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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

Young Skins

Young Skins

Author: Colin Barrett Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/03/2014

Winner of the 2014 Guardian First Book Award. Boy racers speed down the back lanes; couples haunt the midnight woods; young skins huddle in the cold once. The Peacock has closed its doors. Here the young live hard and wear the scars. It matters whose sister you were seen with. If you are in the wrong place at the wrong time, it matters a very great deal.

ebook of the month
Trouble in Mind

Trouble in Mind

Author: Jeffery Deaver Format: Hardback Release Date: 13/03/2014

A cunning collection of short stories from the master of misdirection, including original tales featuring the hugely popular series characters Lincoln Rhyme and Kathryn Dance. TENSION ...An aging actor attempts to revive his career by entering a celebrity poker game for a reality TV show. Can he outwit his devious opponents, or is his fate doomed from the outset? CONSPIRACY ...A successful crime writer dies under seemingly natural circumstances, but for one cop, doubts are lingering. There's certainly motive for murder - or is there more to the case than meets the eye? MURDER ...Lincoln Rhyme is announced dead, shot by one of his suspects in cold blood. Is this the end of the line for the criminalist, or just another twist in the tale? King of suspense Jeffery Deaver grips with every page, setting out a devilishly clever path where nothing is as it seems. If you think you know the ending, think again ...

ebook of the month
TransAtlantic

TransAtlantic

Author: Colum Mccann Format: Paperback Release Date: 24/04/2014

In 1919 Emily Ehrlich watches as two young airmen, Alcock and Brown, emerge from the carnage of World War One to pilot the very first non-stop transatlantic flight from Newfoundland to the west of Ireland. In 1845 Frederick Douglass, a black American slave, lands in Ireland to champion ideas of democracy and freedom, only to find a famine unfurling at his feet. And in 1998 Senator George Mitchell criss-crosses the ocean in search of an elusive Irish peace. Stitching these stories intricately together, Colum McCann sets out to explore the fine line between what is real and what is imagined, and the tangled skein of connections that make up our lives.

ebook of the month
Touchy Subjects

Touchy Subjects

Author: Emma Donoghue Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/04/2011

How do you make conversation with a sperm donor? How do you say someone's novel is drivel? Would you give a screaming baby brandy? In what words would you tell your girlfriend to pluck a hair on her chin? Touchy Subjects is about things that make people wince: taboos, controversies, secrets and lies. Some of the events that characters crash into are grand, tragic ones: miscarriage, overdose, missing persons, a mother who deserts her children. Other topics, like religion and money, are not inherently taboo, but they can cause acute discomfort because people disagree so vehemently. Many of these stories are about the spectrum of constrained, convoluted feeling that runs from awkwardness through embarrassment to shame.

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.