Let's Talk Books: Short Stories

by Beth

Short Stories are short works of prose fiction. They may be in any genre, and the exact definition of "short" will often depend on the genre. Short stories are often collected together with other short stories in the same genre, or on the same theme, or by the same author to form a larger book, although it is becoming more common for short stories to be available online.

Thanks to everyone who took part in the Let's Talk Books: Short Stories discussion. If you missed it, not a problem! Here's the list of the books we talked about.

To find the upcoming Let's Talk Books events check out https://www.icpl.org/events/ages/adults

Trigger warning : short fictions and disturbances

Neil Gaiman

Science Fiction, Short Story

In this new anthology, Neil Gaiman pierces the veil of reality to reveal the enigmatic, shadowy world that lies beneath. Trigger Warning includes previously published pieces of short fiction--stories, verse, and a very special Doctor Who story that was written for the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved series in 2013--as well "Black Dog," a new tale that revisits the world of American Gods, exclusive to this collection. Trigger Warning explores the masks we all wear and the people we are beneath them to reveal our vulnerabilities and our truest selves. Here is a rich cornucopia of horror and ghosts stories, science fiction and fairy tales, fabulism and poetry that explore the realm of experience and emotion.

The complete stories

Flannery O'Connor

FICTION O'Connor, Flannery
Fiction, Short Story

O'Connor published her first story, "The Geranium," in 1946, while she was working on her master's degree at the University of Iowa. Arranged chronologically, this collection shows that her last story, "Judgement Day"--sent to her publisher shortly before her death―is a brilliantly rewritten and transfigured version of "The Geranium." Taken together, these stories reveal a lively, penetrating talent that has given us some of the most powerful and disturbing fiction of the twentieth century. Introduction / by Robert Giroux -The geranium - The barber - Wildcat - The crop - The turkey - The train - The peeler - The heart of the park - A stroke of good fortune - Enoch and the gorilla - A good man is hard to find - A late encounter with the enemy - The life you save may be your own - The river - A circle in the fire - The displaced person - A temple of the Holy Ghost - The artificial nigger - Good country people - You can't be any poorer than dead - Greenleaf - A view of the woods - The enduring chill - The comforts of home - Everything that rises must converge - The partridge festival - The lame shall enter first - Why do the heathen rage? - Revelation - Parker's back - Judgment Day.

The collected stories of Arthur C. Clarke.

Arthur C. (Arthur Charles) Clarke

Science Fiction, Short Story

Travel by wire - How we went to Mars - Retreat from Earth - Reverie - The awakening - Whacky - Loophole - Rescue party - Technical error - Castaway - The fires within - Inheritance - Nightfall - History lesson - Transience - The wall of darkness - The lion of Comarre - The forgotten enemy - Hide and seek - Breaking strain - Nemesis - Guardian angel - Time's arrow - A walk in the dark - Silence please - Trouble with the natives - The road to the sea - The sentinel - Holiday on the moon - Earthlight - Second dawn - Superiority - If I forget Thee, Oh Earth... - All the time in the world - The nine billion names of God - The possessed - The parasite - Jupiter five - Encounter in the dawn - The other tiger - Publicity campaign - Armaments race - The deep range - No morning after - Big game hunt - Parent pending - Refugee - The star - What goes up - Venture to the moon - The pacifist - The reluctant orchid - Moving spirit - The defenestration of Ermintrude Inch - The ultimate melody - The next tenants - Cold war - Sleeping beauty - Security check - The man who ploughed the sea - Critical mass - The other side of the sky - Let there be light - Out of the sun - Cosmic Casanova - The songs of distant Earth - A slight case of sunstroke - Who's there? - Out of the cradle, endlessly orbiting - I remember Babylon Trouble with time - Into the comet - Summertime on Icarus - Saturn rising - Death and the Senator - Before Eden - Hate - Love that universe - Dog star - Maelstrom II - An ape about the house - The shining ones - The secret - Dial F for Frankenstein - The wind from the sun - The food of the gods - The last command - Light of darkness - The longest science fiction story ever told - Playback - The cruel sky - Herbert George Morley Roberts Wells, Esq. - Crusade - Neutron tide - Reunion - transit of Earth - A meeting with Medussa - Quarantine - siseneG - The steam powered word processor - On golden seas - The hammer of God - The wire continuum (with Stephen Baxter) - Improving the neighborhood.

The age of grief

Jane Smiley

FICTION Smiley, Jane
Fiction, Short Story

The luminous novella and stories in The Age of Grief explore the vicissitudes of love, friendship, and marriage with all the compassion and insight that have come to be expected from Jane Smiley, the Pulitzer Prize—winning author of A Thousand Acres. In “The Pleasure of Her Company,” a lonely, single woman befriends the married couple next door, hoping to learn the secret of their happiness. In “Long Distance,” a man finds himself relieved of the obligation to continue an affair that is no longer compelling to him, only to be waylaid by the guilt he feels at his easy escape. And in the incandescently wise and moving title novella, a dentist, aware that his wife has fallen in love with someone else, must comfort her when she is spurned, while maintaining the secret of his own complicated sorrow. Beautifully written, with a wry intelligence and a lively comic touch, The Age of Grief captures moments of great intimacy with grace, clarity, and indelible emotional power.

