Top Ten Tuesday – 10 Short Story Collections I’m Dying to Read (Even Though I Don’t Normally Enjoy Short Stories)

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is Favorite Novellas/Short Stories. This was a tough topic for me since I don’t typically enjoy short stories or novellas and don’t think I could come up with ten I enjoyed if my life depended on it. I just find them so abrupt, just as I’m starting to connect with the characters and what’s happening, the story is over.  I tend to like more time with my characters.  That said, I decided to tweak the topic a bit.  I’m still sharing short stories, but instead of favorites, I’m sharing short story collections that I really want to read in spite of my aversion to short stories.

 

 

10 Short Story Collections I’m Dying to Read (Even Though I Don’t Normally Enjoy Short Stories)

 

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1.  THE LANGUAGE OF THORNS: MIDNIGHT TALES AND DANGEROUS MAGIC

Synopsis:  Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.

 

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2. TOIL & TROUBLE:  15 TALES OF WOMEN & WITCHCRAFT

Synopsis:  A young adult fiction anthology of 15 stories featuring contemporary, historical, and futuristic stories featuring witchy heroines who are diverse in race, class, sexuality, religion, geography, and era.

Are you a good witch or a bad witch?

Glinda the Good Witch. Elphaba the Wicked Witch. Willow. Sabrina. Gemma Doyle. The Mayfair Witches. Ursula the Sea Witch. Morgan le Fey. The three weird sisters from Macbeth.

History tells us women accused of witchcraft were often outsiders: educated, independent, unmarried, unwilling to fall in line with traditional societal expectations.

Bold. Powerful. Rebellious.

A bruja’s traditional love spell has unexpected results. A witch’s healing hands begin to take life instead of giving it when she ignores her attraction to a fellow witch. In a terrifying future, women are captured by a cabal of men crying witchcraft and the one true witch among them must fight to free them all. In a desolate past, three orphaned sisters prophesize for a murderous king. Somewhere in the present, a teen girl just wants to kiss a boy without causing a hurricane.

From good witches to bad witches, to witches who are a bit of both, this is an anthology of diverse witchy tales from a collection of diverse, feminist authors. The collective strength of women working together—magically or mundanely–has long frightened society, to the point that women’s rights are challenged, legislated against, and denied all over the world. Toil & Trouble delves deep into the truly diverse mythology of witchcraft from many cultures and feminist points of view, to create modern and unique tales of witchery that have yet to be explored.

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3. A TYRANNY OF PETTICOATS

Synopsis:  From an impressive sisterhood of YA writers comes an edge-of-your-seat anthology of historical fiction and fantasy featuring a diverse array of daring heroines.

Criss-cross America — on dogsleds and ships, stagecoaches and trains — from pirate ships off the coast of the Carolinas to the peace, love, and protests of 1960s Chicago. Join fifteen of today’s most talented writers of young adult literature on a thrill ride through history with American girls charting their own course. They are monsters and mediums, bodyguards and barkeeps, screenwriters and schoolteachers, heiresses and hobos. They’re making their own way in often-hostile lands, using every weapon in their arsenals, facing down murderers and marriage proposals. And they all have a story to tell.

With stories by:  J. Anderson Coats, Andrea Cremer, Y. S. Lee, Katherine Longshore, Marie Lu, Kekla Magoon, Marissa Meyer, Saundra Mitchell, Beth Revis, Caroline Tung Richmond, Lindsay Smith, Jessica Spotswood, Robin Talley, Leslye Walton, and Elizabeth Wein.

 

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4. THE RADICAL ELEMENT

Synopsis:  n an anthology of revolution and resistance, a sisterhood of YA writers shines a light on a century and a half of heroines on the margins and in the intersections.

To respect yourself, to love yourself—should not have to be a radical decision. And yet it remains as challenging for an American girl to make today as it was in 1927 on the steps of the Supreme Court. It’s a decision that must be faced whether you’re balancing on the tightrope of neurodivergence, finding your way as a second-generation immigrant, or facing down American racism even while loving America. And it’s the only decision when you’ve weighed society’s expectations and found them wanting. In The Radical Element, twelve of the most talented writers working in young adult literature today tell the stories of the girls of all colors and creeds standing up for themselves and their beliefs—whether that means secretly learning Hebrew in early Savannah, using the family magic to pass as white in 1920s Hollywood, or singing in a feminist punk band in 1980s Boston. And they’re asking you to join them.

 

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5. MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME:  TWELVE HOLIDAY STORIES

Synopsis:  If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year’s there’s something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.

 

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6. HERE WE ARE:  FEMINISM FOR THE REAL WORLD

Synopsis:  LET’S GET THE FEMINIST PARTY STARTED!

Have you ever wanted to be a superheroine? Join a fandom? Create the perfect empowering playlist? Understand exactly what it means to be a feminist in the twenty-first century? You’ve come to the right place.

Forty-four writers, dancers, actors, and artists contribute essays, lists, poems, comics, and illustrations about everything from body positivity to romance to gender identity to intersectionality to the greatest girl friendships in fiction. Together, they share diverse perspectives on and insights into what feminism means and what it looks like. Come on in, turn the pages, and be inspired to find your own path to feminism by the awesome individuals in Here We Are.

Welcome to one of the most life-changing parties around!

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7. SLASHER GIRLS & MONSTER BOYS

Synopsis:  For fans of Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Lois Duncan, and Daphne Du Maurier comes a powerhouse anthology featuring some of the best writers of YA thrillers and horror

A host of the smartest young adult authors come together in this collection of scary stories and psychological thrillers curated by Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’s April Genevieve Tucholke.

