Short Reviewers' Quick Tips for Holiday Short Story Reading

 - borrow 'em from the library, or from a friend or pick them up from your local bookshop!

Elizabeth Rutherford-Johnson recommends:

Tales of the Night by Peter Hoeg

(translated by Barbara Haveland, Harvill 1990)

"I borrowed this off a housemate at university. I would recommend this erudite yet readable collection solely for “An Experiment in the Constancy of Love”, which mashes up sex, time travel and quantum physics, and was the first short to show me how a perfect ending does not simply finish a story but can open it out to fit the whole universe inside."
Nuala Ni Chonchúir recommends:

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower

(Granta, 2010)

"Wells Towers's short stories are utterly brilliant. Disaffected, angry men get into often hilarious situations in their dealings with other people. I laughed out loud often reading this book. He's a true American original and the language in the book just zings. The title story is very odd though and, to me, doesn't sit well in the collection. However, I loved it overall and I HIGHLY recommend it. "

(Read Daniela I Norris' full review of this collection.)
Pauline Masurel recommends:

 Heads and Tales free set of audio stories (here)



"They're all set in locations in Bristol and South Gloucestershire and can be downloaded as mp3s, so they might make interesting holiday reading or something to while away a long journey, or even provoke people to go and discover the locations for themselves."
Annie Clarkson recommends:

Not So Perfect by Nik Perring

(Roast Books, 2010)

"These are beautiful short short fictions. Nik writes with such tenderness, humour and sharp insight. He writes about the most extraordinary moments in his characters lives, and each one is like a small world that we enter for a short time, and leave with a sense that everything has changed."
Sarah Hilary recommends:

Ice Cream by Helen Dunmore

(Penguin, 2001)

"Delicious stories, each one different, several worthy of re-reading. Dunmore is a wizard at writing flavours, scents, food and nature; every page is spiced with sensory experience. There are stories to sink into, to drift away with. Warm stories, and cool ones for when the summer gets too hot. Perfect!"
Daniela I. Norris recommends:

Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman

(Canongate, 2009)

"I reviewed this for The Short Review a few months ago, and LOVED it. Forty Tales from the Afterlives is a minimalistic description for these short-shorts (rarely more than two pages each) that definitely go beyond a simple "tale". These are pieces of brilliantly crafted ideas that stay with the reader well beyond the hour or day they were read."

(Read Daniela's full review of this collection.)
Alex Thornber recommends:

The First 49 Stories by Ernest Hemingway

(Arrow, 1995)

"After being lent The Old Man and the Sea several years ago, I promptly set out to read everything I could find by Hemingway. Hemingway's stories are magnificent, varied, invariably interesting and an example of short story perfection. Hemingway produced three slim volumes of short stories, of which it is impossible to pick a favourite, this book saves you from having to make the decision by compiling all three. "
Diane Becker recommends:

Dressing Up for the Carnival by Carol Sheilds

(Fourth Estate, 2000)

" I came across a review in the Guardian when this first came out and was amazed to find a hard-back first edition copy in our local bookshop. It had a gorgeous cover (bookslut that I am), so I bought it.  Maybe it's the (mainly) Canadian setting (which evokes summer holidays I spent in Montreal) or the quirky characters or Shields' delight in the nuances, twists and turns of the everyday that makes this a great summer read. "
Tania Hershman recommends:

All Over by Roy Kesey

(Dzanc, 2007)

"I'd never read anything by Roy Kesey before and as I said in my Short Review review, reading his book made me happy, and re-reading it made me even happier! These are quirky and sometimes utterly mad stories, but they pack a punch and I defy you to read more than one at a time. This skinny book may not add to your baggage allowance but certainly enriches your holiday. Read Wait while you hang about in the Departures Lounge. It'll transform your journey!"

(Read Tania's full review of this collection.)
A J Kirby recommends:

10 Journeys Anthology by Various

(Legend Press, 2010)

"I have a story in this collection! The latest in the acclaimed Short Story Reinvented Series, 10 Journeys offers a unique array of poignant journeys – both literal and psychological. Evocative and highly engaging, the stories transform everyday accounts into the most accessible yet powerful collection possible, each story compares and contrasts to encapsulate the individuality of short fiction.Sometimes dark and stimulating, other times charming and simply beautiful, these stories illustrate a portrait of unexpected wealth in ten bite-size chunks."