List-O-Rama: Eight Quickies
Let’s celebrate National Short Story Week with a few quick reads, shall we?
Admittedly, some of these are novellas, but since I’m pretty sure there’s not a National Novella Week (oh, hell, there probably is—there’s a week or day for everything), I’m defining “short story” liberally. There’s something very satisfying about a shorter read—I know I pick them up a lot in the time between Thanksgiving and New Years, because it’s a nice way to get some reading in in shorter hits.
Slow Summer Kisses by Shannon Stacey
This is one of my favorite of Shannon Stacey’s works (her other novellas, Mistletoe and Margaritas and Holiday Sparks are also super-fun), because while it’s short, it reads like a complete novel. It’s light, funny and very current in its themes—plus, it’s only a buck and a half right now. Check out my review here.
Lynburn Legacy Short Stories by Sarah Rees Brennan
If you’re like me and freaking out over having to wait for Untold after reading Unspoken this year, these two short stories (free!) will help get you through these difficult times waiting for Untold’s release. I particularly liked The Spring Before I Met you, since it gives you a bit of insight into where Jared’s been.
Livability: Stories by Jon Raymond
Try not to fall out of your chair, but there is some Very Serious Literature I enjoy, and Jon Raymond’s short stories about Portland are up there among some of my favorites. These stories are snapshots of Portland—where I live—and they’re sad and wistful and authentic.
Among the Nameless Stars by Diana Peterfreund
This free prequel to For Darkness Shows the Stars is a great tester if you’re curious about the main novel or is a nice treat for those of us who’ve already read the book. It tells the story of what happened to Kai after he left the North Estate and eventually becomes Captain Wentworth.
Unsecure Connection by Alanna Blackett
We chatted with Alanna earlier this year when Unsecure Connection was first released and it’s a fun one-sitting read that should appeal to reader who normally avoid science fiction. The cyberpunk setting reminded me a lot of my favorite urban fantasy novels, only without paranormal creatures.
Under Her Skin by Jeaniene Frost, Meljean Brook and Ilona Andrews
All right, I’m going to be honest here: don’t read the Jeaniene Frost story. She’s good at her Buffy-esque vampire thing, but her werewolf story did not work for me. But, at $3, the other two stories are a steal because both Ilona Andrews’ and Meljean Brook’s stories are 100% badass. I particularly enjoyed Meljean’s contribution, which is about werewolf crime-fighters.
When the Women Come Out to Dance: Stories by Elmore Leonard
Elmore Leonard has several collections of short stories, including one just of his Westerns—if that’s your thing, but this one is pretty awesome. If you’re familiar with Leonard’s work, you’ll be happy to find a number of his characters making appearances in this one, including Karen Sisco and Raylan Givens as well as minor characters from other books. If you haven’t read Elmore Leonard (!), this is a great sampler of is stuff too.
Unlocked by Courtney Milan
I am not a historical romance fan at all. But I have been urged by many, many people to read Courtney Milan’s Unlocked, and so I did. And while I’m not a convert to the sub-genre, I will say that this novella is remarkable in that it’s a complete story with very distinct character develop in a compact package—it’s absolutely impressive. I’m glad I gave it a shot and it’s pretty much no-risk at only a buck. (An aside, my “review” of this on Goodreads contains one of the more amusing comment threads on any of my Goodreads reviews.)
Hit me with your best, uh, short!
What do you recommend for a quick reading hit during this busy season?