Riot Recommendation

62 of Your Favorite Short Story Collections

S. Zainab Williams

Executive Director, Content

S. Zainab would like to think she bleeds ink but the very idea makes her feel faint. She writes fantasy and horror, and is currently clutching a manuscript while groping in the dark. Find her on Twitter: @szainabwilliams.

This Riot Rec is sponsored by Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh.

An electrifying first collection from one of the most exciting short story writers of our time.

There’s something eerily unsettling about Ottessa Moshfegh’s stories, something almost dangerous, while also being delightful, and even laugh-out-loud funny. Her characters are all unsteady on their feet in one way or another; they all yearn for connection and betterment, though each in very different ways, but they are often tripped up by their own baser impulses and existential insecurities. Homesick for Another World is a master class in the varieties of self-deception across the gamut of individuals representing the human condition.

A good collection of short stories is such a perfect thing. Some are made for powering through, others are best read one story per day or even week. They require a precision of language and thinking and world-building that you sometimes can’t find in novels.

We asked you to share your favorite short story collections, and you responded. Here are 62 of your favorites!

The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury

The Toughest Indian in the World by Sherman Alexie

Give Me by Irina Denezhkina

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu

Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Salsa Nocturna by Daniel Jose Older

The Last Animal by Abbi Geni

Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You by Alice Munro

Self-Help by Lorrie Moore

Stay Up With Me by Tom Barbash

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay

The Complete Short Stories of Edgar Allen Poe by Edgar Allen Poe

In the Garden of North American Martyrs by Tobias Wolff

American Housewife by Helen Ellis

The Unfinished World by Amber Sparks

A Different Bed Every Time by Jac Jemc

Fortune Smiles by Adam Johnson

May We Shed These Human Bodies by Amber Sparks

Los Angeles Stories by Ry Cooder

Everything’s Eventual by Stephen King

Partial List of People to Bleach by Gary Lutz

Pow-Wow: Charting the Fault Lines in the American Experience – Short Fiction from Then to Now: A Century of Short Fiction from the Many Americas, edited by Ishmael Reed

Tuf Voyaging by George R.R. Martin

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Children of the New World by Alexander Weinstein

Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang

Twelve Tomorrows by MIT Technology Review

Ford County by John Grisham

How To Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer

Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

Eye to the Sky: Storytelling on the Edge of Magic by Bobby Norfolk

Just Waiting for the Bell by David Wehmeyer

A Hamster is Missing in Washington DC by Ed Spivey Jr.

Homemade Love by J California Cooper

Miss Muriel and Other Stories by Ann Petry

The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter

Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat

Smoke & Mirrors by Neil Gaiman

Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges

The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera

Songs of a Dead Dreamer by Thomas Ligotti

Dreams Underfoot by Charles de Lint

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

October Country by Ray Bradbury

Golden Apples of the Sun by Ray Bradbury

Impossible Things by Connie Willis

Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut

The Barrens and Others by F. Paul Wilson

Le Città Invisibili by Italo Calvino.

The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King

CivilWarLand in Bad Decline by George Saunders

In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway

Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman

Twice-Told Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Mosses From an Old Manse by Nathaniel Hawthoren

The Chronicles of Clovis by Saki

Selected Stories of Wallace Stegner by Wallace Stegner

Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger