Short Stories

Short stories are brief fiction with usually only a few characters or scenes.  Even with sparse settings and concise narrative, short stories attempt to tell a complete story of the characters and subject. 

Here are a few short story collections by well known and not-so-well-known authors.  Collections of short stories can be found in every genre, and with this much variety everyone is sure to find something to enjoy.  Short story collections on audio are perfect for road trips.

Compiled by:
Jim G
Animal Spirit: Stories

Francesca Marciano
Adult Fiction - Marcian

Centering us in Rome, but transporting us seamlessly into worlds as varied and exotic as they are emotionally real, these stories paint landscapes that are populated-vividly, hauntingly-by animals. In the foreground, in unforgettable, cinematic frames, events unfold, especially in the lives of women. Each story tells of deeply human moments of realization and recognition, instants of irrevocable change, and, for the fortunate, of unexpected clarity.

The Complete Stories

Flannery O’Connor
Adult Fiction Oconnor

Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964) was one of America’s most gifted writers. She wrote two novels, Wise Blood and The Violent Bear It Away, and two story collections, A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Everything That Rises Must Converge. Her Complete Stories, published posthumously in 1972, won the National Book Award that year, and in a 2009 online poll it was voted as the best book to have won the award in the contest's 60-year history.

Cool for America: Stories

Andrew Martin
Adult Fiction - Martin

Expanding the world of his classic-in-the-making debut novel Early Work, Andrew Martin's Cool for America is a hilarious collection of overlapping stories that explores the dark zone between artistic ambition and its achievement.

The Essential Tales of Chekhov

Anton Chekhov
Adult Fiction Chekhov

Anton Chekhov is best known as a playwright, the author of such classics as Uncle Vanya, The Cherry Orchard, and Three Sisters, but he was also an accomplished short-story writer. The Essential Tales of Chekhov does not pretend to be a comprehensive collection of all his fiction, but it does lay claim to be the best. Reading these stories, one immediately notices how modern they feel. No two Chekhov stories are alike, but they do share some common traits: though often somber, they are seldom despairing and even his most serious work is leavened by his trademark wit. Only 20 of the more than 220 tales that he wrote are included in this collection, but they provide an excellent introduction to those who have not yet had the pleasure of reading him.

Everything’s Eventual: 14 Dark Tales

Stephen King
Adult Fiction King

King is in terrifying top form in these fourteen short stories, taking readers down a road less traveled (for good reason) in the blockbuster ebook “Riding the Bullet”; bad table service turns bloody when you stop in for “Lunch at the Gotham Café”; and terror becomes déjà vu all over again when you get “That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is in French”—along with eleven more stories that will keep you awake until daybreak. Two of the stories, “The Little Sisters of Eluria” and “Everything’s Eventual “are closely related to the Dark Tower series. Enter a nightmarish mindscape of unrelenting horror and shocking revelations that could only come from the imagination of the greatest storyteller of our time.


Lauren Groff
Adult Fiction Groff

In Lauren Groff’s Florida, the hot sun shines, but a wild darkness lurks. Florida is a "superlative" book (Boston Globe), "gorgeously weird and limber" (New Yorker), "frequently funny" (San Francisco Chronicle), "brooding, inventive and often moving" (NPR Fresh Air) -- as Groff is recognized as "Florida's unofficial poet laureate, as Joan Didion was for California." (Washington Post)  "Groff's gifts as a writer just keep soaring higher and higher.” – NPR’s Fresh Air

Fragile Things

Neil Gaiman
Adult Fiction Gaiman

This is a stunning collection of short stories by acclaimed fantasy writer Neil Gaiman. His distinctive genius has been championed by writers as diverse as Norman Mailer and Stephen King. These stories will dazzle your senses, haunt your imagination, and move you to the very depths of your soul. This extraordinary compilation reveals one of the world's most gifted storytellers at the height of his powers.

Heads of the Colored People: Stories

Nafissa Thompson-Spires
Adult Fiction - Thompso

This collection of moving, timely, and darkly funny stories examines the concept of black identity in this so-called post-racial era. A stunning new talent in literary fiction, Nafissa Thompson-Spires grapples with black identity and the contemporary middle class in these compelling, boundary-pushing vignettes. Some are darkly humorous while others are devastatingly poignant. Thompson-Spires fearlessly shines a light on the simmering tensions and precariousness of black citizenship with stories that are exquisitely rendered, satirical, and captivating in turn, engaging in the ongoing conversations about race and identity politics, as well as the vulnerability of the black body.

Interpreter of Maladies

Jhumpa Lahiri
Adult Fiction Lahiri

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, this stunning debut collection unerring charts the emotional journeys of characters seeking love beyond the barriers of nations and generations. In stories that travel from India to America and back again, Lahiri speaks with universal eloquence to everyone who has ever felt like a foreigner.

Kiss Kiss

Roald Dahl
Adult Fiction Dahl

In Kiss Kiss, Dahl combines horror and comedy to give us eleven memorable short stories. He obviously delights in making his readers feel as uneasy as possible right before pulling the rug out from under them, grinning at the shocked look on our faces.

