19 Best Short Stories Collections Every Bibliophile Needs to Know About

short story collections

If you like reading books and novels, chances are that you have grown up with some of the best authors as your best friend. In today’s world, where everyone is on the go, having time to finish through an entire novel can be a riot.

But, that doesn’t mean you need to suppress the hunger for stories and thrill of reading through a book. For those, short stories can be an amazing way to satiate your hunger for the books and stories around. You must know of the best short stories so you can add that to your collection.

To help you select the best ones, We have sorted through some of the best available short stories other than Oscar Wilde.

How Long ‘Til Black Future Month?

If you are into the authors of today’s date, chances are that you are going to be loving this piece written by N.K Jemisin. For those who are into thrill as well as science fiction, this book is a festive season for them.

This short story collection stems from one of her trilogy books, Broken Earth. The story takes the readers through a journey post the devastating hurricane, Katrina and Jim Crow South.

The Thing Around Your Neck

The Thing Around Your Neck is one of the best selling short stories collections written by a popular Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The book is 300 pages long and has a collection of 12 different short stories that each takes you on a different ride.

None of the stories have any connections whatsoever, but reading one after the other will make you feel like you have left a connection with the previous one. The majority of the book focuses on the Nigerian descents and characters that you get to know as you read on.

Jenny and the Jaws of Life

Written by Jency Willett, the Jenny and the Jaws of Life is yet another one of the greatest short stories collections that you need to divulge into.
The majority of the readers who have read the book say that it has several disturbing elements wrapped well into a pocket of humour that you just can’t second guess around. The majority of the stories in this collection are complex.

They will leave you scratching your head, and the endings are set to devastate you. But, the catch with this collection is that you wouldn’t feel like putting the book down. “Melinda Falling” is the best one in the book.

The Lonesome Bodybuilder

For those thinking this is a fitness book, it technically isn’t. It has been written by Yukiko Motoya which has been translated into English. The majority of the bibliophiles describe this book as a series of unfolding events with an added thrill to the piece of literature it unfurls. The stories in the book are one better than the other, that is without a doubt. In addition to that, you also do get an amazing ending story that you possibly didn’t even predict in the first place.

Lamb to the Slaughter

Roald Dahl is known to bring forth a real-life picture in front of their readers, and the Lamb to the Slaughter is the perfect rendition of just that. This isn’t your typical political or philosophical discussion, but the experience with this book takes you along a ride that you didn’t even think was possible. The story skirts around the protagonist Mary Maloney who is not just a loving wife but a dedicated homemaker. While life has been pretty pleasant, an event uproots all the sources of happiness, leaving devastation behind. The story takes you on a journey about that.

The Complete Stories

The next one on the list of the best collection of short fiction has to be The Complete Stories written by Flannery O’Connor. This is sort of a continuation of the 1972 National Book Award for Fiction winner. This one includes all the 12 unpublished stories set in a chronological order packed with every bit of emotion that you need to make your reading worthwhile. It has a touch of dark, humour, and thrill that will not make you want to keep the book down to get things done in your life.

The Safety of Objects

Written by A.M Holmes, The Safety of Objects is one of the best available short story collections that you can look into. If you have been looking for the best short fiction collection, this is nothing but a catch for you. According to the readers, all the protagonists in the story are slightly askew with a situation that is consistent for them without putting much thought into it. While the stories do have a very calming and normal outside from another perspective, nothing seems to be settled when one peeks into it from within.

Heads of the Colored People

Heads of the Colored People is yet another one of the much-needed collection of short stories that has a dark humour to it with a blend of amazing results all the more. The combination of the fearless and honest humour in the stories is going to leave you awestruck, wanting more in the end. The stories do shift through each reader’s perspective, providing nothing but a genuine treat to the readers. The stories have been written by Nafissa Thompson-Spires. The “Belles Letters” is possibly the best one of them all.

How to love a Jamaican

If you are into domestic and homey stories with not much drama or thrill or ups and downs, How to Love a Jamaican is an amazing story that you can check out. It is the greatest short story, combining the best of love and family dynamics that are popular around in the Jamaican household. You get to live life in a Jamaican household reading the stories mentioned which are pretty amazing as well. The stories have been coined by Alexia Arthurs and give you a glimpse into the Jamaican diaspora.

