32 Short Books to Help You Win Your Reading Challenge

Posted by Marie on December 04, 2017


The end of the year is fast approaching, which means there are only a few weeks left to reach your 2017 Reading Challenge Goal! But don't worry if you're a couple of books (or more) behind schedule. We're serving up a huge variety of short books by authors from around the globe—from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's We Should All Be Feminists to Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane. The best part? They're all fewer than 250 pages and ordered from shortest to longest—you'll get back on track in no time.

So don't fret, fellow bookworms! We're cheering for you from the sidelines. Your assured victory is within sight and within reach.

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Have a quick read that you'd like to recommend? Share it with us in the comments below!

Check out more recent blogs:
The Best Young Adult Books in November
24 Books that Won NaNoWriMo
16 Books to Read After You Binge-Watch Stranger Things

Comments Showing 1-50 of 82 (82 new)


message 1: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Make Good Art by Neil Gaiman
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Animal Farm by George Orwell


message 2: by Anil (new)

Anil Viji Thanks for suggesting these books. I have one question regarding Agatha Christie books. In order to read one of her Poirot series, should I have to start right from the first or is it okay to just dive in the middle and read?. Thanks


message 3: by BookOfCinz (new)

BookOfCinz Are you reading my mind right now?!!!! I am so behind on my 2017 Reading Goals!!!
Thanks


message 4: by Alondra (new)

Alondra Anil wrote: "Thanks for suggesting these books. I have one question regarding Agatha Christie books. In order to read one of her Poirot series, should I have to start right from the first or is it okay to just ..."

Either way. Yes, some interpersonal happenings occur among Watson and Poirot, but not enough to hamper the reading experience. I have read a few out of order and loved them. Murder on the Orient Express was read before any of them.

This is only my opinion.


message 5: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Hayward Finished awhile ago at 150 books (a goal I was not sure I could meeet, and my largest so far during any Goodreads Reading Challenge). I'm now on book 161 and plan to read at least a few more before the end of the year. I have done the Goodreads Reading Challenge for years now.


message 6: by Anne (new)

Anne Anil wrote: "Thanks for suggesting these books. I have one question regarding Agatha Christie books. In order to read one of her Poirot series, should I have to start right from the first or is it okay to just ..."

You can just dive in wherever you like. I've been working my way through Christie's books for the last couple years and I haven't stuck to any particular order. Occasionally there will be a mention of a character or event from a previous book, but it's never very important to the plot. If anything, it's more of a fun Easter egg for those who have read many of her books. I've read about 30 of Christie's books by simply picking whichever one sounded interesting or whichever one I could get my hands on first and have never had any trouble.


message 7: by Anil (new)

Anil Viji Anne wrote: "Anil wrote: "Thanks for suggesting these books. I have one question regarding Agatha Christie books. In order to read one of her Poirot series, should I have to start right from the first or is it ..."

Thanks for clearing it Anne. I wanted to start of with Murder on the Orient Express. So, I think I will just dive in. Thanks again.


message 8: by Katsuro (new)

Katsuro Ricksand I'm delighted to see the very underrated The Great Passage on this list! (Well, underrated in the Western world at least.) It deserves more readers.


message 9: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Anil wrote: "Thanks for suggesting these books. I have one question regarding Agatha Christie books. In order to read one of her Poirot series, should I have to start right from the first or is it okay to just ..."

A few Poirot books do contain spoilers and allusions to the previous installments. I've seen the following recommendations to avoid spoilers:

1. Make sure you read Curtain last
2. Lord Edgware Dies should be read before After the Funeral
3. Five Little Pigs should be read before Elephants Can Remember
4. Cat Among the Pigeons should be read before Hallowe’en Party
5. Mrs McGinty’s Dead should be read before Hallowe’en Party and Elephants Can Remember
6. Murder on the Orient Express should be read before Murder in Mesopotamia
7. Three Act Tragedy should be read before Hercule Poirot’s Christmas

Have fun! I'm almost done with the entire series myself, and am looking forward to getting into Miss Marple.


message 10: by Presleigh (new)


message 11: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany Anil wrote: "Anne wrote: "Anil wrote: "Thanks for suggesting these books. I have one question regarding Agatha Christie books. In order to read one of her Poirot series, should I have to start right from the fi..."

