Usually, a book with short stories can be found by my bed - and at least 1 story must be completed before I go to sleep. So, last year I made a list of 10 Book of Short Stories From 2011 That I Want to Read ... most were excellent, but 1 or 2 left me trying to remember who/ where recommended the book - so I could go give them a good scolding!
Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, Danielle Evans. I cracked open this book, read the 1st story, Virgins, and was blown away. Every single story is worth reading.
Corsets & Clockwork: 13 Steampunk Romances, Trisha Telep. EXCELLENT collection of short stories and a wonderful addition to the steampunk genre - elements of fantasy, mystery & of course, romance. I loved ALL the stories.
After the Apocalypse, Maureen F. McHugh. My favorite from this collection is The Naturalist, where convicted criminals are sent to fight zombies in Cleveland. Most of the other stories are contemporary, literary fiction type reads and the apocalyptic moments are either personal or not-so obvious, but slowly evolving ... and I liked!
You Are Free: Stories, Danzy Senna. There were a few stories that I really liked - Admission, The Land of Beulah (hard to read this one about animal abuse) and You are Free. But the rest of the stories sort of felt lacking, too short & a little forced.
We Others: New and Selected Stories, Steven Millhauser. I liked all 7 of the new stories in the 1st section - my favorites being, The Slap, where an unknown assailant goes around slapping unsuspecting, seemingly random people; and The Next Thing, which describes what will happen when mega-retail companies like Ikea & Walmart take over the World. The 2nd section, with 14 previously published stories, was just too long.
Orientation and Other Family Stories, Daniel Orozco. While this book is an okay read - I wouldn't recommend it to anyone - it's very forgettable, and I just couldn't get an emotional connection to any of the characters or stories.
Teeth: Vampire Tales, Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling (Editors). The stories in this book were very creative, with vampires that were slightly different from the traditional stereotype, and I enjoyed almost all of them. The creepiest was Sunbleached by Nathan Ballingrud - don't try and keep vampires around ... it never ends well! And the most touching was Best Friends Forever by Cecil Castellucci - about a vampire & a dying girl, both wanting to trade places with each other, yet both also not wanting to inflict the life they don't like on each other
The Monster's Corner: Stories Through Inhuman Eyes, Christopher Golden. The monsters telling their side of the story are sometimes the obvious "creatures of the night" type things, and sometimes it's people that are monsters because of their evil deeds - and it's not that the stories were "drop your pants and run scary" but they made me go ... hmmm.
The Outlaw Album: Stories, Daniel Woodrell. There are only 12 short stories in this book, and although they are fictional, they ring true. My favorite stories were Night Stand, about a veteran who wakes up one night to find someone standing over his bed, naked; and Florianne, about how a man is coping after the abduction of his daughter.
The Empty Family, Colm Toibin. I nicknamed this book "The Boring Family Stories." Most of the short stories seemed pointless and empty ... but maybe that was the point.
Are you a fan of short stories? Have you read any of these - what did you think?