We have almost reached the end of the semester and then we will be free for an (extended) break! Usually, I promise myself that I’ll read a novel over the break but that never happens. So, I decided I would compile a list of some short story recommendations to read over the holidays instead. I love short stories because I feel accomplished after reading them without having had to dedicate my time to an entire novel. They’re great to read in one sitting and, once I get to the end, I still get the feeling that a piece of literature has changed my life in some way.
Below is a list of some of my favourite short stories. I made my choices based on what was available online for free! There are a few that I haven’t given a link to but they are definitely available online through the public and U of T library systems.
1. The Perfect Day For Bananafish by J.D. Salinger
- My favourite short story of all time.
2. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar by Roald Dahl
- My mum read this to me as a kid, but I still love it as an adult (I’m sure most people agree on this for any Roald Dahl story.)
3. Sea Oak by George Saunders
- A hilarious story with a bit of coming back from the dead.
4. Spring Song of the Frogs by Margaret Atwood
- A lot of people have different opinions on Atwood, but I think her short stories are her best works, the one I’ve recommended doesn’t get as much attention as some others.
5. The Mysterious Mansion by Honoré de Balzac
- A lovely little story about an abandoned mansion. Some qualify this as horror, but it’s more the ‘tragic’ kind rather than the ‘scary.’
6. The Vinyl Café by Stuart McLean
- This is a link to every story ever told on the CBC radio broadcast the Vinyl Café! They are little episodes that follow the same characters (sort of like the Simpsons.) If you enjoy listening to stories rather than reading I highly recommend listening to them here: https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-71-vinyl-cafe.
- Every year the CBC hosts a short fiction contest, all the winning stories are available to read on their website!
8. U of T Journals
- If you want to read fiction written by U of T students check out these journal archives:
- The Goose
- Trinity Review
- UC Review
- The Spectatorial
If you have a short story recommendation I would love to hear it!