Whether you are a short story lover or that of good essays, or poetry, there are certain anthologies and collections that you should definitely have on your shelf. Some of these books have been able to define the genres in many exceptional ways.
Anthologies and collections are some of the best works available for people who love reading but do not necessarily have the time to sit and read novel-length works since you can decide to read a poem or story at a sitting before coming back to read another. More so, some of these come with different authors so that you can have the luxury of different styles and approaches.
Here are some of the best collections and anthologies that everyone needs to have on one’s shelf.
10 Anthologies and Collections
1. Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet (Edited by Neil Astley)
If you are a lover of poetry, this is one of the most important anthologies you should have. It is a bestselling anthology that pulls from poets all over the world and so it offers diverse styles with themes bordering on many things including pain, loss, breakups, and love. It is the first work in an anthology of three-series.
Falling into the World Book Night giveaway list, it is an anthology that will be the favorite for anyone who is having any difficulties or challenges. It collects 500 life-affirming poems from the 20th and the 21st centuries. In fact, most of the works do not stretch beyond the last 50 years with a few that are worth it, going farther down.
The work is divided into 12 sections including “Body and Soul”, “Bittersweet”, and “Me, the Earth, the Universe”.
2. A Poem for Every Day of the Year (Edited by Allie Esiri)
What makes this poetry work special is that it is a collection that anyone including children and adults can read and enjoy. What is, even more, is that just as the name suggests, there are poems for every single day of the year as it brings together 366 poems. It reflects on different events and festivities of the year including April Fool’s Day and Christmas.
The poems are very inspirational, funny, empowering, motivating, and everything else that should come in a good collection. It is one that will be enjoyed by the entire family with works by both known and less known writers who are great. Works include those of people like Lewis Carroll, William Shakespeare, Carol Ann Duffy, T. S. Elliot, Ted Hughes, and Kate Tempest. If you are interested in reading it loud each day for the family, the collected poems will still offer the same joy.
3. Poems That Make Grown Men Cry (Edited by Anthony and Ben Holden)
From the title of this anthology which was edited by Anthony Holden and Ben Holden, you will expect it to be something worth reading. It is. This bestselling collection as promised, have made grown men cry, and you do not have to be a lover of poetry or even someone moved by it before you can be moved by this or love it.
The poems selected cut across works of modern writers such as Billy Collins and Derek Walcott, to classical poets including W.H. Auden and Philip Larkin, as well as people like Pablo Neruda, Mary Oliver, Elizabeth Bishop, and Rabindranath Tagore. The poems stretch back to the sixteenth century, coming back to the twenty-first.
In the same par with this, we would also recommend that you get the very excellent anthology, Poems That Make Grown Women Cry which is also by the same father and son team, Anthony and Ben Holden. They published the work following the success of their earlier anthology, Poems That Make Grown Men Cry.
4. Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy (Edited by Amerie)
This is one of the anthologies and collections that one can recommend for the shelves of young adults and anyone who loves fantasy fiction. But more than that, anyone else can read it because it brings together everything that anyone would be looking for in a powerful anthology.
It brings together some bestselling authors and highly influential BookTubers who take some of our most loved fairy tales and give different perspectives on the villains from their own side of the story. More so, it is an unconventional spin of classical stories and notorious villains. It is written by writers such as Adam Silvera, Andrew Smith, Marissa Meyer, Cindy Pon, Renée Ahdieh, Ameriie, and Soman Chainani.
Note: The single bad news to enjoying this is that fairy tales may never be the same for you again. Still, it is worth it.
5. The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories (by Ken Liu)
Ken Liu is a bestselling science fiction and fantasy author whose works have gained international praise over the years. With The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories, he delivers a collection of some of the best award-winning stories he has written through the years. He also includes some exclusive stories that have never before been published. Although, as always, the works are sci-fi and fantasy, anyone, no matter the genre one prefers, will find something to love about the collection.
This is the first short story collection of his and it collects some of his works like “The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary” which is the finalist for various awards including Hugo and Nebula awards and “The Paper Menagerie” which is the only story that has won the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards. It also has stories like “Mono No Aware”, “The Waves”, and “The Litigation Master and the Monkey King” which have all been acclaimed.
6. The People in the Castle: Selected Strange Stories (By Joan Aiken)
Joan Aiken has a unique voice that makes anyone who comes across her for the very first time to fall in love. The more you read her works, the more you fall in love. With The People in the Castle, she collects some of the best stories she has published between 1955 and 1990 to give readers an unforgettable experience with short stories.
As she has made clear, the work brings together some of her very strange stories, something that has come to be known with her. The collection is as timeless as all the works she has ever published covering a wide area including a very dark and wicket side to innocent and triumphant sides, to everything in between.
7. The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories (Edited by Tobias Wolff)
This is not the most recent publication on the list, having been released over two decades ago, it is still very much contemporary with stories that are timeless. A collection of 33 stories edited by Tobias Wolff, this volume tells a lot about the diverse short storytelling in contemporary America with stories tearing through different maps.
While the entire stories are American, you can see the different narrative traditions, various approaches, and an inducement of divergent cultural heritage all coming to give yet another collection that one should not fail to have on one’s shelf.
8. Supernatural Noir (Edited by Ellen Datlow)
When it comes to science fiction, fantasy, and horror Ellen Datlow is always in her own class as an editor and anthologist. Apart from Datlow, the authors of the work also give one every reason to have this on one’s shelf. Some of the writers of stories in the anthology are Elizabeth Bear, Laird Barron, Joe R. Lansdale, Brian Evenson, and Caitlin R. Kiernan, among others.
Supernatural Noir is a book that some have debated on whether it is worth the time. However, it is, if you are a lover of supernatural stories that come with an interesting twist. You will not find all the stories enjoyable, but there are many others that are worth getting the anthology. If you have kids around the house who love to read, you may keep this away from them, it has a lot of sex and violence.
9. Our Stories, Our Voices: 21 YA Authors Get Real About Injustice, Empowerment, and Growing Up Female in America (Edited by Amy Reed)
This is an anthology of 21 essays from some of the finest young adult writers including Sandhya Menon, Ellen Hopkins, Amber Smith, and Amy Reed, among others. The work explores themes of empowerment, injustice, growing up as a female in America, race, religion, and lots more.
Anyone who is young and has grown up in America or even in most places around the world will find these essays very relatable because they are written from the experiences of the writers. Once you are a female or you have any interest in empowering women and offering solidarity to the cause of women, this is one of those anthologies and collections that you should have on your shelf.
10. (Don’t) Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation about Mental Health (Edited by Kelly Jensen)
Mental health has always been an issue that many people around the world are grappling with. More people are continuing to suffer from it. Another great issue is that understanding it is very little. (Don’t) Call Me Crazy is a book that has offered great insight into mental health challenges.
It is a diverse work from writers such as Libba Bray, Adam Silvera, Esmé Weijun Wang, and Shaun David Hutchinson. The essays cut across sexual orientation, race, age, career, and every other border with the single aim of helping people understand mental illness and hopefully reduce the stigma that comes with it. Because of the informal way it is written, it is easy for almost everyone to enjoy it and still learn from its richness.