Short story goodness at Brighton Waterstones

Delicious!

Being proud

Brighton is a unique place and I am so glad that I get to regularly go there and work in the coolest bookshop in the country. Pride took place yesterday and Waterstone’s had a rather eye-catching window display that I thought I’d share with you:

Missing from the pic are the gorgeous rainbow paper chains that are hanging above the display but I couldn’t fit them in. Anyway, the rain cleared away, the sun shone, the parade, erm, paraded, and all was good. 
You all know that I’m also proud of my short story section and I reckon it’s time for a new piccy:
See how pleasingly orange the top shelf is, look at how scrumptious Ten Stories About Smoking by Stuart Evers is. And yes, that is Lydia Davis finally available in paperback!

4 things

I read my new story – “The Mothers” – at Sparks and it is now available to read here. 

I am chuffed to have a story in the second issue of Fractured West. It’s a delicious publication – cute but with bite.
This is how gorgeous my short story case at Brighton Waterstone’s looks:
And this is what’s in my new “Brief Live’s – Unforgettable Words” case. (I prefer to call it Dead Brilliant but yeah, that’s probably bad taste.)

Psst! Wanna see my short story display case?

Regular readers will know that I occasionally post pics of “my” short story display case. (Of course, when I say “my” I mean books selected by me and displayed for sale at Waterstone’s bookshop in Brighton.)
So, here’s how it looks RIGHT NOW!
On the top we have Just When Stories all profits of which go to WildAid and the David Shepherd Foundation. Next up is Fame by Daniel Kehlmann, and then Stories to get you Through the Night which is the most perfect gift book I can think of. It’s beautifully done and offers quality stories from Katherine Mansfield, Alice Munro, Anton Chekhov, Oscar Wilde, Haruki Murakami, Wilkie Collins, Kate Chopin, Elizabeth Gaskell, The Brothers Grimm, John Cheever, Arthur Conan Doyle, Virginia Woolf, Rudyard Kipling, Helen Simpson, Richard Yates, James Lasdun, Martin Amis, Angela Carter, Somerset Maugham and Julian Barnes.

On the first shelf we have, as we always will as long as I am running this, the wonderful Collected Stories of Janice Galloway. I’m not sure if you’ll be able to read my review card in the picture, suffice to say I truly believe Galloway’s prose to be perfect. Next along is The Collected Stories of Lorrie Moore – another MUST for any short story fan. Then A. L Kennedy What Becomes (seriously people, this top shelf is chock full of awesome talent.) Then there is The Stories of Breece D’J Pancake, which contains the 6 stories published during his life, and 6 unpublished. It’s harsh knowing that’s all there ever will be. These are such vivid stories, rooted deeply in the place of his birth, rural West Virginia.

On the second shelf is Delicate Edible Birds by Lauren Groff,  The Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology 3 (which we had to reorder almost as soon as it came in!), Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout  and If I Loved You I would Tell You This by Robin Black (the title story is wonderful.)

The third shelf begins with Simon Van Booy The Secret Lives of People in Love which I haven’t read yet but am looking forward to, David Vann Legend of a Suicide which is one of those rare, special books that people urge on each other: Have you read? No? You should…
I have just added Virginia Woolf A Haunted House and other stories, it seems such an autumnal book. Then there is the inimitable (tho’ plenty try) Irvine Welsh with Reheated cabbage. 

The bottom shelf begins with The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg, then the splendid Instruction Manual For Swallowing by Adam Marek, the much praised (and still on my list to be read) Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower and finally Wilful Creatures by Aimee Bender.


Pretty darn enticing, huh?

New display case revealed…da da daaah….

I think this display case is a perfect mix of fiction that appeals to Eddie (lovely colleague and fiction buyer) and I. We have both selected books for inclusion (Eddie is very skilled at finding awesome, bonkers, wonderful fiction), and I’m really pleased with it. Show it some love people! (You can play guess who chose what as well if you like!)

A flash fiction display case! How cool?

I had never heard of Tender Buttons, but sheez, what an intriguing looking book. Gonna have to buy a copy for myself. Lydia Davis and Amy Hempel, of course. Barthelme looks magnificent.

An enticing middle section eh? Tania Hershman (aka queen of flash), Sum (which is selling heaps of copies)and Today I Wrote Nothing by Daniil Kharms (and looks like a must read to me.)

The final shelf has Dave Eggers – How we are Hungry, Raymond Queneau’s Exercises in Style and The Black Sheep and Other Fables by Augusto Monterroso.

