"50 Great Short Stories" by Milton Crane, Editor (1952)
"Young people who need a love potion very seldom have five thousand dollars. Otherwise they would not need a love potion."
I bought this book because it was winter vacation, I was bored, and it was the only book in the English Literature section that even vaguely interested me.
All of the big names in capital-L-Literature have a story in this collection. Joyce, Faulkner, Steinbeck, James - they're all here. I was happy to discover, however, that I had previously read only one of the stories in this book, the one by Joyce. All of the others were new discoveries, and all of the others - save perhaps one - I liked.
It's difficult to pinpoint a favorite out of 50 stories - all written by the world's most famous English-language authors - but "The Gionconda Smile," by Aldous Huxley is great, as is "Putois" by Anatole France. But I only mention these stories because they were the most memorable, not because they were definitively better than the others.
I would recommend this collection to anyone looking for lesser-known authors of "serious" fiction. Yes, there are a lot of big names in it, but it's the stories by the lesser-knowns that make it most rewarding.