Tenth of December: Stories

Tenth of December: Stories by George Saunders (2013)  I used to read a lot of short stories, and then I got to a point where I just didn't want to read short fiction anymore—almost none—and I'm not sure why. Maybe it was because I used to write short fiction, then stopped, and just became more interested in longer forms. I had heard a lot about George Saunders, as a very highly regarded fiction writer, but I hadn't read anything by him before this book. The stories were all published in various magazines, mostly The New Yorker. I used to subscribe to The New Yorker—initially because of the stories—then I realized I read everything but the stories. It seems like, as with poetry, stories are kind of hit or miss; either they connect with you or they don't. I suppose novels are like that, too, but I don't continue with a novel that's not connecting with me. The first few stories in this book I liked okay, but they didn't do much for me—then I got to “Escape from Spiderhead” which pretty much floored me. I remember telling someone that it was the best thing I ever read “about love”—I don't remember why now, but I'll return to it some day. I did like all ten of these stories okay, but that one, and then “The Semplica Girl Diaries” were stories that I felt compelled to tell other people about and encourage them to read, which is pretty much the highest compliment.