Below are some selected picks among the titles most recently indexed. Some of I’ve read in full, some I just found too interesting too pass up.

Have you read some of these collections and what was your experience? Let me know on my Facebook page or in the comment track here in the Modern Literature Society (also on Facebook) .

I’d love to hear from you!

This collection starts off with a bang when the main character of the story meets a person who is supposed to be dead. I have a special place in my heart for stories where your notions of reality are twisted just a little bit without veering into outright fantasy and this title seems to fit the bill perfectly. Have you read it? Can you recommend it?

I am reading this one at the moment and it’s great for those moments when you need a good dose of dark humor. And what better place to find that than in the former Soviet Union, specifically (and incidentally) Ukraine as it was back then. Some good Master and Margarita-vibes here, too, when it comes to making fun of the Soviet bureaucracy (but without the Devil, mind you – the way apparatchiks behave makes him rather superfluous!). Have you read it? What did you think about it?

This is on my reading list because it looks too wild and interesting to pass up. If anyone has read it, I’d love to hear of their experience!

Great writing that has already gotten a lot of accolades. From magical and absurd territory in the previous titles, we get back to reality with a bang. The style is gritty and captivating. Have you read it?

Another one for the reading list. I read the first story in the preview on Amazon and it is a letter from a young Chinese girl to President Nixon ‘in hell’. It doesn’t come off as overtly political, though, more like a tongue-in-cheek exploration of our all-too-human foibles, beneath all the glitz of a much-lauded rapprochement between two superpowers back in the day.

I chose this one because it is written in part in the local dialect and I’ve got a strange attraction to those stories. They just reek of authenticity, but … it’s an investment, and I feel I have to be ready to make it before I dive in. Does anyone know the book or the author – and have you made the jump and read it?

This is a collection in the subgenre of war-stories which I have recently found to be quite alive and well, especially stories written by former veterans like this one. It is a debut as far as I can tell, but the stories do pack a punch, and I get some hefty Tim O’Brien-vibes from this one (which is not a bad thing!)

Moving away from the more recent publications, I’d like to end this first newsletter by shining a spotlight on one of the linked short story classics. Like with Night of the Living Rez above we are back in Native American territory (literally and figuratively), and writing that just blows you away. Here’s a good quote from the book which says it all:

“Your past is a skeleton walking one step behind you, and your future is a a skeleton walking one step in front of you. Maybe you don’t wear a watch, but your skeletons do, and they always know what time it is.”