Short Story Book Club
April 5, 2016 8:00 PM   Subscribe

Do you have short story recommendations for a book club?
posted by *s to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (35 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
You'll probably want to be more specific...
posted by kevinbelt at 8:01 PM on April 5, 2016 [4 favorites]

Filthy with Things - TC Boyle
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (if folks haven't read it yet, of course, but it's referenced in so so many things)
something Vonnegut, maybe 2BR02B
and the metafilter favorite, Bradbury's All Summer in a Day

Bleak! All so bleak! ♥♥♥
posted by phunniemee at 8:08 PM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Can the story be funny? If so, "Mulliner's Buck-U-Uppo" by Wodehouse.
posted by michaelh at 8:12 PM on April 5, 2016

One of my favorites is Richard Bausch's "Letter to the Lady of the House," which you can find in this collection.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:24 PM on April 5, 2016

+1 Filthy with Things is my favorite short story ever. (I am packing up house this month and going to give it another read.)

Also throwing in a vote for Borges, Library of Babel.
posted by mochapickle at 8:27 PM on April 5, 2016

"Redfern's Labyrinth" by Robert Sheckley. It's not long at all, but it's a paranoid's dream. Are you sure that you, the reader, are not actually caught in the labyrinth?

Sheckley is always awesome, but this particular story stands out.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:30 PM on April 5, 2016

Saki, "The Open Window."
posted by Wobbuffet at 8:36 PM on April 5, 2016 [3 favorites]

The Wish by Ray Bradbury is my favorite story in the world. I've read it so many times and it always makes me cry. I reread it just now before typing this, and it made me cry again. So beautiful. God, Bradbury. Come back and write some more.
posted by silverstatue at 8:41 PM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Roald Dahl's short story collections are great, intense reading.
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:50 PM on April 5, 2016

Cowboys Are My Weakness is collection of short stories by Pam Houston. It's far better than book with that title has a right to be.
posted by 26.2 at 9:45 PM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

The entirety of Deathbird Stories by Harlan Ellison.
posted by ronofthedead at 10:11 PM on April 5, 2016

What You Pawn, I Will Redeem by Sherman Alexie
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:27 PM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Naomi Kritzer! So Much Cooking and Cat Pictures Please.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:31 PM on April 5, 2016

Edith Pearlman is one of the best short story writers alive and any of her story collections (recently, Honeydew; I really liked Binocular Vision) should have plenty of material for meaty discussion.
posted by tavegyl at 11:19 PM on April 5, 2016

If you want classics, there's no one like Chekov. If your book club hasn't read much by him, 'The Lady with the Dog' is a good start and is available on Project Gutenberg.
posted by tavegyl at 11:22 PM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Harrison Bergeron
The Yellow Wallpaper
posted by lunastellasol at 12:24 AM on April 6, 2016

The Redemption of Galen Pike by Carys Davies (you can read the titular story here but the whole collection is very good).
posted by theseldomseenkid at 12:30 AM on April 6, 2016

George Saunders - Pastoralia (and anything else)
Denis Johnson -
posted by whatdoyouthink? at 12:39 AM on April 6, 2016

"Good Old Neon", from David Foster Wallace's Oblivion.
posted by neushoorn at 1:58 AM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Love Object, Edna O'Brien
Tenth of December, George Saunders
seconding Honeydew, Edith Pearlman
posted by lois1950 at 1:58 AM on April 6, 2016

Another vote for Borges, but I recommend "The Garden of Forking Paths."

Primo Levi's stories from The Periodic Table are all good, though "Arsenic" is a personal favorite.

James Joyce's "The Dead" is also excellent, though pretty long as short stories go.
posted by zchyrs at 4:20 AM on April 6, 2016

OK, you all probably read this a couple of times before you finished high school, but I just heard it read by the author (linked) and it's too good to go without mention: A Good Man is Hard to Find.

Soldiers of the Republic, Dorothy Parker (pdf download).
posted by she's not there at 5:06 AM on April 6, 2016

The Shout, by Robert Graves.
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:06 AM on April 6, 2016

Stephen King said his all-time favorite book was a collection of short stories he read when he was young, called The Golden Argosy.

I ran down the title and made links to all of those stories available on-line (from legitimate sources), which happened to be all but one out of forty. A lot of these are classics.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:24 AM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

"Officers Weep" or "Orientation" by Daniel Orozco.
posted by dlugoczaj at 7:19 AM on April 6, 2016

Nikolai Gogol's "The Overcoat" in on Project Gutenberg in a collection with "Diary of a Madman" and "The Nose". Russians mastered short stories even before Mark Twain.
posted by mattamatic at 7:36 AM on April 6, 2016

Victory Lap, George Saunders
posted by clarinet at 8:05 AM on April 6, 2016

Alice Munro's collection Dear Life would be a great choice, or really any of her collections. Also check out Tove Jansson's The Woman Who Borrowed Memories.
posted by torridly at 8:09 AM on April 6, 2016

John Cheever: "The Swimmer"
Grace Paley: "Debts"
George Saunders: "Sea Oak"
Donald Barthelme: "At the End of the Mechanical Age"
James Salter: "Last Night"
posted by 2or3things at 8:35 AM on April 6, 2016

Bullet in the Brain by Tobias Wolff
Pee on Water by Rachel B. Glaser
Going for a Beer by Robert Coover
Standard Loneliness Package by Charles Yu
posted by crone islander at 8:44 AM on April 6, 2016

Raymond Carver
posted by shesbenevolent at 10:51 AM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Anything by Ted Chiang
posted by domo at 4:23 PM on April 6, 2016

As noted above, Alice Munro! She's the undisputed modern champion of the form. I like her story "Jakarta," and the collection it comes from is "The Love of a Good Woman."

Flannery O'Connor. Her collection "A Good Man is Hard to Find" is great, and I would suggest maybe the title story, "The River," and "A Late Encounter With the Enemy" as good reads for a book group.

Every American should read James Baldwin's "The Fire Next Time." It is not fiction, it is a solo piece typically presented with a shorter letter to his nephew (also excellent). Its value cannot be overstated, particularly for anyone who follows the news in 2016.

I like Kurt Vonnegut's short story collection "Welcome to the Monkey House." Stories in there are very miscellaneous. "EPICAC" from that collection is sci-fi-ish. "Long Walk to Forever" is sentimental, "The Manned Missiles" and "Harrison Bergeron" are sort of dystopian.
posted by kensington314 at 7:55 PM on April 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

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