Reading short stories has many benefits. They are a convenient way to try new genres and authors. They are an effective way to bring back the good habit of daily reading.
When you start reading a short story on a subway on your way home, the chances are big you’ll finish it before opening the front door. And after you finish an interesting piece of short fiction, you may want to read another work of the same author. What about a novel this time?
The world of short stories is full of colors. It’s because there are so many of them, and each one is so unique.
In the list below we’ve collected the most interesting short stories published in 2017 as standalone books, collections, or anthologies.
Haruki Murakami’s collection of seven tales Men Without Women was first published in 2014. However, in May 2017 an English translation by Philip Gabriel and Ted Goossen was released, letting English-speaking readers get into the lives of men who, in their own ways, find themselves alone.
Last Breath by Karin Slaughter is a great example how an exciting short story can create an anticipation for the author’s next big title. Slaughter is releasing the new novel, The Good Daughter, in August.
Electronic format makes it possible to publish short stories as standalone books. That’s why major ebookstores see a lot of potential in short books and devote special sections to promote new short-form publications.
Where to find short stories?
Kindle Singles – the books are carefully selected by Amazon editors. You can find here not only short stories or novellas, but also non-fiction.
Kindle Short Reads – Amazon describes them as “great stories in one sitting”. The books are grouped according to their reading time: from 15-minute to 2-hour reads.
Nook Snaps – Barnes & Noble’s selection of exclusive quick reads includes short stories and long-form journalism from the “most compelling voices.”
Kobo Exclusive Shorts – Kobo’s initiative to benefit from the revival of short form reading. So far, the list includes around 100 titles.
At the end, you’ll find the infographic with the best short stories of 2017, that’s based on this list. Feel free to share it with your friends and followers.
If there is any book you’d like to add to the list? Make sure to reach us on social media and share your recommendations!
Read also 50 short books for busy people
Best short stories and short story collections of 2017
Viet Thanh Nguyen
The Refugees is a collection of perfectly formed stories exploring questions of immigration, identity, love, and family.
The stories were written over a period of twenty years by Viet Thanh Nguyen, a Vietnamese-American novelist and short-story writer, the winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
In the collection we follow a young Vietnamese refugee who suffers profound culture shock when he comes to live with two gay men in San Francisco, a woman whose husband is suffering from dementia and starts to confuse her for a former lover, and a girl living in Ho Chi Minh City whose older half-sister comes back from America having seemingly accomplished everything she never will.
We’ve Already Gone This Far: Stories
We’ve Already Gone This Far is an exciting debut collection by Patrick Dacey, a talented author already hailed as one of “favorite young American writers.”
The stories take us to a town like many towns in America, a place where people are searching for what is now an almost out-of-reach version of the American Dream.
Story by story, Dacey draws us into the secret lives of recognizable strangers and reminds us that life’s strange intensity and occasional magic is all around us, especially in the everyday.
Wildcat: V.I. Warshawski’s First Case
Sara Paretsky, one of the most legendary crime writers of all time, presents an exclusive and thrilling short story featuring beloved investigator V.I. Warshawski as a ten-year-old girl on her first investigation.
With nothing but a bicycle, eighty-two cents in her pocket, and her Brownie camera hanging from her wrist, Victoria sneaks off to Marquette Park alone to protect her father Tony, a police officer who is patrolling the crowds.
What begins as a small adventure and a quest to find her father and make sure he is safe turns into something far more dangerous.
The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories
Edited by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin
A fascinating collection of new and classic tales of the fearsome Djinn, from bestselling, award-winning and breakthrough international writers.
Imagine a world filled with fierce, fiery beings, hiding in our shadows, in our dreams, under our skins. Eavesdropping and exploring; savaging our bodies, saving our souls. They are monsters, saviours, victims, childhood friends. Some have called them genies: these are the Djinn.
The collection includes stories from Neil Gaiman, Nnedi Okorafor, Amal El-Mohtar, Catherine Faris King, Claire North, Helene Wecker, E.J. Swift, Hermes, Sophia Al-Maria and Usman Malik, among others.
Dark Screams: Volume Six
Stephen King, Lisa Morton, Nell Quinn-Gibney, Norman Prentiss, Joyce Carol Oates, Tim Curran
Six acclaimed authors plunge readers into the dark side in this deeply unsettling short-story collection curated by legendary horror editors Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar.
In Stephen King’s “The Old Dude’s Ticker,” Richard Drogan has been spooked ever since he came back from Nam, but he’s no head case, dig? He just knows the old dude needs to die.
