Category Archives: Short Stories

Short Stories Might Be Just What You Need

Finding it a little hard to concentrate? Now might be a great time to read or listen to short stories while you’re staying home and staying safe. Here are a few suggestions that you can download from Overdrive with your Fairfield Public Library card.


Title details for Growing Things and Other Stories by Paul Tremblay - Available

By Paul Tremblay

“Tremblay’s (The Cabin at the End of the World, 2018) short story collection brilliantly takes ordinary situations—an author reading, an AP history class, a family vacation—and seamlessly sprinkles in a sense of unease that quickly builds to a sense of pure horror.” ~Booklist

For more information, please click here.


Title details for Full Throttle by Joe Hill - Available

By Joe Hill

“Hill returns to short stories where his terrifying genius most brightly shines. The stories that follow the heartfelt introduction, most of which were first printed elsewhere, including one previously only available on LP, incorporate tropes of psychological suspense, science fiction, dark fantasy, and of course horror… Several stories, including one written with Hill’s father, Stephen King, are in development for TV and Netflix.” ~Booklist
*Staff Favorite!

For more information, please click here.

Title details for Florida by Lauren Groff - Available

By Lauren Groff

“In 11 electric short stories, the gifted Groff unpacks the “dread and heat” of her home state. In her first fiction since President Barack Obama named Fates and Furies his favorite book of the year, Groff collects her singing, stinging stories of foreboding and strangeness in the Sunshine State.” ~Kirkus

For more information, please click here.

Title details for Thirteen Ways of Looking by Colum McCann - Available

By Colum McCann

“This collection by McCann, winner of the National Book Award for Let the Great World Spin, features one novella and three stories depicting people experiencing drastic life changes… McCann’s first story collection in 12 years marks his triumphant return to the genre. Luminescent prose and finely rendered characters create a spell readers will be reluctant to shake.” ~Library Journal

For more information, please click here.

Title details for You Know When the Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon - Available

By Siobhan Fallon

“The crucial role of military wives becomes clear in Fallon’s powerful, resonant debut collection, where the women are linked by absence and a pervading fear that they’ll become war widows.” ~Publisher’s Weekly
*Staff Favorite!

For more information, please click here.

Title details for The Wonder Garden by Lauren Acampora - Available

By Lauren Acampora

“The dark underside of picture-perfect suburban life is familiar territory in American fiction, but Acampora brings fresh insight to the theme in this debut collection, offering short stories that connect various residents in an upscale Connecticut town.” ~Library Journal

For more information, please click here.

Title details for Dear Life by Alice Munro - Available

By Alice Munro

“Every new collection from the incomparable Munro, winner of the Man Booker International Prize for her lifetime body of work, is cause for celebration. This new volume offers all the more reason to celebrate as it ends with four stories the author claims are the most autobiographical she has written…Read this collection and cherish it for dear life.” ~Library Journal

For more information, please click here.

Title details for Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks - Available

By Tom Hanks

“Academy Award winner Hanks gives readers a wide variety of stories in this first collection. His characters run the gamut; old and young, rich and poor, male and female, serious and funny. He writes like someone who has paid attention to humans in their many guises… Hanks’s stories evoke dreams and flights of imagination that everyone has experienced, making the “what ifs” of life tangible. Highly recommended, and not just for the actor’s many fans.” ~Library Journal

For more information, please click here.


Short Stories Anyone?

Ed. By Roxane Gay
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (October 2, 2018)

Don’t have as much reading time as you would like? Ready to discover new literary voices or revisit some favorites? Maybe it’s time to try a short story collection, and this one is a great one to start with.
Author Ron Rash’s contribution, THE BAPTISM, is classic, no holds barred Rash. When an unrepentant, violent abuser demands to be baptized in order to marry the barely-teenaged sister of his former wife (who fled for her life), what is a Reverend to do? EVERYTHING IS FAR FROM HERE by Cristina Henriquez tells the tale of a woman and her son fleeing from the horrors of their country to the promise of a new life in another. What they endure on the journey and at their destination is not at all what was expected. Curtis Sittenfelds’s THE PRAIRIE WIFE introduces us to Kirsten and Lucy. Two women with very different lives but who share a brief, romantic past. Life, it seems, doesn’t always work out the way you think it will. In UNEARTH by Alicia Elliott, a 63 year old Mohawk woman is informed that the remains of her then 5 year old brother, missing for some 55 years, have been unearthed on the grounds of the Iroquois Residential School which they both attended. They were sent to the school to save their souls but it stole a life instead.
There are so many more moving, beautifully written stories in this edition for readers to lose themselves in, if only for a few pages.

