This book shares a number of the same stories as the Card collection: "Unaccompanied Sonata and other Stories." So I skipped a few of them that I remembered really well!
It was still worthwhile, though, for the ones I hadn't read (although I could have skipped "A Trip to Kill Richard Nixon" and my life would not have been seriously impacted). Overall, though, this collection of "fantasies and fables" was quite excellent!
You have to read Uncle Orson's "Unaccompanied Sonata", June 18, 2002
Reviewer: Lawrance M. Bernabo (The Zenith City: Duluth, MN United States)
I tend to think of Orson Scott Card as a storyteller, mainly because "writer" is just too general a term to be applied to his occupation. This collection of fantasy tales (only the last tale, "The Monkeys Thought 'Twas All in Fun" qualifies as science fiction) proves the point with one of Uncle Orson's most lyrical tales, "Unaccompanied Sonata," which was inspired by the unhappy thought, what if someone forbade him to write? Card himself described this short story in its original afterward as the truest thing he had ever written. Also included in this collection is the exquisite tale of "The Porcelain Salamander," and the inspired devil's advocacy of "A Cross-Country Trip to Kill Richard Nixon." While these recommendations conclusively argue that the first three stories in "Monkey Sonatas" are the best of the bunch, this is still an above average collection of Uncle Orson's early short stories. Still, to underscore the obvious, if you read one Orson Scott Card short story in your entire life, it should be "Unaccompanied Sonata."