April 2018 favorites

April 2018

The April stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘Drown’ by Junot Díaz
  2. ‘Good Man, Bad Man’ by Jerome Weidman
  3. ‘Negocios’ by Junot Díaz
  4. ‘Shiloh’ by Bobbie Ann Mason
  5. ‘Ysrael’ by Junot Díaz
  6. ‘Boyfriend’ by Junot Díaz
  7. ‘Aguantando’ by Junot Díaz
  8. ‘No Face’ by Junot Díaz
  9. ‘The Season Of Divorce’ by John Cheever
  10. ‘The Rookers’ by Bobbie Ann Mason
  11. ‘Fiesta, 1980’ by Junot Díaz
  12. ‘Nancy Culpepper’ by Bobbie Ann Mason
  13. ‘Concerning The Bodyguard’ by Donald Barthelme
  14. ‘Everybody Knows Tobie’ by Daniel Garza
  15. ‘In The Reign Of Harad IV’ by Steven Millhauser
  16. ‘Offerings’ by Bobbie Ann Mason
  17. ‘Midair’ by Frank Conroy
  18. ‘Bumblebees’ by Bobbie Ann Mason
  19. ‘The Burning Baby’ by Dylan Thomas

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

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December 2014 favorites


December 2014

The December stories organized solely by my personal tastes.

  1. ‘Jeeves And The Yule-Tide Spirit’ by P.G. Wodehouse
  2. ‘The H Street Sledding Record’ by Ron Carlson
  3. ‘A Christmas Memory’ by Truman Capote
  4. ‘A Christmas Tree And A Wedding’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  5. ‘The Adventure Of The Blue Carbuncle’ by Arthur Conan Doyle
  6. ‘Christmas At Red Butte’ by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  7. ‘Christmas Eve’ by Maeve Brennan
  8. ‘One Christmas Eve’ by Langston Hughes
  9. ‘The Gift Of The Magi’ by O. Henry
  10. ‘Powder’ by Tobias Wolff
  11. ‘The Ledge’ by Lawrence Sargent Hall
  12. ‘A Child’s Christmas In Wales’ by Dylan Thomas
  13. ‘The Adventure Of The Christmas Pudding’ by Agatha Christie
  14. ‘The Christmas Wreck’ by Frank Stockton
  15. ‘At Christmas Time’ by Anton Chekhov
  16. ‘Christmas Day In The Morning’ by Pearl S. Buck
  17. ‘The Little Match Girl’ by Hans Christian Andersen
  18. ‘Markheim’ by Robert Louis Stevenson
  19. ‘Christmas Is A Sad Season For The Poor’ by John Cheever
  20. ‘The Burglar’s Christmas’ by Willa Cather
  21. ‘Papa Panov’s Special Christmas’ by Leo Tolstoy
  22. ‘The Beggar Boy At Christ’s Christmas Tree’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  23. ‘A New Year’s Gift’ by Guy de Maupassant
  24. ‘The Christmas Banquet’ by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  25. ‘The Best Christmas Ever’ by James Patrick Kelly
  26. ‘Christmas Eve’ by Guy de Maupassant

‘A Child’s Christmas In Wales’ by Dylan Thomas

Thomas, Dylan 1952

A Child’s Christmas In Wales by Dylan Thomas, 1952

The magic trick:

Making prose flow like poetry

I’m still learning as a reader to appreciate beautiful language. The vast majority of what I single out as magic tricks on this blog tends toward character or plot. But even an idiot like me can’t miss the poetry of “A Child’s Christmas In Wales.” Some of the passages feel like paintings, with Thomas gorgeously filling the canvas with his memories of childhood, and all the wonders, high-jinx, and warmth of the holidays. It is a truly magical bit of nostalgia. And that’s quite a trick on Thomas’s part.

The selection:

Bring out the tall tales now that we told by the fire as the gaslight bubbled like a diver. Ghosts whooed like owls in the long nights when I dared not look over my shoulder; animals lurked in the cubbyhole under the stairs and the gas meter ticked. And I remember that we went singing carols once, when there wasn’t the shaving of a moon to light the flying streets.