44 Short Books to Help You Reach Your Reading Challenge Goal

Posted by Marie on November 28, 2018


You're almost there.

Your Reading Challenge goal is just within reach and we're cheering for you right from the sidelines. Because whether you've pledged 15 books or 150 books this year, the commitment to read more is a worthy endeavor.

So if you need a little nudge, these short books might give you the power-up you're looking for.

And since every reader has their own definition of "short," we’ve sorted these books based on their number of pages. We've also listed a variety of genres and subjects, from recent releases including Oyinkan Braithwaite's My Sister, the Serial Killer to classics including Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle and Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest.

Don’t forget to add what catches your eye to your Want to Read shelf and let us know which short books you recommend in the comments.


Less Than 100 Pages

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Less Than 200 Pages

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Less Than 300 Pages

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Comments Showing 1-50 of 50 (50 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Cendaquenta (new)

Cendaquenta Lot of great picks here - I absolutely recommend Dear Ijeawele, Annihilation, and We Have Always Lived in the Castle!

I do wonder why The Tombs of Atuan was featured instead of A Wizard of Earthsea, though? "Wizard" is the first in the series and is also under 200 pages.


message 2: by Oda Renate (new)

Oda Renate Short books I recomend:
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell
Mates, Dates, and Inflatable Bras (Mates, Dates, #1) by Cathy Hopkins
Rejected Princesses Tales of History's Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics by Jason Porath
Dead Dudes! by Cathy Hopkins
How They Met, and Other Stories by David Levithan
Dead Is the New Black (Dead Is, #1) by Marlene Perez
Holes (Holes, #1) by Louis Sachar
Romancing the Werewolf (Supernatural Society, #2) by Gail Carriger


message 3: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Nothing from Haruki Murakami? The Strange Library is very short and a lot of fun.


Madeline Carwile some other ideas. :)
*the old man & the sea
+the screw-tape letters
•invisible cities
-everyman’s poetry collections


message 5: by Cathy (new)

Cathy Jamison My two favorite short books of this year were Waiting for Eden by Elliot Ackerman and Tin Man by Sarah Winman.


message 6: by Alison (new)

Alison Holliday Convenience Store Woman
Our Souls at Night
The Great Gatsby

All titles I have not read but plan to in December so hoping they're good ones !


message 7: by Nita (new)

Nita The Murderbot diaries! The first of the four novellas: All Systems Red


message 8: by Louie (new)

Louie This is a nice list but I wish Goodreads had one for Young Adult books. Because that would be awesome.


message 9: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Cathy wrote: "My two favorite short books of this year were Waiting for Eden by Elliot Ackerman and Tin Man by Sarah Winman."

I loved Tin Man so I will check out Waiting for Eden. Thanks for the recommendations!


message 10: by Mimi (new)

Mimi Is it cheating if I read this picture book?! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3...


Mayke (acozyliving)☕️ I don't want to be this person who has to read a bunch of short books to get my challenge around, but I needed this so much!


message 12: by Hotaru (new)

Hotaru I would add News of the World, a great and quick read !


message 13: by Sophie (new)

Sophie Oda Renate wrote: "Short books I recomend:
Holes ..."


Holes is an amazing and cruelly underrated book <3 I often re-read it.


message 14: by Ladan (last edited Nov 28, 2018 01:30PM) (new)

Ladan such a great Idea. Though I am 30 books behind schedule I try to make it...33 days left and 30 books to be read...Sounds much of a challenge


message 15: by Darren (last edited Nov 30, 2018 06:29AM) (new)

