Short Story Day

December 21, 2020 – Alli Boyer, Adult Services

In case you aren’t familiar with random holidays, December 21 is Short Story Day (which also happens to be the shortest day of the year)! Short stories first became popular in the 1700s and 1800s, and are usually defined as being less than 20,000 words (according to contemporary critics).  

If you’ve watched our book talks or have stopped by the Information Desk asking for book recommendations, you’ll know I love to recommend short stories. Short stories are the perfect medium for sampling a new author to get a feel for their style and voice. Or you could pick different collections that focus on different genres to explore what YOU are interested in reading (or not interested in reading). As an introvert, they provide me with quick little breaks from interactions, without isolating myself for days while I finish a full-length novel.  

The best way to celebrate Short Story Day is to read a short story! Our collection offers a large variety, but here’s a list to get you started.

Personal favorites:
Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders (Audiobook) by Neil Gaiman
A Good Man is Hard to Find: and Other Stories  by Flannery O’Connor
The Unreal and the Real by Ursula K. Le Guin
Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread by Chuck Palahniuk
Difficult Women by Roxane Gay
This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
In the Stacks: Short Stories about Libraries and Librarians by Michael Cart
Bagombo Snuff Box: Uncollected Short Fiction by Kurt Vonnegut

Short stories by POC (you can also check out my Book Talk on Facebook for more info on some of these):
Woman Hollering Creek by Sandra Cisneros
Deceit and Other Possibilities by Vanessa Hua
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
Each of Us Killers by Jenny Bhatt
Storyteller by Leslie Marmon Silko
Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine
The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans
To Hold Up the Sky by Cixin Liu
The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw

Classic Collections:
Great American Short Stories: From Hawthorne to Hemingway by Corinne Demas
The Best American Short Stories of the Century by John Updike
The Oxford Book of Short Stories by V.S. Pritchett

Exploring different genres:
The Usual Santas: A Collection of SoHo Crime Christmas Capers by Peter Lovesey
A Darcy Christmas by Sharon Lathan
Tiny Nightmares: Very Short Tales of Horror by Lincoln Michel
An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten
Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery by Christopher Golden
nEvermore!: Tales of Murder, Mystery, and the Macabre: Neo-gothic fiction inspired by the imagination of Edgar Allen Poe by Nancy Kilpatrick
Sisters of the Revolution: a Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology by Ann VanderMeer
Blood Lite: an Anthology of Humorous Horror Stories by Kevin J. Anderson
Diagnosis Dead: a Mystery Writers of America Anthology (Large Print) by Jonathan Kellerman
Westward the Women: an Anthology of Western Stories by Women by Vicki Piekarski


Cape Girardeau Public Library

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