32 Short (and New) Books to Help You Crush Your 2019 Reading Challenge

Posted by Cybil on November 11, 2019


Your 2019 Goodreads Reading Challenge goal is just within reach, and we're here to help you finish the reading year with some great new books—all under 300 pages! 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 inspiration, these 32 short books, divided between fiction and nonfiction, might be just what you need to crush that annual reading goal.

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.


Fiction with Fewer Than 300 Pages

Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Nonfiction with Fewer Than 300 Pages

Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating

Which short books would you recommend? Share them with us in the comments!

Check out more recent articles, including:
24 Books that Began as NaNoWriMo Projects
16 Audiobooks for True Crime Aficionados
November's Most Anticipated New Books

Comments Showing 1-50 of 51 (51 new)


message 1: by JazzyBooks (new)

JazzyBooks Dead Poets Society. It's based on a movie, yes, but not only is it short it contains so many wise sentiments and so many powerful things. I 100% recommend!! :)


message 2: by Holly (new)

Holly I'm so glad I found the spot where free advertisements are rampant!

I am interested in purchasing Breyer collectibles for customizing; message me if you have some to sell.


message 3: by J.N. (new)

J.N. I'd recommend the audiobook for My Friend Anna. The narrator is the author and does a good job. It's a bit repetitive but an interesting true crime story.


message 4: by bookish (new)

bookish i'm reading and really enjoying Curtis Sittenfield's You Think It, I'll Say It, a collection of short stories that's only 222 pages long. it's a great read if you're looking for something short but immersive.

i also just finished reading The Gurka and the Lord of Tuesday, a 167-page novella that's fun, and compacts excellent world-building in so few pages.


message 5: by Richard (new)

Richard The Problem with Everything by Meghan Daum (256p)


message 6: by Tom (new)

Tom Newman Thanks everyone for your help, support and recommendations, I'll look into it and see the ones I can manage with my little time


message 7: by Cristina (new)

Cristina MG I think "And Then There Were None" by Agatha Christie is a must-read and it's only 259 pages.


message 8: by Caroline (new)

Caroline The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. A classic.
Also Silk by Alessandro Baricco. This is one I will re-read one day.


message 9: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Lachapelle Morales Little Fires Everywhere and Red Clocks are short and fabulous works of fiction!


message 10: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Cristina wrote: "I think "And Then There Were None" by Agatha Christie is a must-read and it's only 259 pages."

That's a good one. I re-read it a few years ago.


message 11: by Nicholas (last edited Nov 11, 2019 11:35AM) (new)

Nicholas This list is useful but I don't love the idea that the Reading Challenge is making me biased against longer books. I wish there were an option for doing it by page count instead of number of books.


message 12: by Liz (new)

Liz Reread a children's book or series you enjoyed when you were younger - or ask a kid for a suggestion! Last year I read A Series of Unfortunate Events and this year I read the Chronicles of Narnia.


message 13: by Richard (new)

Richard Nicholas wrote: "This list is useful but I don't love the idea that the Reading Challenge is making me biased against longer books. I wish there were an option for doing it by page count instead of number of books."

I know what you mean. I read IT by Stephen King (almost 1100 pages) and ended up about 7 behind!


message 14: by Nanette (last edited Nov 11, 2019 05:23PM) (new)

Nanette Cristina wrote: "I think "And Then There Were None" by Agatha Christie is a must-read and it's only 259 pages."

This one is definitely worth a read!


message 15: by Jessica (new)

Jessica TheBookAddict Animal Farm, Who Moved My Cheese, and Ghachar Ghochar, for sure!


The Joy of Erudition Nicholas wrote: "This list is useful but I don't love the idea that the Reading Challenge is making me biased against longer books. I wish there were an option for doing it by page count instead of number of books."

I had the same problem, but this year I front-loaded the short books until I had gotten within 10 books of my goal, then switched to the longer books I'd been sitting on, and when I passed my goal before summer ended, I opted not to increase the number (which would cause me to favour short books again) and just read as I pleased from then on. Would be nice not to have it hanging over my head at the beginning of the year, but I still have plenty of short books worth reading, anyway.


The Masked Reader I think these are some really good picks, but regardless it’s a surefire way to teeter my TBR out even more, my TBR will die, hard. 😅


The Masked Reader Nicholas wrote: "This list is useful but I don't love the idea that the Reading Challenge is making me biased against longer books. I wish there were an option for doing it by page count instead of number of books."

