Thursday, January 3, 2008

Eva's List

I thought I'd start by sharing some awesome short story collections I've read. If I've reviewed them on my blog, I've linked that. :)
Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman: this collection focuses on the same house, located in a small New England fishing town, and the people who live in it through the centuries.
Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dinesen: she uses an old-fashioned style to tell these delicious gothic stories; the best two in the collection (imho) were "The Dreamers" and "Supper at Elsinore."
Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman: his first short story collection, this contains two of my favourite short stories ever: "Snow, Glass, and Apples" and "A Murder Mystery."
Thirteen Problems by Agatha Christie: the format is a Tuesday murder club, where each participant tells a murder story and the others must guess the killer; since Miss Marple is present, one guess on who's always right! ;)
Little Black Book of Stories by A.S. Byatt: described as fairy tales for adults, I read this over six years ago and the stories have stuck with me; my favourite was "The Thing in the Woods."
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri: when I read it, I didn't realise it'd won the Pulitzer, but it was well deserved. The characters in all of these stories seem very, very real. If I had to pick one, I'd go with "A Temporary Matter."
A Good Scent From a Strange Mountain by Robert Butler: this collection (another Pulitzer winner) about Vietnamese immigrants adjusting to America was written by a Vietnamese linguist who served in the war. It's full of humanity and great one-liners, and it introduced me to a culture I know next to nothing about. My favourite was "Mr. Green."
Reasons to Live by Amy Hempel: another collection that focuses on people and their struggles; both "Nashville's Gone to Ashes" and "Beg, Sl Tog, Inc, Cont, Rep" have stayed with me for a long time.
And, of course, the collection of Chekhov's short stories translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky (they're the truest to his style). So simple, yet so good!

Now on to my plans. :) Late last year, I started bookmooching a ton of short story collections in my quest to read more of them (since I always really enjoy short stories when I do read them). I'm taking option four, and I have a pool of books to choose from:

The Lost Stories of Louisa May Alcott
Bliss and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield
Miguel Street by V.S. Naipul
Dressing Up for the Carnival by Carol Shields
The Red Passport by Katherine Shonk
Ship Fever by Andrea Barrett
The Girl in the Flammable Skirt by Aimee Bender
A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You by Amy Bloom
Get Down by Asali Solomon
Stained Glass Elegies by Shusaku Endo
Pack of Cards by Penelope Lively
The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty
God Lives in St. Petersburg by Tom Bissell

1 comment:

ravenous reader said...

Thanks for all these great recommendations, Eva! I'm sure I'll find three more great collections here to add to my challenge list :)