Some readers might be surprised by the number of books of poetry and short stories that are published every month, but anyone who already loves those genres knows that there are great options being released all the time. No matter if you’re new to short fiction or if you’re an established connoisseur, there are books for you, and we’re happy to make some recommendations! Read on for a selection of some of the best new releases, which cover a wide array of subjects and styles.
The Best American Nonrequired Reading
Mariner Books, $15.99, 272 pages
Imagine if 2019 could be summed up in a single collection of fiction stories, poetry, essays, and comics. Well, it has been! This collection, edited by 826 National, is the culmination of a year’s worth of weekly discussions by a group of high school students tasked with finding the best of the best of 2019. And the resulting collection feels, well, like it covers all the essential feelings of the year. Readers will enjoy pieces about a wide range of topics, from wars to families to butts to pretty much everything in between. There’s a fantastic balance of serious to light-hearted, and the different styles of the authors and artists featured make this collection a true joy to page through.
The Best American Essays
Mariner Books, $15.99, 256 pages
Essays are a whole different breed of literature. Some give readers a snapshot into the author’s personal life, their thoughts, their hopes and dreams and histories. Others might focus on a particular subject, and the blend of information and opinion varies from essay to essay. Still others might be pure opinion, whether the subject is historical, emotional, political, or something else. This collection, edited by well-known feminist Rebecca Solnit, features a selection of some of the best essays from the past year. Anyone familiar with Solnit will not be surprised by many of her selections, but the fact of the matter is that these writings will leave readers thinking and wondering, which is never a bad thing.
The Best American Short Stories 2019
Mariner Books, $15.99, 400 pages
Every year, a new collection of fantastic short stories is added to this collection, and the 2019 edition, curated by Anthony Doerr, is full of fantastic short fiction that will keep readers engaged and flipping the pages. The subjects contained in these pages are diverse, from teen culture to the nature of patient-doctor relationships to war stories, these stories also display a wide range of writing styles and tones, making each selection a true pleasure to read. Whether you’re looking to settle in for a good long reading session or just have a few minutes to grab a quick story, this book is highly recommended.
By Tyler Lockett
Andrews McMeel Publishing, $14.99, 112 pages
Tyler Lockett is a highly admired National Football League player, but anyone who thinks that’s all there is to him has another thing coming. Football fans and non-sports enthusiasts alike will be impressed with Lockett’s debut book of poetry. Lockett has been writing poetry for many years, and this book covers a wide array of topics that is sure to appeal to teen and young adult readers especially, but which can certainly be enjoyed by everyone. What makes this book especially wonderful is the many ways Lockett encourages readers to reflect on their own lives, through study questions with plenty of space to actually write in your own answers. With poems about big topics like self identity, religion, sports, and relationships, Lockett’s book is sure to appeal to a wide range of readers.
Houses Under the Sea
By Caitlin R. Kiernan
Subterranean Press, $45.00, 488 pages
Readers who love horror and the supernatural may already be familiar with the work of Caitlin R. Kiernan, but those who aren’t are in for a treat. This collection focuses on Kiernan’s works within the Cthulhu Mythos, and includes more than two dozen fantastical, gritty, strangely beautiful stories that expand upon the creations of H.P. Lovecraft. Readers will enjoy getting lost in these stories, which shine a bright spotlight on Kiernan’s remarkable writing abilities. But while this collection has a Lovecraftian theme, anyone who enjoys horror stories will love this book.