Book Riot Readers’ Top 67 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.

Sponsored by Random House with The Buzziest Short Story Collections of 2018.

From New York Times bestselling author Curtis Sittenfeld’s dazzling first collection, You Think It, I’ll Say It, to National Book Award winner Denis Johnson’s final collection, The Largesse of the Sea Maiden, there’s a short story collection for every book lover from Random House.

Loved Phil Kay’s Redployment? Will Mackin’s mesmerizing debut collection Bring Out the Dog will transport you to the front lines with beautifully outstanding prose. George Saunders calls it “a near-miraculous, brilliant debut.”

And Carmen Maria Machado raves of Anjali Sachdeva’s (such-deva) exhilarating collection, All the Names They Used for God; “completing one [story] is like having lived an entire life, and then being born, breathless, into another.”

All are available this spring from Random House, wherever books are sold.

Short story collections make excellent entry points into unfamiliar genres, they’re a great way to discover and fall in love with the works of under-the-radar authors, and they come in handy as quick escapes from the office.

Maybe you enjoy massive science fiction and fantasy anthologies or contemporary fiction collections featuring some of the best short stories by your favorite author. Or perhaps you’re partial to bite-sized tales of terror read in between freezer sessions.

We challenged you to name the best short story collections you’ve ever read, and you responded. We tallied up the results, and present your picks—quite the range—in order of popularity, then alphabetically by title:

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang

What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

Machine of Death by Matthew Bennardo and Ryan North

Some Rain Must Fall by Michel Faber

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu

The Stories of Ray Bradbury by Ray Bradbury

A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin

Alice Munro (any collection)

Almost Famous Women: Stories by Megan Mayhew Bergman

American Housewife by Helen Ellis

Baby mother and the king of swords by Lorna Goodison

Bears Discover Fire and Other Stories by Terry Bisson

The Best of Roald Dahl by Roald Dahl

Blasphemy by Sherman Alexie

Bloodchild and Other Stories by Octavia Butler

Burning Your Boats by Angela Carter

Can’t and Won’t by Lydia Davis

Cheating at Canasta by William Trevor

Daydreams of Angels by Heather O’Neill

Delicate Edible Birds by Lauren Groff

Diving Belles and Other Stories by Lucy Wood

Dragon Tales and Other Stories by Jane Yolan

Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer

Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O’Connor

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

Get in Trouble by Kelly Link

Her Smoke Rose Up Forever by James Tiptree Jr

How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer

I Hate to See That Evening Sun Go Down by William Gay

I, Robot by Isaac Asimov

If the River Was Whiskey by TC Boyle

Looking for Jake by China Mieville

Los Angeles Stories by Ry Cooder

Lost in the City by Edward P. Jones

Memory Wall by Anthony Doerr

O. Henry (anything)

Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu

Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

Where I’m Calling From by Raymond Carver

Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen by Marilyn Chin

Revenge by Yoko Ogawa

Salsa Nocturna by Daniel José Older

Selected Stories by Alice Munro

Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman

Strange Pilgrims by Gabriel García Márquez

Tenth of December by George Saunders

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Collected Short Stories of Grace Paley by Grace Paley

The Collected Stories of John Cheever by John Cheever

The Diving Belles by Lucy Wood

The Highway Kind edited by Patrick Millikin

The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury

The Inheritance and Other Stories by Robin Hobb

The Leaving and Other Stories by Budge Wilson

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

The Redemption of Galen Pike by Carys Davies

The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra

The View from Castle Rock by Alice Munro

This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz

Tomorrow’s Children by Isaac Asimov

Twisted by Jeffery Deaver

What is Not Yours is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi

Wormwood by Poppy Z. Brite

You Know When the Men are Gone by Siobhan Fallon