October 21, 2020

Four books of short stories to read over break

Whether you’re afraid of commitment or don’t have enough time to read an entire novel, short stories are the best pieces of literature to read over break.

Winter break is hard because you’re trying so hard to relax. Between the time spent waiting on new episodes of The Mandalorian to come out on Disney Plus and getting in as many possible hours of sleep as you can, you need something to do, and reading short stories are a great way to do that. 

Regardless, it makes for a perfect break activity. 

Books of short stories are great because you can read as little or as many as your heart desires. Sometimes, I end up reading every single one in one sitting. Other times, I read one or two and come back later to continue.

Photo via Amazon.com

One More Thing by B.J. Novak

One More Thing by B.J. Novak is a compilation of short stories written about everything from road rage to Don Quixote

One of my personal favorite aspects of this book is that the stories are very short—most of them are only a couple of pages, plenty of them are only a few lines or sentences—making it super easy to quickly flip through the pages and read plenty of stories.

Novak, widely known for his work on The Office, writes in a comedic and straight-forward style, making the entire experience pleasurable and relaxing. The various sections are simple, witty, and engaging, and each story is one-of-a-kind.

Calypso by David Sedaris

I was introduced to David Sedaris a few years ago and he has since become one of my favorite writers for his casual and hilarious storytelling.

One of Sedaris’ recent works, Calypso, is a semi-autobiographical compilation of essays written about adulthood and mortality. While this may not seem especially relevant to us college students and our young age, Sedaris’ sharp and witty writing is exactly what most of us may need to wind down over break.

Each story is written to-the-point, making it the perfect book to pick up when you just have a few moments.

Photo via Amazon.com
Photo via Amazon.com

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men by David Foster Wallace

Many of us dread reading anything by David Foster Wallace following wild and stressful experiences with Infinite Jest, but I promise, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men isn’t that bad. 

Comprised of over 20 different short stories, each one is similar enough in fashion that it almost feels like it could be one cohesive piece, without all the commitment. 

The writing is both poised and personal at the same time, creating a unique atmosphere. 

Let it Snow by multiple authors

Let it Snow is a compilation of three short stories written by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle. Something that makes this particular compilation different from the others is that the stories within the book are all interconnected with each other, almost making it feel like a full-on novel.

The stories are all centered around a snowstorm in the town of Greenwich, giving it holiday vibes and nostalgic feelings.

Not only is this incredibly fitting given the season, but the stories are written in very light and easy-to-read prose, making it perfect to wind down with.
Although this isn’t my typical type of story, Let it Snow is cute and wholesome and perfect for the season.

Photo via Amazon.com

  • Sydney is the managing editor at the Chimes and a senior professional writing and journalism major at Capital University pursuing a career arts and entertainment writing. Some of her favorite things are cold brew, books about dragons, horror films, and her cat, Sterling.

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