Adult Award-Winning Books Books by Region Contours of Love Genre International Lifespan of a Reader Literary Fiction Reading Themes Young Adult (YA) Literature

Bits and Pieces: 11 Short Story Collections About Love

The idea for this book list came about when I borrowed a copy of Summer Days and Summer Nights. The books featured in this post talk about love in its many forms.


“Loving can cost a lot but not loving always costs more, and those who fear to love often find that want of love is an emptiness that robs the joy from life.” — Merle Shain

I don’t read a lot of short stories. Yet, when we launched our quarterly theme on the Contours of Love, I realized I wanted to explore the short story aspect of it. The idea for this book list came about when I borrowed a copy of Summer Days and Summer Nights, a short story collection edited by Stephanie Perkins. I was fortunate to find 11 books in our library system for my list. The books featured in this post talk about love in its many forms. If you know of other titles, do share below. As always, happy reading!

th0329aAfter the Quake

by Haruki Murakami

“Set at the time of the catastrophic 1995 Kobe earthquake, the mesmerizing stories in After the Quake are as haunting as dreams and as potent as oracles. An electronic salesman who has been deserted by his wife agrees to deliver an enigmatic package—and is rewarded with a glimpse of his true nature. A man who views himself as the son of God pursues a stranger who may be his human father… The six stories in this collection come from the deep and mysterious place where the human meets the inhuman—and are further proof that Murakami is one of the most visionary writers at work today.”

th0329bAll Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages

edited by Saundra Mitchell

“Take a journey through time and genres and discover a past where queer figures live, love and shape the world around them. Seventeen of the best young adult authors across the queer spectrum have come together to create a collection of beautifully written diverse historical fiction for teens. From a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood set in war-torn 1870s Mexico featuring a transgender soldier, to two girls falling in love while mourning the death of Kurt Cobain, forbidden love in a sixteenth-century Spanish convent or an asexual girl discovering her identity amid the 1970s roller-disco scene, All Out tells a diverse range of stories across cultures, time periods and identities, shedding light on an area of history often ignored and forgotten.”

th0329cWhat Is Not Yours Is Not Yours

by Helen Oyeyemi

“Playful and exquisitely imagined, What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours is an enchanting collection of linked, intertwined stories cleverly built around the idea of keys, literal and metaphorical. The key to a house, the key to a heart, the key to a secret: the keys in this extraordinary book not only unlock the elements of the characters’ lives, they promise further labyrinths on the other side. In the opening story, “Books and Roses,” one special key opens a library, a garden, and clues to at least two lovers’ fates. In “Is Your Blood As Red As This?” an unlikely key opens the heart of a student at a puppeteering school. “‘Sorry’ Doesn’t Sweeten Her Tea” involves a “house of locks,” where doors can be closed only with a key—with surprising, unobservable developments.”

th0329dSummer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories


edited by Stephanie Perkins

“Maybe it’s the long, lazy days, or maybe it’s the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young-adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.”

th0329eMy True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

edited by Stephanie Perkins

“If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms, and especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by the international bestselling Stephanie Perkins. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year’s, there’s something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.”

th0329k145th Street: Short Stories

by Walter Dean Myers

“The first week of his senior year, everything changed. That’s when Mack met Kitty. She hadn’t finished the sonnet she wrote for him, but she had finished Mack. From that minute on, he was stupid in love. That’s just Kitty and Mack. But everybody on the block has a story to tell. A salty, wrenchingly honest collection of stories set on one block of 145th Street. We get to know the oldest resident; the cop on the beat; fine Peaches and her girl, Squeezie; Monkeyman; and Benny, a fighter on the way to a knockout. We meet Angela, who starts having prophetic dreams after her father is killed and Big Joe, who wants a bang-up funeral while he’s still around to enjoy it. Some of these stories are private, and some are the ones behind the headlines. In each one, characters jump off the page and pull readers right into the mix on 1-4-5.”

th0329fWhat They Found: Love on 145th Street

by Walter Dean Myers

“In new, intertwined stories, Walter Dean Myers returns to the world he wrote about so brilliantly in 145th Street: Short Stories, to show that all kinds of love can be found, and can thrive, in unlikely places. Curtis finds love in Iraq as he struggles to stay alive in a war he doesn’t want to fight. Letha, a teenage mother, discovers her own beauty in the love of her child. This big-as-life collection celebrates the styling; the courage; the humor, hope, and sorrow; the street poetry of life on 145th Street. Most of all, What They Found reflects the love Walter Dean Myers has for this community and its people.”

th0329gWhatever Happened to Interracial Love?

by Kathleen Collins

“Exuberant, poignant, perceptive, and full of grace, these sixteen stories by Kathleen Collins explore deep, far-reaching issues—relating to race, gender, family, and sexuality—that shape the ordinary moments in our lives. Collins’s work masterfully blends the quotidian and the profound in a personal, intimate way, seamlessly integrating the African-American experience into her characters’ lives and creating rich and devastatingly familiar characters who transcend symbolism.”

th0329hYou & Me & Why We Are in Love

by Aurelia Alcaïs

“Like all great ideals, Love—the kind written with a capital letter—often seems elusive. So then maybe it’s better, as Aurelia Alcaïs does, to talk about the kind written in lowercase, the more intimate kind of love, the kind that intertwines with our lives and creeps into the cracks of the everyday. With simple and elegant illustrations, You & Me & Why We Are in Love tells us about love in all its forms, not concerning itself with who or what you love, but above all, how you love. [These are] oddly charming and surprisingly sweet illustrated vignettes about love in its many forms.”

th0329iDifficult Loves

by Italo Calvino

“Who but Italo Calvino could blend realism and illusion to capture so precisely and so elegantly these moments in the lives of ordinary people? A theft in a pastry shop, a frenzied evening in a tavern, a young soldier caught up in a private fantasy of seduction, a middle-class woman who discovers while swimming that she has lost the lower part of her bikini—all are transformed by Calvino’s consummate artistry into stories that brilliantly explore intricate interior worlds. In these classics of the 1940’s and 1950’s, Calvino depicts instants of recognition and alarm, when cherished deceptions and illustions of love—frequently self-love—are stripped away.”

th0329jLovers on All Saints’ Day

by Juan Gabriel Vásquez

“In these seven powerful stories, the genius novelist Juan Gabriel Vásquez brings his keen eye and rich prose to themes of love and memory. A Colombian writer is witness to a death that will mark him forever. A woman sits alone in her house, waiting for her husband to return from an expedition to find wood for their stove, while he lies in another woman’s bed a few miles away, unable to heal the wound in his own marriage. There are love affairs, revenge, troubled histories, and tender moments that reveal a person’s whole history in a few sentences.”

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2 comments on “Bits and Pieces: 11 Short Story Collections About Love

  1. I want to read them ALL!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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