I've spent the last two days on the blogging topics, so for today's Armchair BEA, I thought I would go with the book topic for today - Novellas and Short Stories.
And now's the point when I start to laugh because I have to admit I don't tend to read short stories or novellas much. One author I love has released two novellas to compliment one of her series, and I've read them. I have read a couple of short story collections by various authors, but I found those to be very uneven. Some authors get telling a good story in a shorter format. Some just cram the conclusion into the end and it is obvious they really weren't planning to wrap it up at that point.
One author that really does get it is Steve Hockensmith. I started reading him via his Holmes on the Range mysteries which feature cowboy brothers solving mysteries in the 1890's. He actually first created the brothers for a short story and wrote a series of short stories around them before and during the novels. I've read a collection of those stories and really enjoyed them. You can read more of my thoughts at Dear Mr. Holmes. He also has a collection of comedic Christmas crime stories that I just loved called Naughty: Nine Tales of Christmas Crime.
Of course, this is also the part where I make a confession that is bad for a mystery lover. While there are some novels, most of the Sherlock Holmes stories are short stories. And I've honestly read very few of them. Likewise, I know Agatha Christie has written many short stories, but I've read very few of them. I have them around my condo, but I seem to be drawn to currently published books, missing out on some classics of the genre I love.
Speaking of classics, I went through a time in high school when I fell in love with O. Henry's short stories. They have such fun twists to them at times. He's best known for "The Gift of the Magi," with good reason, but another that stands out to me was "The Ransom of Red Chief." They could be serious or funny. Now I've got to pull my collection out and reread a few.
I do find my attention span for short stories isn't always the best. I can read a novel just fine, but if you tell me I am reading a short story, after 10 minutes I am itching to be done. I have to constantly remind myself how long they really are and set my expectations accordingly.
What about you? Any good short story authors out there? Do you enjoy the genre, or do you tend to stick to novels?