That’s definitely something I feel strongly on. Sigh..it would definitely be less of a headache.


The Masked Reader Richard wrote: "Nicholas wrote: "This list is useful but I don't love the idea that the Reading Challenge is making me biased against longer books. I wish there were an option for doing it by page count instead of..."

Haha, many people were behind with IT. Signs it shouldn’t be read for a challenge..😂


The Masked Reader The Joy of Erudition wrote: "Nicholas wrote: "This list is useful but I don't love the idea that the Reading Challenge is making me biased against longer books. I wish there were an option for doing it by page count instead of..."

Yes I agree. Would be best if it didn’t hang over my head.


The Masked Reader JazzyBooks wrote: "Dead Poets Society. It's based on a movie, yes, but not only is it short it contains so many wise sentiments and so many powerful things. I 100% recommend!! :)"

Aye robin williams. I’m pleased to hear it’s on a book.


message 22: by Chrisanta (new)

Chrisanta Dias Cristina wrote: "I think "And Then There Were None" by Agatha Christie is a must-read and it's only 259 pages."

I read this last year to try and quickly hit my target with a short read :P


message 23: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Ward Short books I'd recommend:
1. Beside the Sea by Veronique Olmi
2. All My Friends Are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman
3. Bird Box by Josh Malerman
4. Tin Man by Sarah Winman
5. We the Animals by Justin Torres
4. Lot: Stories by Bryan Washington
5. Home by Toni Morrison
6. The Box Children by Sharon Wyse
7. Any Man by Amber Tambyn
8. The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
9. Night by Elie Weisel
10. Fox 8 by George Saunders
11. The Emissary by Yoko Tawada
12. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
13. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
14. Animal Farm by George Orwell
15. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
16. Flight by Sherman Alexie
17. The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest Gaines
18. Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates
19. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
20. 'Wayward Children' series by Seanan McGuire
21. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
22. The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood
23. Push by Sapphire
24. The Butcher Boy by Patrick McCabe
25. Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell
26. Tomato Red by Daniel Woodrell
27. The Maid's Version by Daniel Woodrell
28. The Colour of Milk by Nell Leyshon
29. Imani All Mine by Connie Porter
30. Thomas Murphy by Roger Rosenblatt
31. Dream Boy by Jim Grimsley
32. Project X by Jim Shepherd
33. From the Shadows by Juan Jose Millas
34. Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala
35. Black Water by Joyce Carol Oates


message 24: by Zahraa (new)

Zahraa A. J Graphic novels are great and can be finished in a single sitting as well!

Recs : Maus: Un survivant raconte, tome 1: Mon père saigne l'histoire , Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood and Nimona are some of my personal favorites!


message 25: by Jen (new)

Jen Bergevin Nicholas wrote: "This list is useful but I don't love the idea that the Reading Challenge is making me biased against longer books. I wish there were an option for doing it by page count instead of number of books."

I totally agree. A 5-page early reader read with my daughter should not have the "value" as War and Peace.

I find graphic novels a nice balance. They are often quick reads but have deep stories and can be hundreds of pages long.


message 26: by Jennifer (last edited Nov 16, 2019 08:52AM) (new)

Jennifer Holly wrote: "I'm so glad I found the spot where free advertisements are rampant!

I am interested in purchasing Breyer collectibles for customizing; message me if you have some to sell."


This site is owned by Amazon, and is ostensibly free for individuals and authors to use. This can't possibly be a surprise.


message 27: by Sandy (new)

Sandy Kandt-michael For the Challenge, I have been keeping mainly to books that are 500-600 pages. Occasionally, I will add a longer one.

I have 24 more books to read so I will be reading shorter books to meet my goal!

✌ Out!


message 29: by Mariah (new)

Mariah “Conscientious Objections: Stirring Up Trouble About Language, Technology and Education” by Neil Postman. Absolutely amazing! I recommend everyone to read it —especially Americans.


message 30: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Crawley I would recommend Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill, as well as Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O'nan, each of which has fewer than 200 pages!


message 31: by Graham (new)

Graham Downs I really enjoyed Buried by South African author Sian Claven. It's a haunted house horror, and Amazon says the ebook is 122 pages: https://books2read.com/u/4NQlJG (Affiliate links).


message 32: by Norma (new)

Norma Caballero Caroline wrote: "The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. A classic.
Also Silk by Alessandro Baricco. This is one I will re-read one day."