The knitting diaries

808.8385 /Knitting
Nonfiction, Short Story

A collection of three stories about love and knitting The Twenty-First Wish by Debbie Macomber; Coming Unraveled by Susan Mallery; and Return to Summer Island by Christina Skye.

Someone who will love you in all your damaged glory : stories

Raphael Bob-Waksberg

FICTION Bob-Waksberg, Raphael
Fiction, Short Story

From the creator and executive producer of the beloved and universally acclaimed television series BoJack Horseman , a fabulously off-beat collection of short stories about love--the best and worst thing in the universe Written with all the scathing dark humor that is a hallmark of BoJack Horseman , Raphael Bob-Waksberg's stories will make readers laugh, weep, and shiver in uncomfortably delicious recognition. In "A Most Blessed and Auspicious Occasion," a young couple planning a wedding is forced to deal with interfering relatives dictating the appropriate number of ritual goat sacrifices. "Missed Connection--m4w" is the tragicomic tale of a pair of lonely commuters eternally failing to make that longed-for contact. The members of a rock band in "Up-and-Comers" discover they suddenly have superpowers--but only when they're drunk. And in "The Serial Monogamist's Guide to Important New York City Landmarks," a woman maps her history of romantic failures based on the places she and her significant others visited together. Equally at home with the surreal and the painfully relatable (or both at once), Bob-Waksberg delivers a killer combination of humor, romance, whimsy, cultural commentary, and crushing emotional vulnerability. The resulting collection is a punchy, perfect bloody valentine.

After the quake : stories

Haruki Murakami

FICTION Murakami, Haruki
Fiction, Short Story

An electronics salesman who has been deserted by his wife agrees to deliver an enigmatic package— and is rewarded with a glimpse of his true nature. A man who views himself as the son of God pursues a stranger who may be his human father. A mild-mannered collection agent receives a visit from a giant talking frog who enlists his help in saving Tokyo from destruction. The six stories in this collection come from the deep and mysterious place where the human meets the inhuman—and are further proof that Murakami is one of the most visionary writers at work today.


Science Fiction, Short Story

"Featuring some of the hottest names in fiction--including New York Times bestsellers Gillian Flynn, Neil Gaiman, and Patrick Rothfuss, PLUS a new Song of Ice and Fire story by George R. R. Martin--the second of our three George R. R. Martin/Gardner Dozois all-original anthologies. Everybody loves a rogue, though sometimes we live to regret it. In this anthology, each of the contributors was asked for a story about a rogue, full of deft twists, cunning plans, and reversals"--

The jungle books

Rudyard Kipling

FICTION Kipling, Rudyard
Fiction, Short Story

The story of the man-cub Mowgli, who is raised by wolves in the Indian jungle, guided by his mentors Baloo the bear, Bagheera the black panther and the ancient python Kaa, and who confronts his archenemy Shere Khan the tiger, is one of the greatest literary myths ever created. Mowgli's adventures are juxtaposed with other animal stories set in the British Empire, ranging from the heroic battle of "Rikki-tikki-tavi" and the Himalayan pastoral "Purun Bhagat" to the drama of survival in "The White Seal". With The Jungle Books, Rudyard Kipling drew on ancient beast fables, Buddhist philosophy and memories of his Anglo-Indian upbringing to create a rich, symbolic portrait of man and nature, and an eternal classic of childhood that has had a lasting impact on our imaginations.

Uncommon type : some stories

Tom Hanks

Fiction, Short Story

"A gentle Eastern European immigrant arrives in New York City after his family and his life have been torn apart by his country's civil war. A man who loves to bowl rolls a perfect game--and then another and then another and then many more in a row until he winds up ESPN's newest celebrity, and he must decide if the combination of perfection and celebrity has ruined the thing he loves. An eccentric billionaire and his faithful executive assistant venture into America looking for acquisitions and discover a down and out motel, romance, and a bit of real life. These are just some of the tales Tom Hanks tells in this first collection of his short stories. They are surprising, intelligent, heartwarming, and, for the millions and millions of Tom Hanks fans, an absolute must-have!"--Publisher annotation.

Selected stories of Philip K. Dick

Philip K Dick

Science Fiction, Short Story

Beyond lies the wub -- Roog -- Paycheck -- Second variety -- Imposter -- The king of the elves -- Adjustment team -- Foster, you're dead -- Upon the dull Earth -- Autofac -- The minority report -- The days of perky Pat -- Precious artifact -- A game of unchance -- We can remember it for you wholesale -- Faith of our fathers -- The electric ant -- A little something for us tempunauts -- The exit door leads in -- Rautavaara's case -- I hope I shall arrive soon.

Interpreter of maladies : stories

Jhumpa Lahiri

FICTION Lahiri, Jhumpa
Fiction, Short Story

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, this stunning debut collection unerring charts the emotional journeys of characters seeking love beyond the barriers of nations and generations. In stories that travel from India to America and back again, Lahiri speaks with universal eloquence to everyone who has ever felt like a foreigner. Content: A temporary matter -- When Mr. Pirzada came to dine -- Interpreter of maladies -- A real durwan -- Sexy -- Mrs. Sen's -- This blessed house -- The treatment of Bibi Haldar -- The third and final continent.

