Story Collections for People Who Don’t Read Short Stories

May 22 2018

One of my writing teachers told me that a novel is like living in a house, but a short story is just a glimpse into one window. May is National Short Story Month, and even if you don’t normally read short stories, you’ll love these collections that show you another world in one quick look.

A Manual for Cleaning Women
by Lucia Berlin

Lucia Berlin used her experiences as a cleaning lady, a clerical worker, a hospital staffer, and a switchboard operator to write a stunning, gritty, and strange body of short stories that went mostly unknown until after her death. Written mainly in first person, Berlin’s stories are accessible and intimate, and bring the reader to places most literary fiction doesn’t dare go. While her voice may be reminiscent of luminaries from Raymond Carver to Rachel Kushner, ultimately Berlin sounds like no one but herself.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
A Manual for Cleaning Women
Lucia Berlin

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

5 Poignant Novels about the Search for Family and Belonging

By Helen Fisher | January 26, 2021

9 Amazing #OwnVoices Books by BIPOC Authors to Read Now

By Sienna Farris | January 25, 2021

How I Read 100+ Books a Year

By Courtney Smith | January 22, 2021

5 World War II-Era Novels Featuring Brave Women Who Persevere

By Abby Zidle | January 21, 2021

10 Books about Iconic Women We’re Reading to Celebrate the First Female VP

By Maddie Ehrenreich | January 20, 2021

Readers’ Choice: Your Favorite Reads of 2020 (and What to Read Next)

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 19, 2021

Close
Red Light Run
by Baird Harper

Are you a die-hard novel purist, but feel the urge to dabble in short stories? RED LIGHT RUN, which consists of 11 linked stories that center around a two-car collision in a Chicago suburb, might be the perfect stepping stone into new territory. An exciting debut by Best New American Voices writer Baird Harper, RED LIGHT RUN zooms out from the scene of the crime to show that it takes more than two people to cause an accident.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo
Red Light Run
Baird Harper

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo

MENTIONED IN:

5 Poignant Novels about the Search for Family and Belonging

By Helen Fisher | January 26, 2021

9 Amazing #OwnVoices Books by BIPOC Authors to Read Now

By Sienna Farris | January 25, 2021

How I Read 100+ Books a Year

By Courtney Smith | January 22, 2021

5 World War II-Era Novels Featuring Brave Women Who Persevere

By Abby Zidle | January 21, 2021

10 Books about Iconic Women We’re Reading to Celebrate the First Female VP

By Maddie Ehrenreich | January 20, 2021

Readers’ Choice: Your Favorite Reads of 2020 (and What to Read Next)

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 19, 2021

Close
Self-Help
by Lorrie Moore

Successfully writing in the second person takes a true master—like Lorrie Moore. While all of her books are stunning, her first collection—the much beloved SELF HELP—is iconic for a reason. Even though it was originally published more than 30 years ago, every single one of the stories feel as startlingly fresh, raw, and transcendent as if they were written today. These are narratives that aren’t afraid to dig deep, get under your skin, and by their end, feel like your own stories.

Amazon logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Self-Help
Lorrie Moore

Lorrie Moore perfectly understands the potential of short stories, and she pushes that potential to its limits. SELF-HELP uses the second person in a way that would never hold up in a novel, pretending to instruct (“How to Talk to Your Mother (Notes),” “How to Be an Other Woman,” “The Kid’s Guide to Divorce”) while actually creating rich, memorable characters. These stories are generous and flat-out funny.

Amazon logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

5 Poignant Novels about the Search for Family and Belonging

By Helen Fisher | January 26, 2021

9 Amazing #OwnVoices Books by BIPOC Authors to Read Now

By Sienna Farris | January 25, 2021

How I Read 100+ Books a Year

By Courtney Smith | January 22, 2021

5 World War II-Era Novels Featuring Brave Women Who Persevere

By Abby Zidle | January 21, 2021

10 Books about Iconic Women We’re Reading to Celebrate the First Female VP

By Maddie Ehrenreich | January 20, 2021

Readers’ Choice: Your Favorite Reads of 2020 (and What to Read Next)

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 19, 2021

Close
No One Belongs Here More Than You
by Miranda July

Ethereal and strange, sad and euphoric. You probably haven’t read anything like Miranda July’s short stories. The characters in this collection ache for a deeper connection with others in their lives, but when the chance arises, they each reconsider the appeal of solitude. July’s work asks the question—Can we ever really get to know others when there are so many layers of our own selves left to explore?

Read the full review of NO ONE BELONGS HERE MORE THAN YOU.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo
No One Belongs Here More Than You
Miranda July

In Broad City’s interview with Sleater-Kinney on NPR Music, Carrie Brownstein recommended Miranda July’s new novel, The First Bad Man. We’d like to draw attention to July’s acclaimed short story collection, No One Belongs Here More Than You. July’s stories and films are known for their whimsy and awkwardness, and Broad City’s colorful, chaotic, absurd version of New York has a degree of that as well.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo

MENTIONED IN:

5 Poignant Novels about the Search for Family and Belonging

By Helen Fisher | January 26, 2021

9 Amazing #OwnVoices Books by BIPOC Authors to Read Now

By Sienna Farris | January 25, 2021

How I Read 100+ Books a Year

By Courtney Smith | January 22, 2021

5 World War II-Era Novels Featuring Brave Women Who Persevere

By Abby Zidle | January 21, 2021

10 Books about Iconic Women We’re Reading to Celebrate the First Female VP

By Maddie Ehrenreich | January 20, 2021

Readers’ Choice: Your Favorite Reads of 2020 (and What to Read Next)

