My Short Story Deck for Deal Me In 2020

One of my favorite things to do as the end of the year approaches is to come up with a roster of short stories to read for my annual Deal Me In Short Story Reading Challenge. This year was no exception and I’m excited about the stories that I was able to come up with. (It sure helps to have a lot of anthologies populating one’s bookshelf too!

One wrinkle I’m adding this year is the plan that, when I draw one of my four wild cards (Deuces Wild!) I will walk over to one of three nearby libraries and get a story from the shelves there. I have the Indiana State Library, The Library at the Indiana History Center, and the Central Branch of the Marion County Public Library. All within walking distance of Deal Me In Headquarters!

So, without further ado, here we go!

Wait – “Could it be that you don’t know the story of Deal Me In? Well, pull up an ice block and lend me…” er, read the signup post here. Sorry, but it is Christmas Eve after all… Have a Holly Jolly Christmas everybody!

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♦♦♦Diamonds♦♦♦

For this year’s Deal Me In diamonds suit, I’m going with stories from favorite female authors. I’m taking four stories each from Alice Munro‘s “Too Much Happiness”, Margaret Atwood‘s “Dancing Girls”, and Daphne Du Maurier‘s “The Birds and Other Stories”

♦A♦ – The Birds – Daphne Du Maurier

♦2♦ – Wild Card – library pick?

♦3♦Kiss Me Again, Stranger – Daphne Du Maurier (week 6)

♦4♦ – The Old Man – Daphne Du Maurier

♦5♦ – Betty – Margaret Atwood

♦6♦ – Polarities – Margaret Atwood

♦7♦ – Under Glass – Margaret Atwood

♦8♦ – Hair Jewelry – Margaret Atwood

♦9♦ – Monte Verita – Daphne Du Maurier

♦10♦ – Deep Holes – Alice Munro

♦J♦ – Child’s Play – Alice Munro

♦Q♦ – Wood – Alice Munro

♦K♦ –  Too Much Happiness – Alice Munro (week 2)

♠♠♠Spades♠♠♠

As I often do, I’m going to devote a suit to darker stories.  Loosely defined this year as Science Fiction, Mysteries, and an Alfred Hitchcock anthology, “Stories Not for the Nervous.” My Sci-fi stories will be from William Tenn’s collection “Here Comes Civilization” and the mysteries from Agatha Christie’s “The Harlequin Tea Set and Other Stories.”

♠A♠ – Manx Gold – Agatha Christie

♠2♠ – Wild Card – Library Read?

♠3♠ – Within a Wall – Agatha Christie

♠4♠ – The Lonely God – Agatha Christie

♠5♠ – The Actress – Agatha Christie (week 1)

♠6♠ – The Malted Milk Monster – William Tenn

♠7♠ – Everybody Loves Irving Bruner – William Tenn

♠8♠ –  The Ionia Cycle – William Tenn

♠9♠ –  Dune Roller – Julian May

♠10♠ – The Puzzle of Priipiirii – William Tenn

♠J♠ –  The Man With the Copper Fingers – Dorothy Sayers

♠Q♠ –  Don’t Look Behind You – Frederick Brown

♠K♠ – The Bath for the Brooms – Margot Bennet

♥♥♥Hearts♥♥♥

Hearts are going to be for stories from three books I picked up at the recent Holiday Author Fair at the Indiana History Center, because I ♥ supporting local authors and events. 🙂 The three books are 1) Ray Boomhower‘s “Indiana Originals” (non fiction tales about famous Hoosiers – for this challenge, I picked only the pieces about famous female Hoosiers. 2) Trading Post – an anthology of Western tales edited by Hoosier author Larry Sweazy, and 3) My Name Was Never Frankenstein – an anthology collected by Hoosier author Bryan Furuness. I spoke to all three authors at the event and decided they were worthy of a suit in this year’s Deal Me In Challenge. 🙂

♥A♥The Prairie Fire – Larry Sweazy (week 4)

♥2♥ – Wild Card – Library Story?

