Classic Authors--Short Stories on Libby or Hoopla

By Cecilia Cygnar

The short story is often unsung. Many authors become famous with novels, but more than likely, they started out writing short stories. Sometimes their short stories are even better than their novels. Sometimes not. Here are some classic authors whose shorter works you might not have read...or even heard of!

  • Bradbury Stories: 100 of His Most Celebrated Tales

    2013 by Bradbury, Ray

    Not only for Bradbury readers. Each of these 100 stories is touched with Bradbury's famous supernatural feel, though many of them have little to do with "other worlds." Bradbury, known most for his science fiction and revolutionary novels like Fahrenheit 451, does not leave anything on the table when it comes to this style of writing.

    Get this item
  • The King of Clubs: A Short Story

    2019 by Christie, Agatha

    The Queen of Mystery Novels did write short stories. This one even features her most famous detective, Hercule Poirot, and finds him investigating the murders of a dancer and theater impresario. This short story originally appeared in The Sketch magazine, and Hoopla has many more Christie short stories available. More with Poirot, some with Miss Marple, some with Tommy and Tuppence.

    Get this item
  • The Charles Dickens Christmas Collection

    2018 by Dickens, Charles

    This collection by the beloved author of A Christmas Carol, along with many, many other acclaimed and timeless novels (Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, Bleak House, just to name a few), features five novellas (including A Christmas Carol) and 23 short stories about the spirit of goodwill during the holiday season.

    Get this item
  • Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories, Volumes I and II

    2003 by Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan

    People wrongly assume Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote all his Holmes/Watson stories as novels. Actually, only four were novels, and the rest were stories...more than 50 in all. In addition to this Overdrive eBook, Hoopla has many collections, both as eBook and audiobook, which feature the most famous sleuth and sidekick duo on the planet.

    Get this item
  • The Stories of John Cheever

    2010 by Cheever, John

    One of the most prolific and acclaimed writers of the 20th century, this collection won Cheever the Pulitzer Prize in 1979, as well as a National Book Critics Circle award. His novels also were very well received in the literary landscape, but it is his short stories that remain his true legacy.

    Get this item
  • A Rose for Emily and Other Stories

    2012 by Faulkner, William

    Faulkner will forever be remembered as the author who turned literary style on its head with his stream of consciousness novels The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying. I find his short stories moving and empowering, and I much prefer them to his time-consuming and, at times, tedious novels. Read some of his stories and see if you agree.

    Get this item
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

    2012 by Fitzgerald, F. Scott

    Known best for his Jazz Age novels, most notably The Great Gatsby, but also Tender is the Night and This Side of Paradise. Fitzgerald also wrote excellent short stories about the Roaring '20s, among other things. The title story is a particularly vivid one, about a man living his life backwards. The other stories included in this collection are "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz," "Tarquin of Cheapside," and "O Russet Witch!"

    Get this item
  • The Dashiell Hammett Collection: The Maltese Falcon and 10 More Detective Stories

    2012 by Hammett, Dashiell

    Hammett's most known work, The Maltese Falcon, is a short novel. This collection also features 10 short stories by Hammett, who many call one of the finest writers of mystery fiction ever. He and Raymond Chandler are said to have created the hard-boiled detective, with Hammett creating Sam Spade and Chandler creating Philip Marlowe. Hammett also created the Nick and Nora Charles characters in his novel The Thin Man, but more famously, the series of movies. Like many other authors on this list, Hammett might be best known for his novels, but he was much more prolific with short stories, some of which are collected here.

    Get this item
  • Three Stories and Ten Poems

    2019 by Hemingway, Ernest

    When I first read Hemingway, I started with one of his novels, The Sun Also Rises. It was not my type of book. Then I tried A Farewell to Arms. Again, not so much my thing. I found his style very matter-of-fact and dry. After all, Hemingway's background is journalism, which needs to be succinct and to-the-point. Then I read the short story "Hills Like White Elephants," and my entire opinion of Hemingway changed with that one story. After that, I read collections of his stories and found that, for me, his no-nonsense style translated better in shorter works. See if you agree!

    Get this item
  • The Awakening and Selected Short Stories

    2010 by Chopin, Kate

    The Awakening is a short novel, which is one of my favorite classic works, but it's Chopin's stories that we're focusing on here. And like her famous novel, they are worth a read because even though they are short, they are filled with the same atmospheric passion as The Awakening.