Unaccustomed earth

Jhumpa Lahiri

FICTION Lahiri Jhumpa
Fiction, Short Story

These eight stories by beloved and bestselling author Jhumpa Lahiri take us from Cambridge and Seattle to India and Thailand, as they explore the secrets at the heart of family life. Here they enter the worlds of sisters and brothers, fathers and mothers, daughters and sons, friends and lovers. Rich with the signature gifts that have established Jhumpa Lahiri as one of our most essential writers. Unaccustomed earth -- Hell - heaven -- A choice of accommodations -- Only goodness -- Nobody's business -- Hema and Kaushik. Once in a lifetime -- Year's end -- Going ashore.

How long 'til black future month?

N. K. Jemisin

Science Fiction, Short Story

N. K. Jemisin is one of the most powerful and acclaimed speculative fiction authors of our time. In the first collection of her evocative short fiction, Jemisin equally challenges and delights readers with thought-provoking narratives of destruction, rebirth, and redemption. In these stories, Jemisin sharply examines modern society, infusing magic into the mundane, and drawing deft parallels in the fantasy realms of her imagination. Dragons and hateful spirits haunt the flooded streets of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In a parallel universe, a utopian society watches our world, trying to learn from our mistakes. A black mother in the Jim Crow South must save her daughter from a fey offering impossible promises. And in the Hugo award-nominated short story "The City Born Great," a young street kid fights to give birth to an old metropolis's soul.

Bezoar : and other unsettling stories

Guadalupe Nettel

FICTION Nettel Guadalup
Fiction, Short Story

"Intricately woven masterpieces of craft, mournful for their human cries in defiance of our sometimes less than human surroundings, Nettel's stories and novels are dazzlingly enjoyable to read for their deep interest in human foibles. Following on the critical successes of her previous books, here are six stories that capture her unsettling, obsessive universe. "Ptosis" is told from the point of view of the son of a photographer whose work involves before and after pictures of patients undergoing cosmetic eye surgeries. In "Through Shades," a woman studies a man interacting with a woman through the windows of the apartment across the street. In one of the longer stories, "Bonsai," a man visits a garden, and comes to know a gardener, during the period of dissolution of his marriage. "The Other Side of the Dock" describes a young girl in search of what she terms "True Solitude," who finds a fellow soul mate only to see the thing they share lose its meaning. In "Petals," a woman's odor drives a man to search for her, and even to find her, without quenching the thirst that is his undoing. And the title story, "Bezoar," is an intimate journal of a patient writing to a doctor. Each narrative veers towards unknown and dark corridors, and the pleasures of these accounts lie partly in the great surprise of the familiarity together with the strangeness"--

The collected tales and poems of Edgar Allan Poe.

Edgar Allan Poe

818.3 /Poe
Nonfiction, Short Story

Edgar Allan Poe was one of the most original writers in the history of American letters, a genius who was tragically misunderstood in his lifetime. He was a seminal figure in the development of science fiction and the detective story, and exerted a great influence on Dostoyevsky, Arthur Conan Doyle, Jules Verne, and Charles Baudelaire, who championed him long before Poe was appreciated in his own country. Baudelaire's enthusiasm brought Poe a wide audience in Europe, and his writing came to have enormous importance for modern French literature. This edition includes his most well-known works--"The Raven," "The Pit and the Pendulum," "Annabel Lee," "The Fall of the House of Usher," "The Murders in the Rue Morgue"--as well as less-familiar stories, poems, and essays.

The bazaar of bad dreams : stories

Stephen King

FICTION King Stephen
Fiction, Short Story

From a master of the short story, a collection that includes stories never before in print, never published in America, never collected and brand new- with the magnificent bones of interstitial autobiographical comments on when, why and how Stephen King came to write each story. Mile 81 -- Premium harmony -- Batman and Robin have an altercation -- The dune -- Bad little kid -- A death -- The bone church -- Morality -- Afterlife -- Ur -- Herman Wouk is still alive -- Under the weather -- Blockade Billy -- Mister Yummy -- Tommy -- The little green god of agony -- That bus is another world -- Obits -- Drunken fireworks -- Summer thunder.

Tales of Beedle the Bard

J. K. Rowling

jFICTION/Rowling, J. K.
Young Adult, Short Story

The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a wizarding classic, first came to Muggle readers' attention in the book known as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Now, thanks to Hermione Granger's new translation from the ancient runes, we present this stunning edition with an introduction, notes, and illustrations by J.K. Rowling, and extensive commentary by Albus Dumbledore.Never before have Muggles been privy to these richly imaginative tales: "The Wizard and the Hopping Pot," "The Fountain of Fair Fortune," "The Warlock's Hairy Heart," "Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump," and of course "The Tale of the Three Brothers." But not only are they the equal of fairy tales we know and love, reading them gives new insight into the wizarding world.