“Deal Me In” – 2013 Short Story Selections

(12/24/12) I’ve spent some fun time this morning coming up with a roster of 52 short stories to read next year.

(See bottom of this post for the order the stories were drawn from the deck and, for those I’ve written about, links to the related post.)

I have several sources for the stories this year, recently fortified by a gift from one my colleagues, Richard, in the discussion group of the Nora Library chapter of The Great Books Foundation. That anthology was edited by John Updike and titled “The Best Short Stories of the Century.” Glancing through the table of contents, I was dismayed to see that I was only familiar with a handful of them. My 2013 version of “Project: Deal me in!” will improve that situation a bit.

As in prior years, I have assigned the stories to the cards in a standard deck of playing cards. Each suit (loosely) represents a category. This year’s categories are:
Hearts – Stories by women authors

Spades – Stories of a ‘dark’ nature

Diamonds – Stories by authors I’ve never read

Clubs – Stories by “The Masters”

Each Saturday in 2013 I will draw a card from the deck and thus randomly decide which story to read that week. This will be the third year in a row that I’ve done this project. This year I’ve brought back the ‘deuces wild’ idea. For the weeks I draw a two of any suit, I can read whatever story I want – but preferably stay within the theme of the suit. If others participate, I’ll try to pick a story from their list as my wildcard & hope they feel free to loot my list for stories as well. It’s always a lot of fun, and I encourage others to come up with their deck of cards and play along!

spades stories

Well, what do you think of my selections? Will you be playing along with your own Project: Deal Me In! this year?

Stories read so far:

Week 1: “The Veldt” by Ray Bradbury

Week 2: “Tour and Duty” by Rebecca Emin

Week 3: “Greenleaf” by Flannery O’Connor

Week 4: “Gesturing” by John Updike

Week 5: “The Devil in the Belfry” by Edgar Allan Poe (wild card selection – spades)

Week 6: “Theft” by Katherine Anne Porter

Week 7: “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” by Ernest Hemingway

Week 8: “Dog Bites” by Ricardo Nuila

Week 9: “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant

Week 10: “Phantoms” by Steven Milhauser

Week 11: “The Man and the Snake” by Ambrose Bierce

Week 12: “The Town of Cats” by Sakutaro Hagiwara

Week 13: “The District Doctor” by Ivan Turgenev

Week 14: “The Mysterious Mansion” by Honore de Balzac

Week 15: “Foster” by Claire Keegan

Week 16: “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway

Week 17: “All Gold Canyon” by Jack London

Week 18: “True Relation of the Apparation of one Mrs. Veal” by Daniel Defoe

Week 19: “Property” by Elizabeth McCracken

Week 20: “The Visitor” by Ray Bradbury

Week 21: “Against Specificity” by Douglas Watson (wild card selection – diamonds)

Week 22: “You’re Ugly, Too” by Lorrie Moore

Week 23: “The Laughing Man” by J.D. Salinger (wild card selection – clubs)

Week 24: “Memnon the Philosopher” by Voltaire

Week 25: “ID” by Joyce Carol Oates

Week 26: “The Willows” by Algernon Blackwood

Week 27: “The Aleph” by Jorge Luis Borges

Week 28: “Out of Body” by Jennifer Egan

Week 29: “The Lighthouse Keeper of Aspinwall” by Henryk Sienkiewicz

Week 30: “Escape from Spiderhead” by George Saunders

Week 31: “Double Birthday” by Willa Cather

Week 32: “My Old Man” by Ernest Hemigway

Week 33: “A Death in the Desert” by Willa Cather (wild card selection – hearts)

Week 34: “Crazy Sunday” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Week 35: “A Relic of the Pliocene” by Jack London

Week 36: “The Way We Live Now” by Susan Sontag

Week 37: “The Long Rain” by Ray Bradbury

Week 38: “The Hitchhikers” by Eudora Welty

Week 39:: “The Outcasts of Poker Flat” by Bret Harte

Week 40: “Negore the Coward” by Jack London

Week 41: “The Howling Man” by Hugh Beaumont

Week 42: “The Other Woman” by Sherwood Anderson

Week 43: “The Queer Client” by Charles Dickens

Week 44: “The Shepherdess and the Sweep” by Hans Christian Andersen

Week 45: “The Sleep” by Caitlin Horrocks

Week 46: “The Dungeon Master” by Sam Lipsyte

Week 47: “La Vita Nuova” by Allegra Goodman

Week 48: “The Snowstorm” by Alexander Pushkin

Week 49: “The Last Night of the World” by Ray Bradbury

Week 50: “Roses, Rhododendron” by Alice Adams

Week 51: “Gurov in Manhattan” by Ehud Havazelet

Week 52: “One Autumn Night” by Maxim Gorky


  1. Dale said,

    November 20, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Great list, Jay! You have one story that is on my list and a few of the same authors. I think that my wild cards will be picking a story from your list.


  2. November 25, 2012 at 9:27 am

    […] so much that I plan to keep it up during 2013, with a twist.  For the last few years, Jay, over at Bibliophilopolis, has participated in a short story project called “Deal Me In”.  He chooses 52 […]


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