Here are my favorite stories, in order of preference.
1. "The Sex Life of African Girls" by Taiye Solasi. This is the author's first published work of fiction. Her debut novel Ghana Must Go is drawing rave reviews and I hope to read it soon. For me this story was clearly the standout.
2. "The Tenth of December" by George Saunders. I was glad to be able to read by first Saunders, one of America's highest regarded contemporary short stories. I hope to read more of his work in the fixture.
3. "Axis" by Alice Munro. Typical set in rural Canada Munro story about the lives of women.
4. "Beautiful Monsters" by Eric Puchner. A very well done dystopic story about a world where people stay forever ten. For sure derivative from works like Brave New World but still a fun read.
5. "What We Talk About When We Talk About Ann Frank" by Nathan Englander. Englander won the 2012 Frank O'Connor prize so I was glad to have the opportunity to read the lead story in the winning collection. I found it an OK story but I would not buy the full collection based on this story.
I am glad to have completed this collection but it is not on a par with new anthologies of Irish, English and European Short Stories. It is only a book for those very into the short story. I will buy the 2013 edition out in September but I hope it is better than the 2012 offering.