A month long blog event hosted by
I gave 5 Goodreads stars to nine of them; 4 stars to thirteen; 3 stars to none; 2 stars to three; 1 or 0 stars to none; left none unfinished.
Of the 25, thirteen were by men; twelve by women.
Ten were translations into English (original languages: Japanese [two], French, Korean, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Catalan, and Dutch).
One English language one was by a British author, the other fourteen were by Americans.
So here are my favorite five (in the order I read them):
Read in early January. Reading “Leaving the Sea” is like turning an imperfect underwater somersault. Everything feels right at first, and then something feels slightly out of kilter. You open your eyes, break the surface sideways, and are disoriented by the familiar.
Battleborn by Claire Vaye Watkins
Read in late January. An outstanding debut collection. Watkins presents some interesting characters and situations: gold prospectors in the 1800s, a modern scavenger of misplaced fireworks, Manson cult members, young women in impossible relationships, lost tourists. The landscapes of Nevada and California are crucial elements in these stories.
Snow in May: Stories by Kseniya Melnik
Read in mid March. Most of the nine stories in this collection are set in the port town of Magadan in the far east of Russia. This is a superb collection from a talented young author who was born in Magadan and who immigrated to Alaska as a teenager.
One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak
Read in mid April. Cristo designs a roller coaster, Johnny Depp performs a daring act for a tourist bus, John Grisham has a title crisis, and on it goes. Dating, family trips, closure, sex robots, friendship, the gifted all get their turn in this fun collection.
Read in June. Wonderful, magical, confusing, mysterious, thought provoking: everything I love in a story collection.
I also read three multiple author anthologies, listened to one multi author/multi reader audio book (my only audio book for the year), read one graphic rendition of Kafka stories, and read a bunch of short stories online. And, because of their nature, I always have several collections going at the same time: some on my Kindle for reading in waiting rooms, one by my bedside, some to read between longer works.
Do you read short stories? What were your favorites in 2014?