Short Stories to Read With Your Book Club

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Erica Ezeifedi, Associate Editor, is a transplant from Nashville, TN that has settled in the North East. In addition to being a writer, she has worked as a victim advocate and in public libraries, where she has focused on creating safe spaces for queer teens, mentorship, and providing test prep instruction free to students. Outside of work, much of her free time is spent looking for her next great read and planning her next snack.

Find her on Twitter at @Erica_Eze_.

Have you ever discussed short stories with your book club? They can be a great way to give people a break from reading one, continuous story. And let’s be real, not every finishes the entire book by the time the next book club meeting comes around, but, if your pick for the month is a short story collection, at least people can read a story or two and still participate.

The book club-friendly short story collections I’ve included below give a look at life during Jim Crow, Cambodian Americans adjusting to life in California, reimagined Agatha Christie, and life on the rez.

Nibbles and Sips: Strawberry Chocolate Banana Frozen Treat

I saw somewhere this was a viral thing for the summer, and thought it sounded pretty easy for how good it will taste. You just need fresh strawberries, two ripe bananas, and melted chocolate. Follow @lindsay.keosayian’s instructions on their Instagram.

cover of Neighbors and Other Stories by Diane Olivercover of Neighbors and Other Stories by Diane Oliver

Neighbors and Other Stories by Diane Oliver

Neighbors and Other Stories is the posthumously published collection by Diane Oliver, who died in an accident at 23 “just a month before she would have graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.” The collection takes place in the Jim Crow South and follows the everyday lives of Black Americans.

After Parties by Anthony Veasna SoAfter Parties by Anthony Veasna So

Afterparties by Anthony Veasna So

The stories here can be extremely odd or endearing — or both! They follow the lives of Cambodian Americans, some of whom were born in the U.S. and some who have brought memories of the Khmer Rouge genocide with them. The refugees of Afterparties adapt to new lives in California while their children try to forge their own identities, contending with sexuality, race, and community along the way.

Another collection by Veasna So: Songs on Endless Repeat: Essays and Outtakes.

cover of Marple: Twelve New Mysteriescover of Marple: Twelve New Mysteries

Marple: Twelve New Mysteries by Various Authors

This says “Agatha Christie” in big, bold lettering, but it’s actually a collection of stories written by an amazing lineup of authors (from Leigh Bardugo to Alyssa Cole!) that features Christie’s iconic sleuth, Miss Marple. Each author gives their own interpretation of Miss Marple while staying true to the character and constructing a great mystery.

Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty book coverNight of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty book cover

Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty

Talty’s characters bring to life a Maine-based Penobscot community. A boy finds a cursed jar, a man finds his friend unconscious in the woods, his hair frozen by the snow, and two friends try to rob the tribal museum for root clubs. All together, these stories use humor and insight to tell the tale of a people surviving and contending with tragedy.

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