Short stories

18 Best Stories by Edgar Allan Poe

By Edgar Allan Poe

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"The Masque of the Red Death." "Cask of Amontillado." "The Tell-Tale Heart." Poe mastered the art of spine-tingling storytelling in the 19th century, and few have come close to rivaling his mastery since. Read these in front of the fire with one candle lit for the full effect.

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Victorian Ghost Stories: An Oxford Anthology

By Michael Cox and R.A. Gilbert, editors

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"There's nothing like a good ghost story. And, in Victorian Ghost Stories, Michael Cox and R.A. Gilbert bring together thirty-five well-wrought tales of haunted houses, vengeful spirits, spectral warnings, invisible antagonists, and motiveless malignity from beyond the grave.
"The Victorians excelled at the ghost story, it was as much a part of their literary culture as the realistic novel, and it was practiced by almost all the great writers of the age. Cox and Gilbert here provide samples from Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, Rudyard Kipling, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Henry James, and Wilkie Collins, as well as such classic ghost-story specialists as M.R. James and J.S. Le Fanu (whose "Account of Some Strange Disturbances in Aungier Street," considered one of the best haunted-house story ever written...), plus one or two genuine rarities for the supernatural fiction enthusiast to savor."

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The Mammoth Book of Twentieth-Century Ghost Stories

By Peter Haining, editor

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"Some of this century's greatest writers turn their hand to storytelling at its most chilling. In the hundred years since Henry James' The Turn of the Screw, the literary ghost story has attracted many distinguished writers of fiction, & this outstanding collection represents thirty of the best, with authors as varied as Jack London, Agatha Christie, Daphne du Maurier, P. G. Wodehouse, John Steinbeck, Muriel Spark, Henry James, Fay Weldon, John Mortimer, Ruth Rendell, Mary Higgins Clark, & William Trevor, among many others."

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The Ghost Stories of M.R. James

By M.R. James

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M.R. James was one of the most accomplished scholars of his generation, a brilliant, internationally known authority on early Christian manuscripts. He was in turn a Fellow, Dean, and Provost of Kings College, Cambridge, and then finally the Provost of Eton, where he died a much-loved and revered figure in 1936.

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The Collected Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

By Edgar Allan Poe

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"Once upon a midnight dreary..." Enter the world of premature burials, tell-tale hearts, and the conqueror worm if you dare.

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The Collected Writings of Ambrose Bierce

By Ambrose Bierce

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The best from the legendary 19th-century journalist, including stories that still amuse, shock, and entertain. Bierce wrote many horror tales in his career. Look for them here under “Can Such Things Be?”
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Scary Stories

By Various authors

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Scary Stories features an all-star lineup of contemporary masters and timeless authors, including H. G. Wells, Edgar Allen Poe, O. Henry and 17 others. What sets this book apart from all others is Barry Moser's stunning black-and-white illustrations.

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Murder in Vegas: New Crime Tales of Gambling and Desperation

By Michael Connelly

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Edited by bestselling-author Michael Connelly, this new anthology from the International Society of Crime Writers gathers 22 never-before-published crime and mystery stories about the ultimate playground, Las Vegas, and what can happen behind the glitz and glamour.
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When a book "calls" to you, go for it!

Joe Hill

You can tell a book by its cover.  So, if a book’s cover or title “calls” to you, it's karma - pick it up! A couple of years ago I was in the library and a book by a debut author was in display. The Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill was definitely calling to me. I thought, “Who is this Joe Hill? I don’t know him and maybe his book isn’t good.”
A couple of weeks later a patron came into my office and asked me, “Have you ever read anything by Joe Hill?”
        “No. Why? Is he good?” I asked.
        “Well, you know that he is Stephen King’s son. I wanted to see if he writes like his father.” 
         Now I am kicking myself mentally!  I should have listened to the book calling me! I ran to the display and thankfully it was still there!

Lad, a Dog by Albert Terhune

Lad, A Dog

“He was a big and incredibly powerful collie, with a massive coat of burnished mahogany-and-snow and with absurdly small forepaws (which he spent at least an hour a day in washing) and with deep-set dark eyes that seemed to have a soul behind them. So much for the outer dog. For the inner: he had a heart that did not know the meaning of fear or disloyalty or of meanness.” – Albert Terhune

Think of a famous collie dog, and you’ll probably imagine clever Lassie or maybe motherly Fly from the movie/book Babe. But before these smart collies became known everywhere, there was a real-life dog named Lad who was as famous as either of them. He lived almost one hundred years ago, yet his adventures still make for good reading today.