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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.

This Month's Featured Shorter Reads Books

Other Shorter Reads Books

The Story Love, Loss & The Lives of Women: 100 Great Short Stories

The Story Love, Loss & The Lives of Women: 100 Great Short Stories

Author: Victoria Hislop Format: Hardback Release Date: 26/09/2013

Witty, heartbreaking, shocking, satirical: the short story can excite or sadden, entice or repulse. The one thing it can never be is dull. Now Victoria Hislop, passionate ambassador for the art of the short story, has collected 100 stories from her favourite women writers into one volume. Here are Man Booker Prize winners and Nobel Laureates, well-known feminists and famous wits, national treasures and rising stars. All handpicked by one of the nation's best-loved novelists, there's a story for every mood, mind-set and moment in life. Featuring an all star cast of authors including Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Angela Carter, Margaret Drabble, Penelope Fitzgerald, Miranda July, Doris Lessing, Katherine Mansfield, Alice Munro, Dorothy Parker and Virginia Woolf, The Story is the biggest and most beautiful collectino of women's short fictino in print today.

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.

Reader, I Married Him

Reader, I Married Him

Author: Tracy Chevalier Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/04/2016

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.

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
The Detection Collection

The Detection Collection

Author: The Detection Club, Colin Dexter, Robert Goddard, Reginald Hill Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/11/2014

Ten years since it was first published, this volume of short stories by the cream of British crime writing talent celebrates 75 years of the quintessential Detection Club. The Detection Club represents the cream of British crime writing talent. Founded on the cusp of the 1930s, the Club's first President was G.K. Chesterton, and since then the mantle of Presidency has passed to some of the most significant names inthe history of crime fiction, including Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers and Julian Symons. The Club meets three times a year - to dine, to plot, and to exchange ideas. This anthology includes eleven new stories by the Best of British: Robert Barnard, Lyndsey Davis, Colin Dexter, Clare Francis, Robert Goddard, John Harvey, Reginald Hill, P.D. James, H.R.F. Keating, Michael Ridpath and Margaret Yorke, and has been edited by the Club's President, Simon Brett. Among the authors are a number of bestsellers, as well as winners of both Diamond and Gold Daggers. This outstanding collection is a must for crime lovers everywhere.

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.