Not the End of the World – by Kate Atkinson
Kate Atkinson is brilliant. This book of short stories reveals itself to be more like a series of vignettes, tied together by shared moments and recurring characters. Some of whom include the sandal-wearing English teacher (particularly cringe-making), the evil twin of a television reviewer and a giant cat called Gordon.
These stories all have a twist of fantasy and surreality, but the characters are convincing and the situations are often painfully and hilariously believable. The connections between stories are subtle enough to feel clever and surprising, yet strong enough to build each character into a real person.