The Musings of a Bibliophile

14 Short Stories that Changed Me

hannabrooksolsen:

BuzzFeed posted a pretty insightful list of short stories to read in your 20s, but, because I’m a snob and a writer and a reader, I think they left off some really important ones for people who are my age-ish.

But then there are others — stories which, in just a few pages, have shifted me and rewired the connecting roads of my thought patterns. So I wanted to share those with you because I am 27 and I am a young writer and these have changed the ways in which I think about writing and stories and characters and the world.

Here they are:

  1. You’re Ugly, Too" by Lorrie Moore: Lorrie Moore is brilliant beyond all reason, but for some reason, this weird little story really struck me. 
  2. The Love of My Life" by T.C. Boyle: Unf. There’s no way to explain this heartbreaking story. 
  3. What You Pawn, I Will Redeem" by Sherman Alexie: Alexie has called this the best story he’s ever written. It’s a beautiful, moving insight into the lives of those living in extreme poverty. It’s wonderful. 
  4. The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson: You really shouldn’t be allowed to call yourself an adult without reading this creepy-weird story that was so shocking when it came out in 1948, people cancelled their subscriptions to the New Yorker. They also asked where they could see the actual lottery occur. 
  5. Bullet in the Brain” by Tobias Wolff: BuzzFeed got this one right. This story will make you reconsider what a story can even be about.
  6. Day-Old Baby Rats by Julie Hayden: God damn I love this story. I could listen to the Lorrie Moore reading literally every day of my life. 
  7. Where is The Voice Coming From?" by Eudora Welty: I accidentally own two copies of the same volume of Welty’s stories, but it’s not that great of an accident because she is brilliant and this story is told so beautifully, but so simply. Also, allegedly, Welty wrote it in like, one feverish night, so it’s a good reminder to young writers that sometimes a voice really does just come to you. Also, it’s a great read in light of the horrific racism in the media/policing that is currently being processed and hopefully dismantled. 
  8. Brokeback Mountain" by Annie Proulx: Another one BF got right. This story is heartbreaking and lovely and terrible. 
  9. The Life You Save Might Be Your Own" by Flannery O’Conner: Clearly, I have a soft spot for Southern Gothic, but this is a great story and also a reminder of female roles, etc. 
  10. Dutchman" by Amiri Baraka: This is a play but I think it still counts because it’s incredible. 
  11. Uncle Wiggly in Connecticut" by J.D. Salinger: "Nine Stories” is a beloved book, and BF wasn’t incorrect in listing “Bananafish,” if only for the shock value and the intimacy of the storytelling, but I think this simple story is a lot more powerful, especially for 20-something women trying to have it all. 
  12. The Lesson,” by Jessamyn West: A story about animals but also about life and farms and the fair and things that I still love deeply, even as a city kid. 
  13. Brownies” by ZZ Packer: Budding shouty ladies are the star of this story. It’s lyrical and sharp. 
  14. Sea Oak” by George Saunders: I can’t imagine my literary life without George Saunders for so many reasons, but this incredible story is one of them. 

Of course, there are a zillion great short stories and I love the medium generally, so naturally, I’ve left some off. But these ones are special, at least to me. I thought you might like them.

(via cosimuhs)

strandbooks:

Are you stocked up for the weekend?

the strand bookstore (p.b.) 

(via marinold)

yahighway:

entertainmentweekly:

Literary classics imagined as YA books. 

See the captions in full here.

Image Credit: JASON BOOHER for EW

Some of these don’t need to be “re-imagined” to be YA, but we love the covers!

(via paygeturner)

vintagebooksdesign:

JANE AUSTEN VINTAGE CLASSICS 

Jane Austen’s novels maintain a universally enduring appeal right up to this day and are loved both in print and as film and TV adaptations.

The aim for this updated set was to create a desirable look that would convey a modern and brave take on Austen’s traditional tales of love, family and status within society.

The illustrator of the series Leanne Shapton had this to say about her style:

"The nice thing about patterns is that they can evoke a certain mood or tone, but also be neutral. I loved creating a consistent handwritten label style for the six books and then thinking of which patterns might obliquely suit the titles. I think the patterns we chose quietly compliment and correspond to the stories. My favorite is Mansfield Park."

The full set comprising of Emma, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility are published this week.

(via pugsandflowercrowns)

(Source: nineteenoone, via booksandquills)

mercurieux:

The Vintage Classics Austen series designed by Leanne Shapton.

(via paygeturner)

aljazeeraamerica:

Indie bookstores are alive and well in Paris

PARIS — The death of books and bookselling has been predicted for years. But this year in particular has witnessed a barrage of newspaper and magazine articles about the decline of the American bookstore. The conversation takes place on many fronts: Americans don’t read, as the World Culture Index suggests, or the bookstore has been undercut by Amazon, or, as The New York Times wrote in March, bookstores aren’t economically viable because of rising rents.
In France, in spite of rent, corporate competition and the economic crisis, large numbers of independent bookstores continue to exist — roughly 3,000, which is double the amount in countries like the U.S., Spain, the U.K. and Germany. Still, things are changing quite rapidly, and according to the voices from within France, the book business here is not as good as the outside world may think.

Read more

aljazeeraamerica:

Indie bookstores are alive and well in Paris

PARIS — The death of books and bookselling has been predicted for years. But this year in particular has witnessed a barrage of newspaper and magazine articles about the decline of the American bookstore. The conversation takes place on many fronts: Americans don’t read, as the World Culture Index suggests, or the bookstore has been undercut by Amazon, or, as The New York Times wrote in March, bookstores aren’t economically viable because of rising rents.

In France, in spite of rent, corporate competition and the economic crisis, large numbers of independent bookstores continue to exist — roughly 3,000, which is double the amount in countries like the U.S., Spain, the U.K. and Germany. Still, things are changing quite rapidly, and according to the voices from within France, the book business here is not as good as the outside world may think.

Read more

(via englishmajorinrepair)

paradigmeraki:

Mary Oliver

paradigmeraki:

Mary Oliver

(via englishmajorinrepair)