Short Read for Long Days

Summer is starting to wind down. The days are feeling longer. Why not spend the dog days of summer with a few short stories?

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Here’s the warning for readers who don’t want to get into a series. While this first book is short, there are six books in the series. Five being by Adams and the sixth by Colfer.

Here’s the description from the publisher:
Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.
Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”) and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox—the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod’s girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.

Difficult Women by Roxanne Gay

Here’s the description from the publisher:
The women in these stories live lives of privilege and of poverty, are in marriages both loving and haunted by past crimes or emotional blackmail. A pair of sisters, grown now, have been inseparable ever since they were abducted together as children, and must negotiate the marriage of one of them. A woman married to a twin pretends not to realize when her husband and his brother impersonate each other. A stripper putting herself through college fends off the advances of an overzealous customer. A black engineer moves to Upper Michigan for a job and faces the malign curiosity of her colleagues and the difficulty of leaving her past behind. From a girls’ fight club to a wealthy subdivision in Florida where neighbors conform, compete, and spy on each other, Gay delivers a wry, beautiful, haunting vision of modern America reminiscent of Merritt Tierce, Jamie Quatro, and Miranda July.

The Victims’ Club by Jeffery Deaver

Here’s the description from the publisher:
In this page-turning short story from international bestselling author Jeffery Deaver, senior detective Jon Avery inherits a deeply troubling case. At an off-campus party, university professor Rose Taylor is drugged, undressed, and photographed on a burner phone. In seconds her humiliation is uploaded, and millions of JPEGs are zipping like immortal wasps through the internet. But why would someone target her? She has no vengeful exes or rival academics, no stalkers or unhinged students. Jon Avery, the sharpest, most experienced investigator in the sheriff’s office, is determined to find out who’s behind this horrific invasion of privacy. But soon he runs into a wall of silence at Preston College—an academic mecca whose reputation one doesn’t dare tarnish. The message is clear: if he pursues the case, he’ll pay for it.

Paris for One and Other Short Stories by Jojo Moyes

This read is great for fans of Moyes’s other works! The story that I related to the most and enjoyed was the story of Nell.

Here’s a snippet of her story from the publisher:
”Nell is twenty-six and has never been to Paris. She’s never even been on a romantic weekend away – to anywhere – before. Traveling abroad isn’t really her thing. but when Nell’s boyfriend fails to show up for their mini-vacation she has the opportunity to prove everyone – including herself – wrong. Alone in Paris, Nell finds a version of herself she never knew existed: independent and intrepid. Could this turn out to be the most adventurous weekend of her life?”

Sweet Surprise: Romance Collection with stories from Wanda E. Brunstetter, Kristin Billerbeck, Kristy Dykes, Aisha Ford, Birdie L. Etchinson, Pamela Griffin, Joyce Livingston, Tamela Hancock Murray, and Gail Sattler

Here’s the description from the publisher:
Join nine modern ladies on culinary journeys that lead to the recipe for lasting romance in this delightful collection, including New York Times bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter and eight other award-winning authors. When it comes to romance, will the sweetest treats be any match for God’s timing? Along with food, faith, and fun each story includes a yummy recipe for you to enjoy.

The Matchup edited by Lee Child

I don’t know how to explain this read better than the publisher so here’s how they explain The Matchup.

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 writings from Diana Gabaldon to Charlaine Harris are paired with eleven of the world’s best male thriller writers, including John Sanford C.J. Box and Nelson DeMille. The stories are edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child.”

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Here’s the description from the publisher:
Neil Gaiman, long inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction, presents a bravura rendition of the Norse gods and their world from their origin though their upheaval in Ragnarok.

In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki—son of a giant—blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.

Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose, these gods emerge with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.

$10,000,000 Marriage Proposal by James Patterson and Hilary Liftin

If you haven’t picked up any of James Patterson’s bookshots, I highly recommend them if you are in need of a quick read that gets to the point, spends little time developing characters and doesn’t have a lot of minute details. I actually really enjoy listening to audio recording of bookshots when they are available because they are again quick and captivating.

Here’s the description from the publisher:
“Will you marry me for $10,000,00?
I am a creative, open-minded businessman with limited tie and desire to play the field. This is a serious proposal.

A mysterious billboard intrigues three single women in LA. But who is this Mr. Right? And is he the perfect match for the lucky winner”

Fresh Ink edited by Lamar Giles with stories from Nicola Yoon, Malinda Lo, Melissa de la Cruz, Sara Farizan, Eric Gansworth, Walter Dean Myers, and Daniel José Older

I sure hope you recognize at least one name in this wonderfully diverse author list.
If you don’t, it’s okay! Here’s a small snippet from the publisher to help you understand what this book is about:
”Careful — you are holding fresh ink. And not hot-off-the-press, still-drying-in-your-hands in. Instead, you are holding twelve stories with endings that are still being written — whose next chapters are up to you.

Because these stories are meant to be read. And shared.
Thirteen of the most accomplished YA authors deliver a label-defying anthology that includes ten short stories, a graphic novel, and a one-act play. This collection will inspire you to break conventions, bend the rules, and color outside the lines. All You need is fresh ink.”

The Christmas Scorpion by Lee Child

Alright so this book may be #22.5 in the entire Jack Reacher Series, but this twenty page read is perfect to read during these dog days of summer.

Here’s a snippet from the publisher:

”Jack Reacher likes to head south for the winter, to try warm: so just before Christmas he arrives in a small town in Southern California. But the weather there is not warm and dry, as it’s supposed to be: he arrives in a freak blizzard. Reacher finds refuge in a snowed-in roadhouse with four other strangers stranded by the storm. Two of the them are British military police, separated by the weather from the VIP they are detailed to protect. Can Reacher help them find their guy, or will an undercover assassin find him first?”

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