2016 favorites

favorites2016

2016 Favorites

Strange year, 2016.

I got married. That was pretty cool.

Donald Trump got elected. Not so great.

Overall, let’s call it a win for me personally; a loss for the world.

Here at Short Story Magic Tricks, where the personal and political intertwine everyday, we wrap up our third year with a giant thank you to everyone who has read, commented and supported us.

My wife, Cameron, launched the Magic Trick Twitter feed. I got something resembling a monthly short story newsletter off and running.

And of course there were a lot of magic tricks.

Here is the countdown of the stories I read for 2016 in order of my personal enjoyment. You can check out the comparable lists for 2014 and 2015 as well.

Enjoy, and thank you!

  1. ‘Blight’ by Stuart Dybek
  2. ‘The Vanishing American’ by Leslie Parry
  3. ‘Eisenheim The Illusionist’ by Steven Millhauser
  4. ‘The Red-Headed League’ by Arthur Conan Doyle
  5. ‘Dog Heaven’ by Stephanie Vaughn
  6. ‘The Overcoat’ by Nikolai Gogol
  7. ‘The Swimmer’ by John Cheever
  8. ‘The Story Of My Dovecote’ by Isaac Babel
  9. ‘In The Garden Of North American Martyrs’ by Tobias Wolff
  10. ‘An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge’ by Ambrose Bierce
  11. ‘Diary Of A Madman’ by Nikolai Gogol
  12. ‘The Garden Of Forking Paths’ by Jorge Luis Borges
  13. ‘Walker Brothers Cowboy’ by Alice Munro
  14. ‘The Lesson’ by Jessamyn West
  15. ‘Chef’s House’ by Raymond Carver
  16. ‘Cowboy’ by Thomas McGuane
  17. ‘The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow’ by Washington Irving
  18. ‘The Birds’ by Daphne du Maurier
  19. ‘A Country Doctor’ by Franz Kafka
  20. ‘A Horseman In The Sky’ by Ambrose Bierce
  21. ‘The Night In Question’ by Tobias Wolff
  22. ‘Slave On The Block’ by Langston Hughes
  23. ‘A Scandal In Bohemia’ by Arthur Conan Doyle
  24. ‘Of Mystery There Is No End’ by Leonard Michaels
  25. ‘Red Dress – 1946’ by Alice Munro
  26. ‘Bernice Bobs Her Hair’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  27. ‘The Ransom Of Red Chief’ by O. Henry
  28. ‘The Bear Came Over The Mountain’ by Alice Munro
  29. ‘The Gospel According To Mark’ by Jorge Luis Borges
  30. ‘The Falls’ by George Saunders
  31. ‘Pet Milk’ by Stuart Dybek
  32. ‘The Final Problem’ by Arthur Conan Doyle
  33. ‘Nachman From Los Angeles’ by Leonard Michaels
  34. ‘The Penultimate Conjecture’ by Leonard Michaels
  35. ‘Cryptology’ by Leonard Michaels
  36. ‘The Tree Line, Kansas, 1934’ by David Means
  37. ‘The Gift’ by John Steinbeck
  38. ‘Scheherazade’ by Haruki Murakami
  39. ‘A Worn Path’ by Eudora Welty
  40. ‘The Embassy Of Cambodia’ by Zadie Smith
  41. ‘The Luck Of Roaring Camp’ by Bret Harte
  42. ‘Chopin In Winter’ by Stuart Dybek
  43. ‘Gloomy Tune’ by Grace Paley
  44. ‘Nachman At The Races’ by Leonard Michaels
  45. ‘The Full Glass’ by John Updike
  46. ‘Ice’ by Thomas McGuane
  47. ‘Mastiff’ by Joyce Carol Oates
  48. ‘A Day In The Country’ by Anton Chekhov
  49. ‘The Valiant Woman’ by J.F. Powers
  50. ‘Drummond & Son’ by Charles D’Ambrosio
  51. ‘Rappaccini’s Daughter’ by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  52. ‘The Swim Team’ by Miranda July
  53. ‘The Office’ by Alice Munro
  54. ‘Blumfeld, An Elderly Bachelor’ by Franz Kafka
  55. ‘The Celebrated Jumping Frog Of Calaveras County’ by Mark Twain
  56. ‘The Hunger Artist’ by Franz Kafka