“The Situations” by Joyce Carol Oates: There are certain lessons children must learn, rules they must follow, scars they must bear. No lesson is more important than this: Never question Daddy. Or else.
Daisy Johnson’s Fen, set in the fenlands of England, transmutes the flat, uncanny landscape into a rich, brooding atmosphere.
From that territory grow stories that blend folklore and restless invention to turn out something entirely new. Amid the marshy paths of the fens, a teenager might starve herself into the shape of an eel. A house might fall in love with a girl and grow jealous of her friend. A boy might return from the dead in the guise of a fox.
With a fresh and utterly contemporary voice, Johnson lays bare these stories of women testing the limits of their power to create a startling work of fiction.
Trajectory: Short Fiction
From Richard Russo, the winner of Pulitzer Prize for Empire Falls novel, comes a collection of four short stories that demonstrate the author is also the master of this genre.
In “Horseman,” a professor confronts a young plagiarist as well as her own weaknesses as the Thanksgiving holiday looms closer and closer.
In “Milton and Marcus,” a lapsed novelist struggles with his wife’s illness and tries to rekindle his screenwriting career, only to be stymied by the pratfalls of that trade when he’s called to an aging, iconic star’s mountaintop retreat in Wyoming.
A River Runs through It and Other Stories
“A River Runs through It” is a classic novella by author Norman Maclean adapted in 1992 for the big screen by Robert Redford, starring Brad Pitt and Brenda Blethyn.
First released in 1976, together with two other semi-autobiographical stories (“USFS 1919” and “Logging and Pimping and ‘Your pal, Jim'”), the story follows Maclean’s relationship with his brother, and is considered a classic of the American West.
“It is a world populated with drunks, loggers, card sharks, and whores, but also one rich in the pleasures of fly-fishing, logging, cribbage, and family.”
Now you can get this classic collection in a new elegantly redesigned edition, with a foreword by Robert Redford.
Men Without Women: Stories
A dazzling new collection of short stories–the first major new work of fiction from the beloved, internationally acclaimed, Haruki Murakami since his #1 best-selling Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.
Across seven tales, Haruki Murakami brings his powers of observation to bear on the lives of men who, in their own ways, find themselves alone. Here are vanishing cats and smoky bars, lonely hearts and mysterious women, baseball and the Beatles, woven together to tell stories that speak to us all.
Marked by the same wry humor that has defined his entire body of work, in this collection Murakami has crafted another contemporary classic.
No Middle Name: The Complete Collected Jack Reacher Short Stories
For the first time, all Lee Child’s short fiction featuring the most iconic hero for our age Jack Reacher has been collected into one volume.
Read together, these twelve stories shed new light on Reacher’s past, illuminating how he grew up and developed into the wandering avenger who has captured the imagination of millions around the world.
No Middle Name collection includes twelve stories. One of them is a brand new novella, Too Much Time.
All the Mowgli Stories
From Macmillan Collector’s Library comes a new collection of all nine of Rudyard Kipling’s stories about the little hero whose adventures sat at the heart of The Jungle Book.
Separated from his human parents, Mowgli is raised by wolves, mentored by the cunning panther Bagheera, and taught the Law of the Jungle by Baloo, the strict but kindly bear.
The Indian jungle is full of dangers and he must fight to survive; the tiger, Shere Khan, has sworn to kill him, the sinister monkey residents of the Cold Lairs wish to kidnap him, and his home is threatened by the Cobra and the Red Dog.
The new edition of Kipling’s stories about Mowgli is beautifully illustrated by Stuart Tresilian.
Investigations of a Dog: And Other Creatures
Some of Kafka’s most fantastical and visionary short fiction is now available in a new masterful translation by Michael Hofmann.
Animals, strange beasts, bureaucrats, businessmen, and nightmares populate this collection of stories by Franz Kafka.
These matchless short works, all unpublished during Kafka’s lifetime, range from the gleeful dialogue between a cat and a mouse in “Little Fable” to the absurd humor of “Investigations of a Dog,” from the elaborate waking nightmare of “Building the Great Wall of China” to the creeping unease of “The Burrow,” where a nameless creature’s labyrinthine hiding place turns into a trap of fear and paranoia.
Come Let Us Sing Anyway
Pretty much anything can happen in these witty, weird and wonderful short stories by Leone Ross.
Carefully crafted over 15 years, they explore unbounded sexualities, a vision of the fluidity of the person, and politics – from the deaths of black people at the hands of the police, to the deep shifts that signal the subtle changes in the nature of capitalism and much more.
These stories may sometimes tickle, sometimes shock; but will always engage both the intellect and the heart.