The Martian Chronicles

Ray Bradbury
Science Fiction & Fantast SF Bradbur

In The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury, America’s preeminent storyteller, imagines a place of hope, dreams, and metaphor— of crystal pillars and fossil seas—where a fine dust settles on the great empty cities of a vanished, devastated civilization. Earthmen conquer Mars and then are conquered by it, lulled by dangerous lies of comfort and familiarity, and enchanted by the lingering glamour of an ancient, mysterious native race. In this classic work of fiction, Bradbury exposes our ambitions, weaknesses, and ignorance in a strange and breathtaking world where man does not belong.

Men Without Women

Haruki Murakami
Adult Fiction Murakam

Across seven tales, Haruki Murakami brings his powers of observation to bear on the lives of men who, in their own ways, find themselves alone. Here are lovesick doctors, students, ex-boyfriends, actors, bartenders, and even Kafka’s Gregor Samsa, brought together to tell stories that speak to us all. In Men Without Women Murakami has crafted another contemporary classic, marked by the same wry humor and pathos that have defined his entire body of work.

Nine Stories

J.D. Salinger
Adult Fiction Salinge

In The New York Times in 1953, Eudora Welty described Nine Stories as 'neither easy nor simple in any degree'. Nevertheless each piece is as worthy of reading and re-reading today as they were then. Originally written in skillful criticism of a burgeoning culture of ego and materialism, the stories 'all pertain to the lack of something in the world.' In a contemporary world all the more generally lacking in virtuousness, this classic collection still tolls a sad truth - a truth that tolls all the louder for the monumental silence of its author.

Open Secrets

Alice Munro
Adult Fiction Munro

These are stories in which women are central. They are about lovers found and lovers lost but lodged still in the subconscious, about secrets that change lives, about people whose histories are opening out or coming to an end. Their power accumulates layer by layer as time and reality shift, identities become uncertain, truths surface. A wonderful gathering of stories in which once again, as she does with each new book, Alice Munro surpasses herself.

So We Can Glow: Stories

Leesa Cross-Smith
Adult Fiction - Crosssm

From Kentucky to the California desert, these forty-two short stories expose the glossy and matte hearts of girls and women in moments of obsessive desire and fantasy, wildness and bad behavior, brokenness and fearlessness, and more.

Stories of John Cheever

John Cheever
Adult Fiction Cheever

When John Cheever's editor suggested an omnibus collection of his short stories, the writer was nonplussed. "Why do you want to do that?" he asked. "All those stories have already been published." The resulting book, The Stories of John Cheever (1978), became one of the bestselling short story collections of all time, winning its author a National Book award and a Pulitzer. But it didn't just buttress Cheever's uncertain reputation. As Robert Morace notes, it "revived interest in the short story on the part of publishers and readers, making it both commercially more viable and critically more respectable".

Stories of Your Life and Others

Ted Chiang
Science Fiction & Fantasy SF Chiang

Stories of Your Life and Others delivers dual delights of the very, very strange and the heartbreakingly familiar, often presenting characters who must confront sudden change—the inevitable rise of automatons or the appearance of aliens—with some sense of normalcy. With sharp intelligence and humor, Chiang examines what it means to be alive in a world marked by uncertainty, but also by beauty and wonder. An award-winning collection from one of today's most lauded writers, Stories of Your Life and Others is a contemporary classic. Includes “Story of Your Life” the basis for the major motion picture Arrival.

Tales of Mystery and Imagination

Edgar Allan Poe
Adult Fiction Poe

This collection of Poe’s work contains some of the most exciting and haunting stories ever written. They range from the poetic to the mysterious to the darkly comic, yet all possess the genius for the grotesque that defines Poe’s writing. They are peopled with neurotics and social outcasts, obsessed with nameless terrors or preoccupied with seemingly insoluble mysteries. ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ and ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ are key works in the horror canon, while in the ‘The Murders in the Rue Morgue’ and ‘The Mystery of Marie Roget’ we find the origins modern detective fiction. Collectively, these tales represent the best of Edgar Allan Poe’s prose work before his premature death in 1849.

The Thing Around Your Neck

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Adult Fiction Adichie

In these twelve riveting stories, the award-winning Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie explores the ties that bind men and women, parents and children, Africa and the United States. Searing and profound, suffused with beauty, sorrow, and longing, these stories map, with Adichie's signature emotional wisdom, the collision of two cultures and the deeply human struggle to reconcile them.

Time and Time Again: Sixteen Trips in Time

Robert Silverberg
Science Fiction & Fantasy SF Silverb

Winner of the 2018 Foreword INDIES Award Gold Medal for Best Sci-Fi! Time and Time Again: Sixteen Trips in Time by beloved science fiction Grand Master Robert Silverberg presents of all his best time travel fiction in one stunning collection. Silverberg introduces this new collection with a new essay praising early sci-fi icons that left a lasting impression on him as a young boy and launched his sixty-year voyage in time travel fiction.

Welcome to the Monkey House

Kurt Vonnegut
Adult Fiction Vonnegu

Welcome to the Monkey House is a collection of Kurt Vonnegut’s shorter works. Originally printed in publications as diverse as The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and The Atlantic Monthly, these superb stories share Vonnegut’s audacious sense of humor and extraordinary range of creative vision.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

Raymond Carver
Adult Fiction Carver

In his second collection, including the iconic and much-referenced title story featured in the Academy Award-winning film Birdman, Carver establishes his reputation as one of the most celebrated short-story writers in American literature—a haunting meditation on love, loss, and companionship, and finding one’s way through the dark.