So, what do you think? Looks good, right?

P.S Since piccy taken we have sold out of Queneau and added Etgar Keret.

Check out "my" short story display case…


I thought it was time for another look at Brighton Waterstone’s short story display case. If this works I think you should be able to click the pic and see it in giant format. Some very good books in there.

From the top we have The Cost of Living by Mavis Gallant, The United States of McSweeney’s(delicious as all McSweeney’s publications are) and of course Raymond Carver’s Beginners.

You’ll not be surprised to see Janice Galloway’s Collected Stories or The Collected Stories of Lorrie Moore and then I have one of my favourites of this year, Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout next to Sylvia Plath’s Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams (gosh, I love that cover so much.)

On the next shelf down we have the Bristol Short Story Prize anthology 2009, Gentleman’s Relish by Patrick Gale, Miranda July’s No One Belongs Here More Than You, Nuala Ni Chonchuir’s excellent Nude.

Phew – this link love takes it out of a gal.

Right, next we have a new one (spotted by my lovely colleague Eddie) Super Girl by Ruth Thomas, one regular readers of this blog will know very well – Vanessa Gebbie’s superb Words From a Glass Bubble, A L Kennedy’s What Becomes
and Kelly Link’s Pretty Monsters (pretty cover too!)

Crikey, so many short story books, so many links! Onto the final shelf: Yiyun Li A Thousand Years of Good Prayers is next to Helen Simpsons Hey yeah Right Get a Life (a fab collection to change the mind of anyone who thinks women’s domesticity can’t be the stuff of brilliant literature.) Then there is David Constantine The Shieling, and finally The Childrens’ Hours edited by Zimler and Sekulovic.

Cool stuff huh?

And I have a teaser for you. There is a new display case on the fiction floor of Waterstone’s Brighton. I am running it with Eddie and we have both chosen books for it. I think some of you will really like it! Anyone want to take a guess as to what its theme is?

"My" short story display case!

I thought it’d be cool to show you a recent photo from the short story display case at work. There seems to have been a sudden flurry of very good short story collections being published. Hurray!

Starting from the top we have Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie “The Thing Around Your Neck”, “Midsummer Nights” edited by Jeanette Winterson, and James Lasdun “It’s Beginning to Hurt”(which looks excellent, though I haven’t read it yet.)

First shelf we have Tania Hershman’s “The White Road and other stories”. Tania was recently commended by the Chair of Judges of the Orange Award for New Writers who said “(her) work stood out for its remarkable quality. We look forward to seeing more of (her) writing in the future.”, then a really interesting anthology called “Punk Fiction” which features stories from a diverse range of people who were inspired by punk – amongst them Billy Bragg and Billy Childish, Kate Pullinger and Lane Ashfeldt. Next there is “An Elegy for Easterly” by Petina Gappah. You can read Vanessa Gebbie’s review of the book in this months Pulp Net. Also there is Wells Tower’s much written about/hyped collection “Everything Ravaged, everything Burned”

Second shelf features Eliazabeth Baines “Balancing on the Edge of the World”, Sylvia Plath’s “Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams” which sells well when in a prominent place. Perhaps people think Plath = poetry and The Bell Jar (incidentally, there is a new edition of The Bell Jar from Faber, it’s part of their 80th celebration, and I had to buy it just because it is so gorgeous. All of the Faber 80’s covers are scrummy.) Janice Galloway’s superb “Where You Find It” and “The Book of Other People”

The third shelf has “Let’s Call the Whole thing off: Love quarrels from Anton Chekov to ZZ Packer” – and includes a tiny piece from a writer I adore – Frances Gapper, as well as Ali Smith, Jackie Kay and Dorothy Parker, then deliciously quirky “No One Belongs Here More Than You” by Miranda July, “In Bed With…” full of anonymous sexy stories by well known authors including Ali Smith, Stella Duffy, Fay Weldon and Emma Darwin, and “The Pleasant Light of Day” by Phillip O’Ceallaigh.

The last shelf is rather cool, with “Everyday” by Lee Rourke, “The Loudest Sound and Nothing” by Clare Wigfall, “One World – a Global anthology” which I blogged about here, and Four Letter Word, which if I’m honest is the only thing not picked by me and has been replaced by
Lorrie Moore’s “Collected Stories” (a must) which is now available in paperback.

Phew – I have link fatigue.