During the last book club meeting we discussed Tenth of December by George Saunders, a small book with ten short stories ranging from small town realism to fantastical government agencies. A review of the book will be up soon, but if you are already looking for some other short story collections, we’re here to give you some recommendations.


If you want some more Saunders, you won’t have to look very far. He’s written a bunch of books, all collections of short stories or essays. He’s quite the writing machine, but unfortunately he hasn’t yet churned out a novel. If you like his dark and satirical stories you should give The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil a shot. It’s his first stand alone collection and I guarantee it is going to make you laugh.

If you are looking for something a little less known try the little gem Fox 8: A Story. It’s only available as an ebook or audio book, but totally worth it. The story is told from the perspective of a fox who has taught himself to speak Yuman and who has an uncontrollable curiosity about man-made life.


David Sedaris greatly admires George Saunders and names him as one of his big influences. His stories are more based in reality and his own life, often writing about his family and upbringing. Me Talk Pretty One Day is about his move from New York to Paris, prompting my interest in short stories. The title story is about his sadistic French teacher who can’t stand being around him. The thing I love about Sedaris is that he isn’t afraid to make fun of himself. The humor in Sedaris’ stories are comparable to that of Saunders, making light of strange situations and modern times.


It was almost impossible to miss the excitement for Lorrie Moore’s new short story collection Bark. Her writing often focuses on American Life, not unlike Saunders, and equally funny. But Moore’s collection has a darkness, similar to the story Home in Tenth of December. Her writing has a sharp edge to it, drawing out the ugly in life. She uncovers the sadness that being a middle aged woman brings with it and the collection will most likely not leave you feeling light and fun. If you are not interested in the harshness of life, just keep this one on the shelves.


If you like the weirdness of George Saunders the odds are likely you enjoy reading yourself some Vonnegut. But forget Slaughterhouse Five and Cat’s Cradle and go right down to the more unfamiliar stuff. Galápagos takes you on a journey of a million years during which a small group of cruise-ship survivors stumble upon the Galápagos island. There they kickstart a different strain of humans, evolving into some type of furry seals. A spirit watches them and narrates the greatest feat of evolution, getting rid of the oversized human brain which is the true villain of the story.
As Saunders is a great inspiration to Sedaris, so was Carver to our main man. Raymond Carver and his most famous collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Love is a perfect example of small town American life and loss captured in a short amount of pages. His stories are often sad, slightly hopeful and perfectly devastating. Carver likes to write about the people at the periphery, the ones that don’t seem to matter all that much. But he cares for them deeply and ensures with his stories that you do as well.

Curated by Charlotte de Heer


Bored to Death book club is set up by two sisters who love to read and have nothing better to do than to start a book club.

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