Agree... Silk is a short bus so lovely book.


Cynthia B. Muller I would add Call of the Wild by Jack London to the short list - great for reading on a wintery day


message 34: by Elyse (new)

Elyse Zahraa wrote: "Graphic novels are great and can be finished in a single sitting as well!

Recs : Maus: Un survivant raconte, tome 1: Mon père saigne l'histoire , [book:Persepolis: The Story of a C..."


Yes to all of these!


message 35: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth S. Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning


message 36: by Paul (new)

Paul Shortell Nicholas wrote: "This list is useful but I don't love the idea that the Reading Challenge is making me biased against longer books. I wish there were an option for doing it by page count instead of number of books."

I'm with you there, I don't want the reading challenge to be about numbers, it's about the enjoyment of reading. I do like that the stats track both books and pages and I tend to go by pages. This year I am 3 books behind last year's total yet already 1000 pages beyond.


message 37: by Sue (new)

Sue Tauke Colleen wrote: "I would recommend Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill, as well as Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O'nan, each of which has fewer than 200 pages!"

LOVED the Offill book - great choice.


message 38: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Wellman 64 pages that will jumpstart you into the past and what home means in our heart. my memoir about growing up under the eye of Hollywood fame - Barrington


message 39: by Niomi (new)

Niomi Late Migrations by Margaret Renkl


message 40: by Mark (new)

Mark Magers Sarah wrote: "Short books I'd recommend:
1. Beside the Sea by Veronique Olmi
2. All My Friends Are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman
3. Bird Box by Josh Malerman
4. Tin Man by Sarah Winman
5. We the Animals by Justi..."



message 41: by Mark (new)

Mark Magers Winter's Bone and Push are great choices.


message 42: by Mark (new)

Mark Magers I recommend My Left Foot (192p.), Sweet Tea and Jesus Shoes (192p.) and My Sister, the Serial Killer (226p).


message 43: by Kat (new)

Kat Hardwick Here are a few more to add to the list:

Cider With Rosie- Laurie Lee
Brief Lives- Anita Brookner
My Name Is Lucy Barton- Elizabeth Strout
The Great Gatsby- F. Scott Fitzgerald
Sexing The Cherry- Jeanette Winterson
The Sea- John Banville
Senor Vivo And The Coca Lord- Louis de Bernieres

Although I do agree about counting pages rather than books. I was travelling at the beginning of the year and am spending the second half of the year reading only the shortest books in my 'to read' pile to catch up!


message 44: by Lee (new)

Lee Nicholas wrote: "This list is useful but I don't love the idea that the Reading Challenge is making me biased against longer books. I wish there were an option for doing it by page count instead of number of books."


Yes! Or a point system where longer books count for more points!


message 45: by Kelly L Hobbins (new)

Kelly L Hobbins JazzyBooks wrote: "Dead Poets Society. It's based on a movie, yes, but not only is it short it contains so many wise sentiments and so many powerful things. I 100% recommend!! :)"

Is the book based on a movie, or is the movie based on the book?


The Joy of Erudition Kelly L Hobbins wrote: "Is the book based on a movie, or is the movie based on the book? "

I checked, and the novel by N. H. Kleinbaum states on its copyright page that it's based on the movie.
https://archive.org/details/deadpoets...


message 47: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth The Deep is really good.


message 48: by Kim (new)

Kim West by Carys Davies West by Carys Davies is a short book that was my favourite of 2018.


message 49: by Candice (new)

Candice The Making of You: The Incredible Journey from Cell to Human by Katharina Vestre is a concise book about human development in the womb. It is written for a general audience. I really enjoyed it.


message 50: by Paula (new)

Paula Nicholas wrote: "This list is useful but I don't love the idea that the Reading Challenge is making me biased against longer books. I wish there were an option for doing it by page count instead of number of books."

You don't have to allow the reading challenge to bias you against reading longer books though I think it's a great way to challenge to yourself to read more, especially if you have a bit of a competitive streak. You can also measure yourself by pages read. Go to My books, then Stats at the top of the page and select Pages Read. I love checking this to see how I'm really doing as it is a more accurate reflection of how my reading challenge is going than Books read


« previous 1
back to top