Saturday, 7 January 2017

Deal Me in Challenge: 2017 Edition


It's baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! Jay from Bibliophilopolis is hosting the 7th annual Deal Me in Challenge and I couldn't be more excited. I am more drawn to short-stories and poetry these days and my list of works to read continues to grow exponentially. I completed last year's challenge but still have to finish writing reviews but that is not going to discourage me from taking on even more short-stories! 

What is the goal of the challenge?

To read 52 short stories in 2017 (that’s only one per week – versions with a lesser story requirement are noted below)

What do I need?

1) Access to at least fifty-two short stories (don’t own any short story collections or anthologies? See links to online resources below).
2) A deck of cards.
3) An average of perhaps just thirty minutes of reading time each week.

It's fun and not time consuming so what are you waiting for? Join up! 

I decided to keep two categories from last year ("American Lit" and "Racial Diversity), made a slight variation with "Science Fiction"(female power!) and added a new one that includes recommendations from my friend Teresa. Let's do this!

Spades: American Lit

A - The Cactus by O. Henry
2 - One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts by Shirley Jackson
3 - Rappaccini's Daughter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
4 - Offertory by Amy Hempel
5 - Love Too Long by Barry Hannah
6 - The Outcasts of Poker Flat by Bret Harte
7 - Was it in His Hand? By Elizabeth Bishop
8 - Summer by Joy Williams
9 - Wunderkind by Carson McCullers
10 - Bullet in the Brain by Tobias Wolff
J - You Can't Tell a Man by the Song He Sings by Philip Roth
Q - The Little Room by Madeline Yale Wynne
K - The Lovely Troubled Daughters of Our Old Crowd by John Updike

Clubs: Science Fiction - Female Writers
A - Baby, You Were Great! by Kate Wilhlem
2 -
The Lost Kafloozalum by Pauline Ashwell
3 - Playing with God's Bowling Ball by N.K. Jemisin
4 - Daedalum, the Devil's Wheel by E. Lily Yu
5 -
Spider the Artist by Nnedi Okorafor
6 - Six Months, Three Days by Charlie Jane Anders
7 - The Last of the Winnebagos by Connie Willis
8 - Rachel in Love by Pat Murphy
9 - If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love by Rachel Swirsky
10 - Cat Pictures Please by Naomi Kritzer
J - In the Queue for the Worldship Munawwer by Sara Saab
Q - Speech Sounds by Octavia Butler
K - The Heat Death of the Universe by Pamela Zoline

Diamonds: Racial Diversity 

A - The Comet by W.E.B. Du Bois
2 - The Fire and the Cloud by Zora Neale Hurston
3 - Death Constant Beyond Love by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
4 - Street of the House of Wonders by Rachida el-Charni
5 - Like a Winding Street by Anne Petry
6 - I Hanging On, Praise God! by Austin Clarke
7 - Silent by Olive Senior
8 - Sanctuary by Nella Larsen
9 - Old Boys, Old Girls by Edward P. Jones
10 - Squatter by Rohinton Mistry
J - A Loaf of Bread by James Alan McPherson
Q - Blossom: Priestess of Oya, Goddess of Winds, Storms and Waterfall by Dionne Brand
K - Seven People Dancing by Langston Hughes

Hearts: Teresa's Recommendations 

A - The Closing Down of Summer by Alistair MacLeod
2 - Bread by Michael Crummey
3 - The Second Strongest Man by David Bezmozgis
4 -
The Blue Cross (The Innocence of Father Brown) by G.K. Chesterton
5 - The Peasant Marey by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
6 -
The Gambler, the Nun, and the Radio by Ernest Hemingway
7 - A Field of Wheat by Sinclair Ross
8 - Pantaloon in Black by William Faulkner
9 - Anna's Whim by Louisa May Alcott
10 - Gustav by Anton Chekhov 
J - The Story of My Dovecote by Isaac Babel
Q -
Death by Landscape by Margaret Atwood
K -
The Silver Dish by Saul Bellow


  1. Looks like a fun list, Jason! I've only read five of these stories, but about 20 of the authors. It's funny how some stories I keep seeing over the years in the different iterations of Deal Me In that OTHER people are reading and yet I still haven't read. "Bullet in the Brain" falls into that category. Next year I think I'll have a suit of just these "DMI Recommended" stories. Good luck with the challenge. I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts on these.

    1. Which five stories have you read?

      I heard nothing but great things about Tobias Wolff and curious to see if they hype is true or not.

      Thanks again for hosting this challenge!

  2. Argh, I knew this would happen! You have a great number of titles that I would have liked to add to my challenge ..... Thurber, Wills, LeGuin, Hawthorne, Alcott, Butler, etc. Oh well, next year, right? Best of luck with your challenge!!

    1. You know how it much to read and so little time!

      I wanted to read more LeGuin after reading the excellent "Those Who Walk Away From Omelas" last year and if my memory serves correctly, you happened to really enjoy it.

  3. You have some great stories and authors on your list! I've read a few of them. Saul Bellow's A Silver Dish is incredibly funny and one of my favorites. I want to read more James Baldwin, too. I have enjoyed some of Chesteron's Father Brown stories. Looking forward to your posts!

    1. Bellow is one of my favorite writers but I have not read a single short story by him. For shame. I am now really looking forward to reading "A Silver Dish based on your positive response to the story. Chesterton's work has always been rather peculiar to me but Cleo and others like yourself have nothing but high praise for his writing. Hopefully his short-story will turn me into a fan.

      Thanks for your comments and I hope that you do return around these parts!