Story Collections I Can't Stop Thinking About

By Fred Venturini

By Fred Venturini

Stories of Your Life and Others

Ted Chiang

$16.95 $15.59

"The Story of Your Life" became the big-budget sci-fi movie ARRIVAL, but the story hides its hand much better, and hits like a truck. The rare story that drove me to tears and demanded I re-read it again immediately.

Until We Have Faces: Stories

Michael Nye

$17.99 $16.55

Michael Nye hits his stride early and stays there throughout this collection. When he threads sports into his stories, the collection peaks. The former NFL player with CTE simply broke my heart.

The Ones That Got Away

Stephen Graham Jones


I can't tell you much about why I love this without spoiling it, but the first tale in this collection is an all-timer.

Jesus' Son

Denis Johnson

$16.00 $14.72

This is already in the college syllabus short-fiction hall of fame, but with good reason. No punches are pulled and there's so much grit you may have an abrasion when it's over.


Donald Ray Pollock

$16.95 $15.59

My introduction to the formidable Donald Ray Pollock was like a surprise attack. Wear Kevlar while you read this.

Night Shift

Stephen King

$9.99 $9.19

Perhaps the most influential book of my writing life. I read this when I was nine years old, I re-read it every year, and I'll never get over the slam-bang endings that King pulls off in this collection.

Suicide Woods: Stories

Benjamin Percy


A recent release, but harrowing. Percy at his peak. I'm still numb from falling through the ice.

20th Century Ghosts

Joe Hill

$16.99 $15.63

Reading this is when I realized that the son may surpass the master, and Pop Art is one of the most surreal and delightful stories I've ever read.

The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction: 50 North American Stories Since 1970

Michael Martone

$22.00 $20.24

Sure, it's an anthology and not a collection, but this is the best "bang for the buck" when it comes to your hard-earned book budget. A hall-of-fame lineup and hours upon hours of reading for less than $20.

The Safety of Objects

A. M. Homes


I read this thinking, "I'm so glad our only child is a girl." It's the Barbie story. You know the one.

Exhalation: Stories

Ted Chiang

$28.00 $25.76

A double-dip of Ted Chiang in this list: this guy makes BLACK MIRROR look like amateur hour. Maybe the best time-travel story ever in this one.

Orientation and Other Stories

Daniel Orozco

$15.00 $13.80