2019 Favorites

Year Six of magic tricks is a wrap.

All a blur, really, if we’re being honest. Having a newborn will do that – priorities shifting; fewer short stories, more board books.

That doesn’t mean the magic tricks here are stopping, though. If anything, these stories have taken on a new depth, thanks to the new perspective that comes with a baby.

Plenty more to read, plenty more to learn, plenty more to share.

And as is SSMT tradition, here is the annual list ranking the stories I read this year in order of my own enjoyment.

Have a wonderful new year!

  1. ‘The Beginning Of A Long Story’ by Maeve Brennan
  2. ‘The Point’ by Charles D’Ambrosio
  3. ‘The Doll Queen’ by Carlos Fuentes
  4. ‘Pig-hoo-o-o-o-e-y’ by P.G. Wodehouse
  5. ‘Mystery In São Cristóvão’ by Clarice Lispector
  6. ‘Ultima Thule’ by Vladimir Nabokov
  7. ‘The Springs Of Affection’ by Maeve Brennan
  8. ‘Secretary’ by Mary Gaitskill
  9. ‘In The Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried’ by Amy Hempel
  10. ‘The Ugly Duckling’ by Hans Christian Andersen
  11. ‘The Surrogate’ by Tessa Hadley
  12. ‘When It’s Human Instead Of When It’s Dog’ by Amy Hempel
  13. ‘My Man Bovanne’ by Toni Cade Bambara
  14. ‘The Carpet With The Big Pink Roses On It’ by Maeve Brennan
  15. ‘Stories Of Africa’ by Maeve Brennan
  16. ‘Silk Brocade’ by Tessa Hadley
  17. ‘Guests Of The Nation’ by Frank O’Connor
  18. ‘On Seeing The 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning’ by Haruki Murakami
  19. ‘The Decapitated Chicken’ by Horacio Quiroga
  20. ‘The Drowned Man’ by Maeve Brennan
  21. ‘The Elephant Vanishes’ by Haruki Murakami
  22. ‘Romantic Weekend’ by Mary Gaitskill
  23. ‘The Vane Sisters’ by Vladimir Nabokov
  24. ‘An Affair Of Honor’ by Vladimir Nabokov
  25. ‘Family Walls’ by Maeve Brennan
  26. ‘Rip Van Winkle’ by Washington Irving
  27. ‘Heat’ by Joyce Carol Oates
  28. ‘The Death Of Halpin Frayser’ by Ambrose Bierce
  29. ‘Too Early Spring’ by Stephen Vincent Benet
  30. ‘The Girl Who Raised Pigeons’ by Edward P. Jones
  31. ‘Young Lions’ by Edward P. Jones
  32. ‘How Can I Help?’ by Rivka Galchen
  33. ‘The Card Trick’ by Tessa Hadley
  34. ‘A Village After Dark’ by Kazuo Ishiguro
  35. ‘Charles’ by Shirley Jackson
  36. ‘The Peace Of Utrecht’ by Alice Munro
  37. ‘Silences’ by Helen Elaine Lee
  38. ‘Voices’ by Alice Munro
  39. ‘Dear Life’ by Alice Munro
  40. ‘The Enduring Chill’ by Flannery O’Connor
  41. ‘The Eye’ by Alice Munro
  42. ‘Sensini’ by Roberto Bolaño
  43. ‘The Fifth Story’ by Clarice Lispector
  44. ‘A Bundle Of Letters’ by Henry James
  45. ‘When We Went To See The End Of The World By Dawnie Morningside, Age 11¼’ by Neil Gaiman
  46. ‘A Losing Game’ by J.F. Powers
  47. ‘Someone Has Been Disarranging These Roses’ by Gabriel García Márquez
  48. ‘City Lovers’ by Nadine Gordimer
  49. ‘The Balcony’ by Filisberto Hernández
  50. ‘The Photograph’ by Enrique Amorim
  51. ‘Violets’ by Edna O’Brien
  52. ‘Night’ by Alice Munro
  53. ‘Armistice’ by Bernard Malamud
  54. ‘The Lesson’ by Toni Cade Bambara
  55. ‘The Sofa’ by Maeve Brennan
  56. ‘Breaking The News’ by Vladimir Nabokov
  57. ‘The Morning After The Big Fire’ by Maeve Brennan
  58. ‘The Store’ by Edward P. Jones
  59. ‘On The Hill’ by Elizabeth Spencer
  60. ‘In The Region Of Ice’ by Joyce Carol Oates
  61. ‘Ghost Girls’ by Joyce Carol Oates
  62. ‘The Heroine’ by Patricia Highsmith
  63. ‘High Lonesome’ by Joyce Carol Oates
  64. ‘The Poor Men And Women’ by Maeve Brennan
