The most viewed post ever published on this blog popped up over seven years ago - "Short Story Sunday: The Book Bag by W. Somerset Maugham." It seems an unlikely winner for the title of "most viewed." Maybe it has been accidentally stumbled upon by folks looking for school supplies. Whatever the case, Maugham's short stories are particular favorites of mine, and I read and reread them from the volumes you see above, both inscribed with my grandfather's name and the date "1953." Fairly common editions. I bet that those of you who enjoy used bookstores and sales have seen them before. Short stories that hold a special place in the collective family heart.
I was reading the short fiction of Jane Bowles this past weekend, and was reminded of how much I enjoy short stories, of how intense a reading experience they can be. And then Twitter was swimming in suggestions for #ShortStoryMonth yesterday. So not because Twitter told me to but because the work of Ms. Bowles inspired me to seek out short reads, I think I will devote the month to as many short stories as appeal. The new Helen Oyeyemi is sitting right here. A lovely old Modern Library edition of the short stories of Henry James is also close by. Karen Russell's Vampires in the Lemon Grove has waited for me too long. A Manual for Cleaning Women too. Borges, Murakami and Maupassant. And a not insignificant number of literary magazines and journals not fully read.
I might also look through the Vintage Shorts for Short Story Month this year. Relying upon the reading suggestions of others. What short stories would you recommend to me? What short stories have been calling to you to be read?