What are the best must read short stories of all time?

asked by Anonymous
357 contributors
41 solutions
  1. 38

    #1The Lottery

    The Lottery

    The Lottery is a classic dystopian horror fiction novel written by Shirley Jackson. This book is first published in 2007 by Perfection Learning. 

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    Debra Guerrero
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "There stories are incredible. I read through the entire volume very quickly because I couldn't wait to find out how they all ended. The author does an amazing job in keeping you guessing until the very end. I even often find myself rereading the stories looking for clues that I may have missed that point to the surprising ending."
  2. 37

    #2City Solipsism

    City Solipsism

    City Solipsism by Zack Love is an ode to the thrill of romantic possibility. The story was from the point of view of a New Yorker on relationships as it begins, deepens, and ends over into the unknown.

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    Jeffrey Miller
    Written on April 13, 2018
    "I love short stories because I never really had the time to read a book and I am not much of a book reader to begin with. City Solipsism is a great short story and I really enjoyed it. I would highly recommend it. "
  3. 33

    #3Nine Stories

    Nine Stories
    Published in 1953, Nine Stories is a collection of short stories by J.D. Salinger, the author of The Catcher in the Rye. His most famous short stories"A Perfect Day for Bananafish" and "For Esme -- With Love and Squalor" are included.
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    Ling Jia
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "This book isn't the cheapest but you could buy it used if you are looking for cheaper! It has a lot of reviews and almost 5/5 stars! These stories are so packed full of information and you'll be hooked from the first story. It includes 9 stories and is a must read for any English student or someone who likes to think outside of the box. "
  1. 31

    #4What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

    What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

    What We Talk About When We Talk About Love is Raymond Carver's second collection of short stories about Love and Loss. This book includes his Academy Award Winning novel, Birdman. 

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    Anthony Wade
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "I read this years ago and again this year. I was disappointed in a couple of the stories, but still very much impressed with several of the best. The others are "pretty good". This makes it a fairly average collection, I'm disappointed to say, but an average collection by a great author is still better than most. The best of the stories here are some of the best short stories you'll ever read, particularly the first in the collection and the title piece."
  2. 29

    #5The Gift of the Magi

    The Gift of the Magi

    The Gift of the Magi is a classic romance fiction book written by O. Henry. This Christmas-themed novel is first published in 1905. 

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    Rose Barnes
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "This story is Christmas themed and beautifully written. It's a story about love, sacrifice and ordinary people becoming extraordinary through their actions. It's the perfect book to read yourself or to read aloud to your kids at Christmas time and it stays in your mind long after you put it down. A must read."
  3. 26

    #6The Emperor's New Clothes

    The Emperor's New Clothes
    The Emperor's New Clothes is a book about a narcissistic emperor who always wants to show off his expensive clothes to his kingdom. Then one day, he met two weavers who weaved the most expensive clothes for him, but he did not know that he will be fooled. 
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    Amy Munoz
    Written on April 15, 2018
    "Illustrations perk up the Hans Christian Anderson tale that has survived for ages. And it is an age old tale, that emperor with the new clothes. The story is told with humor and clever design."
  4. 22

    #7Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street

    Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street

    Bartleby, The Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street is a novella written by the famous author of Moby-Dick, Herman Melville. First published in 1853, it tells the story of Bartleby, a scribe in 19th century Wall Street.

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    Grace Mitchell
    Written on May 9, 2018
    "I rather enjoy this short story. I read it from time to time. It's very short but so worth the read. It's funny and worth the time. If you are about to take a short flight and have an odd hour or so, this is a very good story to read on your trip. "
  5. 16

    #8Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

    Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

    Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe is a collection of short stories by American writer Edgar Allan Poe. It was first published by Doubleday on November 18, 1966, with a total of 832 pages.

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    Tammy Taylor
    Written on May 10, 2018
    "This book is a collection of short stories by Edgar Allan. It is a good book."
  6. 14

    #9Bagombo Snuff Box

    Bagombo Snuff Box

    This book is a collection of 23 short stories written by Kurt Vonnegut, which were published in US periodicals from 1950 and 1962, and that now are collected in just one book. 