  57. ‘What We Talk About When We Talk About Love’ by Raymond Carver
  58. ‘The Offshore Pirate’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  59. ‘The Judgment’ by Franz Kafka
  60. ‘Killed At Resaca’ by Ambrose Bierce
  61. ‘Dance Of The Happy Shades’ by Alice Munro
  62. ‘The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas’ by Ursula K. Le Guin
  63. ‘Mr. Parker’ by Laurie Colwin
  64. ‘Nachman’ by Leonard Michaels
  65. ‘The Bet’ by Anton Chekhov
  66. ‘A Short Trip Home’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  67. ‘War Dances’ by Sherman Alexie
  68. ‘The Five Orange Pips’ by Arthur Conan Doyle
  69. ‘Robert Kennedy Saved From Drowning’ by Donald Barthelme
  70. ‘Idiots First’ by Bernard Malamud
  71. ‘Me And Miss Mandible’ by Donald Barthelme
  72. ‘The Eighty-Yard Run’ by Irwin Shaw
  73. ‘Goodbye And Good Luck’ by Grace Paley
  74. ‘The Contest’ by Grace Paley
  75. ‘Commercial’ by John Updike
  76. ‘Vitamins’ by Raymond Carver
  77. ‘Bottle Caps’ by Stuart Dybek
  78. ‘Passing’ by Langston Hughes
  79. ‘An Honest Woman’ by Ottessa Moshfegh
  80. ‘All Summer In A Day’ by Ray Bradbury
  81. ‘Spunk’ by Zora Neale Hurston
  82. ‘Domestic Life In America’ by John Updike
  83. ‘Break It Down’ by Lydia Davis
  84. ‘Four Days In Dixie’ by Ambrose Bierce
  85. ‘Nevsky Prospect’ by Nikolai Gogol
  86. ‘Unjust’ by Richard Bausch
  87. ‘Under The Radar’ by Richard Ford
  88. ‘Accident At The Sugarbeet’ by Tom Drury
  89. ‘Runaway’ by Alice Munro
  90. ‘Ambush’ by Donna Tartt
  91. ‘A Summer’s Reading’ by Bernard Malamud
  92. ‘Edison, New Jersey’ by Junot Diaz
  93. ‘At The Bay’ by Katherine Mansfield
  94. ‘The Other Place’ by Mary Gaitskill
  95. ‘When Everyone Was Pregnant’ by John Updike
  96. ‘The Leader Of The People’ by John Steinbeck
  97. ‘The Shining Houses’ by Alice Munro
  98. ‘Preservation’ by Raymond Carver
  99. ‘Nachman Burning’ by Leonard Michaels
  100. ‘The Fire Balloons’ by Ray Bradbury
  101. ‘The Off Season’ by Ray Bradbury
  102. ‘Gimpel The Fool’ by Isaac Bashevis Singer
  103. ‘The Steadfast Tin Soldier’ by Hans Christian Andersen
  104. ‘A Baffled Ambuscade’ by Ambrose Bierce
  105. ‘O Tannenbaum’ by Maile Meloy
  106. ‘The Adventure Of The Solitary Cyclist’ by Arthur Conan Doyle
  107. ‘Delivering’ by Andre Dubus
  108. ‘Minutes Of The Last Meeting’ by John Updike
  109. ‘Awaiting Orders’ by Tobias Wolff
  110. ‘Thank You, Ma’am’ by Langston Hughes
  111. ‘Fat And Slim’ by Anton Chekhov
  112. ‘Farwell’ by Stuart Dybek
  113. ‘The Lottery Ticket’ by Anton Chekhov
  114. ‘1-900’ by Richard Bausch
  115. ‘Ivan Fyodorovich Shponka And His Aunt’ by Nikolai Gogol
  116. ‘The Duplicity Of Hargraves’ by O. Henry
  117. ‘The Carriage’ by Nikolai Gogol
  118. ‘You Could Look It Up’ by James Thurber
  119. ‘Somewhere Else’ by Grace Paley
  120. ‘Beginners’ by Raymond Carver
  121. ‘Dice, Brassknuckles & Guitar’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  122. ‘Dance In America’ by Lorrie Moore
  123. ‘Herself In Love’ by Marianne Wiggins
  124. ‘Her Son’ by Isaac Bashevis Singer
  125. ‘Gorilla, My Love’ by Toni Cade Bambara
  126. ‘I Stand Here Ironing’ by Tillie Olsen
  127. ‘The Library Of Babel’ by Jorge Luis Borges
  128. ‘My Father Sits In The Dark’ by Jerome Weidman
  129. ‘Fever’ by Raymond Carver
  130. ‘The Gilded Six-Bits’ by Zora Neale Hurston
  131. ‘The Swimmers’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  132. ‘Privacy’ by Richard Ford
