Whenever a short story collection crops up on the list I give a sort of shudder. So far I haven’t been crazy over the last ones that have been featured. The thing is that once you read Roald Dahl or Guy de Maupassant (and to be fair Murakami has some top ones as well) you can never view a short story in the same light again.
However Amy Hempel comes close. Her stories are quirky , dryly humorous and pack an emotional resonance and all deal with death and coping with it – or as the title states , reasons to live. Oh and it’s consistent. I only didn’t like one story and there’s sixteen stories here.
Last thing – this book is out of print but it’s not too difficult to seek out.