It’s my first end-of-the-year favorites post of 2015! I can’t believe we have less than two weeks left in December – this year went by very quickly. Since I am in grad school learning about literature and publishing and creative writing, I challenged myself to step out of my literary comfort zone this year, and read more things that are not traditional novels. I will have a few favorites lists up later this month with my favorite novels, but in the meantime, I thought I’d share my favorite short stories and graphic novels of the year – since I actually read enough of them to have favorites. (Just to clarify, these are things I read this year, they weren’t necessarily published this year.) Hope you enjoy!
Here are my top five short stories of 2015:
- “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway. Other than Hemingway’s infamous six-word short story – “For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.” – this is the first piece of his writing I’ve ever read. And while I enjoyed it, I wasn’t in love with it. But then I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I still can’t get Hemingway’s writing out of my head. This story is only three pages, so if you want to get into Hemingway, I’d highly recommend it.
- “The Sleeper and the Spindle” by Neil Gaiman. Yes, this is a picture book (which is the version I read), but it’s also a short story in Gaiman’s newest book of short stories, Trigger Warning. It’s a twist on Sleeping Beauty, with a bit of Snow White thrown in, and it made me realize how much I truly enjoy fairy tales – it’d been a while since I’d read one.
- “Our Neighbor’s House” by Emily Carroll. This is a graphic short story from Carroll’s book, Through the Woods. I loved the entire book, but this is the story that really stuck with me. It’s creepy, but amazing. I love that Carroll leaves her stories a bit open-ended, probably because I know I wouldn’t have that much self-control. If you haven’t read this yet, you should.
- “Restaurant Reviews from a Privileged Nine-Year-Old” by Jesse Eisenberg. I liked most of the stories in Eisenberg’s book, Bream Gives Me Hiccups. But this one was my favorite. It’s clever and funny, and I just really enjoyed it.
- “The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury” by Neil Gaiman. It’s entirely possible that this story made the list simply because I had the pleasure of hearing Gaiman read it aloud. He has one of those voices that can make anything sound incredible. But it also spoke to my love of Bradbury, and was a really great tribute to a truly great author.
And my top five graphic novels of 2015:
- The Sandman Vol. 1: Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Neil Gaiman. I am really late to the party on this one, but I finally started The Sandman this year! So far, I’ve only gotten through the first volume, but I love it and am hoping to read the rest soon.
- Saga Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples. I’ve heard quite a few people rave about this series, and it is just as good as everyone has been saying. I loved it! The illustrations are stunning, and the story is incredible – plus, the way they work together is flawless.
- Saga Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples. Ditto.
- Saga Vol. 3 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples. Is this cheating? Because I really just loved all three of them. Forcing myself to space them out, and not devour them all in a single sitting was really difficult. I can’t wait to get to volumes 4 and 5.
- Through the Woods by Emily Carroll. (I forgot this was in my short story favorites, but whatever. It can be both.) This was an interesting book in that it is a series of graphic short stories, which is something I personally haven’t seen before (though, to be fair, I don’t read a lot of graphic novels anyway). I really enjoyed all of the stories, and will definitely be keeping an eye out for more books by Emily Carroll.
And that’s it! Hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know what your favorite short stories and graphic novels of the year are in the comments – I would love to hear your recommendations.