Deal Me In 2014: A Short Story Reading Challenge

This year, we’re participating in Deal Me In 2014, a short story reading challenge hosted by Jay over at Bibliophilopolis

deal me in logo

Here are the mechanics as seen on the site:

What is the goal?
To read 52 short stories in 2014 (that’s only one per week)

What do I need?
1) Access to at least fifty-two short stories
2) A deck of cards
3) Less than an hour of reading time each week

Where do I post about my stories?
1) on your own blog or website if you have one (I will link to your post at the bottom of my weekly post. I currently plan to do my weekly post on Sundays)
2) if you don’t have a blog or website you may comment on my weekly post, sharing thoughts on your own story – or start one at WordPress or blogspot – it’s easy and free to create a basic blog.

How do I pick which stories to read?
(The 52 stories themselves are totally up to you.) Before you get started, come up with a roster of fifty-two stories (you can use any source) and assign each one to a playing card in a standard deck of cards. It can be fun to use different suits for different types of stories, but that is optional. Each “week,” (if you’re like me, you may occasionally fall a story or two behind) you draw a card at random from your deck and that is the story you will read.

Links to our short story lists:
Click here for Hanna’s list.
Click here for Kubi’s list.

This challenge is a fun, novel way to discover new authors and stories, to explore different genres, and to jumpstart the reading habit. We’re really excited to begin and we hope that you can join us!

Deal Me In 2014: A Short Story Reading Challenge

Kubi: Deal Me In 2014 (A Short Story Reading Challenge)

I love the concept for the Deal Me In Short Story Reading Challenge (2014), which is hosted by Jay at Bibliophilopolis. The goal is to be able to read 52 short stories in 2014, one for each week of the year. You come up with a list of 52 stories (drawing from any source) and “assign each one to a playingcard in a standard deck of cards.” Every week, you randomly pick a card from your deck, basically Letting the Cards Decide which story to read. The challenge lets you explore new authors and genres without being too intimidating. It also encourages a weekly habit of reading for at least an hour, and I think that’s good for anyone. And the element of chance makes everything extra exciting.

deal me in kubi

I decided to include stories from books already on my TBR, to help me along with my other reading challenges. My list features stories  from Drown by Junot Diaz, Cathedral by Raymond Carver, My Mistress’s Sparrow is Dead edited by Jeffrey Eugenides, and Where the God of Love Hangs Out by Amy Bloom.

CLUBS (Stories by Junot Diaz, Raymond Carver, and Amy Bloom)

A Ysrael (Diaz)
2 Fiesta, 1980 (Diaz)
3 Aurora (Diaz)
4 Aguantando (Diaz)
5 Drown (Diaz)
6 Vitamins (Carver)
7 Careful (Carver)
8 Where I’m Calling From (Carver)
9 The Train (Carver)
10 Fever (Carver)
J Between Here and Here (Bloom)
Q Where the God of Love Hangs Out (Bloom)
K William and Clare// Your Borders, Your Rivers, Your Tiny Villages/ I Love to See You Coming, I Hate to See You Go/ The Old Impossible/ Compassion and Mercy (Bloom)

SPADES (Stories by Junot Diaz, Raymond Carver, and Amy Bloom)

A Feathers (Carver)
2 Chef’s House (Carver)
3 Preservation (Carver)
4 The Compartment (Carver)
5 A Small, Good Thing (Carver)
6 Boyfriend (Diaz)
7 Edison, New Jersey (Diaz)
8 How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie (Diaz)
9 No Face (Diaz)
10 Negocios (Diaz)
J The Bridle (Carver)
Q Cathedral (Carver)
K Lionel and Julia// Sleepwalking/ Night Vision/ Light Into Dark/ Fort Useless and Fort Ridiculous (Bloom)

HEARTS (Stories from My Mistress’s Sparrow is Dead: Great Love Stories, from Chekhov to Munro edited by Jeffrey Eugenides)

A How to be an Other Woman by Lorrie Moore
2 Yours by Mary Robinson
3 The Bad Thing by David Gates
4 First Love by Isaac Babel
5 Tonka by Robert Musil
6 Jon by George Saunders
7 Red Rose, White Rose by Eileen Chang
8 Fireworks by Richard Ford
9 We Didn’t by Stuart Dybek
10 Something that Needs Nothing by Miranda July
J The Magic Barrel by Bernard Malamud
Q Innocence by Harold Brodkey
K The Bear Came Over the Mountain by Alice Munro

DIAMONDS (Stories from My Mistress’s Sparrow is Dead: Great Love Stories, from Chekhov to Munro edited by Jeffrey Eugenides)