Just read Murder on the Orient Express (my first by her). Very enjoyable.


message 12: by A.K. (new)

A.K. White If you only have time for one more book before the end of the year, read "When Breath Becomes Air". It's amazing.


message 13: by Mrsculpepper (new)

Mrsculpepper don't forget kids books as well, including picture books


message 15: by Alexa (new)

Alexa Frankovitch Anil wrote: "Thanks for suggesting these books. I have one question regarding Agatha Christie books. In order to read one of her Poirot series, should I have to start right from the first or is it okay to just ..."
Go ahead and dive right in! I haven't read too many from the series but I definitely haven't read them in order, and I've still thoroughly enjoyed them. I think as long as you understand that Poirot is a very quick-witted detective who travels the world you'll be set.


message 16: by Sean (new)

Sean O I don't really care what Goodreads says, my "real" reading challenge is to read one more page than last year.


message 18: by Hope (new)

Hope Anil wrote: "Thanks for suggesting these books. I have one question regarding Agatha Christie books. In order to read one of her Poirot series, should I have to start right from the first or is it okay to just ..."

I have read them out of order and it was fine for me.


message 19: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Rape: A Love Story - Joyce Carol Oates - 154 pages


message 20: by AGMaynard (new)

AGMaynard Anil wrote: "Thanks for suggesting these books. I have one question regarding Agatha Christie books. In order to read one of her Poirot series, should I have to start right from the first or is it okay to just ..."

Just dive in! He's a little younger in the early books but his character is well set!


message 21: by Alicia (new)

Alicia Bakey I have never read them in order. Just jump right into one that interests you!


message 22: by Jennica (new)

Jennica The Giver (quartet) by Lois Lowry. They are very fast easy reads, but really make you think.


message 23: by Billie-Jade (new)

Billie-Jade the chrysallids - john wyndham

cat's cradle - kurt vonnegut


message 24: by Anshita (new)

Anshita Makwana Oh, how I love these lists helping me complete the several reading challenges I partook in the beginning of the year!


message 25: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Of Mice and Men is always a great, short novel.


message 26: by Wenqi (new)

Wenqi Anil wrote: "Thanks for suggesting these books. I have one question regarding Agatha Christie books. In order to read one of her Poirot series, should I have to start right from the first or is it okay to just ..."

Just dive right into any of the Poirot books! They are all individual cases, with some occasional references to the previous cases. But don't worry, it won't affect much on your reading.


message 27: by AGMaynard (new)

AGMaynard Great Gatsby--180 exquisite, luminous pages.


message 28: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Hamm Devil in the Junior League is a wonderful and funny book. This is the best book I have read this year. You owe it to yourself to check it out especially if you are a Southern girl.!!!!


message 29: by Kewannah (new)

Kewannah This is majorly helpful. If this isn't an annual feature, it should be...and maybe send it in October instead of 25d before the end of the year.


message 30: by Libryia (new)

Libryia Jones Anil wrote: "Thanks for suggesting these books. I have one question regarding Agatha Christie books. In order to read one of her Poirot series, should I have to start right from the first or is it okay to just ..."

GIRL same! I'm listening to some audiobooks to finish out the last books I need to read for the year. I have 7 books to read in 3 WEEKS! EEK! I was just asking someone to suggest some short books I can read in a day or two.


message 31: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Russo Our Souls at Night was one of my top 5 books this year. Also, try Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O'Nan; takes place at a Red Lobster on Christmas Eve. A great read.


message 32: by Sheila (new)

Sheila Beaumont Anil wrote: "Thanks for suggesting these books. I have one question regarding Agatha Christie books. In order to read one of her Poirot series, should I have to start right from the first or is it okay to just ..."

