A collection of stories by women

Almost everyone took this category as an opportunity to read short stories by a single woman, even though it could also be a collection of short stories by many women. Actually, I’d meant to read Unsuitable for Ladies, but didn’t get to it in time (it’s kind of a thick tome). Many, many people opted for Agatha Christie collections. I think there was a challenge to read all her books, or something.

Wrinkle in Time series
by Madeline L’Engle
Ya’ll know what this one is. Although, props for getting through all five books. I feel like they go way downhill after the second one.

Possible Other Categories
A book involving a mythical creature
A book set on another planet
A book about or involving time travel
The next book in a series

While the Light Lasts
by Agatha Christie
A very mixed bag of Christie tales. There’s two Poirot stories, but not all of these are mysteries. The Poirot stories are arguably the first drafts of later books, and there doesn’t seem to be any kind of unifying reasoning behind putting these stories in a book together. Go figure.

Possible Other Categories
A book with an adaptation you enjoyed (or not) first (every Poirot story has been adapted, by David Suchet no less, whether a novel or not. He kind of made it his mission)
A book you can read in a day

While Black Stars Burn
by Lucy A. Snyder
Again with the kind of random assortment of stories from a single author. Is there a theme? I’m not sure there’s a theme.

Possible Other Categories
A book you can read in a day
A book with your favorite color in the title
A book involving a mythical creature

Vampires in the Lemon Grove
by Karen Russell
This collection of short stories by only one woman is at least more unified in genre, if nothing else. All the stories fit somewhere in the strange land between magical realism and horror.

Possible Other Categories
A book you can read in a day (maybe)
A book with a yellow spine (some editions)
A book involving a mythical creature
A book with a fruit or vegetable in the title

Tortall and Other Lands
by Tamora Pierce
So much Tamora Pierce this year. Then again, she has written a lot of books. This is a pile of short stories, about half of which are in her main literary universe. The others are mixed between her other universes and the real world. So maybe not the best book for a Pierce neophyte.

Possible Other Categories
A book involving a mythical creature
A book about feminism
A book based on a real person (one story is autobiographical)

The Underdog and Other Short Stories
by Agatha Christie
All of these are Poirot stories. Some of them contain Hastings, some do not. Then again, Hastings is probably most appealing in his television appearance in the David Suchet adaptations, rather than in the originals.

Possible Other Categories
A book you can read in a day
A book with an adaptation you enjoyed (or not) first (David Suchet was dedicated)
A book with an animal in the title (pushing your luck here)

The Thing Around Your Neck
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
I could talk about Adichie’s work and such. But instead, I’m going to talk about how inspired I am by a random reviewer’s own reading experiment. She decided to read her library’s general fiction in alphabetical order, without looking at covers or blurbs. Just, you know, whatever author appeared next on the shelf, give it 50 pages before quitting or barreling onward. And she would never have read Adichie otherwise, and she loved this book. I think I might apply this to my massive backlog of freebie books (ARCs, promos, beta reads, contest wins… I’m a slow and busy reader).

Possible Other Categories
A book about feminism
A book set in the city

The Golden Ball and Other Stories
by Agatha Christie
None of Christie’s serial characters appear. Sorry. It’s kind of hit and miss. It’s also the third Christie collection in this post, so let’s just move alone, eh?

Possible Other Categories
A book with your favorite color in the title (close enough)

Tell Me a Riddle
by Tillie Olsen
Now here’s an inspiration. A radical born in 1912, yet still forced by social expectations to basically put her writing on hold until basically her 50s. And it’s good stuff. Imagine if she had not been so long held back by, basically, capitalism and sexism.

Possible Other Categories
A book you can read in a day
A book with a yellow spine (ehhhhhhh)
A book about feminism (and for a 2nd wave feminist, she was actually decent on the intersectional side of things)

Stone Mattress
by Margaret Atwood
We’ve had this one on the blog before, and I don’t really have anything new to add at this time. Although, a stone mattress does sound uncomfortable. I’ve slept on similarly hard surfaces (hardwood, concrete…), but stone just seems like it would be especially cold. Let’s hope it isn’t a marble mattress. Or lava rock, that stuff is kind of rough on top of being hard.

Possible Other Categories
A book with water in the cover art
A book with a two word title
A book you can read in a day (probably, if you like it)

Nichts ist scheißer als Platz Zwei (Stories about failing/going in second place)
by Victoria Seconda
*checks my MOOC history* Nope, still don’t speak German. Fortunately, the Habitican who read this one helpfully informs us it is about “failing or going in second place”. Which, you know, second place is not really failing. I have an ultra runner friend who routinely places second in events. Against people a full foot taller than her. I am not about to equate that to failure, especially since my response to entering an ultra marathon would be to stroll until I found a nice place to read for the duration.

Possible Other Categories
No idea!

The Love of a Good Woman
by Alice Munroe
A Canadian author who won a Nobel Prize in literature basically for doing things to the short story format. Importantly for our purposes, she writes in a genre called “Southern Ontario Gothic” which I definitely did not know was a thing, and I’m Canadian. So we all have a new option for that one category!

Possible Other Categories
A book from a genre you didn’t know existed

Long & Short of It
by you actually have a choice
There’s actually three books that fit this task to varying degrees:  short stories related to a time travel series;  literary character studies of women; and a collection of short stories by South Asian authors, some of whom are women.

Possible Other Categories
Depends on what you pick, but all of them fit “Book you can read in a day” at least

Instead Of Three Wishes
by Megan Whalan Turner
And now we have short stories for the middle grade crowd. Definitely one to keep in mind if you start to feel the pinch on the URC in, oh, December.

Possible Other Categories
A book you can read in a day
A book involving a mythical creature

Hyperbole and a Half
by Allie Brosh
Source of your favorite “all the ____” meme. Somehow poignant and hyperactive at the same time. The art has never been what one would call technically skilled, and yet, it works.

Possible Other Categories
A book with pictures
A book you can read in a day
A book about mental health

HQ2
by someone, presumably
I don’t know if this Habitican made a typo. I couldn’t find a book with this title at all. I found lots of books with adjacent titles, either on the actual keyboard or just logically. But searching for this title just got me lots of articles about Amazon.

Possible Other Categories
Wouldn’t you like to know?

Christmas Stories
L. M. Montgomery
I’m not sure which short stories appear in this collection since it’s an indie publication with no textual reviews. Presumably, they are some of the stories that would now fall into the public domain, which does narrow it a bit.

Possible Other Categories
A book with a two word title
A book you can read in a day

Astray
by Emma Donoghue
A collection by the famed author of Room. That’s either a warning or a ringing endorsement, which probably depends on how you feel about her most famous novel.

Possible Other Categories
A book about mental health (well, some of the stories)
A book set in the city (some stories)

A Manual For Cleaning Women
by Lucia Berlin
I took this title in a really bizarre way originally. I think it’s because of the slightly odd wording and the fact that I’ve been hunting for, printing, and reading a lot of manuals for mechanical and electronic components lately. Anyway, this book was a surprise bestseller in 2015, and she was compared to both Alice Monroe and Tillie Olsen, which is not bad company at all.

Possible Other Categories
A book based on a real person (there’s a certain amount of autobiographical content, for one)
A book about a modern problem (definitely some of the topics are more uniquely moderns, like laundromats and welfare)
A book set in the city
A book about a difficult topic (poverty, for a start)

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