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"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Short Story Reading Challenge 2010

The Short Story Reading Challenge 2010

This past Sunday I posted about short stories, listed some great authors that have short story collections and wrote how I really wanted to make an effort to read more short stories. Fortunately there usually is a challenge for almost every occasion, and so I've signed up to participate in The Short Story Reading Challenge 2010. This is the perfect way to be encouraged to read more short stories! Here are the different ways you can participate...

Here are the Challenge Options:

Option 1:Simply commit to reading ten short stories by ten different authors over the course of 2010. If you're relatively new to reading short stories, any ten will do.

Option 2: If you’ve already got a lot of short stories under your belt, read ten short stories by ten writers whose work you have not yet read.

Options 3: Commit to reading between five and ten short story collections over the course of 2010. Again, if you're a short story novice, the world is your oyster as far as selection is concerned.

Option 4: If you're a seasoned short story reader, read between five and ten short story collections by writers whose short stories you have not yet encountered.

Option 5: This is the custom option which you can tailor your reading list to best meet your personal reading aspirations. You might wish to craft a short story reading list that focuses on a particular place, or era, or genre.

*In the words of Mavis Gallant, short story writer extraordinaire, she advises... Stories are not chapters of novels. They should not be read one after another, as if they were meant to follow along. Read one. Shut the book. Read something else. Come back later. Stories can wait...

I am choosing Option 1, reading ten short stories by ten different authors! Two of the books I just picked up to complete part of this challenge are Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat, and Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro. I'm thinking of spending a leisurely afternoon at my local library and reading some more short story collections there... Interested in learning more? Head on over the The Short Story Reading Challenge Blog to learn more, signup, and to get some great reading suggestions from other participants!

I'll list here the stories I have read, the authors and the books that the stories are from and my thoughts on what I read, so check back every once in a while to see how it's going, (suggestions here are always welcome!) and to hopefully find some great suggestions from what I read! Good luck if you decide to participate! I look forward to having some fun discovering new authors!

Happy reading... Suzanne


Melissa said...

Thanks for posting about this, Suzanne. I love short stories! I'm going to head right over and check out that site. I find it amazing that really good authors can say so much in such a little space of time. I would suggest that you try listening to the PRI Selected Shorts podcast if you don't already. It's very well done with excellent readings. I have Alice Munro's Too Much Happiness on my nightstand right now. Try Flannery O'Conner if you've never read any of her stories.

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Melissa!
Thanks for letting me know about the podcast! I will check that out later today.

It is such a treat to be able to read short stories by a favorite author! It's like a little gift. I bought both Alice Munro's Too Much Happiness this weekend, AND the complete stories of Flannery O'Connor! Good recommendations! And I never read any of Flannery's writing, glanced through the book at the bookstore and thought her writing was wonderful!

Keda said...

In the spirit of making 2010 my year of accomplishments, and so far accepting almost every challenge that came my way, I will definitely do. I love short stories anyway. I love reading, opting even for reading a shampoo bottle in the loo because I forgot to take my book. When are they bringing back newspaper toiletpaper? LOL

I will go for option 1. ten different stories by 10 different authors over 2010.

Suzanne Yester said...

That's the spirit Keda! I look forward to reading your reviews too! My first one will be sometime next week. I went to the library to do a bit of research and found an amazing selection from authors I did not realize had written short story collection. Of course I also made a trip to the bookstore!

BTW, there was a very popular Japanese author who actually published one of his books on toilet paper!

Take care!

Anonymous said...

You might try short stories by the master himself, Henry James,like MARRIAGES, and some moderns like the great John Cheever or William Trevor. These write challenging but rewarding short stories.

Suzanne Yester said...

Thanks for mentioning Henry James, John Cheever and William Trevor. All too often we can forget about some of the masters of the genre and it's important to include older works that still resonate with the contemporary reader.

Allie said...

I LOVE Krik? Krak! I read it for an anthropology class years ago. It's just beautiful!

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