They all work as stand-alones. Just dive in anywhere!


message 33: by Elyse (new)

Elyse Good!


message 34: by Dan (new)

Dan Jones You ought to read "Runner" by Marie Ann Philip!


message 35: by Marilyn (new)

Marilyn Michel Anil wrote: "Thanks for suggesting these books. I have one question regarding Agatha Christie books. In order to read one of her Poirot series, should I have to start right from the first or is it okay to just ..."

I've read most of them and they are all complete in themselves. Happy Reading!


message 37: by Diane (new)

Diane This is my 1st attempt at the Goodreads Reading Challenge, which I signed into while on vacation in January. I have a ways to go but I'm more confident about next year. Favorite reads this year:The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan/ The Night Swimmer by Matt Bondyrant/ Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone/ Everything I never Told You by Celeste Ng I tried to step outside of my normal reading habits. This list and readers suggestions, have added to the want to read pile.


message 38: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Weaver The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg (and sequels)
The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs by Matthew Dicks


message 40: by Betty (new)

Betty A.K. wrote: "If you only have time for one more book before the end of the year, read "When Breath Becomes Air". It's amazing."

I totally agree. It was an amazing book. I've been recommending it to everyone.


message 41: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Sandra wrote: "Make Good Art by Neil Gaiman
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Animal Farm by George Orwell"


Every Heart a Doorway! Yes! I read that book in like a day. So good.

V


message 42: by Lizzet (new)

Lizzet I have complered my challenge but i am still reading. This list is great and should be a yesrly thing, why not send it esrlier in the year??


message 43: by Graham (new)

Graham Downs Aw, nothing from Graham Downs? I have six short stories and flash fiction collections out. Nothing that would take you more than an hour or two to read. Go take a look (Google me). :-)


message 44: by Frida (new)

Frida Hultgren Anil wrote: "Thanks for suggesting these books. I have one question regarding Agatha Christie books. In order to read one of her Poirot series, should I have to start right from the first or is it okay to just ..."

No its fine to not read them in order.


message 45: by Nikki the Geek (last edited Dec 07, 2017 12:08AM) (new)

Nikki the Geek I think so too. I've read a lot of Miss Marple stories just in the order I bought them on various flea markets when I was a teenager. The detectives don't have the excessive backstories which span the whole series like the modern ones have where you can miss quite a bit when you don't read them in order.


message 46: by Didofido (new)

Didofido Alondra wrote: "Anil wrote: "Thanks for suggesting these books. I have one question regarding Agatha Christie books. In order to read one of her Poirot series, should I have to start right from the first or is it ..."
I agree. "And there were none" is also another favorite of mine.


message 47: by Danny (new)

Danny How to Live on 24 Hours a Day

These 110 Pocket sized pages from 1910 will help you win your reading challenge.

I find my coming to terms with the Author I am reading and seeking to understand them coupled with my general marginalia and note taking reduces my total books read in my personal reading challenge but vastly improves my retention and understanding.

Perhaps a “Quantity” goal could be replaced by a “Quality” one?

Measured for example by a fun and organic mid and end term test or daily application of read material.

Off short book topic, this book could gift the reading challenger both a different reading paradigm and a pre season training camp in preparation for next years challenge.


How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading

Thank you all for encouraging me to read daily.

Danny

“No Weak Men In The Books At Home”
Gang of Four 1979


message 48: by Rosiemay (new)

Rosiemay Katherine wrote: "Finished awhile ago at 150 books (a goal I was not sure I could meeet, and my largest so far during any Goodreads Reading Challenge). I'm now on book 161 and plan to read at least a few more before..."
Wow well done! I've also met my goal...35 books! What is your secret?


message 49: by Barbara (new)

Barbara I just read News of the World by Paulette Jiles. It is 209 pages so qualifies as short. I really enjoyed it! Rated 4.17 on Goodreads.


message 50: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Anil wrote: "Thanks for suggesting these books. I have one question regarding Agatha Christie books. In order to read one of her Poirot series, should I have to start right from the first or is it okay to just ..."
you can just dive right in


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