  65. ‘Bad Characters’ by Jean Stafford
  66. ‘The Possibility Of Evil’ by Shirley Jackson
  67. ‘The Loudest Voice’ by Grace Paley
  68. ‘Tom Wolfe’s My Name’ by Jessamyn West
  69. ‘The Faithful’ by James Alan McPherson
  70. ‘Cecilia Awakened’ by Tessa Hadley
  71. ‘The Sound Of Summer Running’ by Ray Bradbury
  72. ‘The Swimmers’ by Joyce Carol Oates
  73. ‘Feathertop’ by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  74. ‘Victory Over Japan’ by Ellen Gilchrist
  75. ‘A Young Girl Can Spoil Her Chances’ by Maeve Brennan
  76. ‘Trilobites’ by Breece D’J Pancake
  77. ‘The Patterns Of Love’ by William Maxwell
  78. ‘Real Estate’ by Lorrie Moore
  79. ‘White On Black’ by Tess Slesinger
  80. ‘A Free Choice’ by Maeve Brennan
  81. ‘The First Day Of Winter’ by Breece D’J Pancake
  82. ‘The Nine Billion Names Of God’ by Arthur C. Clarke
  83. ‘The Crime Of The Mathematics Professor’ by Clarice Lispector
  84. ‘The Anatomy Of Desire’ by John L’Heureux
  85. ‘The Actual Thing’ by William Maxwell
  86. ‘O Youth And Beauty’ by John Cheever
  87. ‘The Trouble With Mrs. Blynn, The Trouble With The World’ by Patricia Highsmith
  88. ‘The Invisible Japanese Gentlemen’ by Graham Greene
  89. ‘Blues Ain’t No Mockin Bird’ by Toni Cade Bambara
  90. ‘Happy Birthday’ by Toni Cade Bambara
  91. ‘Sweet Town’ by Toni Cade Bambara
  92. ‘The Eldest Child’ by Maeve Brennan
  93. ‘Music’ by Vladimir Nabokov
  94. ‘Encarnación Mendoza’s Christmas Eve’ by Juan Bosch
  95. ‘The Discovery Of Christmas’ by Carson McCullers
  96. ‘The Christmas Turkey’ by Mário de Andrade
  97. ‘The Blanket’ by Mary Gaitskill
  98. ‘Because They Wanted To’ by Mary Gaitskill
  99. ‘Man-Eating Cats’ by Haruki Murakami
  100. ‘The Kidney-Shaped Stone That Moves Every Day’ by Haruki Murakami
  101. ‘A Butterfly On F Street’ by Edward P. Jones
  102. ‘His Mother’s House’ by Edward P. Jones
  103. ‘The Children’s Party’ by Amy Hempel
  104. ‘The Twelfth Wedding Anniversary’ by Maeve Brennan
  105. ‘A Matter Of Time’ by Frank London Brown
  106. ‘The Shadow Of Kindness’ by Maeve Brennan
  107. ‘Love, Death, And The Ladies’ Drill Team’ by Jessamyn West
  108. ‘Peace On High’ by Rómulo Gallegos
  109. ‘The Handsomest Drowned Man In The World’ by Gabriel García Márquez
  110. ‘Tennessee’s Partner’ by Bret Harte
  111. ‘The Silver Bullet’ by James Alan McPherson
  112. ‘The Thistles In Sweden’ by William Maxwell
  113. ‘In The White Night’ by Ann Beattie
  114. ‘No One’s A Mystery’ by Elizabeth Tallent
  115. ‘The Battle Of The Suits’ by Jessamyn West
  116. ‘Homecoming’ by Jessamyn West
  117. ‘Vicious Circle’ by Langston Hughes
  118. ‘Paste’ by Henry James
  119. ‘Clever Girl’ by Tessa Hadley
  120. ‘Agatha’ by John O’Hara
  121. ‘Greville Fane’ by Henry James
  122. ‘One Saturday Morning’ by Tessa Hadley
  123. ‘I See You Never’ by Ray Bradbury
  124. ‘The Honored Dead’ by Breece D’J Pancake
  125. ‘The Way It Has To Be’ by Breece D’J Pancake
  126. ‘Birthday Girl’ by Haruki Murakami
  127. ‘A Dream Of Men’ by Mary Gaitskill
  128. ‘A New Man’ by Edward P. Jones
  129. ‘La Moretta’ by Maggie Shipstead
  130. ‘One Friday Morning’ by Langston Hughes
  131. ‘After Twenty Years’ by O. Henry
  132. ‘Tonight Is A Favor To Holly’ by Amy Hempel
  133. ‘The Worm In The Apple’ by John Cheever
  134. ‘The Mysteries Of Life In An Orderly Manner’ by Jessamyn West
  135. ‘The Long QT’ by Hilary Mantel
  136. ‘A Sense Of Story’ by James Alan McPherson
  137. ‘The Story Of A Dead Man’ by James Alan McPherson
