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.
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.