My 2018 Deal Me In reading list


(Deal Me In logo above designed by Mannomoi at follow her on Twitter at

What gall it must take for a blogger – who hasn’t even come close to completing his annual reading project for THIS year! – to take time to plan out the next year’s?  Well, gall I got, so here goes! I should note that I am planning to “host” (using that word very loosely, here, basically I’m just going to announce) the 8th Annual Deal Me In Short Story Reading Challenge a week from today, which will be the “shortest” day of the year – at least for us Northern Hemispherians.  So, I thought maybe I should have a list of my own that I could point back to “to get everyone started.”

I’m trying to keep mine relatively simple this year. No grand, overarching theme, and all the stories I already own and have a kindle version of (no more looking desperately while thinking, “which of my anthologies was that story in?!?”). Also of note is that I’ve only read four of these authors before (albeit for one of the four I have devoted a whole suit of stories – in memoriam. I’ll keep deuces wild, and was thinking this year I might allow the wild cards to be re-reads of favorite stories from Deal Me In’s past – or just the past in general.

So, without further ado…here are my 2018 stories/essays:



everywhere stories

Stories from the anthology “Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet” (“a diverse collection of stories by writers who have lived and worked aorund the globe or traveled extensively. Their connection to these places isn’t casual. The stories go beneath the surface, the way all great fictions do.”)

♦A♦ – Eggs – Susi Wyss (Central African Republic)

♦2♦ – Wild Card – My Island Tale – Rebecca Emin (England) – (week 36)

♦3♦ – The Boy with Fire in His Mouth – William Kelley Woolfitt (Uganda) week 10

♦4♦ – Rue Rachel – David Ebenbach (Canada) week 6

♦5♦ – Heathens – Alden Jones (Costa Rica) – week 29

♦6♦ – The Money Pill – Tim Weed (Cuba)

♦7♦Visiting Chairman Mao  – Jocelyn Cullity (China) week 8

♦8♦ – When Stars Fell Like Salt Before the Revolution – Jill Widner (Iran)

♦9♦ – Comfort Me with Apples – Rochelle Distelheim (Israel) week 30

♦10♦ – A Husband and Wife are One Satan – Jeff Fearnside (Kazakhstan)

♦J♦ – Au Lieu des Fleurs – Matthew Pitt (France)

♦Q♦ – The Ring – Marc Nieson (Hungary)

♦K♦ –  Jean – Holly Painter (New Zealand) – week 39


As I often do, I’m going to devote a suit to dark/horror/sci-fi stories.  These are chosen from several sources, as noted below.

♠A♠ – Unseen – Unfeared – Francis Stevens (from “The Weird” anthology) (week 5)

♠2♠ – Wild – Monsters of Magnitude – Thomas Hardy(!) (week 37)

♠3♠ – Evil Opposite – Naomi Kritzer (from “Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine”)

♠4♠ – The Cage – Jeff Vandermeer (from “The Weird” anthology) (week 47)

♠5♠ – Touched – Kim Sheard (from “Strange New Worlds II” anthology) (week 35)

♠6♠ – The Salamander – Merce Rodoreda (from “The Weird” anthology)

♠7♠ – Mr. Templar – Jason Sizemore (from “Irredeemable”)

♠8♠ –  The Fish of Lijiang – Chen Qiufan (from “Invisble Planets” anthology) (week 1)

♠9♠ –  The Town Manager – Thomas Ligotti (from “The Weird” anthology) (week 38)

♠10♠ – Grave of the Fireflies – Cheng Jingbo (from the “Invisible Planets” anthology)

♠J♠ –  Gods, Fate, and Fractals – William Leisner (from “Strange New Worlds II”) (week 3)

♠Q♠ – Worlds that Flourish – Ben Okri (from “The Weird” anthology) (week 12)

♠K♠ – The History of the Invasion Told in Five Dogs – Kelly Jennings (from F&SF magazine) (week 50)


selected stories

The “Grandmaster” short storyteller William Trevor passed away last year so I’m going to devote a whole suit of stories to feature some of his that are included in William Trevor: Selected Stories. I read his story collection “After Rain” very early in my blogging “career” and it contained several of my all-time favorite stories.