  133. ‘Calling’ by Richard Ford
  134. ‘Sanity’ by Tobias Wolff
  135. ‘The Approach To Al-Mu’tasim’ by Jorge Luis Borges
  136. ‘Prizes’ by Janet Frame
  137. ‘Puppy’ by Richard Ford
  138. ‘A Day’ by William Trevor
  139. ‘Reunion’ by Richard Ford
  140. ‘Esther’ by Jean Toomer
  141. ‘Serve-And-Volley Near Vichy’ by Greg Jackson
  142. ‘Niagara’ by Mark Twain
  143. ‘The Working Girl’ by Ann Beattie
  144. ‘Durling, Or The Faithless Wife’ by Sean O’Faolain
  145. “The Sensible Thing” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  146. ‘Next Door’ by Tobias Wolff
  147. ‘The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  148. ‘Financing Finnegan’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  149. ‘When We Were Nearly Young’ by Mavis Gallant
  150. ‘Say Yes’ by Tobias Wolff
  151. ‘Homage To Switzerland’ by Ernest Hemingway
  152. ‘But The One On The Right’ by Dorothy Parker
  153. ‘First Husband’ by Antonya Nelson
  154. ‘The World Of Apples’ by John Cheever
  155. ‘This Is A Story About My Friend George, The Toy Inventor’ by Grace Paley
  156. ‘What We Don’t Know Hurts Us’ by Mark Schorer
  157. ‘The Student’s Wife’ by Raymond Carver
  158. ‘Ben’ by Kay Boyle
  159. ‘The Poor Relation’s Story’ by Charles Dickens
  160. ‘The Christmas Masquerade’ by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
  161. ‘Night Women’ by Edwidge Danticat
  162. ‘The Baby-Sitter’ by Jane Yolen
  163. ‘The Postmaster’ by Rabindranath Tagore
  164. ‘(I Thought My Father Looked Like FDR)’ by George Chambers
  165. ‘A Presidential Candidate’ by Mark Twain
  166. ‘The Mechanic’ by Lena Dunham
  167. ‘Vicious Circle’ by Thomas McGuane
  168. ‘Problems’ by John Updike
  169. ‘Fauntleroy’s Ghost’ by Vinnie Wilhelm
  170. ‘Chablis’ by Donald Barthelme
  171. ‘Wants’ by Grace Paley
  172. ‘Love’ by Grace Paley
  173. ‘Debts’ by Grace Paley
  174. ‘The Adventure Of Abbey Grange’ by Arthur Conan Doyle
  175. ‘The Centerpiece’ by Peter Matthiessen
  176. ‘Gender Studies’ by Curtis Sittenfeld
  177. ‘The Writers’ Trade’ by Nicholas Delbanco
  178. ‘Gallatin Canyon’ by Thomas McGuane
  179. ‘The Train’ by Raymond Carver
  180. ‘Unhappiness’ by Franz Kafka
  181. ‘The Ledge’ by Stephen King
  182. ‘The Cop And The Anthem’ by O. Henry
  183. ‘Tobin’s Palm’ by O. Henry
  184. ‘Late’ by Steven Millhauser
  185. ‘On Exactitude In Science’ by Jorge Luis Borges
  186. ‘The Drummer Boy Of Shiloh’ by Ray Bradbury
  187. ‘Chameleon’ by Anton Chekhov
  188. ‘Old Friends’ by Thomas McGuane
  189. ‘The King Of Norway’ by Amos Oz
  190. ‘A Little Woman’ by Franz Kafka
  191. ‘New Year’s Night’ by Henry Lawson
  192. ‘Long Walk To Forever’ by Kurt Vonnegut
  193. ‘Zapatos’ by T. Coraghessan Boyle
  194. ‘The Clarion Call’ by O. Henry
  195. ‘Do Stay, Giraffe’ by Wolfgang Borchert
  196. ‘Merry Christmas’ by Stephen Leacock
  197. ‘Bertie’s Christmas Eve’ by Saki
  198. ‘Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desire’ by Michael Tournier
  199. ‘The Christmas Story’ by Vladimir Nabokov
  200. ‘Descent Into The Maelstrom’ by Edgar Allan Poe
  201. ‘Christmas; Or, The Good Fairy’ by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  202. ‘The Fight Of The Good Ship Clarissa’ by Ray Bradbury
  203. ‘Grandmother’s Christmas Story’ by Faith Wynne
  204. ‘The World In A Bowl Of Soup: A Christmas Story” by Annie Dillard