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    Marilyn Gilbert
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "Reading short stories is a hobby for me. Bagombo Snuff Box offers 23 stories that can be considered collectible."
  7. 13

    #10Armageddon in Retrospect

    Armageddon in Retrospect

    This book is a collection of twelve short stories, never published before, from Kurt Vonnegut. In these, he talks about war and peace, sharing his thoughts on these topics and sharing his own experiences as a prisoner of war in a Nazi camp. 



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    Howard Holmes
    Written on April 11, 2018
    "a true hero of our literary time, this man has been through hell and back. but kept humble and creative all the way throughout his life."
  8. 12

    #11A River Runs Through It and Other Stories

    A River Runs Through It and Other Stories
    A River Runs Through It and Other Stories is a book by Norman Maclean containing two of his novels and one short story. This book was originally published in 1976 and became a bestseller.
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    Harold Berry
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "A River Runs Through It and Other Stories by Norman Maclean is an interesting twist on a short stories. Though his novels are compelling its the short and easy to digest stories I love the most."
  9. 11

    #12The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway

    The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway

    This is a definitive collection of Ernest Hemingway's short stories such as his most beloved classics like The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Hills Like White Elephants, and A Clean, Well-Lighted Place. 

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    Nathan Owens
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "Ernest Hemingway was simply the best for short stories. there isn't a better option for this solution "
  10. 9

    #13Dubliners

    Dubliners

    First published in 1914, James Joyce's Dubliners is one of the most well-known short story collections. It is comprised of 15 short stories about life in early 20th century Dublin.

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    Mary Sullivan
    Written on April 12, 2018
    "Dubliners was one of the best short stories I have read in a long time. Published in 1914, James Joyce's Debliners is well known and hard to put down. It contains 15 short stories set in the early 20th Century. Each story is more compelling than the next. Excellent all around. "
  11. 8

    #14Happily Ever After

    Happily Ever After

    Happily Ever After is a short story written by Edward H. Carpenter. This book was published in 2011. It tells the story of the "evil queen" and why she is known as an antagonist.

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    Tiffany Dixon
    Written on April 16, 2018
    "This was written from the so called wicked witch/stepmother perspective in all the different fairy tales. An interesting short and dark fairy tale that has a happy ending for the villainess. I would not call it a best must read short story of all time, EVER."
  12. 6

    #15Flora and Tiger: 19 Very Short Stories from My Life

    Flora and Tiger: 19 Very Short Stories from My Life

    The love for the animals was the beginning of this book of short stories illustrated with a collection of personal vignettes dedicated to his fader, who taught him the love for animals. 

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    Robert Harper
    Written on April 20, 2018
    "I stumbled upon this gem while I was looking at various compilations of short stories. The illustrations are really good, and give the stories that additional special touch. You absolutely must check this out. when I read it, I was immediately immersed in unique artwork and fantastic story telling. "
  13. 4

    #16Gaza Writes Back

    Gaza Writes Back

    Gaza Writes Back is an anthology of short stories from 15 young writers in Gaza, Palestine. The writers are all members of a generation that has suffered immensely under Israel's siege and blockade.

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    Eugene Hall
    Written on April 9, 2018
    "This collection of short stories was very interesting. It is written by young writers so it is a great choice if you want to know what it is like for the kids living in Gaza. It is a very heartbreaking read."
  14. 4

    #17Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies

    Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies
    Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies is a collection of J.K. Rowling’s writing from the Pottermore archives that will take you beyond the Harry Potter stories as she reveals her inspiration, intricate details of characters’ lives and surprises from the wizarding world.
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    Gary White
    Written on April 10, 2018
    "If you're a fan of Harry Potter, Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies is the best must read short stories of all time. It was so interesting to read more about the Harry Potter world and rowling as usual does an excellent job of detailing everything."
  15. 2

    #18Short Stories in Spanish (Spanish and English Edition)

    Short Stories in Spanish (Spanish and English Edition)

    Short Stories in Spanish is a collection of short contemporary stories written in Spanish and English as a language learning book. It contains stories from notable Hispanic writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Javier Marias.