It Can’t be October Already
#1 New York Times bestselling author Jeffrey Archer demonstrates his mastery of the short story in “It Can’t Be October Already.”
In this engaging and funny episode, Pat O’Flynn returns once again for his annual internment in the London jail system. Along the way, he’ll reconnect with the staff and inmates of his sometime-home and perhaps even reach the punchline of his favorite joke.
Archer is at his best in this delightful and surprising story.
Dis Mem Ber
Joyce Carol Oates
These meticulously crafted, deeply disquieting stories by Joyce Carol Oates confront the dangers that surround us, and the dangers that lurk within.
A precocious eleven-year-old girl, in thrall to the mysterious black sheep of the family, climbs into his sky-blue Chevy for a drive into the unknown… A university transfer student becomes increasingly obsessed with the murder of a female classmate, placing her own sense of self in peril… A recent widow fantasizes about transforming into a great flying predator, unerring and pitiless in the hunt… A trusting group of bird-watchers is borne to a remote part of the globe, and to a harrowing fate…
Lee Child, Nelson DeMille, and 20 more
In this incredible follow-up to the New York Times and USA Today bestseller FaceOff, twenty-two of the world’s most popular thriller writers come together for an unforgettable anthology.
MatchUp takes the never-before-seen bestseller pairings of FaceOff and adds a delicious new twist: gender.
Eleven of the world’s best female thriller writers from Diana Gabaldon to Charlaine Harris are paired with eleven of the world’s best male thriller writers, including John Sandford, C.J. Box, and Nelson DeMille.
Best British Short Stories 2017
Edited by Nicholas Royle
Best British Short Stories invites you to judge a book by its cover – or more accurately, by its title.
This new series aims to reprint the best short stories published in the previous calendar year by British writers, whether based in the UK or elsewhere. It includes stories by Daisy Johnson and James Kelman, among others.
The editor’s brief is wide ranging, covering anthologies, collections, magazines, newspapers and websites, looking for the best of the bunch to reprint all in one volume.
Last Breath: Short Story
Razor-sharp and lightning-fast, this standalone short story from the #1 international bestselling author Karin Slaughter will leave you breathless.
At the age of thirteen, Charlie Quinn’s childhood came to an abrupt and devastating end. Two men, with a grudge against her lawyer father, broke into her home—and after that shocking night, Charlie’s world was never the same.
Now a lawyer herself, Charlie has made it her mission to defend those with no one else to turn to. So when Flora Faulkner, a motherless teen, begs for help, Charlie is reminded of her own past, and is powerless to say no.
Gunnhild Øyehaug is one of the most celebrated Norwegian writers. In 2004 he published Knots for the first time. Now it’s available in English, in a translation by Kari Dickson.
The collection includes very concise stories as well as longer reads. They range from the surreal to the oddly mundane, and prod the discomforts of mental, sexual, and familial bonds.
A young man is born with an uncuttable umbilical cord and spends his life physically tethered to his mother; a tipsy uncle makes an uncomfortable toast with unforeseeable repercussions, and a dissatisfied deer yearns to be seen.
Full of characters who can’t help tying knots in themselves and each other, the stories by Gunnhild Øyehaug make the world just a little more strange.
Sarah Hall is one of the most skillful young British authors. The author of The Wolf Border and the Man Booker Prize finalist is releasing in June a collection of nine short stories that are both disturbing and dazzling.
A husband’s wife transforms into a vulpine in “Mrs. Fox,” winner of the BBC Short Story Prize. In “Case Study 2, ” A social worker struggles with a foster child raised in a commune. A new mother runs into an old lover in “Luxury Hour.”
In Madame Zero, Sarah Hall uses her piercing insight to plumb the depth of the female experience and the human soul.
PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2017
This anthology is the first volume of an annual collection that recognizes outstanding fiction debuts published in a print or online literary magazine.
The dozen winning stories take place in South Carolina and in South Korea, on a farm in the eighteenth century and among the cubicles of a computer-engineering firm in the present day.
They narrate ancient themes with current urgency: migration, memory, technology, language, love, ecology, identity, family. Together they act as a compass for contemporary literature; they tell us where we’re going.
The Best American Short Stories 2017
Edited by Meg Wolitzer and Heidi Pitlor
Lovers of short fiction are waiting for this classic anthology every year.
The Best American Short Stories 2017 will be edited by Meg Wolitzer, who is “almost crushingly insightful; she doesn’t just mine the contemporary mind, she seems to invade it,” making her the perfect person to helm this literary time capsule of a collection.
“A terrific and surprising collection of tales by a diverse group of writers… Count on them to transport you.” —USA Today
Best short stories to read in 2017
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