Look, nobody reads this blog. Nobody reads, period. Said grumpy blogger man who nobody reads. But I was at a dinner tonight where the host asked, “What is your favorite story?” An excellent question. Anyone?


  1. NewMexicoNurse says

    Baucis & Philemon from Edith Hamilton's Mythology.

  2. There are so many – said the grumpy old lady who reads this blog.

    "A Rose for Emily" Faulkner
    "A Temple of the Holy Ghost" O'Connor
    "Good Country People" "
    "The Night the Bed Fell" Thurber
    "Death Knocks" Woody

    I mean really…who can make a choice?

  3. AnotherCoward says

    okay … so … one of my favorite stories is a movie based on a book that I've never read.

    A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean

  4. "Field of Dreams"

  5. NewMexicoNurse says

    "Lets play two" Ernie Banks said, so how about O'Henry's 'The Gift of the Magi'? Our wedding night reading, very romantic…MJH

  6. Andre Dubus, If They Knew Yvonne.

    (And yes, teaching high school I can confirm: nobody reads.)

  7. Steve Nicoloso says

    A Christmas Carol

  8. papermoon says


  9. I read your blog, too, dummy. I can't always comment when i have children yelling things at me like, "Mommy, look, there is poo all over my hand" but I do read it.

    Maclean is excellent—the end of that story brings tears.

    But, I think "Parker's Back" by O'Connor.

  10. Lindsay's husband says

    Poachers by Tom Franklin and Good Country People by O'Connor

  11. Dorian Speed says

    Right now, I am perhaps too attached to "The Depressed Person" by David Foster Wallace.

    I also like that Edith Wharton story that ends with "I had (whatever his name is). Roman Fever?

    Shawshank Redemption is based on a short story…that I've never read.

    The original Cinderella, where birds come pluck out the eyes of the stepsisters.

    I am starting to think I shouldn't answer this question.

    But I do read your blog. I even came out of exile to do so. I clicked over from my blog, which is read by three people.

    Also, I have not forgotten that I said I'd send you that Walker Percy article. Nor have I photocopied it.

  12. Dorian Speed says

    Oops. "I had Barbara.". Guess it can't be that favorite a story if I can't remember the ending.

  13. Matthew Lickona says

    Thanks, all. I'll try not to be grumpy.

  14. Anonymous says

    Does it have to be "short" story? I just reread Death Comes to the Archbishop by Willa Cather, Beautiful.
    I can't really pick a favorite. But I do read the blog.

  15. Quin Finnegan says

    (1) Playing the contrarian, I (like Lindsey and papermoon) read this blog. It's Korrektiv that nobody reads, probably for good reason. I also think people read as much as ever, but there are just a lot more choices now than there used to be. Maybe some motivated people will figure out how to scale back those options for us – and that won't be a good thing.

    (2) Parker's Back jumps to mind (like Lindsey again!). And Kafka's Metamorphosis. If we're talking novels here, Anna Karenin. Not to get overly pious and all, but there's always the Bible, and in particular, Jesus's Greatest Hits. Workers in the Vineyard and the Prodigal Son are pretty good.

    I also think the NewMexicoNurse is onto something … Ovid's Metamorphoses must be the greatesst collection ever. Speaking of Ovid, Shakespeare uses him quite a bit, and he told a few good stories … if one were to extend the idea of story to narrative, and narrative to music, we could include Beethoven's String Quartets. Bach's Passion pieces …

    I'm going to stop now.

    Except … I have this week off and just read John Scalzi's Old Man's War trilogy … Heinleinesque Science Fiction – very fun. I'd recommend that for grumpy old men.

    Wait, wait, wait! I just thought of this poem, an old favorite of mine by Derek Walcott:

    Love After Love

    The time will come
    when, with elation
    you will greet yourself arriving
    at your own door, in your own mirror
    and each will smile at the other's welcome,

    and say, sit here. Eat.
    You will love again the stranger who was your self.
    Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
    to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

    all your life, whom you ignored
    for another, who knows you by heart.
    Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

    the photographs, the desperate notes,
    peel your own image from the mirror.
    Sit. Feast on your life.

  16. Anonymous says

    Hi Matt,
    For some reason today, while on business in City of London, I thought of you and your blog. And whether you ever feel down about it's impact. A strange thought in a strange place!
    Like Lindsay (who commented earlier), I read regularly but am not a frequent poster (tricky using an iTouch!)
    But rest assured, your work (in print or on-line) is neither unnoticed nor unappreciated!
    I can also assure you (and I have good instincts in this regard), that your time will come.
    God bless


  17. Matthew Lickona says

    Thank you, David.

  18. Matthew Healey says

    Matthew the High School Teacher, I absolutely love that Dubus story!

    My favorite story is Hemingway's "In Another Country," about which Andre Dubus wrote an excellent essay.

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