If the man in your life will soon be lost to the impending football season, fear not. These short story collections are sure to fill your time, your heart and your imagination all season long. These are the five best books for football widows.

Awayland: Stories by Ramona Ausubel

Ramona Ausubel’s latest collection introduces 11 short stories that span the globe and beyond, from small-town America to the afterlife. Through the eyes of travelers and expats, shadows and ghosts, Ausubel explores the universal themes of love, childhood and parenthood with humor and undeniable emotion.

The Love of a Bad Man by Laura Elizabeth Woollett

In this collection exploring the lengths some women will go to for the men they love, Woollett takes readers from the California coast to Nazi Germany and the wilderness, through the imagined perspectives of unexpected characters. Readers discover the other side of the story from lovers, mistresses or wives of various “bad” men in history.

Back Talk by Danielle Lazarin

This bold collection of short stories examines the small window in which our culture offers women to express their desires. Author Danielle Lazarin takes readers through the painful end of a marriage as a woman experiments with power and friendship, through the death of a mother and the journey of a young grieving teen and the delicate balance between give and take.

Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories by Kelly Barnhill

Newbery Medal winner Kelly Barnhill delivers a new collection of dark, whimsical imaginings for adult readers, with nine short stories about love, death, distrust and hope. From the reality-bending tale of newly-widowed Mrs. Sorensen and her unlikely Sasquatch lover to the story of a witch haunted by her own spells, lush imagery, magic and fantasy swirl at the heart of this collection.

All the Names They Used for God: Stories by Anjali Sachdeva

Anjali Sachdeva’s debut collection spans centuries and continents, taking readers from the supernatural to American Gothic and horror, with a dystopian tale about genetically modified septuplets, a love story about a fisherman bewitched by a mermaid, a steel mill worker changed by the brutal power of the furnaces, and more.