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Study Guide. This is a special seasonal selection for The Holiday Season.

It's a story to read for perspective, and is also featured in our Christmas Stories collection. A short story masterpiece: This a suspenseful story about a Civil War soldier, Petyon Farquhar, who has been captured by enemy troops. The story opens in a dangerous predicament, with the soldier about to be hanged, "A man stood upon a railroad bridge in northern Alabama A rope closely encircled his neck. The Cask of Amontillado. This a powerful and well written tale of sorrow. The story -- depending on the reader -- can operate on at least two levels; as a simple story about a dog, a child and crushing cruelty.

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It may also be interpreted as an allegorical social criticism after the American Civil War. Either way, it's a powerful, sad story. Three wishes and a Monkey's paw. What could go wrong? A horror story in the short story form. And I quote: "The first man had his three wishes. Yes," was the reply, "I don't know what the first two were, but the third was for death.

That's how I got the paw. A classic revenge story in the horror genre. The story is set in an unspecified Italian city, the protagonist, Motressor believes he has suffered a thousand slights and injuries at the hand of his friend. Montressor invites -- rather tricks --his friend, Fortunato , into tasting some wine stored back at his pallazo in the wine cellar.

Mark Twain's take on the battle of the sexes is funny and witty and brilliant as he writes once from Eve's perspective and then follows-up from Adam's. A sample observation from Eve, "He talks very little. Perhaps it is because he is not bright The Story of an Hour. This dramatic short story -- an early entrant in feminist literature -- was very controversial when published in It suggests a possibility that people of that era were more comfortable rejecting rather than considering.

The story still has the power to make modern readers uncomfortable. But please note that it is possible and sometimes even desirable to criticize an aspect of something to point out a nuanced feature; a quick mind can illuminate part of an arrangement without condemning the entire arrangement. I believe that is what Chopin did here. This suspenseful and climactic story will take you on an emotional journey.

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The hard-luck life of hard-hearted miners changes with the birth of Thomas Luck who draws on the heart strings of the rough and tumble miners of Roaring Camp. Featured in our Civil War Stories. A beautiful story hinting at the depths of a woman's emotional complexity. A great short story, one that could easily be misunderstood by modern feminists. Another interesting story from Ambrose Bierce. This one is also set during the American Civil War.

Best Short Stories and Collections Everyone Should Read

I classify this one under man versus himself. One of the early American classics, and don't forget its famous companion Rip Van Winkle. All three of these stories are important examples of Hawthorne's contribution to the genre of Dark Romanticism, and should be read. The first one is my favorite of the three. Runaway captures everything she does well in eight short stories, all while covering the themes of womanhood, identity, and the human heart.

6 Splendid Short Story Collections for - Barnes & Noble Reads — Barnes & Noble Reads

Even if your book club doesn't read this book together, this is a collection that must be on every woman's book bucket list. Taking place in New Hope, a small midwestern town struck with tragedy, these intertwined short stories will take you through a unique journey unlike any other. Spanning over three generations, there's something everyone can take away from these redemption and consequence filled stories.

From the very first page, McNair will astound you and your entire book club with her detailed and gorgeous writing style. Stone Mattress is one of my all-time favorite short stories in this collection, and Margaret Atwood will never fail to bring you into a wicked and fascinating world with her words. Three of the first stories are interconnected while the rest stand on their own, mirroring the themes of aging and the horrors that come with it.

Vivid and humorous at times, dark at others, you'll spend more time than usual discussing these stories in your book club. If you and your book club are craving stories on love — and I mean all different perspectives of love: obsessive, fading, cruel, powerful, intoxicating — then this is your book. One of the more recent short story collections to have made a major impact on me, On the Way is Vargas' big debut and I was seriously impressed.

Her characters are the stories, and nearly all of the stories follow some version of a loss or gain in life. Touching on those moments in life when you wish to act out but choose to stay in the shadows, this short collection of short stories is a perfect fit for any book club. This collection of short stories follows women throughout history born close to the spotlight but not given the recognition they craved.

From James Joyce's daughter Lucia to Oscar Wilde's crazy niece Dolly, Bergman reimagines the lives of these daring women and pulls you in by their reckless choices and compelling lives. Maybe you already read American Gods with your book club and are craving another masterpiece by Gaiman.

Trigger Warning is the collection of stories that sets out to reveal the masks everyone hides behind through haunting and ingenious tales only Gaiman could create. Including a very special Doctor Who special story written for the 50th anniversary, a tale inspired by Gaiman's active social media presence, and many more creative and spellbinding stories await. If the title alone doesn't get you, Sneed's complex and artistic writing definitely will.

Her stories embody the complicated and twisted relationships that bloom between men and women of all ages. Each story takes on the point of view of a woman at a different stage in life and hooks you into a compelling journey of morals and complications we all face in life.