The Top 100 Books Every Woman Should Read: Part V

Spectacular Short Stories

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Runaway by Alice Munro

This book is filled with extraordinary tales about love and its infinite betrayals and surprises, from the title story about a young woman who, though she thinks she wants to, is incapable of leaving her husband, to three stories about a woman named Juliet and the emotions that complicate the luster of her intimate relationships. Buy it on Amazon.

A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You by Amy Bloom

Confronted with tragedy and the complexities of modern life, Blooms characters rally around love. A mother accompanies her daughter in her journey to become a man. A stepmother and stepson meet again after fifteen years and a devastating mistake. And in "The Story," a widow bent on seducing another woman’s husband constructs and deconstructs her story until she has made the happiest ending possible. Buy it on Amazon.

Amy Hempel: The Collected Stories

Hempel, a master of the craft, writes about marriages, minor disasters and moments of revelation. Buy it on Amazon.

A Day, A Night, Another Day, Summer by Christine Schutt

Schutt is an astonishing stylist, and one of the most emotionally courageous women writing today. Many of these stories take place in the home, where what is behind the thin domestic barriers of doors tends toward violence, unseemly sexual encounters, and mental anguish. Buy it on Amazon.

Friendly Fire by Kathryn Chetkovich

Love is a battlefield in Chetkovich’s award-winning collection, which details how we are sometimes brought down by the ones we love. Buy it on Amazon.

The Coast of Chicago by Stuart Dybek

In this dreamlike collection, a child’s collection of bottle caps becomes the tombstones of a graveyard and the strains of Chopin floating down the tenement airshaft are transformed into a mysterious anthem of loss. Buy it on Amazon.

Enormous Changes at the last minute by Grace Paley

These personal, political, heartbreaking, funny stories are indelibly one of a kind. Buy it on Amazon.

Some Fun: Stories and a Novella by Antonya Nelson

Nelson deftly chronicles the fraught relationships between parents and children and husbands and wives. Buy it on "Amazon.’:

Birds of America by Lorrie Moore

In "Community Life,"a shy, almost reclusive, librarian, Transylvania-born and Vermont-bred, moves in with her boyfriend, the local anarchist in a small university town, and all hell breaks loose. And in "Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens," a woman who goes through the stages of grief as she mourns the death of her cat (Anger, Denial, Bargaining, Häagen Dazs, Rage) is seen by her friends as really mourning other issues: the impending death of her parents, the son she never had, Bosnia. By it on Amazon.

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

In this collection of linked short stories, Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher, deplores the changes in her little town of Crosby, Maine, and in the world at large, but she doesn’t always recognize the changes in those around her: a lounge musician haunted by a past romance; a former student who has lost the will to live; Olive’s own adult child, who feels tyrannized by her irrational sensitivities; and her husband, Henry, who finds his loyalty to his marriage both a blessing and a curse. Buy it on Amazon.

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

These stories depict the men of Alpha Company: Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and of course, the character Tim O’Brien who has survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of forty-three. Buy it on Amazon.

Tell Me a Riddle by Tillie Olsen

This unforgettable portrait centers on a working-class couple when the gender-determined differences in their experiences of poverty and familial life give rise to bitter conflict after almost four decades of marriage. Buy it on Amazon.

Flannery O’Connor: The Complete Stories

Thirty-one stories by the brilliant author, who died at age 39, are collected here. Buy it on Amazon.

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? By Joyce Carol Oates

The prolific Oates selected 27 of her early stories for this collection. Buy it on Amazon.

Dubliners by James Joyce

Joyce’s unforgettable characters may not know each other, but their stories unfold on the same streets. Their tragedies mirror that of Ireland, a country struggling for political identity and held back, in Joyce’s view, by rigid religious ideas and adherence to tradition. Buy it on Amazon.

Trailer Girl by Terese Svoboda

In "Psychic" a clairvoyant knows she’s been hired by a murderer, in "Leadership" a tiny spaceship lands between a boy and his parents, in "Lost the Baby" a partying couple forget where they dropped off their baby, and in "White" a grandfather explains to his grandson how a family is like a collection of chicken parts. Buy it on Amazon.

Normal People Don’t Live Like This by Dylan Landis

This collection of linked short stories is a timeless, clear-eyed account of what it’s like to be a teenage girl Buy it on Amazon.

Anton Chekhov: Stories

Chekhov’s spare, impressionistic stories about Russian life are often credited with changing the short fiction genre. Thirty of them are collected here. Thirty of Chekhov’s best tales, many about Russian life, are collected here. Buy it on Amazon.

Romancer Erector by Diane Williams

Sexy, scary, transgressive stories that are a real kick in the head. Buy it on Amazon.

Selected Stories by Katherine Mansfield

A great classic story collection from a writer who died far too young. Buy it on Amazon.


Next: 19 NEW Books You Won't Put Down

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