May 2019 Staff Picks | Short Stories

Lisa, First Floor Public Service, shares three short story collections that are funny, thought provoking and especially poignant.

Heating and Cooling by Beth Ann Fennelly
As a general rule, the short story is not my preferred genre, but when you come across writing such as this, it’s worthy of note.This little gem is a book of short, short stories considered micro-memoirs. They are cleverly written, and at times, deeply personal observations from the author. She shares glimpses of her life in the roles of wife, mother and daughter, which are highly relatable, yet uniquely told in a style that is refreshingly her own. I found myself delighted with this book. The only down side is the length! You'll see what I mean.

A Lowcountry Heart: Reflections on a Writing Life by Pat Conroy
Recently, while planning a vacation to Savannah and Charleston, I found myself wanting to revisit the works of Pat Conroy. In my search for all things by this lowcountry author, I came across a collection of stand-alone stories from his very richly lived life are written in the form of journal entries and blog posts made right up until his death in 2016.

This was a man who did not have a bad word for anyone – which was charming and uplifting. He was known as a great and loyal friend to many, which can clearly be seen by the number of tributes not only to him but given by him throughout the book. Pat Conroy's style of writing is and always has been a specific draw for me as a reader. The flow seems to come directly from his heart to his pen. This is no less evident in these blog posts which read as stories. This is the reason this book made my list for recommended shorts.

I Feel Bad About My Neck: and other thoughts on being a woman by Nora Ephron
When tasked with writing short story recommendations, my brain immediately went to the bright yellow cover of Nora Ephron's I Feel Bad about My Neck. Although this book is almost 13 years old, everything in it is still applicable! Also, although Nora left us in 2012, she lives on in her writing. She has a way of making all of life (anyone's life) a story worth telling and when I say telling, I mean laughing at! I miss her directness, her crazy insightful wit and her personal story which she drew on throughout her writing life and which came to an end too soon. Fortunately for all of us, there is still the printed page which we can pluck off the shelf anytime at the library. Or, of course, electronically if you prefer. Pick-up I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron to feel good about your life.

Get a jump on your summer reading list with a few must-reads from our Teen Librarian Maggie.

Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins
The perfect summer read! These short stories will make you long for summer and leave you dreaming of love. Plus, the stories are written by some of the best YA authors, including Leigh Bardugo, Cassandra Clare, and Veronica Roth.

Four by Veronica Roth
We know you’re still angry about the ending to Allegiant, but that’s no reason to not enjoy this collection of short stories from Four’s point of view. These stories take place before Allegiant, so you don’t have to worry about re-living that ending. This book is a must-read for any Divergent fan.

Guys Read: Funny Business edited by Jon Scieszka
This collection of short stories is laugh-out-loud funny! It’s perfect for upper elementary and middle school kids, especially reluctant readers.

Toil and Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft edited by Jessica Spotswood and Tess Sharpe
Are you a good witch or a bad witch? Or a little bit of both? You’ll find lots of variations in this collection of diverse short stories. If you like reading about witchcraft, this one will put you under a spell. 

Our Children’s Librarian has included a mix of classics, and stories perfect for reading around the campfire.

Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
Tapped from the oral traditions of American folklore, these ghost stories and tales of weird happenings, witches, and graveyards have startling, funny, or surprising endings.

Brave Red, Smart Frog: A New Book of Old Tales by Emily Jenkins
Seven classic fairy tales, interwoven and retold, keep the spirit of the original lore in contemporary language.

The Complete Tales by Beatrix Potter
This collection tells the story of Peter, a young, rebellious rabbit who, despite his mother's wishes, enters the dangerous garden of Mr. McGregor to feast on its delicious fruits and vegetables. From there on out, Peter gets himself into all kinds of trouble. Featuring all the original illustrations by Beatrix Potter, follow the exciting adventures of Peter Rabbit and some of his favorite furry friends.

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
Since 1926, Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends--Piglet, Owl, Tigger, Kanga, Roo, and the ever doleful Eeyore--have endured as the unforgettable creations of A. A. Milne, who wrote two books of Pooh's adventures for his son, Christopher Robin, and Ernest H. Shepard, who lovingly gave them shape through his iconic and beautiful illustrations. These characters and their stories are timeless treasures of childhood that continue to speak to all of us with the kind of freshness and heart that distinguishes true storytelling.