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Shorter Reads

Want to read a story with all the depth, questions and quality of a novel, written by highly skilled writers in about 5% of the space? Short stories can be heartbreaking, mysterious and incredibly detailed; for a perfectly formed, bite-sized smorgasbord of stories, browse our Short Story recommendations here.

The Stories of EVA Luna

The Stories of EVA Luna

Author: Isabel Allende Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/07/2017

A captivating collection of short fiction by one of the most beloved writers of our time Eva Luna is a young woman whose powers as a storyteller bring her friendship and love. Lying in bed with her European lover, refugee and journalist Rolf Carle, Eva answers his request for a story 'you have never told anyone before' with these twenty-three samples of her vibrant artistry.

ebook of the month
Madame Zero

Madame Zero

Author: Sarah Hall Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/07/2017

She is running and becoming smaller, running and becoming smaller, running in the light of the reddening sun, the red of her hair and her coat falling, the red of her fur and her body loosening. Running. Holding behind her a sudden, brazen object, white-tipped. Her yellow scarf trails in the briar. All vestiges shed. Sarah Hall is an exquisite chronicler of landscapes - rural, industrial, psychological - and these haunting stories reveal a writer at the peak of her powers. Rich in the mythic symbolism of wilderness and wasteland, these tales blur the natural and urban, mundane and surreal, human and animal. Written in Hall's lyrical prose, this uncannily disturbing collection glitters with poetic and erotic imagery. Marked by a fascination with the intimacy of nature - and the nature of intimacy - Madame Zero is a stunning new collection from an author twice nominated for the Booker Prize.

ebook of the month
Best British Short Stories

Best British Short Stories

Author: Nicholas Royle Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/06/2017

The nation's favourite annual guide to the short story, now in its seventh year. Best British Short Stories invites you to judge a book by its cover - or more accurately, by its title.

ebook of the month
Orsinia Malafrena, Orsinian Tales

Orsinia Malafrena, Orsinian Tales

Author: Ursula K. Le Guin Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/06/2017

Among the less-traveled mountains and plains of Central Europe, a little east of Austria perhaps and north of Slovenia, lies the old kingdom of Orsinia. A land of forests and quiet farmlands and towns, with its capital city Krasnoy on the broad Molsen River, Orsinia has always found itself, like all the countries of Europe, subject to forces beyond its borders. Yet, cast as they are in the shadow of tyrannies both Western and Eastern, the lives and dreams of its free people are no less important than the great arguments of Europe's emperors and dictators. Here then are those lives: in tales of romance and blood-lust, hope and fear, freedom and tyranny, passion and despair.

Bleaker House Chasing My Novel to the End of the World

Bleaker House Chasing My Novel to the End of the World

Author: Nell Stevens Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/05/2017

'My favourite debut of 2017 ...as funny as it is poignant' Lena Dunham When Nell Stevens was given the opportunity to spend three months in a location of her choice in order to write her novel, she was determined to rid herself of all distractions. So Nell decided to travel to Bleaker Island (official population: two) in the Falklands where she would write 2,500 words a day. But Bleaker House is not that novel. Instead this is a book about a young woman realising that the way to writing fiction doesn't necessarily lie in total solitude and a clear plan. Nor does it lie in a daily ration of 1085 calories, no means of contacting the outside world and a slow descent towards something that feels worryingly like madness ...

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No Middle Name: Jack Reacher Story Collection The Complete Collected Jack Reacher Stories

No Middle Name: Jack Reacher Story Collection The Complete Collected Jack Reacher Stories

Author: Lee Child Format: Hardback Release Date: 18/05/2017

A brand-new novella, Too Much Time, is included, as are those previously only published in ebook form: Second Son, James Penney's New Identity, Guy Walks Into a Bar, Deep Down, High Heat, Not a Drill and Small Wars. Added to these is every other Reacher short story that Child has written: Everyone Talks, Maybe They Have a Tradition, No Room at the Motel and The Picture of the Lonely Diner. Read together, these twelve stories shed new light on Reacher's past, illuminating how he grew up and developed into the wandering avenger who has captured the imagination of millions around the world.

Men Without Women Stories

Men Without Women Stories

Author: Haruki Murakami Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/05/2017

I find writing novels a challenge, writing stories a joy. If writing novels is like planting a forest, then writing short stories is more like planting a garden.

ebook of the month
The Purple Swamp Hen and Other Stories

The Purple Swamp Hen and Other Stories

Author: Penelope Lively Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/05/2017

A dream house that is hiding something sinister; two women having lunch who share a husband; an old woman doing her weekly supermarket shop with a secret past that no one could guess; a couple who don't know each other at all even after fifteen years together; and, in the story from which this collection takes its name, a bird and a servant girl in ancient Pompeii who cannot converse, but share a perfect understanding.

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That's Your Lot

That's Your Lot

Author: Brian Limond aka Limmy Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/05/2017

Tom is in a soft play with his daughters. He's bored. He's so bored he can move things with his mind. A man fills up a mate's biscuit tin without ever telling him, to see what happens. Maggie's boyfriend Iain bought a curtain. It keeps attacking them. She wants it out the house. A man is sitting in his wheelie bin at two in the morning, and he wants to tell you why. Kenny's mate Scott is suicidal and ridden with guilt. Kenny takes him on holiday to Benidorm. It'll be some laugh.

ebook of the month
Reader, I Married Him

Reader, I Married Him

Author: Tracy Chevalier Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/04/2017

A collection of short stories celebrating Charlotte Bronte, published in the year of her bicentenary and stemming from the now immortal words from her great work Jane Eyre. The twenty-one stories in Reader, I Married Him - one of the most celebrated lines in fiction - are inspired by Jane Eyre and shaped by its perennially fascinating themes of love, compromise and self-determination. A bohemian wedding party takes an unexpected turn for the bride and her daughter; a family trip to a Texan waterpark prompts a life-changing decision; Grace Poole defends Bertha Mason and calls the general opinion of Jane Eyre into question. Mr Rochester reveals a long-kept secret in Reader, She Married Me , and The Mirror boldly imagines Jane's married life after the novel ends. A new mother encounters an old lover after her daily swim and inexplicably lies to him, and a fitness instructor teaches teenage boys how to handle a pit bull terrier by telling them Jane Eyre's story. Edited by Tracy Chevalier, this collection brings together some of the finest and most creative voices in fiction today, to celebrate and salute the strength and lasting relevance of Charlotte Bronte's game-changing novel and its beloved narrator.

ebook of the month

There is a real skill in being able to conjure a whole life in just a few pages, to be able to leave a reader with an enduring feeling in just a short time. Here you will find lasting stories about life the universe and everything, from authors you already know as novelists and some that will be knew and welcome friends. We love a good short story, not just because they provide great reading in bite-size chunks - perfect for the trip to work, or a moment when you just want a small piece of brilliance in your life – but also because they are (if they are good) a perfect piece of art, capturing the human condition in a snapshot that stays with the reader for much longer than it took to write. As Graham Greene put it; “a novel can seldom have the sense of perfection which you find in Chekhov’s story, The Lady with the Dog.” From Chekhov to Julian Barnes via a whole host of other perfectionists, we have hand-picked the very best of short story collections for readers of all tastes.