A First Love and Other Sorrows by Harold Brodkey
2 The Lady with the Little Dog by Anton Chekhov
3 Love by Grace Paley
4 A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner
5 The Dead by James Joyce
6 Dirty Wedding by Denis Johnson
7 Natasha by David Bezmozgis
8 Some Other, Better Otto by Deborah Eisenberg
9 The Hitchhiking Game by Milan Kundera
10 Lovers of their Time by William Trevor
J Mouche by Guy de Maupassant
Q The Moon in Its Flight by Gilbert Sorrentino
K Spring in Fialta by Vladimir Nabokov

Kubi: Deal Me In 2014 (A Short Story Reading Challenge)

Hanna: Deal Me In 2014 (A Short Story Reading Challenge)

Deal Me In 2014 is a reading challenge hosted by Jay from Bibliophilopolis. The goal is to read 52 short stories, which have been selected upfront and chosen randomly through the help of a standard deck of cards. It is a fun and ingenious way of discovering new authors and fantastic stories. Jay also posts weekly wrap-up threads with everyone’s links for easy access to new stories to add to your list and new reading blogs to visit.

You can learn more about the challenge here.

deal me in logo

Most of the stories I’ve selected are from specific short story collections. Anything that Neil Gaiman touches is gold, and as an avid fan of the master storyteller, I’ve decided to include pieces from Unnatural Creatures. Lysley Tenorio made a bold entrance with Monstress, which delivers eight tales about the beautiful and the damned. Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger promises to be an illuminating experience and I can’t wait to get started. Haruki Murakami curates an anthology entitled Birthday Stories, which presents dark and cynical perspectives on birthdays.

I’ve included interesting pieces from some of my favorite authors such as Ray Bradbury, Roald Dahl, Neil Gaiman, and Francesca Lia Block. There are also stories from writers whom I’ve never read or read very little of such as Amelia Gray, Mieko Kawakami, Matt de la Peña, Kelly Luce, Ali Simpson, Lucy Corin, Dorothy Parker, Luis Joaquin M. Katigbak, and Lorrie Moore.

Here is my list for Deal Me In 2014:

CLUBS (Stories from Unnatural Creatures: Stories Selected by Neil Gaiman)

A [inksplot] by Gahan Wilson
2 The Griffin and the Minor Canon by Frank R. Stockton
3 Ozioma the Wicked by Nnedi Okorafor
4 The Sage of Theatre by Diana Wynne Jones
5 Gabriel-Ernest by Saki
6 The Cockatoucan; or, Great-Aunt Willoughby by E. Nesbit
7 Movable Beast by Maria Dahvana Headly
8 Prismatica by Samuel Delany
9 The Manticore, the Mermaid, and Me by Megan Kurashige
10 The Compleat Werewolf by Anthony Boucher
J The Smile on the Face by Nalo Hopkins
Q Or All the Seas with Oysters by Avram Davidson
K Come Lady Death by Peter S. Beagle

SPADES (Stories from Monstress by Lysley Tenorio and Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger)

A Monstress
2 The Brothers
3 Felix Starro
4 The View from Culion
5 Superassassin
6 Help
7 Save the I-Hotel
8 L’amour, CA
9 A Perfect Day for Bananafish
10 Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut
J Just Before the War with the Eskimos
Q The Laughing Man
K Down at the Dinghy

HEARTS (Stories from Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger, Birthday Stories: Selected and Introduced by Haruki Murakami, and selections from Ray Bradbury)

A For Esme – with Love and Squalor by J.D. Salinger
2 Pretty Mouth and Green My Eyes by J.D. Salinger
3 De Daumier-Smith’s Blue Period by J.D. Salinger
4 Teddy by J.D. Salinger
5 Timothy’s Birthday by William Trevor
6 Forever Overhead by David Foster Wallace
7 The Bath by Raymond Carver
8 The Veldt by Ray Bradbury
9 Kaleidoscope by Ray Bradbury
10 The Last Night of the World by Ray Bradbury
J The Laurel and Hardy Love Affair by Ray Bradbury
Q All Summer in A Day by Ray Bradbury
K A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury

DIAMONDS (Stories by Roald Dahl, Francesca Lia Block, Amelia Gray, Mieko Kawakami, Matt de la Peña, Kelly Luce, Ali Simpson, Lucy Corin, Dorothy Parker, Luis Joaquin M. Katigbak, Lorrie Moore, and Neil Gaiman)

A Genesis and Catastrophe by Roald Dahl
2 Pig by Roald Dahl
3 Safe Love by Francesca Lia Block
4 These Are the Fables by Amelia Gray
5 A Once-Perfect Day for Bananafish by Mieko Kawakami
6 Passing Each Other in Halls by Matt de la Peña
7 Amorometer by Kelly Luce
8 The Monster by Ali Simpson
9 Godzilla Versus the Smog Monster by Lucy Corin
10 A Telephone Call by Dorothy Parker
J Subterrania by Luis Joaquin M. Katigbak
Q Dance in America by Lorrie Moore
K Nothing O’Clock by Neil Gaiman

Hanna: Deal Me In 2014 (A Short Story Reading Challenge)