Month. For those of us without a lot of time to read (or perhaps readers like me who have books all over the house and want to be able to pick up and put down something if we have a few minutes to spare), short story collections are the perfect solution to get your reading fix without having to read hundreds of pages.
Most of us were introduced to short stories in high school. Whether we enjoyed the suspense of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” the heartbreaking brilliance of Kurt Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron” or the mind-bending consequences in Ray Bradbury’s “A Sound of Thunder,” short stories introduced younger readers to the possibilities of fiction without sacrificing language, plot, or characters.
Today, short story collections are everywhere. They allow you to explore new genres and authors without the commitment of wading through a longer novel. However, you still get all the satisfaction of finishing a great story. Since May is Short Story Month, we’re showcasing some of our favorite short story collection picks for our readers.
Ernest Hemingway is widely considered the father of the modern short story. He has a number of famous short story collections, like In Our Time. But we’d like to point you in the direction of The Nick Adams Stories. This posthumous collection features stories published throughout Hemingway’s life, as well as some unpublished works. This is also one of our favorite collections of short stories that are a little off the beaten path.
JD Salinger is widely known for his anti-hero classic, The Catcher in the Rye. He followed his breakout novel with a collection of short stories called Nine Stories. It included “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” which was originally published in the New Yorker Magazine a couple years before The Catcher in the Rye came out. This collection was surprisingly popular (and financially successful) for a collection of short stories. It kept Salinger’s literary star in the spotlight as the famous author slid into seclusion.
Night Shift was Stephen King’s first published collection of short stories. Released right after the success of The Shining, Night Shift features 20 of King’s stories. Some of these were previously published in various magazines. Unsurprisingly, many of these stories were adapted for film, including “Children of the Corn,” “Truck,” “The Lawnmower Man,” “Graveyard Shift,” “The Mangler,” and “Cat’s Eye.”
Roald Dahl has penned children’s classics such as James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. What many Dahl fans don’t realize, though, is that he also wrote several short story collections from the point of view of children. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More is a collection of short stories written for a slightly older audience than the majority of his famous children’s books, leaning more toward young adult than elementary school readers.
Short Story Categories:
No matter what genre you’re looking for, there’s a collection out there that will feed your need to read. Celebrate May being Short Story Month by checking out all of our short story collections here.