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 19, 2021

Close
How We Are Hungry
by Dave Eggers

Dave Eggers has done it all: memoir, screenplay, parable—but short stories may just be his forte. Just as sweeping and ambitious as his longer works, the stories in HOW WE ARE HUNGRY take us from Costa Rica to Kilimanjaro—but show that our insatiable human longing is the same across the globe.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
How We Are Hungry
Dave Eggers

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

5 Poignant Novels about the Search for Family and Belonging

By Helen Fisher | January 26, 2021

9 Amazing #OwnVoices Books by BIPOC Authors to Read Now

By Sienna Farris | January 25, 2021

How I Read 100+ Books a Year

By Courtney Smith | January 22, 2021

5 World War II-Era Novels Featuring Brave Women Who Persevere

By Abby Zidle | January 21, 2021

10 Books about Iconic Women We’re Reading to Celebrate the First Female VP

By Maddie Ehrenreich | January 20, 2021

Readers’ Choice: Your Favorite Reads of 2020 (and What to Read Next)

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 19, 2021

Close
Children of the New World
by Alexander Weinstein

Inside this collection, there are robots you can purchase to teach your adopted children about their native culture and companies that create branded memories. But the day-to-day life of the characters doesn’t feel all that different than ours. Bizarre and compelling, CHILDREN OF THE NEW WORLD shows us that even in the future, we will want the same things that we do today, the same things we always have.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Children of the New World
Alexander Weinstein

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

5 Poignant Novels about the Search for Family and Belonging

By Helen Fisher | January 26, 2021

9 Amazing #OwnVoices Books by BIPOC Authors to Read Now

By Sienna Farris | January 25, 2021

How I Read 100+ Books a Year

By Courtney Smith | January 22, 2021

5 World War II-Era Novels Featuring Brave Women Who Persevere

By Abby Zidle | January 21, 2021

10 Books about Iconic Women We’re Reading to Celebrate the First Female VP

By Maddie Ehrenreich | January 20, 2021

Readers’ Choice: Your Favorite Reads of 2020 (and What to Read Next)

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 19, 2021

Close
The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel
by Amy Hempel

Some artists work in watercolor or oil; Amy Hempel works in brevity. She has the ability to pack a monumental emotional punch in just a few hundred words. Her COLLECTED STORIES gathers together four volumes for the ultimate transformative reading experience.

Amazon logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo
The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel
Amy Hempel

Amazon logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo

MENTIONED IN:

5 Poignant Novels about the Search for Family and Belonging

By Helen Fisher | January 26, 2021

9 Amazing #OwnVoices Books by BIPOC Authors to Read Now

By Sienna Farris | January 25, 2021

How I Read 100+ Books a Year

By Courtney Smith | January 22, 2021

5 World War II-Era Novels Featuring Brave Women Who Persevere

By Abby Zidle | January 21, 2021

10 Books about Iconic Women We’re Reading to Celebrate the First Female VP

By Maddie Ehrenreich | January 20, 2021

Readers’ Choice: Your Favorite Reads of 2020 (and What to Read Next)

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 19, 2021

Close
I Want to Show You More
by Jamie Quatro

The title of Jamie Quartro’s brazen and lurid collection does not lie—these 15 stories that dance around the intersection of sexuality and spirituality bare it all in a peculiar, startling, and poignant, and all together original collection.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
I Want to Show You More
Jamie Quatro

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

5 Poignant Novels about the Search for Family and Belonging

By Helen Fisher | January 26, 2021

9 Amazing #OwnVoices Books by BIPOC Authors to Read Now

By Sienna Farris | January 25, 2021

How I Read 100+ Books a Year

By Courtney Smith | January 22, 2021

5 World War II-Era Novels Featuring Brave Women Who Persevere

By Abby Zidle | January 21, 2021

10 Books about Iconic Women We’re Reading to Celebrate the First Female VP

By Maddie Ehrenreich | January 20, 2021

Readers’ Choice: Your Favorite Reads of 2020 (and What to Read Next)

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 19, 2021

Close
Barbara the Slut and Other People
by Lauren Holmes

Lauren Holmes’ unflinching debut delves into the interior lives of a series of misunderstood or misrepresented people (and one dog) in this brilliant collection of character-driven stories that show that no one is exactly who they seem.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Barbara the Slut and Other People
Lauren Holmes

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

5 Poignant Novels about the Search for Family and Belonging

By Helen Fisher | January 26, 2021

9 Amazing #OwnVoices Books by BIPOC Authors to Read Now

By Sienna Farris | January 25, 2021

How I Read 100+ Books a Year

By Courtney Smith | January 22, 2021

5 World War II-Era Novels Featuring Brave Women Who Persevere

By Abby Zidle | January 21, 2021

10 Books about Iconic Women We’re Reading to Celebrate the First Female VP

By Maddie Ehrenreich | January 20, 2021

Readers’ Choice: Your Favorite Reads of 2020 (and What to Read Next)

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 19, 2021

Close

You must be logged in to add books to your shelf.

Please log in or sign up now.