In the Classroom

  • Train Dreams: A Novella
    Train Dreams: A Novella
    by Denis Johnson
  • Bluets
    by Maggie Nelson
  • We the Animals: A novel
    We the Animals: A novel
    by Justin Torres
« SmokeLong Quarterly Issue #13 | Main | My Blog-Type Thing »

Bookshelf Business--Short Story Collections

If I had the know-how, I would post the cool little linkable miniature covers of the books I’m about to mention, but, well, I don’t really know how to do this properly.

Nonetheless, some short story collections that have been removed from the to-read stack recently, and some that will be, shortly.

If the Sky Falls, Nicholas Montemarano—I’d waited for this collection to be released ever since I read “Note to Future Self” in Zoetrope three or four years ago. I think the delay was caused because Context Books had bought the collection from Mr. Montemarano when they published his novel a few years back. Unfortunately, Context, a small publishing house that published another book I love, Greg Bottoms’ Sentimental Heartbroken Rednecks, folded, and Montemarano’s stories were apparently left without a home. Now released by Louisiana State University Press, the collection is well worth the wait.

When the Nines Roll Over, David Benioff—A rockin’ good time. Hip, but always human. God, those are about the worst blurbs ever. Just read the book.

The Nimrod Flipout, Etgar Keret—Keret often writes short, 2-3 pages, and does so beautifully. I’ve kept this one on the shelf and have probably re-read three or four of the stories about ten times. On a side note: The book was reviewed in People (this link is to the magazine's website, not the review), and a few weeks ago, while I was grading composition portfolios, my brother, who is a chef and doesn’t usually read much of anything, let alone short story collections by Israeli authors, called me to ask if I’d heard of this book, and had a copy of it, because he wanted to read it. I told him I had a copy, and that I'd actually just read it. Then I asked him how he'd heard of it, and he said somebody'd left a copy of People in the bathroom at work. I'm glad he thought of me, and I suppose I will give the book up to him any day now, happy to pass it along.

The next three on the shelf:
In Persuasion Nation, George Saunders
The Dead Fish Museum, Charles D’Ambrosio
The Collected Stories, Amy Hempel

I bought all three of these, in hardcover, at the same time. It reminded me of how I used to buy every new R.E.M. CD as soon as it was released, before I’d ever heard a single song (a phenomenon that, thanks to iTunes, is a thing of the past). And I suppose that analogy, despite its anachronistic nature, is a little false, as I’ve read a good number of Saunders’ stories already, as well as D’Ambrosio’s, in magazines and anthologies. And Hempel’s book, well, it’s a collected works, so I’ve read all of those over the course of the past five or six years. Yeah, the CD analogy doesn’t really work at all, but I bet it’s five years before three writers I admire so much all release hardcover collections within a month of each other.

Tomorrow, novels.

Reader Comments (1)

Good reading recommendations are hard to come by. As a thank you for yours, I will recommend your blog to all the readers I know!

June 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTrue

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