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    Donna Cooper
    Written on April 9, 2018
    "This is a good intermediate level reader for those wanting convenience in learning Spanish. I like the parallel text books, and look for them. This one is well done. Nice read not best must read."
  16. 1

    #19The Collected Short Stories of Louis L'Amour: The Frontier Stories (Vol. 1)

    The Collected Short Stories of Louis L'Amour: The Frontier Stories (Vol. 1)
    Being recognized as one of the all-time greatest, it was a matter of time that a book collected Louis L'Amour's best short stories. In this first volume, there are 35 frontier tales that perfectly capture the Old West feeling.



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    Tejas Singh
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "This is a collection of stories of the old American West. All are stories with a moral that emphasizes social, if not legal, justice. Good stories but no the best of all time, with their emphasis on social justice to the detriment of legal justice. Confusing premise and inauthentic history."
  17. 0

    #20The Refugees

    The Refugees
    The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen is a short story collection novel originally published in February 2017 by Grove Atlantic. This is the first book Nguyen has written since he won the Pulitzer Prize.
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    Judith Guerrero
    Written on April 16, 2018
    "I wanted to read the best must read short stories of all time, but was given The Refugees without any synopsis. I'm impressed that it was Viet Thanh Nguyen's first book written since receiving the nobel prize, but I would prefer to know what the story was about. I was forced to surmise that it is about refugees and has ties to Vietnam."
  18. 0

    #21Promenades dans le Barcelone de l'Ombre du vent

    Promenades dans le Barcelone de l'Ombre du vent

    Promenades Dans La Barcelone de L'Ombre Du Vent (Le Livre De Poche) (French Edition) is a book by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It was originally published in 2009 by Distribooks Inc under ISBN: ISBN-10: 2253134503 and ISBN-13: 978-2253134503.

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    Julio César Cisneros
    Written on May 9, 2018
    "Good short story. Has around 100 pages so can be read pretty quickly. It is in french though. "
  19. 0

    #22Landfall: A Ring of Stories

    Landfall: A Ring of Stories
    Landfall: A Ring of Stories is a short story by Julie Hensley. First published in 2016 by Ohio State University Press under ISBN: 0814252699, the story focuses on the events centering on the fictional town of Conrad's Fork, Kentucky.
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    Joe Graham
    Written on May 15, 2018
    "The best thing about this book is the cover. I could stare at it for hours. The novel itself, though, is just so inaccurate. As someone who still lives in a small Appalachian community, I just had a hard time suspending my belief to enjoy this."
  20. 0

    #23Small Screen Big Lies

    Small Screen Big Lies

    Small Screen Big Lies is a short story written by Kish. First published in 2012 by Wisdom Village Publications Division under ISBN: 9380710240, the story focuses on Steve Saunders, a television host.

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    Sara Zepeda
    Written on May 7, 2018
    "Small Screen Big Lies is one of the must read short stories of all time. This story is about Steve Saunders a television host and follows his antics and stories. It will well written and very enjoyable."
  21. 0

    #24Delaney's People: A Novel In Small Stories

    Delaney's People: A Novel In Small Stories
    Delaney's People: A Novel in Small Stories is book written by Beth Duke. First published in 2011 by Art of Dixie under ISBN: 0615568440, the story focuses the family of Delaney Robinson.
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    Diane Hopkins
    Written on May 2, 2018
    "This was a nice little book of short stories, and well written. I think that the category here is very broad and this one is just okay. "
  22. 0

    #25Apt Pupil

    Apt Pupil

    Apt Pupil is a short novel written by Stephen King. First published in 1982 by Warner under ISBN 0751525677, Apt Pupil is included in Stephen King's book containing short stories and novellas called Different Seasons.

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    Jean Carlson
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "I'll be the first to admit that I have a bit of a bias because I absolutely love Stephen King, but this book is seriously fantastic. It's all about exploring the human condition of obsession and King's writing is absolutely amazing. He really gets to the heart of what makes every character tick and brings them to life on the page. I can't recommend it enough."
  23. 0

    #26Olive Kitteridge

    Olive Kitteridge
    Landfall: A Ring of Stories is a short story written by Elizabeth Strout. First published in 2008 by Random House under ISBN: 140006208X, it won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the 2010 Premio Bancarella.
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    Sharon Jensen
    Written on May 9, 2018
    "Popular stories don't lose their shine over time. Landfall: a ring of stories is a collection that took home the pulitzer prize."
  24. 0

    #27The Breathing Method

    The Breathing Method

    The Breathing Method is a short horror story written by Stephen King. The Breathing Method is included in Stephen King's book Different Seasons which contains a number of short stories and novellas.

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    Lorenzo Arreola
    Written on May 10, 2018
    "The Breathing Method is a great short story by the master of the macabre Stephen King, as usual he hits it out of the park with this story."
  25. 0

    #28Stationary Bike

    Stationary Bike

    Stationary Bike is a short horror story written by Stephen King. It was released by Simon & Schuster Audio in 2006 and originally published in the fifth edition of From Borderlands in 2003.

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    Danielle Johnson
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "I know I know... weird concept for a story, right? That's what I thought when I picked it up, but I was glued to the pages in suspense until the end. If you like horror and Stephen King, you'll like this one."
  26. 0

    #29Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural (Modern Library)

    Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural (Modern Library)

    Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural is a collection of short stories about the supernatural and the paranormal. Originally published in 1944, it was edited by Phyllis Fraser and Herbert A Wise.

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    Benito Téllez
    Written on May 13, 2018
    "I bought the Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural for my little bro, and he really loved to read those short, scary stories. But then he wanted to sleep with the light switched on, and I had to convince him that there are no monsters under his bed.. ^_^ Nice book!"
  27. 0

    #30One For The Road

    One For The Road

    One for the Road is a short horror story written by Stephen King and illustrated by James Hannah. It was first published in the March/April issue if Maine and was later included in the book Night Shift. (Currently unavailable).

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    Keith Howard
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "VERY NICE STORY"
  28. 0

    #31Graveyard Shift and other Stories from Night Shift

    Graveyard Shift and other Stories from Night Shift

    Graveyard Shift and other Stories from Night Shift are short horror stories written by Stephen King. It was released by Random House Audio in 1988 and is included in Stephen King's book Night Shift.

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    Christopher May
    Written on May 2, 2018
    "Add: Audiobook from Stephen King the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. Twenty stories of horror and nightmarish fantasy transform everyday situations into experiences of compelling terror in the worlds of the living, the dying, and the nonliving."
  29. 0

    #32Stephen King's Battleground

    Stephen King's Battleground

    Stephen King's Battleground: A Commemoration of the Emmy-Winning Television Adaptation is a collection of short stories written by Stephen King. It first published by Gauntlet Press in 2012.

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    Diane Burton
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "This wasn't as great as the rest of his stories. The first half o the book was great to read but than I got bored after that."
  30. 0

    #33Just After Sunset: Stories

    Just After Sunset: Stories
    Just After Sunset is a collection of short horror stories written by Stephen King. It was first published by Scribner in 20008 and won the 2008 Bram Stoker Award for Best Fiction.
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    John Chen
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "I really would not have listed this as a short story, but I love stephen king "
  31. 0

    #34Lawnmower Man: Stories from Night Shift

    Lawnmower Man: Stories from Night Shift

    The Lawnmower Man: Stories from Night Shift is short horror story written by Stephen King. It was first released by Random House Audio in 1995. The Lawnmower Man is included in Stephen King's book Night Shift.

