We're not sure why short story collections don't get the same attention as their whore cousin, the novel, especially considering our ever-decreasing attention spans (one moment while we tweet this...). Short stories do the same heavy lifting as novels, all while distilling those capital-M moments of life into a frothy, palatable beverage that we can enjoy piecemeal throughout our otherwise hectic lives. Local author Tom Barbash's new collection Stay Up with Me does all that and more, plumbing the spectacular grief, willful naivete, and generational misunderstandings of modern life with stellar caliber — all in 10-page increments. With lyrical tightness and a centrifugal energy that keeps getting better with each tale, Barbash, who has previously written a novel (The Last Good Chance), and the nonfiction books (On Top of the World: Cantor Fitzgerald, Howard Lutnick, and 9/11: A Story of Loss and Renewal) proves to be in top form in the snappier medium. So much so that literary juggernaut Dave Eggers called the book, "One of the most satisfying cover-to-cover short story collections I can remember."