Editor: Elizabeth Strout
Published: 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Read: August - November 2013
Categories: Fiction, contemporary, short stories
Why it made it to the top of the pile: I love the short story form, and this annual collection consistently brings together some of the very best
Trivia Tidbit: This year's editor, Elizabeth Strout, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2009 for Olive Kitteridge, a collection of connected short stories about a woman, her friends and family, set in Maine (still in my to-be-read pile - must do something about that).
Full Disclosure: Advance Reading Copy courtesy of Netgalley and the publisher
Personally, I love being able to immerse myself in a world, a moment in time, marvel for a moment and emerge wiser for the experience. I dipped in and out of this collection over a few months and between more than a few novels. I know short stories aren't for everyone, but if they are this might be the collection for you. With settings spanning the American pioneer backwoods to a non-specific, uncomfortable future, the twenty authors approach their subjects with different sensibilities and style. I didn't love all of the stories; there were some I didn't much like. But that is the joy of the short story - if you love it you can think about it hours/days/weeks later and read it again, and if you don't then you haven't invested too much time in a story that's not really your thing.