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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.

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.

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

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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