Books on my TBR: diverse short story collections

Hello, friends! Time to talk about some more books on my TBR! This is a series where I talk about a specific subset of books on my TBR. I’ve done a few posts of really long lists of books on my TBR, so for these posts I’m going to try to keep the list fairly small, provide the synopsis from Goodreads, and talk about where I found it and why I want to read it.

So, today’s topic is diverse short story collections. I love short stories, and when they’re done well, they’re brilliant. So today we’re talking about some short story collections written by diverse authors and that are less popular. I’m always trying to highlight diversity and lesser-known books on my blog, so this seemed like a great way to do that!


Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers edited by Cat Fitzpatrick andCasey Plett

Brand new from Topside Press, twenty-five transgender writers imagine different worlds in Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction & Fantasy from Transgender Writers.

The #1 post-reality generation device approved for home use! This manual will prepare you to travel from multiverse to multiverse. No experience is required. Choose from twenty-five preset post-realities! Rejoice at obstacles unquestionably bested and conflicts efficiently resolved. Bring denouement to your drama with THE FOOLPROOF AUGMENTATION DEVICE FOR OUR CONTEMPORARY UTOPIA.

I’m always trying to read more trans authors and more sci-fi, so this is a natural choice for my TBR. I typically really enjoy sci-fi short stories because I honestly don’t really care for the world building, so I don’t mind if it’s lacking in short stories.


Love: Beyond Body, Space & Time edited by Hope Nicholson

Love Beyond, Body, Space, and Time is a collection of indigenous science fiction and urban fantasy focusing on LGBT and two-spirit characters. These stories range from a transgender woman trying an experimental transition medication to young lovers separated through decades and meeting far in their own future. These are stories of machines and magic, love, and self-love.

This is an Indigenous LGBTQ+ short story collection, and I’ve heard nothing but amazing things! It sounds so good and I really need to get my hands on a copy soon.


A Guide to Being Born: Stories by Ramona Ausubel

A Guide to Being Born is organized around the stages of life—love, conception, gestation, birth—and the transformations that happen as people experience deeply altering life events, falling in love, becoming parents, looking toward the end of life. In each of these eleven stories Ausubel’s stunning imagination and humor are moving, entertaining, and provocative, leading readers to see the familiar world in a new way.

Again, I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book. Everyone on Goodreads seems to adore it, and it sounds super interesting. Also, that cover is fantastic.


The Whole Story and Other Stories by Ali Smith

What happens when you run into Death in a busy train station? (You know he’s Death because when he smiles, your cell phone goes dead.) What if your lover falls in love with a tree? Should you be jealous? From the woman pursued by a band of bagpipers in full regalia to the artist who’s built a seven-foot boat out of secondhand copies of The Great Gatsby, Smith’s characters are offbeat, charming, sexy, and as wonderfully complex as life itself.

Again, I’ve heard nothing but good things about this collection. It sounds very up my alley, very weird, and very interesting.


Islands of Decolonial Love: Stories & Songs by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

In her debut collection of short stories, Islands of Decolonial Love, renowned writer and activist Leanne Simpson vividly explores the lives of contemporary Indigenous Peoples and communities, especially those of her own Nishnaabeg nation.

Found on reserves, in cities and small towns, in bars and curling rinks, canoes and community centres, doctors offices and pickup trucks, Simpson’s characters confront the often heartbreaking challenge of pairing the desire to live loving and observant lives with a constant struggle to simply survive the historical and ongoing injustices of racism and colonialism. Told with voices that are rarely recorded but need to be heard, and incorporating the language and history of her people, Leanne Simpson’s Islands of Decolonial Love is a profound, important, and beautiful book of fiction.

Another Indigenous short story collection! Once again, everyone loves this collection and Simpson’s writing. I should really get a copy soon.


Shut Up You’re Pretty by Téa Mutonji

In Téa Mutonji’s disarming debut story collection, a woman contemplates her Congolese traditions during a family wedding, a teenage girl looks for happiness inside a pack of cigarettes, a mother reconnects with her daughter through their shared interest in fish, and a young woman decides to shave her head in the waiting room of an abortion clinic. These punchy, sharply observed stories blur the lines between longing and choosing, exploring the narrator’s experience as an involuntary one. Tinged with pathos and humour, they interrogate the moments in which femininity, womanness, and identity are not only questioned but also imposed.

This one also sounds so up my alley, with messy family relationships and lots of drama. Mutonji is a Black Canadian author, which I’m always trying to support, and this book was published by Vivek Shraya, who is also an icon. So, I will definitely have to pick it up ASAP. I think my library has a couple of copies.

So there are some diverse short story collections that are on my TBR! Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts? Do you have any recommendations? Let me know!

Also if you have any requests for things you’d like to see on my TBR, let me know!

Ally xx


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