Earlier this month, I read The Birds and Other Stories by Daphne du Maurier (yes, du Maurier wrote the story that inspired Hitchcock’s most famous film). And I thoroughly enjoyed it! Which made me think about how it has been a WHILE since I’ve read any short fiction. I think maybe my brain kind of associates it with school – I read a lot of short stories in grad school. But it’s not really something I gravitate towards. Which I kind of want to fix.
I already have How to Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa on my reading list for this month as part of the Asian Readathon. So I’m really excited to get to that. But I wanted to explore a bit and find other collections to add to my TBR. Which is when I discovered that, coincidentally, May is International Short Story Month. Which is kind of fun, and a great excuse to fit in a few more short stories in what is left of this month.
I probably won’t get to these in May (I’m kind of behind on all of the other things I need to read – what’s new?), but these are the seven short story collections at the top of my list:
What is Not Yours is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi
I have a bit of a strange relationship with Helen Oyeyemi’s books. I have read two of them (Mr. Fox and Boy, Snow, Bird) and gave them both three stars. They’re the kind of books that I don’t exactly connect with, even though I enjoy reading them. I just admire how weird and creative they are. I am really curious to see if I feel differently about her short stories than I do her novels. Sometimes writing styles just work better one way or the other. So I could definitely end up loving this, but either way, I think it will be a fun read.
Homesick for Another World by Otessa Moshfegh
So I haven’t read a single thing by Odessa Moshfegh (yet). But I have a good feeling about her writing. I was absolutely planning on reading one of her novels first (most likely My Year of Rest and Relaxation, because that sounds like it is totally up my alley). But I couldn’t resist adding this one to my list. Short stories that are called “dangerous, while also being delightful”? Yes, please! Seriously, though, a bunch of self-deprecating short stories kind of sounds like a good book to read when I’m having a bad day. Now that I’ve said that, there is a decent chance of me picking this up sometime soon.
The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu
No, I have not yet read The Grace of Kings. What can I say, big fantasy books scare me. Especially when they’re part of a series. I do own a copy, though. If the counts for anything (it doesn’t). But a fantasy short story collection, I can manage. I am especially curious about this one because it has such a high rating on Goodreads. And also, the title story “The Paper Menagerie” won the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards. Which is kind of huge. And it’s not the only award-winning story in this book. So I am expecting this to be GOOD. Also this has been sitting on my shelves for years and I should probably just read it.
13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad
A few weeks ago, I read Bunny. And it was one of the weirdest things I have ever read. It completely broke my brain, and I LOVED it. Naturally, I want to read all of the Mona Awad things now. I have a very vague memory of buying a copy of this at some point, and there is a decent chance it is hiding somewhere on my shelves. So maybe I’ll get to it once I go through all of my books. Which clearly needs to happen soon if I don’t even know what I own.
The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans
This is a fairly recent release that everyone seems to be talking about. Also, I got this as part of my Book of the Month box I don’t remember how long ago. Sometime this year, I think? Either way, I own it, and it sounds good. I think short stories would lend themselves particularly well to racial commentary, so I have a good feeling about this one.
Her Body & Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
Oh, look. Another book I have owned for like two years. I know I have a problem. We’re just going to ignore it forever. I’m pretty sure I picked this up because both Kayla from Books and Lala and Roxane Gay gave this five stars. What can I say? I’m very easily influenced when it comes to buying books. Especially feminist sci-fi/comedy/horror books. I really need to read this one. Just maybe not soon, because apparently one of the stories is about a plague. We’re just not there yet.
Sorry this was such a short post! On Saturday, I went outside for the first time in a year and (despite sunscreen) got very burnt and also came down with sun poisoning, so I haven’t been feeling the best this week. I’m getting a lot better, but I’m never going outside ever again. Also, I’m working on a new reading experiment that is coming next week! I’m a little behind, so keep your fingers crossed that those last two books happen. Plus all the other things I need to read, like yesterday.
But I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know what short story collections are on your TBR. Are there any you loved that I need to read?
Also, I recently opened a bookshop, where you can go and buy books, but also shop my curated collections of my personal favorites AND all of the books I’ve read for my reading experiments.Click here if you want to check out my bookshop!