ROYGBIV: Bite-sized Literature

Hey there guilt-stricken student! We know self-condemnation grows exponentially every hour spent reading non-course literature. Yet we’re here, like the devil on your shoulder, whispering ‘read it, read it’ way past your bed time. But like mum says, you DO need a break. And what better way to fill it than with fiction’s equivalent of a trio of desserts. Welcome to bite-sized literature.

This collection is like a miniature red velvet cupcake, bejeweled with silver balls. Fitzgerald’s The Diamond as Big as the Ritz contains a number of decadent delights perfect to read over tea at The Balmoral.

Spoiled Brats is the cronut-filled-with-100%-organic-cream-cheese-topped-with-locally-sourced-agave-nectar of the short story world. It’s impossibly hip but shouldn’t be taken seriously: it’s satire daaahling.

This is your bog-standard custard cream. Like the desert of your childhood, Kipling’s Just So Stories take you back to simpler times, when all you needed was a biscuit in each hand and a carton of blackcurrant squash.

Lemon soufflés can be hit-or-miss, but when done right they’re perfection. Salinger’s Nine Stories is expertly whipped, has a great rise and pulls off the impossible. These stories are a treat to read.

Katherine Mansfield’s The Garden Party and Other Stories is your classic strawberries and cream (with a tipple of Pimms). Lie to yourself about its calorific content and have ‘just a dash’ or ‘a wee bit’ more before bedtime.

Reading any of Granta’s short story collections is like biting into a breakfast muffin. It makes sense to read the rising stars featured in these collections in the morning with a cup of coffee and something sweet. Perfect start to your day – perfect start to a literary career.

Like a horrifically lopsided Battenberg cake, Charlotte Perkin Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper might look all sweet and cute from the outside; interior decoration is an approved ‘feminine’ interest after all. But once you carve a slice of this story you notice the distortion within.

Isle of Mull cheddar and thick-cut, rough-hewn oatcakes come to mind with this novella. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is a Scottish classic and something to consume after a brisk stroll to the peak of Arthur’s Seat in classic blustery Edinburgh weather.

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