The Lottery

Shirley Jackson is known for her nail-biting stories and The Lottery is nothing different. The book is not just a best seller but finds its way in several syllabuses and curriculums owing to the amazing depiction of literature in it.

The story highlights an unusual ritual that takes place in a small town. The plot of the story isn’t that descriptive or complex, but you do get to go inside the mind of a mobster, look into the mob mentality and see how the same can end up making people do heinous crimes around.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

The What We Talk about When We Talk about Love is the second short story collection penned down by Raymond Carver. It has been awarded for several reasons all the more for the people who have lost hope with life.

The stories revolve around the prospects of love and life and the themes surrounding the same. It depicts the prospect of hope even in the darkest of times, suggesting that nothing in life is constant. Even if nothing seems right today, there’s always tomorrow to look forward to.

Bad Behaviour

The next recommendation that we would personally suggest is Bad Behaviour, written by Mary Gaitskill. This is yet another one of those books that will leave you with your mouth hanging open. The cover of the book is nothing short of intriguing which is pretty self-explanatory. The figure of the girl lying on her hands barefoot is going to ignite some sense of curiosity in your mind. The entire book contains flawed characters as protagonists for the stories involved which itself draws in all the USP of the book. The combination of the intimacy along with the deftness further adds to the fervor of the book even more.

Days of Awe

If you are done reading dark and thriller short story books and looking for a change, the Days of Awe is one that you just can’t forego. This is yet another masterpiece written by A.M Homes, which involves unique characters and even better twists that you didn’t even think was possible. In addition to that, the combination of the unlikely characters in the story further takes everything up by a notch.

How to become a writer

The process of becoming a writer isn’t as easy as many people perceive it as. With so many struggles, this short storybook was written by Lorrie Moore takes you along a ride. It is a debut anthology Self Help that walks you through the process of a writer’s life from a second-person point of view. Once you start reading the book, you will understand that more than just a reader, you become a confidante for the character and the narrator in the book. It isn’t just a boring self-help book but one that takes you along a journey worth remembering.

Stories of your life and others

The next one in the list of the short storybooks that you can look into includes this one written by Ted Chiang. The book consists of 8 amazing short stories based on the science fiction genre that will leave your mind blown and wanting for more. You will find unimaginable things like a man building a path till heaven and so on. The entire book is perfect for those who love to narrate their life unimaginably.

Delicate Edible birds

Okay, as creepy as the title of the book suggests, this short story collection book, written by Lauren Groff is a bestseller. The majority of the readers who already have read the stories describe them as beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. Every single story has a very simple background to it, one that you just can’t compare to anything else. The stories aren’t your typical pick me ups and can leave you sad and down. But, the lingering hope in the stories further adds to the reasons why these stories are worth all the time.

Training School for Negro Girls

We often highlight the importance of the Black movement, but we tend to miss out on some of the most important characters involved in its success. This book highlights the importance of past black women and their role in history. Written by Camille Acker, this book demands that you look through the characters that you thought were not that relevant back in the days. The book has a very amazing flow to its writing, ensuring that you don’t get bored halfway through.

Cat Person

We live in a world surrounded by social media, and if you are one of those hooks associated, chances are that you have heard of Car Person. This short story compilation went viral on social media, gaining in the popularity that it has today. Written by Kristen Roupenian, the story begins with a 20-year old Margaret getting it on with an older man, Robert. The story depicts through the fear and the struggles that women face in today’s society and is a must-read that you just can’t put down.

Awayland

Last but not the least on the list of the best short stories has to be Awayland, written by Ramona Ausubel. This book may seem like a kid-friendly one given that it has stories about Cyclops, mermaid, and mummies but that doesn’t mean that adults can’t read it too. If you or your kids are into such stuff, this is a good option that you can look into.

Short story collections are abundant in the market. The only thing with these is that you need to be very selective with which ones you indulge in. These are some of the best available options that you can look into without fail. Every single one of them has a different genre to it, one that you just can’t do without.

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