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Bridget Reading (1959) by Peter Samuelson

Bridget Reading (1959) by Peter Samuelson

April was an exhausting month filled with frenzied poetry writing challenges and a steady diet of readings.

May has now dawned, but it looks to be no less action-packed. Many are polishing poetry manuscripts for the open calls at small presses like Dancing Girl and Hyacinth Girl.

And then there is the lesser known but increasingly popular StoryADay.org Extreme Writing Challenge, which much like the Poetry Month challenges calls on participants to produce daily work from prompts.

6a00d83451afaf69e201156f7601fd970c-120wiSome of the exercises look really interesting, and they have big names like Neil Gaiman contributing, but I am not sure that the pace is something I can maintain.  I prefer to take story writing much slower, but am always up for a dose of good reading.

That’s why I am recommending the Deal Me In Reading Challenge as an alternative way to celebrate the genre. This is a year-long readathon with a story-a-week pace, but participants are certainly welcome to move at their own schedule.

Jay already has a great list of selections up on the site with more recommendations at his twitter account @Bibliophilopoly.

I haven’t quite got a 52 track “playlist” ready just yet, but here are some of my favorite reads in the form:

Available Online:

Barn Burning by William Faulkner

Why I Live at the P.O. by Eudora Welty

The Storm by Kate Chopin

A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Shiloh by Bobbie Ann Mason

The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

Miriam by Truman CapoteShortStory

From Collections:

Cry Cry Cry by Sherman Alexie

Eisenheimer the Illusionist by Steven Millhauser

Room 101-Benny Does Dublin by Roddy Doyle

Gerald’s Monkey by Michael Knight

Men on the Moon by Simon J. Ortiz

Angry Fish by Susan Power

Grit by Tom Franklin

Monstress by Lesley Tenorio

The Littoral Zone by Andrea Barrett

Lucho by Patricia Engel

Walk the Blue Fields and Night of the Quicken Trees by Claire Keegan

Woman Hollering Creek by Sandra Cisneros

The Problem with Susan by Neil Gaiman

Melinda Falling by Jincy Willet

Love too Long by Barry Hannah


Leave your own “playlist” in the comments and I’ll feature the best compilations in a future post.