♥A♥Solitude – William Trevor (week 2)

♥2♥ – Wild – maybe a re-read of a favorite…

♥3♥ – Child’s Play – William Trevor (week 11)

♥4♥ – The Potato Dealer – William Trevor (week 14)

♥5♥ – Of the Cloth – William Trevor (week 34)

♥6♥ – Low Sunday, 1950 – William Trevor (week 43)

♥7♥ – Death of a Professor – William Trevor

♥8♥ – The Hill Bachelors – William Trevor (week 4)

♥9♥ – Justina’s Priest – William Trevor (week 41)

♥10♥ – Rose Wept – William Trevor (week 9)

♥J♥ –  Cheating at Canasta – William Trevor (week 28)

♥Q♥ –  Old Flame – William Trevor

♥K♥ – Sacred Statues – William Trevor – (week 40)


russian emigre stories

Stories from “Russian Emigre Short Stories from Bunin to Yanofsky.” For one prior year’s iteration of Deal Me In, I devoted a suit (also clubs) to stories by Russian authors and to this day it remains one of my all-time favorite DMI suits, so I’m hoping to recapture some of that “magic” in 2018.

♣A♣ – The Visit to the Museum – Vladimir Nabokov (week 13)

♣2♣ – Wild Card – Dethroned – I.N. Potapenko (week 38)

♣3♣ – The Lady from Monte Carlo – Dovid Knut

♣4♣ – The Murder of Valkovsky – Nina Berberova

♣5♣ –  The Tunnel – Irina Guadanini (week 31)

♣6♣ – They Call Her Russia – Vasily Yanovsky

♣7♣ – The Life of Madame Duclos – Irina Odoevtseva

♣8♣ – Atlantis – Vladislav Khodasevich

♣9♣ – A Scattering of Stars – Ivan Lukash

♣10♣ – The Atom Explodes – Georgy Ivanov (week 42)

♣J♣ – The Astrologist – Mark Aldanov

♣Q♣ – Klasson and His Soul – Boris Butkevich (week 32)

♣K♣ – In Paris – Ivan Bunin (week 7)


What do YOU think of my selections?  Are YOU thinking about doing Deal Me In in 2018? Look for the “official” announcement post on 12/21!



  1. December 14, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    Lots of new-ro-me authors, but we do have (or, will have as of next week) Thomas Ligotti in common. As always, I’m looking forward to your Russian suit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jay said,

      December 14, 2017 at 7:32 pm

      I’ve had Ligotti on my radar for quite a while now. I think this may be my first reading of him. Long overdue.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. paula cappa said,

    December 14, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    So ambitious! I love the selection. The Russian short stories are of special interest to me. Looking forward to your posts, Jay.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dale said,

    December 15, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    Looking forward to Deal Me In 2018! A whole suit of William Trevor – can’t wait to read about them!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. gailwood said,

    December 24, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    This is cool. I read mostly mysteriesam in #dealmein2018shorts

    Liked by 1 person

  5. hkatz said,

    December 25, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    I’ve realized that I’m terrible at these blog challenges (there’s another one I’m behind on too). I’ve been doing many of the readings but not writing about them… ANYWAY… I respect your gall, and I’m thinking maybe I’ll just extend the 2017 Deal Me In list into 2018 🙂 Also, I appreciate seeing your lists and reviews because I’ve gotten great recommendations from them and like reading your perspective on these works. I hope you’re having a lovely holiday season and that you’ll have a great year to come.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jay said,

      December 26, 2017 at 3:18 pm

      Thanks! I wasn’t too good at this challenge last year myself, but – as I’ve said before – half the fun is in planning it out. I’ve been introduced to a lot of great authors via others’ Deal Me In reading and posting over the years as well. A great bonus for those participating in the “challenge.”

      THanks for the holiday wishes and same to you!


  6. December 30, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    I think I will do this for 2018. Time to get organised.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. N@ncy said,

    March 3, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    I just ordered: Russian Emigré Short Stories!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jay said,

      March 5, 2018 at 9:45 am

      I’ve only read two so far, but I have, historically, had very little complaints with the Russian authors, especially when it comes to short stories. Hope you enjoy it!

      Liked by 1 person

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