6 Must-Read Short Story Collections and Anthologies!

Have you ever sat down and read a short story? They are so powerful, and you know why? Because they are short, so the authors make the best out of the few pages, they have to tell the most amazing stories ever! Their endings are open, hopeful, or even hopeless. The stories happen fast, so if you are not for a 10-hour ride, you can try an anthology of short stories to get moving on with your reading!

Short Stories or even novellas tend to be adapted to the big screen into movies. For example, 1922 by Stephen King or In The Tall Grass by Stephen King and Joe Hill and usually are faithful to the written word, which I, as a book lover, love!

So what are some anthologies and short stories that we could try?

Tenth of December by George Saunders

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  • In the taut opener, “Victory Lap”, a boy witnesses the attempted abduction of the girl next door and is faced with a harrowing choice: Does he ignore what he sees, or override years of smothering advice from his parents and act?
  • In “Home”, a combat-damaged soldier moves back in with his mother and struggles to reconcile the world he left with the one to which he has returned.
  • And in the title story, a stunning meditation on imagination, memory, and loss, a middle-aged cancer patient walks into the woods to commit suicide, only to encounter a troubled young boy who, over the course of a fateful morning, gives the dying man a final chance to recall who he really is.
  • A hapless, deluded owner of an antique store; two mothers struggling to do the right thing.
  • A teenage girl whose idealism is challenged by a brutal brush with reality.
  • A man is tormented by a series of pharmaceutical experiments that force him to lust, love, and kill.

The unforgettable characters that populate the pages of Tenth of December are vividly and lovingly infused with Saunders’s signature blend of exuberant prose, deep humanity, and stylistic innovation.

The Horror in the Museum by H.P. Lovecraft and Hazel Heald

Get these stories here!

Steven Jones, an entertainment producer from Chicago, journeys to London in search of new acts. There, he discovers the strange and disturbing wax museum of Rodgers and his inscrutable associate Orabona. Is the mad artist able to conjure up the world’s most horrifying waxen effigies through his occult inspirations, or is there a darker secret lurking behind the wax and paint? (This is a whole production so you better check this out).

  • The Horror in the Museum: Locked up for the night, a man will discover the difference between waxen grotesqueries and the real thing.
  • The Electric Executioner: €“Aboard a train, a traveler must match wits with a murderous madman.
  • The Trap€: This mirror wants a great deal more than your reflection.
  • The Ghost-Eater: €“In an ancient woodland, the past comes to life with a bone-crunching vengeance.

Eddies by Chris Cander

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An Audible Original and Plus Catalog content.

Eloise hasn’t quite figured out how to move on after the death of her son, Eddie. She makes good money, buys a new apartment, learns the piano, and engages in an office flirtation, but nothing seems to brighten her days quite like the occasional letter from one of her accounting clients, Ed B. When, after months of correspondence, Ed invites Eloise to his country home for a visit, she finds herself overwhelmed by the “Eddies” of her life—the one she lost, the one she writes to, and the one she’s eternally searching for.

Exhalation by Ted Chiang

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In these nine stunningly original, provocative, and poignant stories, Ted Chiang tackles some of humanity’s oldest questions along with new quandaries only he could imagine. In “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate”, a portal through time forces a fabric seller in ancient Baghdad to grapple with past mistakes and second chances. In “Exhalation”, an alien scientist makes a shocking discovery with ramifications that are literally universal. In “Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom”, the ability to glimpse into alternate universes necessitates a radically new examination of the concepts of choice and free will.

Skeleton Crew by Stephen King

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  • In “The Mist”, a supermarket becomes the last bastion of humanity as a peril beyond dimension invades the earth.
  • Touch “The Man Who Would Not Shake Hands”, and say your prayers.
  • There are some things in attics that are better left alone – things like “The Monkey”.
  • The most sublime woman driver on earth offers a man “Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut” to paradise.
  • A boy’s sanity is pushed to the edge when he’s left alone with the odious corpse of “Gramma”.
  • If you were stunned by Gremlins, the Fornits of “The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet” will knock your socks off.

Trucks that punish and beautiful teen demons who seduce a young man to massacre; curses whose malevolence grows through the years; obscene presences and angels of grace – indeed, is a night-blooming bouquet of chills and thrills.

Sparring Partners by John Grisham

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“Homecoming” takes us back to Ford County, the fictional setting of many of John Grisham’s unforgettable stories. Jake Brigance is back, but he’s not in the courtroom. He’s called upon to help an old friend, Mack Stafford, a former lawyer in Clanton, who three years earlier became a local legend when he stole money from his clients, divorced his wife, filed for bankruptcy, and left his family in the middle of the night, never to be heard from again—until now.

In “Strawberry Moon,” we meet Cody Wallace, a young death row inmate only three hours away from execution. His lawyers can’t save him, the courts slam the door, and the governor says no to a last-minute request for clemency. As the clock winds down, Cody has one final request. 

The “Sparring Partners” are the Malloy brothers, Kirk and Rusty, two successful young lawyers who inherited a once prosperous firm when its founder, their father, was sent to prison. Kirk and Rusty loathe each other, and speak to each other only when necessary. Can she save the Malloys, or does she take a stand for the first time in her career and try to save herself?

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