South Branch Staff Picks Category: Short Stories

Looking to get into the holiday spirit? Check out these book titles!

Whether you are looking for books to help make your holiday special or just hoping to curl up with a good holiday themed book, here are some titles to get you started.


Holiday Crafts by Gini Holland

 

 

 

 

 


Martha Stewart’s Handmade Holiday Crafts: 225 Inspired Projects for Year Round Celebrations

 

 

 

 

Creating Winter Crafts by Dana Meachen Rau

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Nights by Francis Ray, Shirley Hailstock, and Donna Hill

 

 

 

 

 

 


Burning Bright: Four Chanukah Love Stories by Megan Hart, Jennifer Gracen, Stacey Agdern, and KK Hendin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hark! The Herald Angels Scream: An Anthology edited by Christopher Golden

Books to read if you are soon going to be on island time

The Beach House trilogy by Mary Alice Monroe

All these books are set on the shores of South Carolina and interweave stories of family, love, loss, environmental causes (sea turtles), and friendship. Each can be read on its own or as part of the trilogy. However, for those who enjoy reading books in order, Beach House Memories is actually the prequel to The Beach House. The characters are richly developed and the books well researched, bringing these books to life for readers and engaging them with the story.

Any of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series 

Janet Evanovich’s number series features bounty hunter Stephanie Plum and her always entertaining sidekick Lula, along with a regular cast of characters including her fearless Grandma Mazur, on again/off again boyfriend Joe and the mysterious and sexy Ranger. Her misadventures in tracking down missing criminals and the comic and ridiculous situations she finds herself mixed up in with each book will not win awards for great literature but they are always entertaining and a great quick read for the beach or any summer getaway.

Anything by David Sedaris, but especially….

David Sedaris’s beloved holiday collection, Holidays On Ice, is new again with six more pieces, including a never before published story. Along with such favorites as the diaries of a Macy’s elf and the annals of two very competitive families, are Sedaris’s tales of tardy trick-or-treaters (“Us and Them”); the difficulties of explaining the Easter Bunny to the French (“Jesus Shaves”); what to do when you’ve been locked out in a snowstorm (“Let It Snow”); the puzzling Christmas traditions of other nations (“Six to Eight Black Men”); what Halloween at the medical examiner’s looks like (“The Monster Mash”); and a barnyard secret Santa scheme gone awry (“Cow and Turkey”). Be sure you are up for funny looks from strangers if you read this in public because this collection will make you laugh out loud for sure!

 

 

Books written by parenting bloggers, and in particular:

The Unofficial Guide to Surviving Life with Boys: Hilarious & Heartwarming Stories About Raising Boys from the Boy Mom Squad edited by Tiffany O’Connor & Lyndee Brown is wonderful collection of vignettes will make all parents of boys nod their heads in agreement and for parents of both boys and girls it will make you laugh out loud at the exploits and experiences narrated by this talented group of humorous parenting bloggers. A funny and heartwarming book.

 

 

 

 

For something a little more weighty, yet still engrossing, try best-selling Spanish author Maria Dueñas’ first novel…

In The Time In Between, Sira Quiroga begins life as the daughter of a humble seamstress in Madrid, but bad luck, fate, and the  crooked path toward true love all lead her to a life of dizzying glamour, adventure, and high-stakes espionage. When she is abandoned by her lover in Morocco, she is forced to reinvent herself as a sophisticated dressmaker to the expatriate community during the Spanish civil war. Her work brings her into contact with powerful men, compelling women, and a man she believes to be a journalist and perhaps the love of her life. When the British government asks her to return to Madrid to spy for them, she reluctantly agrees, and in doing so becomes a heroine. The first-person perspective makes this long novel seem short, and the rich narrative includes many important figures and incidents from history.

Funny Girl

Funny Girl is a LOL-worthy collection of short stories by some of your favorite lady authors, arranged for your enjoyment by Betsy Bird. Think of it as a smorgasbord of scrumptious literary offerings by Raina Telgemeier, Shannon Hale, and other gals who are guaranteed to make you laugh. The great thing about this short story collection is that it has something for everyone. Looking for an essay on a germaphobic mother? Check out “One Hot Mess” by Carmen Agra Deedy. A goofy graphic short? Cece Bell has just the fix with “A Most Serious Recitation of the Poem ‘Trees.’” All of the pieces pack a punch to pique the reader’s interest while moving quickly so as not to lose it. Funny Girl is perfect for reluctant readers (or readers with a short attention span) and those who are already fans of the featured authors in the collection.

If you liked Funny Girl, then you’ll love Real Friends by Shannon Hale, Hamster Princess: Harriet the Invincible by Ursula Vernon, and Sisters by Raina Telgemeier.

Reviewed by Anique A.