2017-08-04 / BookBag

Short and to the Point

Maria Burchill | Schlow Centre Region Library

In May, Penn State University Libraries surprised us with the gift of a Short Edition Kiosk. This little machine prints short stories on demand from its home on the second floor of Schlow by the Reference Desk. Visitors can choose stories with a length of 1, 3 or 5 minutes, depending on the time they have to spare. There are tens of thousands of stories, and you never know what will print! We are excited to be the first public library in this hemisphere to have one of these cool dispensers and so are our visitors. In honor of the new addition, check out these collections to pique your interest in the short story and short essay forms.

I’m a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years Away
by Bill Bryson
Bill Bryson is an author with broad appeal and whose writing style crosses generations. I’m a Stranger Here Myself offers the former expat’s perspective on our crazy culture after returning from two decades away. Covering everything from art and aliens to microwave pancakes, my 89-year-old father will enjoy this collection of essays just as much as I do.

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary
by David Sedaris
Think Aesop’s Fables for grownups. Sedaris’ witty and humorous look at the animal kingdom will have the reader chuckling and nodding, and recognizing the moral without having it strictly spelled out. If you’ve found a new favorite with this little book, check out the author’s latest work Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002).

Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders
by Neil Gaiman
In my humble opinion “October in the Chair” is one of the best short stories Neil Gaiman has ever written. Readers will find it and many others in Fragile Things, a compilation of works by one of the biggest authors in the business. If fantasy isn’t your bag, you might also check out his essay collection The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction.

Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose
by Flannery O’Connor
Recognized as one of the 20th century’s top American short story writers, Flannery O’Connor’s writing lives on in multiple collected editions. Mystery and Manners collects some of her insightful prose on life in the South, raising peacocks, writing and teaching English to 8th graders. An oldie but a goodie.

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