Tired of reading blockbuster novels that run to hundreds of pages and are too heavy to hold comfortably?
Try a short story - or an essay - for a change of pace. Here are some recently published selections.CITY SLEUTHS AND TOUGH GUYS; Edited by David Willis McCullough; Houghton Mifflin. This volume contains 29 items. Among them "The Simple Art of Murder," an essay by Raymond Chandler; stories by such writers as Dashiell Hammett, Ed McBain, Paul Theroux and Loren D. Estleman; and the screenplay for the movie "Double Indemnity" by Chandler and Billy Wilder.
THE BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 1989; Edited by Geoffrey Wolff; Ticknor and Fields. In a foreword to this volume, series editor Robert Atwan observes that the collection "is made up largely of personal writing. These essays are intimate, candid, revealing, close to the human experience." There are 21 essays.
BEST ENGLISH SHORT STORIES; Edited by Giles Gordon and David Hughes; Norton. This volume contains 22 stories by such writers as Edna O'Brien, Fay Weldon and J.G. Ballard. The stories are by writers from Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES 1989; Edited by Margaret Atwood; Houghton Mifflin. The 20 stories include pieces by Mavis Gallant, Alice Munro, Charles Baxter and Rick DeMarinis.