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

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.


December 2016 favorites

december2016

December 2016

The December stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘The Final Problem’ by Arthur Conan Doyle
  2. ‘A Worn Path’ by Eudora Welty
  3. ‘Domestic Life In America’ by John Updike
  4. ‘O Tannenbaum’ by Maile Meloy
  5. ‘Ben’ by Kay Boyle
  6. ‘The Poor Relation’s Story’ by Charles Dickens
  7. ‘The Christmas Masquerade’ by Mary Wilkins Freeman
  8. ‘The Centerpiece’ by Peter Matthiessen
  9. ‘Merry Christmas’ by Stephen Leacock
  10. ‘Bertie’s Christmas Eve’ by Saki
  11. ‘Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desire’ by Michael Tournier
  12. ‘The Christmas Story’ by Vladimir Nabokov
  13. ‘Christmas; Or, The Good Fairy’ by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  14. ‘Grandmother’s Christmas Story’ by Faith Wynne
  15. ‘The World In A Bowl Of Soup: A Christmas Story” by Annie Dillard

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

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.


November 2016 favorites

november2016

November 2016

The November stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘The Tree Line, Kansas, 1934’ by David Means
  2. ‘The Gift’ by John Steinbeck
  3. ‘Dance Of The Happy Shades’ by Alice Munro
  4. ‘Gloomy Tune’ by Grace Paley
  5. ‘Mastiff’ by Joyce Carol Oates
  6. ‘The Contest’ by Grace Paley
  7. ‘At The Bay’ by Katherine Mansfield
  8. ‘War Dances’ by Sherman Alexie
  9. ‘The Shining Houses’ by Alice Munro
  10. ‘An Honest Woman’ by Ottessa Moshfegh
  11. ‘Night Women’ by Edwidge Danticat
  12. ‘A Presidential Candidate’ by Mark Twain
  13. ‘Wants’ by Grace Paley
  14. ‘Love’ by Grace Paley
  15. ‘Debts’ by Grace Paley

October 2016 favorites

oct2016

October 2016

The October stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘Eisenheim The Illusionist’ by Steven Millhauser
  2. ‘The Red-Headed League’ by Arthur Conan Doyle
  3. ‘The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow’ by Washington Irving
  4. ‘The Birds’ by Daphne du Maurier
  5. ‘A Scandal In Bohemia’ by Arthur Conan Doyle
  6. ‘Spunk’ by Zora Neale Hurston
  7. ‘The Other Place’ by Mary Gaitskill
  8. ‘A Short Trip Home’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  9. ‘The Five Orange Pips’ by Arthur Conan Doyle
  10. ‘The Baby-Sitter’ by Jane Yolen
  11. ‘The Adventure Of The Solitary Cyclist’ by Arthur Conan Doyle
  12. ‘The Adventure Of Abbey Grange’ by Arthur Conan Doyle
  13. ‘Unhappiness’ by Franz Kafka
  14. ‘The Ledge’ by Stephen King
  15. ‘Descent Into The Maelstrom’ by Edgar Allan Poe

What do you think about this list? As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.