If you would like more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

Uncommon Type

Title: Uncommon Type
Author: Tom Hanks
Publisher: Deckle Edge, October 2017

Summary/Review: Yes, that Tom Hanks.

This is a collection of 17 really wonderful short stories. I admit that short stories have always been an interest of mine, my favorites being from Stephen King, but I am getting off target.

I discovered that Tom Hanks is a “serious” writer in addition to his work on successful screen plays after happening upon his opinion piece in the New York Times about his love affair with the mechanical typewriter (link below) I was most impressed by the author’s ability to create scenes and timeframes as many of these stories take place in the past.

These are really feel-good stories about an immigrant who makes his way in the US, a bowling savant who just can’t seem to roll anything but perfect games when not working at Home Depot, a time traveler who overstays his welcome in the past, a woman who types for the love of the activity — kind of ordinary situations described in a very friendly, relaxed manner nothing like the immediate sound bite copy we have all become used to. An interesting plot line, which runs through many of these tales is the central role the plain old mechanical typewriter plays in forcing the typist to slow down to think about and feel the words being imprinted directly on the paper, not recorded electronically for later editing.

I think heartwarming stories would be a good description of this collection. You will NOT be scared, bothered or distressed. There are no rapes, gratuitous sex or violence to be found here.

Take the time to read at least a few of these. You won’t be disappointed.

Recommended by: Mark Z., guest reviewer.

If you would like to check our catalog or place a hold on this book, please click here.

Cabinet of Curiosities


Title: Cabinet of Curiosities: 36 Tales Brief & Sinister

Authors: Stefan Bachmann, Emma Trevayne, Katherine Catmull, & Claire Legrand

Published:  Greenwillow Books, 2014

Summary/Review:  This book of short stories is presented by four outstanding children’s/YA authors.  Asked to collect their most horrifying stories, the authors have formed a “cabinet” to share amongst themselves and with the public the tales of terror they have found across the world. The tales are divided between themed sections including fairies, magic, music, and more.  The tales range between slightly creepy and odd to downright scary, many leaving the reader guessing about the future.  (Some of the less-satisfying endings are brought to a conclusion in the final chapter of the book, where the “curators” revisit some of the characters they have found.)  Adults will easily recognize the fine writing of the book, which does not rely heavily upon gore and shock factors, but instead relies on the quality of both the prose and the stories themselves.

This book would make a great read-aloud for parents (who may want to read the stories ahead of time, lest some of them are too scary for their children) but would also serve wonderfully for those busy children that can’t devote a ton of time to their pleasure reading.  Clocking in between 5 and 25 pages each (for the most part), children could skip around and find the story that suits their time limit.

Who will like this book?:  Someone looking for a creepy read.  While the book itself is over 400 pages, the actual stories themselves are short – so they could work well for a child who is pressed for time or who doesn’t have the patience to sit through 400 pages of the same story.

If you like this, try this:  If you’re looking for more creepy stories, try the Alan Schwartz “Scary Stories” series.  While those illustrations are far scarier than those found in “Cabinet”, the stories are the same caliber of scary (with slightly more gore).  The four authors of “Cabinet” are prominent children’s and YA authors, so if you like a particular writer’s stories, there’s plenty more from them available.  If you’re looking into more short stories, Jon Scieszka has a series of “Guy Reads” books, including one titled “Thrillers”.  And as always, these are NOT just for guys!

Recommended by:  Lauren O, Library staff

If this looks like a book you’d like to read, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if it’s available and/or to place a hold