Short Story Special

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Amanda and Jenn discuss all the short stories in this week’s special episode of Get Booked!

This episode is sponsored by Random House.

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The show can also be found on Stitcher here.




1. I am a librarian who runs a book club for teens, one that reads primarily science fiction/fantasy/magical realism. I am looking for short story collections that would appeal to the group.

Previous hits with the groups include The Martian by Andy Weir, The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon, Jackaby by William Ritter, and Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman.


2. I’ve fallen in love with short stories through podcasts (like Levar Burton Reads or The Writers Voice). They’re my favorite to listen to at work. I’d like some recommendations of must read authors or collections! More podcast recommendations wouldn’t be amiss either. Thanks! -Catherine


3. I normally hate short stories and have tried reading several collections hoping I could find a place for them in my heart. Most of the collections are YA and contain stories by various authors. While I’ll like some of the stories, overall the reading experience isn’t very good. Recently I decided to give another short story a try, so I read The Grownup by Gillian Flynn and it was not only the best short story I’ve ever read, but one of my favorite reads of the year. Can you recommend any short stories or collections that are similar to Gillian Flynn’s writing or just have lots of twists and turns? Thanks!


4. Hello!

Short stories are something I’ve always enjoyed writing, but I haven’t read very many. I want to start to read them more so that my own writing will improve.

The only short story I remember reading very vividly is The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. I read it in school and found it really brilliant. I’m looking for more literary style short stories that display the authors command of the prose and structure.

Anthologies would be ideal, but I’m open to single story suggestions as well.



5. Hi there-

I’ve recently started reading short story and anthology collections, and I’m loving them. My recent favorite has been Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu. I’m interested in expanding into other genres though, but I’m having trouble finding many Sci-Fi/Fantasy collections. I’ve seen a number of Lovecraft’s short story collections, but not much else. Especially not for Fantasy. Any recommendations for some action packed short stories?
Bonus points for any possible YA fantasy short story collections- I found one recently and I’d love to find more!


6. Hi! I am a voracious reader and have really enjoyed listening to your recommendations since discovering your podcast 🙂 My question… When reading fiction, I have historically preferred full-length books over short stories. However, I have recently read and loved several short story collections (Knockemstick by Donald Ray Pollack, Tenth of December by George Saunders, Five Carat Soul by James McBride), and now I want to expand my horizons in this category. What short story authors or collections would you recommend? I don’t mind dark or creepy and the only genre I typically tend not to gravitate toward is romance. Thanks in advance!


7. Hello!

I like reading short stories before bed-reading helps my mind unwind, but if a novel is too interesting I will stay up late reading rather than put it down. Short fiction has an obvious place to stop, but I’m running out of ideas to try next.

I love Jhumpa Lahiri, and What it Means When a Man Falls From The Sky was Amazing. I also liked Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s collection of short stories, The Thing Around Your Neck.
I read Carmen Maria Machado’s book, Her Body and Other Parties, as well as Helen Oyeyemi but found some of the stories too creepy for before bed.

Do you have any more ideas for short fiction, ideally with a global perspective, that isn’t going to give me nightmares?

Thank you!


Books Discussed

The Merry Spinster by Mallory Ortberg (recently announced transition to Daniel, but book is listed under Mallory)

A Gathering of Shadows by VE Schwab

A Fine Summer’s Day by Charles Todd

Salsa Nocturna by Daniel José Older

Slasher Girls and Monster Boys, incl. stories by Marie Lu and Leigh Bardugo and Kendare Blake

What it Means When a Man Falls From the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah

podcast: Reading Women

Night at the Fiestas by Kirstin Valdez Quade

We Show What We Have Learned by Clare Beams

Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives, edited by Sarah Weinman

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

Sorry Please Thank You by Charles Yu

Tender by Sofia Samatar

Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017, edited by John Joseph Adams and Charles Yu

Gutshot by Amelia Gray

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

In the Country by Mia Alvar

The Djinn Falls in Love And Other Stories edited by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin