A Mad Dash to 100

Last year,  I signed up to robaroundbooks’ 100 shots of short (stories) reading challenge.  I love short stories and really a target of 100/year is achievable.  In 2010  I completed the challenge in September, three months ahead of schedule. It was such fun that I decided to read at least 100 short stories every year.

Well, this year is a different story.  As of today, I have read 67 short stories. The list of stories are on my Challenges page.  So it is a mad dash to 100 by the end of December 2011. In short, I need to read 33 shorts to complete the challenge on time.

Here then are the books to get me to goal:

  • Opening Spaces: An Anthology of Contemporary African Women’s Writing by Yvonne Vera  – Amy and Nana Fredua both reviewed the anthology this year and I was reminded how much I loved it way back when it was first published. There are 15 stories in the book. Writers include Ifoema Okoye, Leila Aboulela, Sindiwe Magona and Veronique Tadjo
  • The 2007 O’Henry Prize Stories edited by Charles D’Ambrosio, Ursula Le Guin and Lily Tuck – The only one of its kind that I own.  I’m always picking it up and putting it back down.  There are twenty stories in the anthology.  Writers include Alice Munro, William Trevor, Vu Tran, Adam Haslett and Ariel Dorfman.
  • One World of Literature edited by Shirley Geok-Lin Lim and Norman Spencer – The book “is intended for instructors who want a collection that significantly enlarges the repertoire of standard anthologies”.   I found it in my mother’s (the instructor) library.  It has “165 selections from 52 countries on all  inhabited continents”.  The selections include poetry; still there is large offering of short stories.
  • Sudden Fiction International: 60 Short Short Stories edited by Robert Shapard and James Thomas –  Boy am I glad I found this in my mum’s library!  This book will put the sprint in my dash. Short shorts, some are short as one page.  Writers include Julio Cortazar, Jamaica Kincaid, Yasunari Kawabata, Slawomir Mrozek, Rodrigo Rey Rosa and Fernando Sorrentino.

December is short story month.  Let the games begin!



  1. That’s a great challange. Over the last year or two thanks to all theSpanish short story writers I’ve been reading I’ve reallly been reading a lot of them, too. I might be close to 50 or 60 for this year. More people need to take up your challenge. Short stories are too great to be ignored. Good luck with your goal.


    • I’ve noticed your posts on the Spanish short stories you’ve been reading. I think more people are discovering the joy of reading short stories. I will advertise the challenge when I reset it for next year. Perhaps more people will join me. All the best.


  2. Good luck! I have pretty much bowed out of all challenges because I suck at them. Seriously. It’s ridiculous, and I get really frustrated and feel guilty. So yeah. I think I’m going to steer clear.


    • I understand perfectly. But this one I really enjoy so I’ll try and finish, if only for my own sake:). Thanks for the encouragement.


    • I scaled down to 2 this year. I will probably add two more. I would like to be disciplined and focus my reading a bit more. thanks, Stu


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