Darren Old Man & The Sea and Invisible Cities are good shouts

also sub-250:
Beowulf anon (Seamus Heaney translation) 78
Miss Lonelyhearts West, Nathanael 80
Christmas Carol, A Dickens, Charles 94
Time Machine, The Wells, H. G. 118
Bridge Of San Luis Rey, The Wilder, Thornton 127
Crying Of Lot 49, The Pynchon, Thomas 127
Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie, The Spark, Muriel 128
Moscow Stations Erofeev, Venedikt 131
Mezzanine, The Baker, Nicholson 135
Black Wings Has My Angel Chaze, Elliott 136
Double Indemnity Cain, James M. 136
Sorrows Of Young Werther, The Goethe, Johann Wolfgang 142
One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr 144
Roadside Picnic Strugatsky, Arkady & Boris 145
Clockwork Orange, A Burgess, Anthony 149
Things Fall Apart Achebe, Chinua 150
Around The World In Eighty Days Verne, Jules 154
Hearing Trumpet, The Carrington, Leonora 158
KestrelFor A Knave, A Hines, Barry 161
Hound Of The Baskervilles, The Conan Doyle, Arthur 164
Harpole Report, The Carr, J. L. 164
Trial, The Kafka, Franz 165
Getaway, The Thompson, Jim 176
Invincible, The Lem, Stanislaw 178
Bottle Factory Outing, The Bainbridge, Beryl 179
Friends Of Eddie Coyle, The Higgins, George V. 183
Journey To The Centre Of The Earth Verne, Jules 187
In The Country Of Last Things Auster, Paul 188
Big Sleep, The Chandler, Raymond 189
Leopard, The Tomasi di Lampedusa, Giuseppe 190
Pursuit Of Love, The Mitford, Nancy 192
Snapper, The Doyle, Roddy 200
History Of Mr Polly, The Wells, H. G. 200
Cold Comfort Farm Gibbons, Stella 203
Room With A View, A Forster, E.M. 204
Solaris Lem, Stanislaw 204
All Quiet On The Western Front Remarque, Erich Maria 207
They Drive By Night Curtis, James 212
Maltese Falcon, The Hammett, Dashiell 213
Riddley Walker Hoban, Russell 214
True Grit Portis, Charles 215
Restraint Of Beasts, The Mills, Magnus 215
Sorrow Of War, The Ninh, Bao 217
Grass is Singing, The Lessing, Doris 218
Housekeeping Robinson, Marilynne 219
Disgrace Coetzee, J.M. 220
Slaves of Solitude, The Hamilton, Patrick 226
Fahrenheit 451 Bradbury, Ray 227
Death And The Penguin Kurkov, Andrey 228
Spy Who Came In From The Cold, The le Carré, John 229
Morvern Callar Warner, Alan 229
Mrs Dalloway Woolf, Virginia 230
History Man, The Bradbury, Malcolm 230
Treasure Island Stevenson, Robert Louis 230
My Antonia Cather, Willa 230
Brave New World Huxley, Aldous 237
Deliverance Dickey, James 239
Changing Places Lodge, David 240
Lost Horizon Hilton, James 240
Heart Of Darkness Conrad, Joseph 240
Hunger Hamsun, Knut 241
High Fidelity Hornby, Nick 245
Wreath, The (aka Garland, The; Bridal Wreath, The) (Kristin Lavransdatter #1) Undset, Sigrid 247
Lolly Willowes Townsend Warner, Sylvia 247
Brighton Rock Greene, Graham 247
Voyage To Arcturus, A Lindsay, David 248
Virgin Suicides, The Eugenides, Jeffrey 249


message 16: by Dani (new)

Dani Marés da luas Good luck to everyone who is still trying to accomplish their challenge!


message 17: by Chris (new)

Chris Another option is graphic novels. John Lewis's acclaimed three-part March memoir series is a great read regardless.
https://www.goodreads.com/series/1328...


message 18: by Kameron Raynor (new)

Kameron Raynor There are a lot of great reads here! I will have to give one them a try. Thank you for the suggestions! #holidayreads


message 19: by Adriana (new)

Adriana I recommend Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong.


message 20: by Cameron (new)

Cameron 57 Bus


message 21: by Cameron (new)

Cameron We The Animals


message 22: by Em (new)

Em I wish we had the option of setting page goals instead of book goals, so that it doesn't matter how long the books are. :(


message 23: by Jordan (new)


message 24: by Sophie (new)

Sophie Read comics! Saga, Locke & Key and Sandman are my drugs of choice.


message 25: by Elektra (new)

Elektra Lucia Lyholm-Raagaard Mimi wrote: "Is it cheating if I read this picture book?! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3..."
Would count haha, I read "You have to f*cking eat" also 32 pages


message 26: by JEONSUS (new)

JEONSUS IM HERE TO COMPLAIN about how in the Goodreads app, when you're searching through someone's list of shelves (and when they have a LOT) it cuts off halfway through. I want to see the rest of their shelves but your flop app can't handle it. I can't believe it's 2018, six years since I downloaded and it hasn't changed that much. Still with the slow waiting time on front page and for people's profiles to load...


message 27: by Hilde (new)

Hilde Mertens The death of Ivan Iljitch by Tolstoi should definitely be on the list


message 28: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Eager Louie wrote: "This is a nice list but I wish Goodreads had one for Young Adult books. Because that would be awesome."

