Saturday Showcase (April 19)


Saturday Showcase is a weekly event hosted here at The In-Between Place which features books that you wish more people had read (or, at least, heard about).

This week’s featured book is The Curiosities by Brenna Yovanoff, Maggie Stiefvater, and Tessa Gratton.

From acclaimed YA authors Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff comes The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories.

– A vampire locked in a cage in the basement, for good luck.
– Bad guys, clever girls, and the various reasons why the guys have to stop breathing.
– A world where fires never go out (with references to vanilla ice cream).

These are but a few of the curiosities collected in this volume of short stories by three acclaimed practitioners of paranormal fiction.

But The Curiosities is more than the stories. Since 2008, Maggie, Tessa, and Brenna have posted more than 250 works of short fiction to their website Their goal was simple: create a space for experimentation and improvisation in their writing—all in public and without a backspace key. In that spirit, The Curiosities includes the stories and each author’s comments, critiques, and kudos in the margins. Think of it as a guided tour of the creative processes of three acclaimed authors.

So, are you curious now?

The Curiosities is a collection of short stories, complete with notes from the author that discuss their inspiration for the story, some of the reasons why they chose certain ideas, and what they were hoping to accomplish with it. I loved getting a glimpse into Maggie, Tessa, and Brenna’s heads – not only to help me with my own writing, but to help me appreciate theirs even more. And the stories themselves were equal parts creepy, confusing, and enthralling, which I’ve come to expect from these lovely authors.

What are some of your favourite underrated books? Leave a list in the comments below.

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  • I never used to be one for reading collections of stories. I always thought short stories were too… short?… to create a meaningful world. But lately I’ve loved being able to pick up a story without the commitment of reading a whole novel. I’ll definitely check it out. I’m actually reading a book called the Picador Book of 40, with 40 stories about the number 40. Some of the stories aren’t that great – there’s a few depressing mid-life crisis stories – but some of them are laugh out loud funny. I don’t know if it counts as underrated, but it’s definitely a good read.

    • It’s definitely a challenge to establish an emotional connection with characters or events in such a limited amount of page time. I do like that anthologies let you “sample” an author’s writing, though – I’ve added quite a few authors to my to-read list this way.

      I may just have to give that one a try! It’d be neat to see the ways that 40 was incorporated into the stories; I love seeing how different writers respond to the same prompt.

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