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Short and Sweet

If you're short on time, take a look at this list of titles - some sugary, some sinister, some scary short stories and short novels.

F CAT
Cather, Willa.
Paul’s Case.
A sensitive and romantic young man steals money from his employer and escapes to New York to live the glamorous life until reality brings tragedy.

F CON
Conrad, Joseph.
The Secret Sharer.
A captain recounts his tale of overcoming a debilitating insecurity to capably command his ship.

F HAR
Harte, Bret.
The Luck of Roaring Camp.
Does a baby boy, orphaned in a California gold mining camp, bring good luck to the miners who decide to raise him, or is it all coincidental?

F HAW
Hawthorne, Nathaniel.
Young Goodman Brown.
A nocturnal journey with the devil and a strange vision in the forest lead Puritan Goodman Brown to regard the Salem townspeople as devil worshipers.

F HEN
Henry, O.
The Ransom of Red Chief.
After kidnapping a mischievous boy and requesting a large ransom, two men get more than they bargained for and end up poorer but wiser.

F IRV
Irving, Washington.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
Ichabod Crane, a superstitious schoolteacher in love with Katrina Van Tassel, a wealthy farmer’s daughter, has a terrifying encounter with a headless horseman.

F JAC
Jackson, Shirley.
The Lottery.
Villagers gather for the annual lottery, with unusual consequences for the recipient of that piece of paper with the black spot.

F MAU
Maupassant, Guy de.
The Necklace.
A petulant young woman borrows a necklace from her rich friend to wear to a ball, but the cost is unimaginable.

F POE
Poe, Edgar Allan.
The Tell-Tale Heart.
Is it paranoia that drives the nervous narrator to confess his crime?

F SAI
Saint-Exupery, Antoine.
The Little Prince.
A pilot, stranded in the African desert, encounters a stranger from a small planet who explains valuable lessons about life.

F STE
Steinbeck, John.
The Red Pony.
A young boy forges a connection with a hot-tempered pony and learns about nature and man.

F WEL
Wells, H.G.
The Time Machine.
A scientist invents a time machine that allows him to leap backward and forward in history.

F WHA
Wharton, Edith.
Ethan Frome.
Mattie Silver arrives to help her cousin Zeena, the sickly, cantankerous wife of New England farmer Ethan Frome.

F WIL
Wilde, Oscar.
The Canterville Ghost.
A celebrated and feared English ghost is outraged when the new owners of his haunting place refuse to take him seriously.

F WOO
Woolf, Virginia.
The New Dress.
Mabel Waring arrives at Clarissa Dalloway’s party and is consumed by feelings of inadequacy and inferiority.

Sources: Books in Print; Literature Resource Center; NoveList

Additional authors of short stories and short novels to read:

F AND Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio

F CAP Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

F CHE John Cheever, The Stories of John Cheever

F CHE Anton Chekhov, Selected stories

F CRA Stephen Crane, Maggie and Other Stories

891.73 DOS Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes From the Underground

F DOY Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

F FIT F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald

F FLA Gustave Flaubert, Three Tales

F GAR Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Collected Stories

F HEM Ernest Hemingway, The Complete Short Stories of …

F KIP Rudyard Kipling, The Man Who Would be King

F LON Jack London, Five Great Short Stories

F MAL Bernard Malamud, The Complete Stories

F MAN Thomas Mann, Death in Venice

F MAU W. Somerset Maugham, Ah King

813.3 MEL Herman Melville, Bartleby and Benito Cereno

F OCO Flannery O’Connor, The Complete Stories

F RUN Damon Runyon, Guys & Dolls

F TOL Leo Tolstoy, The Kreutzer Sonata

YA TWAMark Twain, Pudd’nhead Wilson

F WELEudora Welty, The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty