Obviously twelve stories out of the world’s millions is a ridiculous ask, and there is nothing definitive about this list, but here are some stories that have stayed with me. Looking at them together, now, I see they’re pretty flashy, lurid in places, and I feel obliged to wave a small and compensatory flag for the quiet, subtle stories in the world – the wallflower stories that are nevertheless full of beauty and value and what-have-you. Still, they didn’t make it, and these did.

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