♥3♥ – The Trading Post – Michael Zimmer

♥4♥ – Wren’s Perch – Vonn McKee

♥5♥ – Dirty Old Tom – Greg Hunt

♥6♥ – The Thing is Right (Eliza Blaker, Teacher) – Ray Boomhower

♥7♥ – For the People (Julia Carson) – Ray Boomhower

♥8♥ – A Woman of the Limberlost (Gene Stratton Porter) – Ray Boomhower

♥9♥A Voyage Against War (May Wright Sewall and the Ford Peace Ship) – Ray Boomhower (week 3)

♥10♥ – Listen to Me – Bryan Furuness

♥J♥ –  The Return of the Ape Man – Edward Porter

♥Q♥ –  My Name Was Never Frankenstein – Rachel Brittain

♥K♥ – There Once Was a Man – Kelcey Parker Ervick

♣♣♣Clubs♣♣♣

Clubs will be my suit for “the rest” of the stories I wanted to include. I have four relatively recent stories published in The New Yorker magazine, four stories From Ernest Hemingway, and four stories from a recent anthology, “Grimm, Grit, and Gasoline” from World Weaver Press, several of whose books I already own.

♣A♣ – God’s Caravan (The New Yorker) – Tiphanie Yanique

♣2♣ – Wild Card – Library Story?

♣3♣ – Old Hope (The New Yorker) – Clare Sestanovich

♣4♣ – Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God (The New Yorker) – Joyce Carol Oates

♣5♣ –  The Bunty Club (The New Yorker) – Tessa Hadley

♣6♣ – The Gambler, The Nun and the Radio – Ernest Hemingway

♣7♣ – The Short Happy Life of Francis McComber – Ernest Hemingway

♣8♣ – Homage to Switzerland – Ernest Hemingway

♣9♣ – God Rest You Merry, Gentleman – Ernest Hemingway

♣10♣ – Circles and Salt – Sara Cieto (week 7)

♣J♣ – Evening Chorus – Lizz Donnelly

♣Q♣ – One Hundred Years – Jennifer R. Donohue

♣K♣ – Things Forgotten on the Cliffs of Avevig – Wendy Nikel

So… what do you think of my selections this year? Any authors among your favorites? How many of these stories have YOU read? Enquiring minds want to know! 🙂

6 Comments

  1. Kathleen Angelone said,

    December 25, 2019 at 10:27 am

    Love your support of local authors!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dale said,

    December 28, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    The Gambler The Nun and the Radio is one of my most popular posts and God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen is a very good story even if it is somewhat disturbing.

    I’m coming back to my blog for Deal Me In 2020. Look for my list soon. I think I’m just going to see how many of the current anthologies on my shelf I can complete this year.

    Your idea of going to the library for wild cards is awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. hkatz said,

    December 31, 2019 at 1:26 pm

    This is a great list, and it’s already given me new authors to look into. I’ve only read some of these (like The Birds, which was so creepy). Happy New Year, and I look forward to your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jay said,

      December 31, 2019 at 1:28 pm

      Thanks! I think I did a decent job of mixing the trusted classics (authors, at least) and new “talent” – I’m really looking forward to 2020 being my “Get Back to Reading” year. Cheers, and Happy New Year to you!

      Like

  4. Karen said,

    December 31, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    I notice you’re reading The Birds by Daphne du Maurier. I’ve not read it but I have seen the Hitchcock movie production of it. Eeek….I can see it being the equivalent of a Stephen King for its time. Definitely creepy! I have read Maurier’s novel Rebecca and while Maurier certainly crafted a suspenseful novel, I found that when it came to the ending, I thought the Hitchcock movie ending was much better. The book ending was disappointing to me. Still, as I said, it was a pretty well crafted suspense novel. You can’t help but not forget Mrs. Danvers…..

    Like

    • Jay said,

      December 31, 2019 at 2:36 pm

      Ha! Yes, I think I recall Mrs. D making a “Top Ten Literary Villains” list I did a few years ago. I liked the Rebecca film a lot too, but the novel as well. I only learned a few years ago that the film “The Birds” was based upon a Du Maurier short story. I have a short story reading group at work and we read Du Maurier’s “Don’t Look Back” a year or two ago. Also a very good story. I am looking forward to reading a few more of hers, especially since I’ve never actually read “The Birds.”

      Like


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