Ten Books I’d Take With Me To the Weird Beach That Ages People

While the prompt for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is focused on the books I’d bring with me while stranded on a deserted island, all recent references to sand immediately result in me thinking about the new M. Night Shyamalan movie, Old. You know, the one about the beach that rapidly ages a group of tourists. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen the trailer approximately seventy times while watching the Olympics. It’s a beach. It ages people. Get it? Spooky.

So today I’m going in a different direction. Assuming I was trapped on a beach that was rapidly aging me, here are the ten short story collections I’d hope to have with me while meeting my untimely demise. Could I attempt an escape? Sure, that’d probably make for a better movie. But I know me. Reading a short story sounds like a better time and a lot less effort. Plus, short stories are about all I’d have time for.

by Daniel Handler

This is one of my favorite collections, and I regularly revisit its stories. This is a no-brain selection to take with me to the Beach of Doom, as I’m sure the locals call it.


All Aunt Hagar’s Children
by Edward P. Jones

If I’m going out, then a book featuring prominently featuring one of my favorite cities on earth, Washington, DC, is coming with me.


by Julio Cortázar

Sure, the beach is weird, but this collection features a story about a guy throwing up rabbits.


The Illustrated Man
by Ray Bradbury

No short story list would be complete without Ray Bradbury. Really, this beach wouldn’t be so bad if it was filled with his works.


CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
by George Saunders

One of the best short story writers working today. I bet George Saunders doesn’t have to worry about beaches that rapidly age people.


Jigs & Reels
by Joanne Harris

Joanne Harris has mastered the art of fiction that feels both lightly magical and utterly real—kind of the opposite of this beach that’s just thirsty for life.


Kentucky Straight
by Chris Offutt

These characters are perhaps the only ones on this list having a worse time than me on this beach … but it’s still a great collection.


The Lottery and Other Stories
by Shirley Jackson

Things are bad, but I guess at least I’m not participating in the Lottery?


Never Have I Ever
by Isabel Yap

Full disclosure: I haven’t actually read this one, but if this is the end, then I might as well clear out some of my to-be-read pile. Thankfully, this sounds fantastic.


The Traveling Bag and Other Ghostly Stories
by Susan Hill

In stressful times, I find a solid ghost story to be the best medicine. Can it cure the rapid aging, though?


Note: Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Be sure to check out her weekly post to find other participants.


  1. Old looks SOOO good. I haven’t been in a movie theater since before COVID, but I’ll definitely be there when this one comes out. It just looks amazing.

    I’m not much of a short story person. I don’t know why. If I was going to read short stories, though, I’d be all about that Joanne Harris collection. She’s a great writer.

    Happy TTT!



    1. I was trying to think of the last time I had actually been to a movie theater and I’m pretty sure it was right at the beginning of 2019! I don’t see a lot of movies anyway, but COVID has really made me miss them.

      That one is a great little collection—a lot like her novels.


  2. I have not read any of these Christopher, but I don’t read a lot of short stories. I chose a lot of my TBR list, ones that have been on there for a long time, but I haven’t gotten to yet. If I can’t go anywhere, I will finally read them.


  3. Pretty sure I’d just be happy to find almost any novel if stranded on a beach! I also wouldn’t survive unless it’s a non-dangerous kind of “stranded.” 😀 Thanks so much for visiting Finding Wonderland last week.


  4. Oh my goodness this made me laugh and I needed it! I should revisit Adverbs, I read it when it came out but don’t remember it, and to hear it’s such a favorite for you piques my curiosity in it again! And I think I’m adopting your line about The Lottery going forward…sure, things are bad, but I could be participating in the lottery, so. Doing pretty ok.

    I love your takes on these lists – they are so creative and so much fun to read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you liked this list! After hearing that commercial over and over, it’s all I could think about when I sat down to write this. Adverbs is so interesting. I’ve only read it once, but I really need to revisit it because … it hit hard! If there’s one thing I take from The Lottery, it’s that things can always be worse.


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