September 2016 favorites

Sept2016

September 2016

The September stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘Cowboy’ by Thomas McGuane
  2. ‘Commercial’ by John Updike
  3. ‘Ice’ by Thomas McGuane
  4. ‘The Full Glass’ by John Updike
  5. ‘When Everyone Was Pregnant’ by John Updike
  6. ‘Minutes Of The Last Meeting’ by John Updike
  7. ‘All Summer In A Day’ by Ray Bradbury
  8. ‘Delivering’ by Andre Dubus
  9. ‘The Fire Balloons’ by Ray Bradbury
  10. ‘The Off Season’ by Ray Bradbury
  11. ‘The Postmaster’ by Rabindranath Tagore
  12. ‘The Mechanic’ by Lena Dunham
  13. ‘Vicious Circle’ by Thomas McGuane
  14. ‘Problems’ by John Updike
  15. ‘Gender Studies’ by Curtis Sittenfeld
  16. ‘Fauntleroy’s Ghost’ by Vinnie Wilhelm
  17. ‘The Drummer Boy Of Shiloh’ by Ray Bradbury
  18. ‘Gallatin Canyon’ by Thomas McGuane
  19. ‘Old Friends’ by Thomas McGuane
  20. ‘The Fight Of The Good Ship Clarissa’ by Ray Bradbury

August 2016 favorites

August2016

August 2016

The August stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘The Vanishing American’ by Leslie Parry
  2. ‘Chef’s House’ by Raymond Carver
  3. ‘Of Mystery There Is No End’ by Leonard Michaels
  4. ‘Nachman From Los Angeles’ by Leonard Michaels
  5. ‘Vitamins’ by Raymond Carver
  6. ‘The Embassy Of Cambodia’ by Zadie Smith
  7. ‘Nachman At The Races’ by Leonard Michaels
  8. ‘Scheherazade’ by Haruki Murakami
  9. ‘The Penultimate Conjecture’ by Leonard Michaels
  10. ‘Cryptology’ by Leonard Michaels
  11. ‘Passing’ by Langston Hughes
  12. ‘Preservation’ by Raymond Carver
  13. ‘Nachman Burning’ by Leonard Michaels
  14. ‘1-900’ by Richard Bausch
  15. ‘Fever’ by Raymond Carver
  16. ‘The Gilded Six-Bits’ by Zora Neale Hurston
  17. ‘(I Thought My Father Looked Like FDR)’ by George Chambers
  18. ‘The Train’ by Raymond Carver
  19. ‘Chablis’ by Donald Barthelme

What do you think about this list? As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.


July 2016 favorites

July2016

July 2016

The July stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘Blight’ by Stuart Dybek
  2. ‘The Lesson’ by Jessamyn West
  3. ‘Pet Milk’ by Stuart Dybek
  4. ‘Nachman’ by Leonard Michaels
  5. ‘A Day In The Country’ by Anton Chekhov
  6. ‘The Bet’ by Anton Chekhov
  7. ‘Mr. Parker’ by Laurie Colwin
  8. ‘Bottle Caps’ by Stuart Dybek
  9. ‘The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas’ by Ursula K. Le Guin
  10. ‘The Valiant Woman’ by J.F. Powers
  11. ‘Chopin In Winter’ by Stuart Dybek
  12. ‘The Leader Of The People’ by John Steinbeck
  13. ‘Fat And Thin’ by Anton Chekhov
  14. ‘Farwell’ by Stuart Dybek
  15. ‘The Lottery Ticket’ by Anton Chekhov
  16. ‘The Writer’s Trade’ by Nicholas Delbanco
  17. ‘Chameleon’ by Anton Chekhov

What do you think about this list? As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.