  138. ‘By The Way Of Morning Fire’ by Michael Weaver
  139. ‘The Story Of A Scar’ by James Alan McPherson
  140. ‘The Tragedy At Marsdon Manor’ by Agatha Christie
  141. ‘Three Is A Lucky Number’ by Margery Allingham
  142. ‘A Dark Night’ by Edward P. Jones
  143. ‘The Artist’ by Patricia Highsmith
  144. ‘Mortals’ by Tobias Wolff
  145. ‘Uncles’ by Peter Taylor
  146. ‘The Magic Shop’ by H.G. Wells
  147. ‘In The Dry’ by Breece D’J Pancake
  148. ‘Santa Claus Is A White Man’ by John Henrik Clarke
  149. ‘The Cliff’ by Charles Baxter
  150. ‘Two Turtledoves’ by John O’Hara
  151. ‘A Sincere Friendship’ by Clarice Lispector
  152. ‘The Book Of Sand’ by Jorge Luis Borges
  153. ‘The Nightingale And The Rose’ by Oscar Wilde
  154. ‘The Remarkable Rocket’ by Oscar Wilde
  155. ‘The Devoted Friend’ by Oscar Wilde
  156. ‘The Moon Child Of Wolfe Creek’ by Jesse Stuart
  157. ‘Can-Can’ by Arturo Vivante
  158. ‘The Pink Pale Roast’ by Grace Paley
  159. ‘The Trojan Women’ by William Maxwell
  160. ‘What’s Your Problem?’ by Robert Boles
  161. ‘His Final Mother’ by Reynolds Price
  162. ‘Sleep’ by Haruki Murakami
  163. ‘Rose’ by Mavis Gallant
  164. ‘On The Street Where You Live’ by Yiyun Li
  165. ‘The Pilgrimage’ by William Maxwell
  166. ‘Heaven On A Summer Night’ by Ann Beattie
  167. ‘The Coming Of The King’ by Laura E. Richards
  168. ‘All That’ by David Foster Wallace
  169. ‘The Ice Man’ by Haruki Murakami
  170. ‘The King Of Jazz’ by Donald Barthelme
  171. ‘Are We Not Men?’ by T. Coraghessan Boyle
  172. ‘The Gray Hare’ by Leo Tolstoy
  173. ‘The Selfish Giant’ by Oscar Wilde
  174. ‘The Wish’ by Roald Dahl
  175. ‘The Happy Prince’ by Oscar Wilde
  176. ‘Second-Hand Man’ by Rita Dove
  177. ‘The Special Type’ by Henry James
  178. ‘Miss Gunton From Poughkeepsie’ by Henry James
  179. ‘Principal Alpaca’ by Richard Leise
  180. ‘Batman And Robin Have An Altercation’ by Stephen King
  181. ‘The Evolution Of Knowledge’ by Niccolo Tucci
  182. ‘The Thunderstorm’ by Vladimir Nabokov
  183. ‘The Buffalo’ by Clarice Lispector
  184. ‘The Slaves In New York’ by Tama Janowitz
  185. ‘Who, Me A Bum?’ by Luisa Valenzuela
  186. ‘Jerry And Molly And Sam’ by Raymond Carver
  187. ‘Afterward’ by Edith Wharton
  188. ‘The Threshold’ by Cristina Peri Rossi
  189. ‘Weekend’ by Amy Hempel
  190. ‘Popular Mechanics’ by Raymond Carver
  191. ‘The Shirt-Collar’ by Hans Christian Andersen
  192. ‘How The Camel Got His Hump’ by Rudyard Kipling
  193. ‘The Poor Orphan Girl’ by William Maxwell
  194. ‘Tied In A Bow’ by Langston Hughes
  195. ‘The Stranger’ by Rainer Maria Rilke
  196. ‘Breaking The Pig’ by Etgar Keret
  197. ‘Lars Farf, Excessively Fearful Father And Husband’ by George Saunders
  198. ‘The Lookout’ by Cyrus Colter
  199. ‘Coney Island’ by Ann Beattie
  200. ‘Pygmalion’ by John Updike
  201. ‘Lofty’ by Ann Beattie
  202. ‘High School’ by Ann Beattie
  203. ‘To The Moon And Back’ by Etgar Keret
  204. ‘Memorial Day’ by Peter Cameron
  205. ‘The Doll’s Ghost’ by F. Marion Crawford
  206. ‘The Leather Funnel’ by Arthur Conan Doyle
  207. ‘Levitation’ by Cynthia Ozick
  208. ‘In A House Of Wooden Monkeys’ by Shay Youngblood
  209. ‘The MYMan Solution’ by Helen Phillips
  210. ‘Reading The Paper’ by Ron Carlson
  211. ‘Invasion Of The Martians’ by Robert Coover
  212. ‘Backwacking, A Plea To The Senator’ by Ralph Ellison
  213. ‘The Mixer II: He Moves In Society’ by P.G. Wodehouse

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

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