Tuesday, January 31

Book Review: Selected Stories

Title: Selected Short Stories

Author: Virginia Woolf

Pages: EBook (155)

Summary: Virginia Woolf tested the boundaries of fiction in these short stories, developing a new language of sensation, feeling and thought, and recreating in words the 'swarm and confusion of life'. Defying categorization, the stories range from the more traditional narrative style of 'Solid Objects' through the fragile impressionism of 'Kew Gardens' to the abstract exploration of consciousness in 'The Mark on the Wall'.


A Hauned House
A Society
Monday or Tuesday
An Unwritten Novel
The String Quartet
Blue and Green
Kew Gardens
The Mark on the Wall
A Woman's College from the Outside
The Lady in the Looking-Glass: A Reflection
The Shooting Party
The Dutchess and the Jeweller
Lappin and Lapinova

My Rating: 9.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: Virginia Woolf was a wonderful story teller, elegant prose and beautiful descriptions and passages - all of which are shown in this collection. There wasn't a single story I didn't like. Some I enjoyed more than others, some I wanted to devour again afterwards - but I enjoyed them all.

The writing in this collection was wonderful - I was continuously lost in the passages and short stories. I had intended to read a few at a time, but I found myself diving right into the next story - just one more! I kept telling myself. Even the stories that were less interesting to me, like the Duchess and the Jeweller or the Shooting Party, had be captivated by the writing. And I cannot stress enough, just how beautiful the author's writing was. Blue and Green was a short, short story almost a poem, but had a lovely descriptive passage. And I loved the way she set the scene in The String Quartet.

Virginia Woolf was an observant author and at times quite profound, this book is no exception. Lappin and Lapinova is one example of this, the ending was almost haunting, but I enjoyed the message she aimed to send out. I also enjoyed story A Society, where again she aims to send out an important message on how she sees the world around her. Honestly, I could probably spend hours dissecting each story. They were all wonderful, the only thing I didn't like was I wanted more, and some weren't as good as others - I think the Shooting Party was the weakest story in the collection. I also wouldn't call it light reading, she does make you think about what you're reading, her stories usually have a deeper meaning to them, which isn't a bad thing, but I wish I had a literature class to talk to about her books with, just so can fully grasp everything she had hidden in her story. Otherwise, not much to dislike with this book.

Truly a lovely collection, by a wonderful story teller, that has me wanting to devour my next book by the author.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, this was a lovely collection of short stories. Virginia Woolf had a wonderful voice and it shows in the short stories - and this is a good place to start if you haven't experienced her yet.

What to read next: More Virginia Woolf, Charolotte Perkins Gilman, Katherine Mansfield

Challenges: 12 in 12, 100+ Challenge, Alphabet Challenge, EBook Challenge, Short Stories Challenge


  1. Believe it or not, I haven't read Virginia Woolf yet! So this review of her short story collection has really stirred my curiosity for her books. Great review and thanks for linking up.

    1. There are a lot of people who haven't read her yet. This collection of short stories by her came as a surprise, and ended up being a good one. I hope get chance to read her soon.

  2. Ok - I'm definitely checking this author out. :) Thanks for the stellar review!

    1. Glad you're checking her out, you won't be disappointed.

  3. This sounds so wonderful! I really enjoyed reading The Mark on the Wall and I've enjoyed the two Woolf novels I've read. I didn't know about this collection. Did you pay for the ebook or did you find it online some where? Here's to hoping it's in the public domain so I can add it to my nook!!

    1. I purchased the book from Kobo's site. It's the equivalent ebook site to Nook. I think Nook and Kobo can read the same format, but not sure on that one. This version was purchased, so not sure if it's available in public domain or not. But it's worth spending the money on ;)