The quest was on to see what was lurking on the shelves to feed the ongoing short story habit and as I prowled around a surprising number came to light.
A little Pushkin Press edition with just two, The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant and The Pearls by Isak Dinesen.I need no persuasion to pick up a Pushkin, this one's nicely silver
According to my journal it's eighteen years since I first read Secret Villages by Douglas Dunn so before it re-emerges word perfect in my long-term memory I will read it again. This book did the rounds of quite a few of us who had small children at the time and were craving something other than Topsy & Tim on the reading list. We all nudged each other's reading along into new post-natal territory fearing the death of the brain cells if we didn't get a grip.
Likewise Katherine Mansfield and The Garden Party, long overdue a revisit.
Essential Kit by Linda Leatherbarrow published by Maia Press and bought in response to my initial enthusiasm for all things Maia and has remained unread.This garnered good reviews at the time as I recall.
Then over to the middlebrow shelves though why I have housed Elizabeth Taylor over there I'm not sure, but The Devastating Boys looks like a fine collection with another Paul Bailey introduction and as I haven't read any of her short stories Elizabeth makes the cut.
One or two Hemingway short stories read down the years but I must grasp the nettle so The Snows of Kilimanjaro it is.
Thence across to my US women writers shelves to see what's on offer. I'm hankerign after a return to Dawn Powell after finding several extracts from her diaries in my daily read of The Assassin's Cloak but I don't have any of her short stories. Did she actually write any? But there was Kate Chopin's Bayou Folk which will do very nicely for now.
Finally in this trawl Hotel of the Saints by Ursula Hegi. I bought this one in that great flurry that happens when you read one book that you love by an author so you dash out and buy the rest, but the moment has often passed by the time the books arrive. I read Stones From the River and then needed everything Ursula Hegi had written but nothing quite managed to grab my attention.
Ninety-six short stories in that lot which should keep me going into May, but being an indecisive Libran now I can't quite make up my mind whether to read volume by volume to get a real feel for each writer or swip and swap each day to ring the changes. Nothing would have induced me to interrupt Balancing on the Edge of the World by Elizabeth Baines until I'd read them all, so it will be interesting to see how this selection shapes up.