    Get this item
  • A Modern Cinderella: Or, the Little Old Shoe and Other Stories

    2010 by Alcott, Louisa May

    From the author of the most acclaimed coming-of-age novel of all time, Little Women, Alcott created the same well-rounded characters in her stories. Just like in her novels, she breathed life into her stories and filled them with atmosphere and true emotion.

    Get this item
  • Complete Original Short Stories of Guy De Maupassant

    2010 by De Maupassant, Guy

    This French author wrote six novels in this lifetime, and more than 300 short stories. Yes, 300! I would call de Maupassant the Godfather of the Short Story. After all, he didn't invent the format, but he sure did take it and run with it, making a name for himself that still lives on more than 100 years after his death (in 1893).

    Get this item
  • Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick: Stories from the Harlem Renaissance

    2020 by Hurston, Zora Neale

    Hurston, best known for her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, wrote these stories during the time with which she is most associated, the Harlem Renaissance. During that time, she was a central literary figure. Then, after that period ended, she faded into almost oblivion until the 1970s, when authors like Alice Walker brought Hurston back into the public's consciousness.

    Get this item
  • The Lottery, and Other Stories

    2014 by Jackson, Shirley

    "The Lottery" is one of the most famous short stories ever written. But Jackson's other stories are just as well-done and should get the same attention. In this collection of 24 stories, the other 23 stories here are, like "The Lottery," unusual, thrilling in topic and tone, and basically well-crafted. Read all 24 and find out if there's a reason "The Lottery" gets all the attention, or if there is another story that should stand out.

    Get this item
  • Some Short Stories

    2010 by James, Henry

    Like Faulkner and Hemingway, James is an author that I simply cannot read in novel form. I've tried several of his novels, including Portrait of a Lady and Washington Square, and I just could not get into either of them or tolerate the style of writing. Once again, James' short stories are an easier, simpler way to get to know this author's style. Unlike with his novels, he keeps the verbosity at a minimum, and I find his stories much more palatable than his novels.

    Get this item
  • Brown Wolf and Other Jack London Stories

    2010 by London, Jack

    Even though London is most known for his novels, The Call of the Wild and White Fang, his matter-of-fact writing style lent itself easily to shorter works. Like Hemingway, London's background is in journalism, so this might explain his direct and concise style. This collection features 12 of London's stories.

    Get this item
  • The Fall of the House of Usher

    2010 by Poe, Edgar Allan

    I could not do a classic short story list and not include Poe. If Guy du Maupassant is the "Godfather of the Short Story," then Poe is the Father. But many people overlook his written works and focus instead on the filmed adaptations of his works, many of which are excellent. Many also believe that because the movies are so intricate and complex, he wrote novels, but he really only wrote one novel and it's definitely not the work for which he's most noted. The ones that stand out in Poe's repertoire, "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Masque of the Red Death," "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," "The Pit and the Pendulum," and, of course, "The Fall of the House of Usher," are all stories. And all must-reads!

    Get this item
  • A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories

    1992 by O'Connor, Flannery

    Like Poe, O'Connor is an author known much more for her short stories than her novels. She only wrote 2 longer works of fiction, but more than 30 stories, of which "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" is probably the most famous. With her easy-going, flowing style, her stories are filled with timeless situations and well-developed characters.

    Get this item
  • The Best Short Stories of Mark Twain

    2009 by Twain, Mark

    Like many other writers on this list, Twain is most noted for his novels, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. But he was also a prolific story writer, and some of his finest are included in this collection. One of the stories here, “Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog,” is a true classic and one of the reasons he is known today as the country's best satirist.

    Get this item
  • The Descent of Man and Other Stories

    2010 by Wharton, Edith

    I'm including this one a little begrudgingly. Neither Overdrive nor Hoopla have my favorite Wharton short story, "Roman Fever," available in their collection. But, since she's one (if not THE ONE) of my all-time favorite authors, I will include this collection of stories by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of acclaimed novels such as The Age of Innocence, The House of Mirth, and Ethan Frome. This collection includes the title story as well as nine others, and even though my favorite is not among them, they are still excellent stories.

    Get this item