Short Stories We Like

by | Reading Aloud | 2 comments

I want to share with you some of the short stories we have enjoyed over the years. Our three favorite authors of short stories are Mark Twain, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and O Henry, and we particularly enjoy listening to these stories as books-on-tape.

Twain’s stories have been recorded by numerous people, some better than others. His stories are almost always funny and a few will even give you a good solid roll-on-the-floor laugh.

Punch, Brothers, Punch by Mark Twain — An unsuspecting man becomes victim to a cute little rhyme.
Guiding the Guides, from the book The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain — Playing tricks on a museum guide.
The Invalid’s Story by Mark Twain — How transporting a coffin ages a man.

Not all of O Henry’s 277 short stories are equal but there are several you won’t want to miss. O Henry seemed to usually write on serious or sad topics, but there are a few stories which will give you a good laugh, especially if they’re read properly.

The Gift of the Magi by O Henry — A poor, newly married couple give gifts to each other.
After Twenty Years by O Henry — A promised reunion of two men after 20 years.
A Retrieved Reputation by O Henry — Jimmy Valentine is released from prison and tries to reform.
The Ransom of Red Chief by O Henry — “It looked like a good thing, but wait till I tell you.” Kidnapping the only child of a prominent citizen turns haywire.
The Last Leaf by O Henry — Johnsy catches pneumonia and hangs onto life.

It’s almost impossible to pick out my favorite Sherlock Holmes mystery — I like every single one. Here are some to get you started.

The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle — Miss Violet Smith is offered too large a salary as a music teacher.
The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle — Secret submarine plans are missing.
The Adventure of the Dying Detective by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle — Holmes is dying of a rare disease.
The Red-Headed League by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle — London pawnbroker Jabez Wilson is paid to copy the Encyclopedia Britannica.
The Gloria Scott by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle — Holmes’ very first case.
The Adventure of the Empty House by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle — Holmes is “resurrected.”


  1. Jackie

    Super list! Thanks for adding the links, and thanks for sharing.

    Reading is so important at every age. Reading aloud to high schoolers is good, though many think they are too old for it.

    Have you ever checked out Homeschool Literature? ( They have book reviews, resources, and author interviews. They even have an online book club for homeschoolers. I love that site.

    Merry Christmas,


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