Each story draws from a classic tale or two—sometimes of the horror genre, sometimes not—to inspire something new and fresh and terrifying. There are no superficial scares here; these are stories that will make you think even as they keep you on the edge of your seat. From bloody horror to supernatural creatures to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for any reader looking for a thrill.

Fans of TV’s The Walking Dead, True Blood, and American Horror Story will tear through tales by these talented authors:  Stefan Bachmann, Leigh Bardugo, Kendare Blake, A. G. Howard, Jay Kristoff, Marie Lu, Jonathan Maberry, Danielle Paige, Carrie Ryan, Megan Shepherd, Nova Ren Suma, McCormick Templeman, April Genevieve Tucholke, and Cat Winters.

 

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8. MEET CUTE

Synopsis:  Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors.

Readers will experience Nina LaCour’s beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard’s glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants.

This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.

 

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9. WONDER WOMEN:  25 INNOVATORS, INVENTORS, & TRAILBLAZERS WHO CHANGED AMERICA

 

Synopsis:  You may think you know women’s history pretty well, but have you ever heard of. . .

· Alice Ball, the chemist who developed an effective treatment for leprosy—only to have the credit taken by a man?

· Mary Sherman Morgan, the rocket scientist whose liquid fuel compounds blasted the first U.S. satellite into orbit?

· Huang Daopo, the inventor whose weaving technology revolutionized textile production in China—centuries before the cotton gin?

Smart women have always been able to achieve amazing things, even when the odds were stacked against them. In Wonder Women, author Sam Maggs tells the stories of the brilliant, brainy, and totally rad women in history who broke barriers as scientists, engineers, mathematicians, adventurers, and inventors. Also included are interviews with real-life women in STEM careers, an extensive bibliography, and a guide to women-centric science and technology organizations—all to show the many ways the geeky girls of today can help build the future.

 

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10. (DON’T) CALL ME CRAZY:  33 VOICES START THE CONVERSATION ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH

Synopsis:  Who’s Crazy?  What does it mean to be crazy? Is using the word crazy offensive? What happens when such a label gets attached to your everyday experiences?

In order to understand mental health, we need to talk openly about it. Because there’s no single definition of crazy, there’s no single experience that embodies it, and the word itself means different things—wild? extreme? disturbed? passionate?—to different people.

(Don’t) Call Me Crazy is a conversation starter and guide to better understanding how our mental health affects us every day. Thirty-three writers, athletes, and artists offer essays, lists, comics, and illustrations that explore their personal experiences with mental illness, how we do and do not talk about mental health, help for better understanding how every person’s brain is wired differently, and what, exactly, might make someone crazy.

If you’ve ever struggled with your mental health, or know someone who has, come on in, turn the pages, and let’s get talking.

 

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Question:  Have you read any of these short story collections?  Can you recommend any other collections?

44 replies
  1. Angela
    Angela says:

    I had Meet Cute on my TBR for awhile, but for some reason I took it off. I don’t generally like short stories, either, but some of the sound good!

    Reply
  2. Michele
    Michele says:

    Great list! I will definitely be adding to my TBR. I think these types of books could also lend themselves really well to audiobooks. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  3. Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy
    Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy says:

    This looks like a very diverse group of anthologies. I haven’t read any myself, but a few of these really intrigue me. I tend to like short story collections from one author, because I usually find multi author collections to be mixed bags😁

    Reply
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      As long as there’s a theme to tie them all together, I don’t mind the different authors too much. I understand what you mean though since I’m sure stylistically they’re probably all over the place, lol.

      Reply
  4. ShootingStarsMag
    ShootingStarsMag says:

    I think anthologies are fun, but I’m like you – I usually want more for most of the stories. I do really want to read Slasher Girls and Monster Boys and (Don’t) Call Me Crazy. I have read My True Love Gave to Me (I need to read the summer version of that…) and Here We Are and I enjoyed those!

    -Lauren

    Reply
  5. sjhigbee
    sjhigbee says:

    What a lovely collection of short story anthologies and collections:)). I am particularly drawn to Toil and Trouble and A Tyranny of Petticoats. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  6. Sam@WLABB
    Sam@WLABB says:

    I don’t really do shorts, but I ddi read My True Love Gave to Me, and I would say most of the stories were great in that collection. I especially love Forman’s, Pena’s, and Rainbow Rowell’s.

    Reply
  7. CatFairy Books
    CatFairy Books says:

    Your short story list is perfection! I already have the Toil and Trouble book on my Fall Halloweenie TBR! I read My True Love Gave to Me and it’s a cute book! The stories are holiday friendly but I found some of them to be very intense for my cherry holiday mood! Regardless the stories are great!

    Reply
  8. Greg
    Greg says:

    The Language of Thorns does sound good, with that fairytale element. and I liked My True Love Gave To Me. I mean not every story worked for me, but enough did that I liked it. Same with summer anthology also edited by Perkins. Meet Cute looks… well, cute. 🙂

    Reply
  9. Daniela Ark
    Daniela Ark says:

    haha funny I’m not a short story reader either that’s why I didn’t so this TTT. I like how you did it! 🙂 I have the ARC of TOIL & TROUBLE: 15 TALES OF WOMEN & WITCHCRAFT! [yup I know I just said I don’t like anthologies much BUT.. witches!!!] Hopefully is good and I can bug you to read it 🙂
    [sorry it took me so long to visit RL was brutal this last two months!]

    Reply
  10. lisa thomson
    lisa thomson says:

    Hi Suzanne, my first time here. Popped over from Shooting Stars. I had to because two things; your passion for books and Libra was in your site title—LOL. I’m both of those things. Interesting list of short story collections! I will be adding a few of these to my TBR on goodreads.

    Reply

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