Dig into short story collections
The days might be longer in the summer, but that doesn’t necessarily mean those extra hours of daylight give you more time to read. In fact, you might even find it more difficult to carve out dedicated reading time amidst all the temptations of hiking and picnics and pool parties calling your name. And then (if you’re anything like me, ahem) by the end of the day, the sun has zapped all your energy, making getting through a novel feel like a slog. Fret not, though! The solution to your worries is actually quite simple: Short Stories Collections. Short stories are the perfect road trip companion; Or maybe a quick morning read with coffee and a gentle, wind down before bed. Don’t be fooled by the size of these stories, though –Just because they’re short, doesn’t mean they can’t impact you the same way a novel can. Because of their size, short stories are often thick with nuance; every sentence and word is measured to pack the most punch. Dig into one of these collections!
Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans
Danielle Evans is a DC writer and while you might already be familiar with her latest collection The Office of Historical Corrections don’t sleep on her earlier collection which centers on the experiences of young black women and explores youth, sex, race and class.
Puschart Prize XLVI: Best of Small Presses 2022 edited by Bill Henderson
The Pushcart Prize is awarded to writers featured in small presses. One of the wonderful things about an anthology is the possibility of discovering a writer you’re unfamiliar with. Consisting of 60 short stories (and poems, too!), written in different genre, you won’t get bored as you make your way through this thick collection.
The Best American Short Stories edited by Jesmyn Ward
The Best American is like a reflection on the year. What was on writer’s minds in 2021? If you enjoy this collection, lucky for you, the library carries several years past. Travel back to 2015 or even 2003. Edited by Jesmyn Ward, writer of Salvage the Bones, this collection plants the reader into different worlds and pushes the reader to experience the complexities of being human – and all the different ways and shapes of being human.
The Refugees by Viet Than Nguyen
Pulitzer Prize winning author Viet Than Nguyen provides voices and perspectives of immigrants in the United States in this vivid and compelling collection. While each story is unique, the characters all seek to find balance between their homeland and America.
Admit This to No One by Leslie Pietrzyk
DC readers will find this collection especially juicy and riveting. Local writer Leslie Pietrzyk presents a group of women whose individual stories all somehow connect to one central figure: The Speaker of the House. While each story can stand alone, together they weave one, collective history.
A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Similar to Admit This to No One, Jennifer Egan’s, writer of The Candy House quilts a larger story of a band through smaller, individual stories. Readers who enjoy character driven plot will enjoy this collection.
The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Having given us Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a gift to the literary world. Readers will recognize Adichie’s signature exposition filled with wisdom and profound insight throughout the stories presented here. Adichie’s command of character drives these stories and will have you filled with reflection and empathy.