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    Grace Moreno
    Written on May 3, 2018
    "This is a good solution to the topic. Stephen King is a well known author of the horror category. While this is a good book full of shirt stories it may not appeal to all audiences based on the genre but is still a good solution. "
  32. 0

    #35The Bone Forest

    The Bone Forest

    The Bone Forest is a collection of short stories by Robert Holdstock. Originally published in 1991, it offers eight stories set in a mystical wood. The Bone Forest is a part of the Mythago Wood series.

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    Jacqueline Cooper
    Written on May 16, 2018
    "This is a very good collection, mostly fantasy, yet treading the dark edge of horror. The book has great imagery, and is not very long."
  33. 0

    #36Battle Scars: A Collection of Short Stories Volume I

    Battle Scars: A Collection of Short Stories Volume I
    Battle Scars: A Collection of Short Stories Volume I is a collection of short stories written by David Cook. Totaling 135 pages, it was first published by David Cook in 2015 and includes 10 short stories.
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    Craig Stone
    Written on May 7, 2018
    "I'm generally a big fan of military books but had a problem with this one because it's fiction. I don't like the so-called genre of "military fiction" because I feel that is unfair to the soldiers who were actually at these battles. Despite that the writing is actually good in this book. It's graphic and paints a good image of what battle can be like."
  34. 0

    #37Nine Facts That Can Change Your Life

    Nine Facts That Can Change Your Life

    Nine Facts That Can Change Your Life is a collection of short stories written by Ronna Wineberg. Totaling 270 pages, it was first published in 2016 by Serving House Books under ISBN: 0997101008.

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    Carl Ramos
    Written on May 7, 2018
    "I could identify with many of the characters in the book. It's a realistic portrayal of life and its ups and downs. It's not the most exciting book around but anyone reading this will find things that pertain to their own lives."
  35. 0

    #38Twisted Sick

    Twisted Sick

    Twisted Sick is a collection of short stories written by Nyler Nals and illustrated by Nancy Bowen. Totaling 273 pages, it was first published in 2014 under ISBN: 1496159101. Twisted Sick includes 33 short stories.

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    Diana Bailey
    Written on May 7, 2018
    "Fascinating stories with humor, action, and different plots. The collections of short stories are well written and very entertaining. Highly recommended. "
  36. 0

    #39Homeland and Other Stories

    Homeland and Other Stories

    Homeland and Other Stories is a collection of short stories written New York Times bestselling author by Barbara Kingsolver which includes a true to life tales of love.  

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    Celia Suárez
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "Absolutely awesome cover, the story of the book is interesting and i recommend this book to anyone who wants to relax and read a good book. The price is good and has many good reviews. "
  37. 0

    #40Letters from My Windmill

    Letters from My Windmill

    Letters from My Windmill is a collection of short stories written by Alphonse Daudet. This French literature book is first published in 1869. 

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    Donald Rodriguez
    Written on April 14, 2018
    "This was one of the materials available for reading on my flight. It was a nice way to pass the time. French novelists have a way of being right about a lot of things."
  38. 0

    #41American Fairy Tales

    American Fairy Tales
    American Fairy Tales is a classic collection of 12 short fairytales written by L. Frank Baum which centers on a glass dog, the Queen of Quok, the girl who owned a bear, and many more. 
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    Keith Wheeler
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "Similar to the above, this looks like an average solution and would not fit the topic of best must read short stories of all time. For it to be considered one of the best, it should universally be agreed upon as a five star rating."

Summary

Best What are the best must read short stories of all time
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1The Lottery Books 38 Paid
2City SolipsismBooks 37 Paid
3Nine StoriesBooks 33 Paid
4What We Talk About When We Talk About LoveBooks 31 Paid
5The Gift of the MagiBooks 29 Paid
6The Emperor's New ClothesBooks 26 Paid
7Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall StreetBooks 22 Paid
8Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan PoeBooks 16 Paid
9Bagombo Snuff BoxBooks 14 Paid
10Armageddon in RetrospectBooks 13 Paid
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