I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again: I absolutely love short stories. Many times I prefer to read a short story instead of a 400+ page novel. I’m not necessarily a big fan of all the side plots and the unnecessary drama you need to fill up all those pages. I want to read about the romantic couple, not about everything else happening in their lives.
And these last few weeks I’ve read three excellent collections of short stories, so I thought I’d share.
Snapshots by Addison Albright
I’ve already told you that I had the privilege of beta reading Addison’s collection of short stories, but that didn’t make me any less excited to read the finished versions. I absolutely love reading the final product of something I’ve critiqued or betaed: it’s like watching a child grow up.
And I wasn’t disappointed with the result: I loved every one of them. What I like most is that it’s such a diverse collection of stories, ranging from a meet cute in an adult video arcade to an established couple getting married, and everything in between. It’s an aptly named book: the reader is treated to snapshots from the different couples’ lives, a brief look into their relationship.
Most of them leave me wanting more, which I consider a good thing. It means I wasn’t bored with the story, it kept my interest the entire time, and I’m hungry to know what happens next in their lives. I want to know what happens to George and Blaine in King Kong vs The Skinny Pirate—will their relationship work out despite them being so seemingly different? I would love to read about how Darryl and Warren in Now and Forever met, their story before the marriage. And I definitely want to read more about Evan and Gary, in my favorite story Cow Pie Bingo.
TL;DR: Snapshots is awesome. Read it. 😀
Falling Hard: Stories of Men In Love by Dale Cameron Lowry
I found this collection of stories via the #RainbowSnippets group I joined a few weeks back. I click around and read all the other authors’ contributions and this jumped out at me immediately. It was something about the language and the way the author treats the words that made me weak in the knees. And after the second week in a row with the same reaction, I decided I needed to buy it.
And I was not disappointed. All of the stories are magical, there’s no other word for it. The emotions leap off the page in Dale’s writing and I was mesmerized and couldn’t put it down. I even loved Far From Home, which is a sci-fi story and I don’t read sci-fi (I prefer to watch it, thank you very much!) But the concept of the story was so clever and original, so it was impossible not to love it.
The stories in this collection is also diverse and interesting. I loved everything from the shy ghost in Ghost of a Chance, to reading about how established couple Mike and Ken meet a third guy that they can’t seem to forget in Pacific Rimming. But I think my favorite was Loggerhead. I’ve always said I don’t like reading about established couples because the author always fucks up their relationship for the sake of the story—but that’s not the case here. Loggerhead tells the story about how Jake and Eric find their way back to each other. And it contains my favorite quote:
“I never forget that I love you. But sometimes I forget how important that is to me.”
TL;DR: Falling Hard is awesome. Read it. 😀
A More Perfect Union by B.G. Thomas, J. Scott Coatsworth, Jamie Fessenden, and Michael Murphy
I’ve read this collection of short stories before, when it was just released. But the other day I felt like something short and cute and thought I’d just read one of the stories before bed time.
Yeah, right. As if. *snort*
At 5:30 AM, I put it down after re-reading all of the stories again, and they were even better this time. I love the premise of the collection, I’ll cut and paste it here for you (taken from Goodreads), if you’re not familiar with it:
I can’t decide which story I love most. Flames by Coatsworth tells the story about Alex and Gio, and how Gio gets badly hurt in a fire. I love to read about Alex’s journey from being afraid of commitment to how he’s willing to do anything to get Gio to come back to him.
Jeordi and Tom by Michael Murphy is about a young couple. They show extraordinary bravery and loyalty and fight for each other against a homophobic family in a small Kentucky town. Someday by B.G. Thomas is a story about a Lucas who met Dalton in kindergarten and knew from the start they would get married one day.
So cute! And so right. What if two boys fall in love, why shouldn’t they be allowed to marry? It’s incomprehensible.
But maybe it’s Destined by Jamie Fessenden that’s my favorite after all. And even though I love the story about how Jay and Wallace meet, get separated by life and circumstances, meet again, and finally start building a life together, I think it’s the dedication from the author that makes me love it the most.
TL;DR: A More Perfect Union is awesome. Read it. 😀
I warmly recommend any of these collections of short stories. If you haven’t read them, I strongly suggest you run to your nearest virtual bookstore and buy them—you won’t regret it.
And if you have suggestions about short story collections you think I’d like, feel free to tell me in the comments 🙂