Very Short, 4-Star Books for Your Reading Challenge

Posted by Cybil on December 17, 2019
And just like that, the year is almost over! But it's not quite time to stop adding books to your 2019 Goodreads Reading Challenge. There's plenty of time to finish a few more books. Seriously!

We've rounded these 20 books that are not only all under 200 pages, but each has earned at least a 4-star average rating from your fellow readers.

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.


Books with Fewer Than 200 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
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:
Readers Recommend 28 Perfect Wintertime Books
Bill Gates' Top Five Holiday Book Picks
Announcing the Winners of the 2019 Goodreads Choice Awards!

Comments Showing 1-31 of 31 (31 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by April (last edited Dec 17, 2019 06:35AM) (new)

April Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman (also a great holiday read)


message 2: by Linda (new)

Linda Wise News of the World by Paulette Jiles has about 220 pages, and is one of the best I've ever read, and I'm a senior citizen who reads a lot. It's two main characters are two of the best you'll ever read about.


message 3: by Sara (new)

Sara Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift


message 4: by TMR (new)

TMR These all sound terrific, and very helpful towards our challenge.


message 5: by Christina (new)

Christina This is exactly what I needed!


message 6: by Gaia (new)

Gaia Nine Stories, aka: For Esmé with Love and Squalor by J.D. Salinger


message 7: by C.E. (new)

C.E. Crowder I'm not positive these are all under 200 pages, but they are all great, short reads:

The Human Comedy, by William Saroyan
The Invention of Morel, by Adolfo Bioy Casares
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch, by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Staying On, by Paul Scott
Boy, by Roald Dahl
The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway
Life of Black Hawk, by Black Hawk
Washington Square (or Daisy Miller), by Henry James
A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies, by Bartolome de las Casas
The Man Who was Thursday, by G. K. Chesterton
Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
Night, by Elie Wiesel
Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad
The Bridges at Toko-Ri, by James A. Michener


message 8: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Haider Graphic Novels are also a great option to finish up your reading challenge in December. Some of my favorites:

Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob
Heartstopper: Volume One by Alice Oseman
The Handmaid's Tale: The Graphic Novel
The Complete Persepolis
Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell


message 9: by Chris (new)

Chris The Nickel Boys is only about 200 pages when you take away the front and back matter. A tough but good read.

To the graphic novel suggestions, I'd add George Takei's They Called Us Enemy, which I'm currently reading.


message 10: by Inken (new)

Inken Genesis by Bernard Beckett


message 11: by Seema (new)

Seema 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (for anyone that like epistolary novels -this is for book lovers)

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson


message 12: by Chris (new)

Chris Nutshell by Ian McEwan


message 13: by Nate (new)

Nate Go ahead and end your year on a really depressing (but incredible) note: Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee. (220 pages)


message 14: by Jim (new)

Jim call me a Krampus, but shouldn't reading be more about enjoyment than fulfilling a non-binding website goal?


message 15: by Kim (new)

Kim I would highly recommend my current short read which is just over the limit, as it’s 208 pages of sheer beauty Sarah Winman Tin Man!


message 16: by kittykat (new)

kittykat Based on the few that I've already read, most short stories/novellas published by Tor.com are good choices for short reads incl
The Black God's Drums by P. Djèlí Clark The Lady Astronaut of Mars by Mary Robinette Kowal Of Sorrow and Such by Angela Slatter The Devil in America by Kai Ashante Wilson Fire Above, Fire Below by Garth Nix All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries, #1) by Martha Wells

But also a few others
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin Slave Ship Rising by L.L. Farmer

and two cheats
I Am Malala The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai - the abridged version
Shade A Tale of Two Presidents by Pete Souza - it's all pictures!!!


message 17: by David (new)

David The Emperor's Soul and The Ocean at the End of the Lane are both among their respective author's best works, imo.


message 18: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Past the Shallows by Favel Parrett. Beautiful writing.


message 19: by Elin (new)

Elin What a bad time to rec JK Rowling


Sammm [involuntarily somewhat on hiatus] Wow, time flies! This blog made me go search an older one from you guys: www.goodreads.com/blog/show/752 (titled "25 Short Books to Help You Meet Your 2016 Reading Challenge Goal") in which some REAL super short short stories can be found in the comment area.

Went creating a page for "The Mad Scientist's Daughter" by Theodora Goss just now; I don't profit by sharing this (lol,) but I think this short story is a good way to see if you'd actually want to read The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter (The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club, #1) by Theodora Goss European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman (The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club, #2) by Theodora Goss The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl (The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club, #3) by Theodora Goss . It's FREE and 2 pages long. =D


message 21: by Suzy (new)

Suzy Utz by Bruce Chatwin - small but perfectly formed!


message 22: by Shirin (new)

Shirin Tondkar Books by Anna Gavalda and Lady L. by Romain Gary are also great.


message 23: by Darla (new)

Darla The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil by George Saunders


message 24: by Kamalakkannan (new)

Kamalakkannan  Durairaju Mitron Dilliwala.
It's a short read filled with numerous characters and a fractured India.
It all starts with finding a solution to the smog situation in Delhi and things get out of hand really, really soon


message 25: by Mckayla (new)

Mckayla Tuesday’s with Morrie is also a Great short read that’s only about 200 pages.


message 26: by Dania (new)

Dania The old man and the sea


message 27: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Stardust by Neil Gaiman


message 28: by Marshall (new)

Marshall Wayne This list should be done for short audiobooks that also count.


message 29: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Some short books/quick reads I've really enjoyed:

Roald Dahl books
Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
That Time I Loved You, by Carrianne Leung
Scarborough, by Catherine Hernandez
Indian Horse, by Richard Wagamese
Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
Floating in My Mother's Palm, by Ursula Hegi
And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie
Longitude, Dava Sobel


message 30: by Toby (new)

Toby Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds!!


message 31: by Renee (new)

Renee Linda wrote: "News of the World by Paulette Jiles has about 220 pages, and is one of the best I've ever read, and I'm a senior citizen who reads a lot. It's two main characters are two of the best you'll ever re..."

Agreed! And to think Tom Hanks may play the lead role in the film version - terrific.


back to top