Reading List: Short Stories Edition
The next segment of the reading list series is a short story collection. I love the stories on this list because they’re the perfect size to read in one sitting, but they make me think for a long time:
Good People x David Foster Wallace: I tell everyone that if Hemingway woke up in the 21st century and found this story, he’d agree with me that Good People is everything he wanted Hills Like White Elephants to be. Wallace was a magic person, and if you didn’t believe it after This is Water or Forever Overhead or that chapter about tennis, I’m sure you will after Good People. I read this story, and I understood myself better. I also understood boys better. And time, and love.
The Last Question x Isaac Asimov: Studded with lines like “THERE IS AS YET INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR A MEANINGFUL ANSWER” and “NO PROBLEM IS INSOLUBLE IN ALL CONCEIVABLE CIRCUMSTANCES,” The Last Question is a story that changed my world. Everyone likes talking about the stars, but Asimov does it in such a dry way that the beauty of the stars becomes all the more palpable.
A Good Man is Hard to Find x Flannery O’Connor: It’s been two years since I read A Good Man is Hard to Find for the first time, and every time I come back to it I’m just as captivated by O’Connor’s descriptions of Tennessee, and just as shocked at the way it all ends. Hailed as an icon of the Southern Gothic genre, this story will lure you in and cough you out, and then convince you that you enjoyed the ride (because you did, really).
Cold Pastoral x Marina Keegan: I’ve never come back to a story as much as I've reread Cold Pastoral. Keegan's style is so casual that it's gorgeous. Her writing convinces me that the boring parts of a day - like waiting for your soup in the microwave - can be some of the most beautiful. There's a part in the story when she drops a reference to Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn," and then there are parts when she hits pause on the dialogue to embed a drunk text. On the whole, Cold Pastoral changed the way I see sadness. I wish Keegan could've written so much more.
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