"Best American" Short Works Collections on Hoopla or Libby

By Cecilia Cygnar

One of the most famous series of collected works out there, the "Best American" series began life in 1915 with "Best American Short Stories." So, 105 years old and still going strong! This is just a sampling of one from each of the series. Many more editions are available (mostly through Hoopla).

  • The Best American Short Stories 2015

    2015 by Boyle, T.C.

    This one started it all. Edition 100's guest editor is T.C. Boyle, an acclaimed novelist and short-story author who has published eight collections of short stories and has had stories published in The New Yorker, Harper's, The Atlantic, and Esquire.

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  • The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2015

    2015 by Hill, Joe

    Beginning in 2015, this addition to the "Best American" series has become one of the most popular. The inaugural edition is guest edited by Joe Hill, a novel and story writer, as well as the son of Stephen King. Includes stories by Neil Gaiman, T. C. Boyle, Daniel H. Wilson, and many others.

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  • The Best American Mystery Stories 2017


    First published in 1997, this edition is guest edited by John Sandford, best known as the thriller novelist of the "Prey" series. But he's also published a short story called "Lucy Had a List," not to mention winning a Pulitzer Prize for Feature Journalism in 1986, three years before he began his thriller writing career.

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  • The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2015

    2015 by Johnson, Adam

    Starting in 2002, this anthology of fiction and nonfiction includes works selected annually by high school students. From 2002 to 2013, writer Dave Eggers was the editor. Since his departure, they have been alternating editors like the others in the "Best American" series.

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  • The Best American Essays 2015

    2015 by Levy, Ariel

    Since 1986, this series always includes magazine essays published in some of the best periodicals in the country, including Granta, Harper's, Kenyon Review, and New York Magazine, among others. Joyce Carol Oates contributed in the editing process from 1986 to 2000, but they have also always had a guest editor, usually an essayist of some note.

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  • The Best American Food Writing 2018

    2018 by Reichl, Ruth

    This inaugural issue is edited by Ruth Reichl, best known for being the editor of the highly acclaimed but now defunct Gourmet Magazine. Since the end of the magazine, Reichl has been writing books about food, her life, and her life with food. So, if anyone is sure to select the best food writing in the country, she is.

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  • The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2015

    2015 by Skloot, Rebecca

    Since 2000, science and nature articles from publications across the country have been compiled in this collection. The 2015 edition was guest edited by Rebecca Skloot, a science writer most famous for her book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

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  • The Best American Magazine Writing 2018


    Not really part of the true "Best American" series, since it is published by Columbia University Press rather than Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which publishes the "Best American" series. But it's popular and has been published since 2007. It includes the National Magazine Awards finalists and winners, so it deserve a place here.

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  • The Best American Travel Writing 2015

    2015 by McCarthy, Andrew

    Beginning in 2000, this collection of travel articles and short travelogues might include authors from all parts of the U.S., but the articles take you around the world. This 2015 edition is guest edited by someone who became a travel writer as a second career. Andrew McCarthy is best known as an actor in such films as St. Elmo's Fire and Pretty in Pink. He traded in the lights of Hollywood for his love of exploring and is now a writer with National Geographic Traveler magazine.

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  • The Best American Sports Writing 2015

    2015 by Thompson, Wright

    Starting in 1991, this series is the third-longest-running of the "Best American" series, and it's still going strong! Compiled from sports and other magazines from all parts of the country, this is truly the creme de la creme of sports writing. In 2015, Wright Thompson, a senior writer at ESPN, was guest editor.

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