Madame L, who is going through a phase of enjoying short stories more than full-length novels, particularly enjoyed this collection of short stories by Maile Meloy: "Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It."
Madame L loves being surprised by good writing. (Also, not coincidentally, Madame L hates the fact that so often good writing is surprising. Ah, but she digresses.)
Madame L loves reading about interesting and sympathetic characters in relationships that cause them conflict or grief --- something like real life --- and she finds such characters in every story in this collection.
The paperback edition of "Both Ways..." is available at Amazon.com for $10.20, but you might find it, as Madame L did, at your local closing-down Borders Books. (Madame L wipes a tear from her eyes every time she mentions Borders lately, but that doesn't stop her from snapping up a few super-discounted books whenever she can.)
Maile Meloy gave an interview which you can read at Amazon.com on her short-story writing. She said, among other things, that she used Salinger's "Nine Stories" as a guide in choosing the stories and the order in which they're presented. That made Madame L feel even better about enjoying Meloy's stories so much. (Anyone who is a fan of J.D. Salinger is a friend of Madame L!)
("Nine Stories" is available at Amazon.com for the amazing price of $6.99. Dear Reader, if you have not yet read these stories, you must read them as soon as you can. They are about the best short stories Madame L has ever read.)