Category Short Story Collections

That Old Country Music by Kevin Barry

That Old Country Music is my second Kevin Barry – I read his Booker long-listed Night Boat to Tangier last year and wasn’t particularly impressed by it. His recent short story collection, That Old Country Music, set in Ireland has received rave reviews from critics and readers on Goodreads, so I’m in the minority when […]

A Surprise for Christmas and Other Seasonal Mysteries Edited by Martin Edwards

British Library Crime Classics publishes a Christmas anthology each year and curling up with it on Christmas Eve has now become a tradition of mine. But alas, like with many other things in 2020, it didn’t go the way I hoped this Christmas, and I didn’t quite manage to pick this up until a few […]

Stories from Suffragette City edited by M. J. Rose and Fiona Davis

All the stories in this anthology are set in 1915 on the day of the Women’s Suffrage Parade in New York City. On October 23rd, tens of thousands of women flooded Fifth Avenue clad in white, calling on men to support women’s right to vote. Even though the Women’s Suffrage Movement in the US began […]

Born of the Sun: Adventures in Our Solar System edited by Mike Ashley

In this latest addition to the British Library SciFi Classics series, Mike Ashley takes us on a tour of our little neighborhood in the Milky Way. 😃 He has selected stories set in the planets orbiting the Sun (including Pluto despite its “dwarf planet status”), along with the asteroid belt. Even though in these stories […]

Wedding Stories: About Two Nice People by Shirley Jackson

I was a bit worried about reading About Two Nice People because it is by Shirley Jackson. But it was actually a joyful read! 🙂 This story revolves around two single neighbors living across the hall from each other. Ellen Webster, a sweet girl according to her friends, has always dreamed of falling in love […]

Wedding Stories: Getting Married by A. A. Milne

Anyone else having trouble staying focused on your books? Over the last few weeks, I think I must have started reading at least a dozen books only to put them all down after hitting the fifty-page mark or so – I’m in a major reading slump! 😦 Because of this, I’ve paused reading The Lottery […]

The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson: The Renegade

This is not a story for animal lovers, especially if you have a pet dog! The Renegade‘s protagonist Mrs. Walpole and her family are fairly new to their small-town, having just moved from the city. Mrs. Walpole hasn’t adopted to country life yet – she depends on her neighbors’ advice for things that she could […]

The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson: The Witch

This story sent shivers down my spine! In The Witch, we have a young mother riding the train with Johnny, her four-year-old son and baby daughter. The mother, probably tired (or lazy), isn’t particularly interested in the observations her son makes along the way – every time Jonny says something, the mother gives him half-hearted […]

The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson: My Life with R. H. Macy

Next up in The Lottery and Other Stories is My Life with R. H. Macy, the first short story Shirley Jackson ever published. Having worked as a clerk at Macy’s before moving to Vermont, Jackson full well knows the drudgery that is involved in working in retail – the bigger the department store you work […]

The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson: The Villager

The protagonist of this short story, Hilda Clarence, had first arrived in Greenwich Village when she was twenty-three from a small town in upstate New York. Back then, Hilda’s dream had been to become a dancer one day. To support herself in pursuing her dream, she had taken up a job as a stenographer in […]

The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson: Trial by Combat

Emily Johnson, the protagonist of Trial by Combat, is an army wife who hasn’t been living in her New York apartment for long when she realizes that some of her inexpensive trinkets go missing while she is at work. It’s not hard for Emily to figure out who the kleptomaniac is – after all, there’s […]

The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson: The Daemon Lover

In The Daemon Lover, the story’s unnamed narrator is getting ready for her wedding day in haste. At thirty-four, she’s past the marriageable age (as per societal conventions in the 1940s), so she is psyched to finally tie the knot, although it feels like she hasn’t known her young fiancé, James Harris (Jamie), for all […]

The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson: The Intoxicated

New year = time to pick up a new short story collection. 😀 I’ve previously read two stories by Shirley Jackson (The Lottery and Like Mother Used to Make), and I loved them both. Both those stories were disturbing – which is not usually my jam – but her style and subtlety somehow worked for […]

Broccoli and Other Tales of Food and Love by Lara Vapnyar: Slicing Sautéed Spinach

So I thought all the stories in Broccoli and Other Tales of Food and Love are going to revolve around Russian immigrants. But in Slicing Sautéed Spinach, Ružena, the protagonist, is originally from Prague. Ružena, a PhD student in Women’s Studies, has first met her lover at a public library in New York while she […]

Broccoli and Other Tales of Food and Love by Lara Vapnyar: Luda and Milena

I loved Luda and Milena as much as A Bunch of Broccoli on the Third Shelf! The namesakes in this story are two Russian immigrants past their prime living in Brooklyn. They meet each other at an English as a Second Language class and become instant rivals as they both have their eyes set on […]