Could there be a more satisfying feeling than curling up in your favourite corner with a good book and a great cup of tea? This summer, we urge you to make the most of the bright sunny weather with two tea spoons of your favourite Halmari tea leaves to create the perfect reading experience. As it is well known that a tasteful cup of tea can enhance your read, we took an extra step to put together a list of 6 acclaimed short story collections that will make your senses tickle and tinge with every page flick and tea sip.
Here are our recommendation reads for your next cup of perfect Halmari tea.
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
Interpreter of Maladies is a book collection of nine short stories by Indian American author Jhumpa Lahiri. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and has sold over 15 million copies worldwide.
Roving from India to New England and back, this amazing debut collection unerringly charts the emotional journeys of characters in the quest for love beyond the barriers of nations and generations. The stories are about the lives of Indians and Indian Americans who are caught between their roots and the “New World.” Interpreter of Maladies eloquently speaks to everyone who has ever felt like a foreigner.
Tenth of December by George Saunders
Tenth of December by George Saunders was selected as one of the 10 Best Books of 2013 by the New York Times Book Review. The collection won the 2013 Story Prize for short-story collections and the inaugural (2014) Folio Prize.
Tenth of December by George Saunders is a book that will make you love people again. No matter how peculiar the locale – a futuristic prison lab or a middle-class home that prides over human lawn ornaments– Saunders’s tales are always about humanity and the meaning we find in small moments, things and gestures. He weaves portraits of domesticity, of families, of death. It could be described as melancholically happy, each story full of little truths that make us both amused and uncomfortable. Most importantly, its ten stories are about us, the people.
This is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz
Like all great books, This Is How You Lose Her puts you in the mood for a purge. Junot Díaz’s short story collection is sharp, lewd and raw with emotion. It’s deceptively slim, a loose mesh of stories mostly set in New Jersey about a young Dominican named Yunior with lustful longings, incomplete relationships and a geeky IQ.
Here is a world of unruly, sex-obsessed men and hard-pressed women dreaming of safe havens. Diaz’s language is minimalist. His prose shaped and honed to its stony essence. Here’s a quote from the book for a mindful tease – “And that’s when I know it’s over. As soon as you start thinking about the beginning, it’s the end.”
Nine Stories by J. D. Salinger
Nine Stories (1953) is a collection of short stories by American fiction writer J. D. Salinger published in April 1953. It includes two of his most famous short stories, “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” and “For Esmé – with Love and Squalor”.
The heart of each story presents unfussy versions of the way the protagonists move through the world and interact with one another, to their private calls and wisecracking conversations, to the cautious enunciation of their minimalist feelings and budding beliefs. Salinger has an extraordinary capacity to design characters that spark potent dialogue and we love him for it.
In The New York Times in 1953, Welty described Nine Stories as ‘neither easy nor simple in any degree’. Nonetheless every story is as worthy of reading and re-reading today as they were all of fifty-eight years ago and all pertaining the sad truth about the lack of something in this world.
Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman
Acclaimed fantasy writer Neil Gaiman’s Fragile Things is subtitled “Short fictions & wonders”, which pretty much gives a zest of this compilation. An engaging read, it indulges strongly in themes related to ones search for creative inspiration, featuring protagonists such as musicians, journalists and writers. However, the book is not limited to a single theme and stretches away from the violations of recurrence.
Gaiman retells old stories in novel ways that hint at his belief of the eternal perseverance of the magical and the strange, in a world that isn’t as disappointing as it seems. The book is a must read for all fans of fantasy and for anyone who wishes to denounce their reality as a bad smokescreen for something brilliant and dreamlike.
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer
Haha! Though the title doesn’t sound very Tea-like, here’s one skinny volume is all heat, wit and some intuitive naturalness described in a manner that is honest, funny and scathing.
These are long-ish stories about mostly young black women who are mostly bright – even destructively or mischievously so – but not necessarily educated. What they have in common is that they’re on the edge, struggling to fit in, to decide or define for themselves who or what they are.
Packer’s text is open, unemotional and peppered with surprising moments of humour. There is no guile to her writing; it’s just direct storytelling with which you’ll feel an instant connection, and probably recognize a bit of your 20-something ego. Packer will meet you exactly where you are and remind you that we’ve all been there.