June 2018 favorites

June 2018

The June stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘Bartleby, The Scrivener’ by Herman Melville
  2. ‘God Sees The Truth, But Waits’ by Leo Tolstoy
  3. ‘The Ingrate’ by Paul Laurence Dunbar
  4. ‘The Lady, Or The Tiger?’ by Frank Stockton
  5. ‘Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment’ by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  6. ‘The Three Hermits’ by Leo Tolstoy
  7. ‘Jupiter Doke, Brigadier General’ by Ambrose Bierce
  8. ‘One Wicked Impulse!’ by Walt Whitman
  9. ‘Wisdom Of Children’ by Leo Tolstoy
  10. ‘The Angel Of The Odd’ by Edgar Allan Poe
  11. ‘The Sire de Maletroit’s Door’ by Robert Louis Stevenson
  12. ‘The Two Brothers And The Gold’ by Leo Tolstoy
  13. ‘The Dream Of A Ridiculous Man’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  14. ‘The Prize Lodger’ by George Gissing
  15. ‘The Coffee-House Of Surat’ by Leo Tolstoy

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

‘Papa Panov’s Special Christmas’ by Leo Tolstoy

Tolstoy, Leo 1885

Papa Panov’s Special Christmas by Leo Tolstoy

The magic trick:

Illustrating the essence of Christian kindness

Tolstoy didn’t write this story; he translated it. But that minor quibble aside, let’s break it down. The story aptly illustrates the central tenet of the golden rule as taught by Jesus in the Bible. I have had a difficult time throughout my life reconciling what I find to be the many contradictions littered throughout the Bible. But there’s no arguing the love shown in this story is a beautiful thing. And that’s quite a trick on Tolstoy’s part.

The selection:

Papa Panov opened the shop door, letting in a thin stream of cold air. “Come in!” he shouted across the street cheerily. “Come in and have some hot coffee to keep out the cold!”

The sweeper looked up, scarcely able to believe his ears. He was only too glad to put down his broom and come into the warm room. His old clothes steamed gently in the heat of the stove and he clasped both red hands round the comforting warm mug as he drank.