Fragile Things -- Neil Gaiman
The highlights (for me):
The Introduction—normally, I'm not a big fan of introductions. I like to just dive in. This one, however, gave a bit of background about the writing of each piece (where, why, when) and I found myself turning back to it again and again.
"A Study in Emerald"—A Sherlock Holmes story set in the world of H. P. Lovecraft. Loved it so much I've been babbling about it to everyone who will listen regardless of whether they A) are interested or B) know who H. P. Lovecraft is. Loved it so much I immediately ILLed Shadows over Baker Street, the collection it originally appeared in. I'm waiting with bated breath. (Or I would be, if I wasn't busy obsessively playing Okami.)
"October in the Chair"—Neil Gaiman dedicated this one to Ray Bradbury for a reason.
"Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire"—It just made me laugh a whole lot.
"Closing Time"—I'd read this one before, and I knew I'd read it before, but I happily read it again. There's a recommendation for ya.
"Bitter Grounds"—Creepy. Zombies. Good.
"Other People"—Made me think of Fredric Brown.
"Keepsakes and Treasures"—Had a noir-y, crime-y feel. I dug it. And one of the characters popped up in a later story, which I always enjoy.
"Harlequin Valentine"—This one just made me happy.
"The Problem of Susan"—Neil Gaiman on Narnia. This one's a must read for anyone who enjoys the occasional Pullman-rant re: C. S. Lewis. It'd also be a good one for those who think Pullman maybe should calm down a little bit. And it's a good one for people who are interested in All Things Narnia. It's just good, period, okay?
"Feeders and Eaters"—Another one that made me think of Bradbury.
"Sunbird"—An epicurean club and the Phoenix. Rad.
"The Monarch of the Glen"—A story about Shadow, two years after the events chronicled in American Gods. It made me miss him. Also, Grendel's mom is cool.