Young adults can read any of these books. "Young Adult" is a marketing strategy invented by publishers, not a genre of literature.


message 29: by Alison (new)

Alison Holliday I would add Jason Reynolds' Long Way Down. Fantastic book that packs a punch


message 30: by Sophie (new)

Sophie Interpreter of Maladies. Great collection of short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri, one of my very favorite authors.


message 31: by Amelina (new)

Amelina I recommend:
Brother by David Chariandy
Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese
Tell by Frances Itani
The Piano Maker by Kurt Palka
The Big Wave by Pearl S. Buck
Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
Fort Starlight by Claudia Zuluaga


message 32: by Starasia (new)

Starasia The most gut-wrenching sliver of a memoir you probably never read or heard of that you MUST read is Fragments of Isabella


message 33: by ALbi (new)

ALbi Alison wrote: "Convenience Store Woman
Our Souls at Night
The Great Gatsby

All titles I have not read but plan to in December so hoping they're good ones !"


I loved Convenience Store Woman and The Great Gatsby! So I guess I'm going to read "Our Souls at Night"! :D


message 34: by ALbi (new)

ALbi I recommend "Psychoshop" by Alfred Bester, Roger Zelazny
Short but powerful, inventive, fun, sexy and really strange story.


message 35: by Chhaya (new)

Chhaya I got Alan Bennett's The Uncommon Reader and Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own off of last year's short book list. Both recommended!


message 36: by Kathy (new)

Kathy I recommend The Gap and The Road from Gap Creek by Robert Morgan. I loved Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.


message 37: by Nitya (new)

Nitya I second When Breath Becomes Air! Also manga/graphic novels are wonderful and really helpful... Especially Pashmina and The Flying Witch. :)))


message 38: by Becky (new)

Becky Horton Em wrote: "I wish we had the option of setting page goals instead of book goals, so that it doesn't matter how long the books are. :("

Yes!


message 39: by Liz (new)

Liz My recommendations are:
The Housekeeper + The Professor by Yoko Ogawa
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
Red Dog by Louis de Bernieres
Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote (SO different to the movie)


message 40: by Remy (new)

Remy Amazon Prime has some good short story series available. If you like horror, try the Dark Corners collection; the Bloodlands collection is good for true crime; the Southside collection is great non-fiction about miscarriages of justice. I'll be checking out the Warmer collection as soon as I finish Bloodlands.


message 41: by Gene (new)

Gene Self Don't forget Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men for a short and memorable read.....


message 42: by Mark (new)

Mark Magers My short book recommendations are:
The Broke Diaries by Angela Nissel (224 p.) It's funny and a fast read.
Push by Sapphire (177p.) It was made into a movie called Precious.


message 43: by Robyn (new)

Robyn My favorite short books were: The Lexy Baker series by Leighann Dobbs ... super cute bakery mystery novels with a little bit of romance ... 1st book is Killer Cupcakes https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...


message 44: by Alex (new)

Alex I really enjoyed Alan Lightman's book Einstein's Dreams. He has another that is similarly short called Mr. G but it's a little less of a light read.

One in a similar vein to Einstein's Dreams is Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman.


message 45: by Kate (new)

Kate Grimley Hilde wrote: "The death of Ivan Iljitch by Tolstoi should definitely be on the list"

Such a moving read! I was "forced" to read it in college and after discovered it has remained one of my favorite books!


message 46: by Anna Monte (new)

Anna Monte Jeffrey wrote: "Nothing from Haruki Murakami? The Strange Library is very short and a lot of fun."

Thanks for the recommendation. I really like Murakami but I was not informed about this one


message 47: by Anna Monte (new)

Anna Monte Mimi wrote: "Is it cheating if I read this picture book?! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3..."
I read a Pippa Pig book. Does it count?😃


message 48: by Alemis (new)

Alemis Iove all Agatha Christie´s novels, The War of the World´s is better than the Tom Cruise movie, Stephen King´s novels take my breath away, and all though I liked "The importance of being Earnest by Collin Firsh the book is better and funnier


message 49: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Bourne Montana 1948–a must read!!!!


message 50: by Chelle (new)

Chelle Starasia wrote: "The most gut-wrenching sliver of a memoir you probably never read or heard of that you MUST read is Fragments of Isabella"

Excellent share, thank you.


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