Disclosure: Some of the links in this book list of short story collections are affiliate links. If you click them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. The decision of whether or not to buy something is completely up to you.
Collections of short stories often fulfill that reading itch without the long commitment of a novel. You can pick up a story, read it to completion, and then put the book down without losing the thread. Check out these collections of short stories to cushion your reading.
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
Machado bends and breaks genre rules. In doing so, she creates stories that blur the lines between horror, science fiction, and fantasy. Each story also explores the violence often experienced by women and their bodies through various lenses.
The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu
Liu’s collection is lauded as one of the best short fiction books. It also contains a combination of futuristic science fiction with fantastic myths from Japanese culture. Moreover, these stories explore what it means to be human through narratives of AI, robotics, legendary creatures, and more.
A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories by Lucia Berlin
Berlin’s short story collection blends humor, wit, and gut-wrenching emotion. It tells the stories that happen in settings often found behind the scenes in our everyday lives. These are quiet stories of average people leading average lives, but the way they are told is anything but average.
The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen
From the award-winning author of The Sympathizer comes a short story collection filled with the trials and struggles of being an immigrant. These stories are rich, complex, and so well written it’s impossible to put down.
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
In Lahiri’s short stories, her characters delve into an exploration of identity. They investigate everything from their ancestors’ Indian heritage to their own American upbringing, for example. It’s a collection of poignant stories that deftly maneuver through the question of cultural identity between generations.
The World Doesn’t Require You: Stories by Rion Amilcar Scott
This collection of short stories strings together tales of various residents of Cross River. The leaders of the only successful slave revolt of the mid-nineteenth century established the town. Moreover, Scott’s debut short story collection is a must-read in today’s world of turmoil.
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter
Carter tackles familiar fairy tales and legends in one of the best short story collections of the last century. She tells the stories in this collection with dark and sensual twists that will leave readers wanting more.