In my nearly 10 years at BookPage, I can't remember a year that was as good for the short story as 2012.

Things got off to a bright start in January, with the release of the startling, stellar Smut, a collection of two stories from Alan Bennet, "our most reliable bloodhound of the absurd in everyday life."

insomniac readingSpring saw new releases from genre stars Nathan Englander and Dan Chaon, a duo who despite their different subject matters are united "in their moral seriousness and literary craftsmanship."

in real life it's sparkly!!Summer brought collections from Natalie Serber and Lucia Perillo, both of whom take the modern family as their subject, and our August cover story featured Claire Vaye Watkins, a talented newcomer whose glittering tales present an authentic, original view of the modern-day West.

The first major fall short story collection, This Is How You Lose Her, was also one of the year's most anticipated fall releases. Junot Diaz's electric stories about heartbreak were worth the wait.

In October, I was entranced by Joan Wickersham's The News From Spain, an achingly sensitive exploration of love through seven stories (all of which do, in fact, include news from Spain in some shape or form). Sherman Alexie released a collection of 15 new and previously published tales, Blasphemy, that carry his trademark candor and insight. Hush, Hush by Steven Barthleme is a second story collection from the author of Double Down.

And that's not all: November brought two more collections from two big names, Dear Life by Alice Munro and Astray by Emma Donoghue.

Do you have a favorite story collection? Which of these have you read—or which are you planning to read?

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