32 Short, New Books to Help You CRUSH Your Reading Challenge

Posted by Cybil on November 9, 2020


Someday, this year will end! And with the ringing in of 2021, we will come to the end of this year's Goodreads Reading Challenge. Of course, there's still plenty of time this year to unplug, find someplace comfy, and get lost in a great book (and we strongly suggest that you do!)...plus that will also help you crush those annual reading goals that you may have set in the distant past of [checks notes]...January.

Every book here was both published this year and has fewer than 250 pages (let's be honest, the longest book here is 240 pages). That's a nice, achievable length that also has enough oomph to get in a great story as well. And we've delivered up the perfect excuse to catch up on some of the new books across fiction and nonfiction genres that made their grand entrances in 2020. 

Scroll over the book covers to learn more about each novel, and be sure to add the books that pique your interest to your Want to Read shelf!
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How are you doing on your Reading Challenge? Which of these titles catch your eye? Let's talk books in the comments!

Check out more recent articles:
21 New Books By Native American Writers
Readers' Most Anticipated Books of November
Time Travel with These 15 YA Historical Fiction Novels

Comments Showing 1-50 of 95 (95 new)


message 1: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Robinson Just added 11 of these to my TBR... They sound so intriguing!


message 2: by Gale (new)

Gale Blaylock Love getting these books :)


message 3: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Babb Terrible selections INHO Who picked this junk?


message 4: by Jack (new)

Jack Kelley Have all the male writers died of Covid-19?


message 5: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Gilbert Charles wrote: "Jack wrote: "Have all the male writers died of Covid-19?"

I'm not dead! My new "The Easter Confession" is a 149-page mystery set in Connecticut. Priest as central figure. 1955. Page-turner. Art th..."


OK Charles- I have added your book to my list! Looking forward to reading it


message 6: by Charles (new)

Charles Monagan Thank you!


mary cosmah johnson I read many more great books that i find in our housing library etc.
I do not always add books, not even ones on line.
So i come up short most years.
Love reading. These ole eyes just get tired.
To all of you, I say, feading a real hard back book, to me is comfort with a cap. C.. But however you read, please do..
It the very best therapy i know, aside from reading the bible.
The very best book ever.
God bless everyone. Remember, this year 2020 will never be forgotten. I know. I remember at least 75 + of my past life.
Stay safe, this too shall pass


mary cosmah johnson Sry..feading.. Not!!! Should be Reading. I am sorry


message 9: by Anika (new)

Anika None of these caught my eye. I only enjoy fantasy, sci fi,
and dystopian


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

mary cosmah johnson wrote: "I read many more great books that i find in our housing library etc.
I do not always add books, not even ones on line.
So i come up short most years.
Love reading. These ole eyes just get tired.
To..."



message 11: by Sean (new)

Sean O Jack wrote: "Have all the male writers died of Covid-19?"

Bakari Sellers, Paulo Coehlo, P. Dejeli Clark, and Nino Cipri are all male. Clark's scifi/fantasy writing is top notch. I just bought "Ring Shout" and it's at the top of my To Read Pile.


message 12: by Mara (last edited Nov 19, 2020 07:24AM) (new)

Mara Stakes Is High: Life After the American Dream is one of my top reads of 2020.
The Harpy is a fascinating short book.


message 13: by Tesalonica (new)

Tesalonica I read tender is the flesh when it come out... my god.... !


message 14: by Leane (new)

Leane Charles wrote: "Jack wrote: "Have all the male writers died of Covid-19?"

I'm not dead! My new "The Easter Confession" is a 149-page mystery set in Connecticut. Priest as central figure. 1955. Page-turner. Art th..."


Thank you for the suggestion, Charles. This sounds really interesting and I've added it to my TBR.


message 15: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Myers Follow Me to Ground is one of the most interesting books I've read this year. I read it back in February and am still thinking about it.


message 16: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Hayward Pérez I have added 26 of these to my TBR list. Interesting and varied selection.


message 17: by Cat (new)

Cat YESS!! Sisters, Children's Bible, Luster, House is a Body... this list is immaculate

I also highly rec Gabriella Burnham's It is wood, it is stone... reads like a shorter story but is so good!


message 18: by Jim (new)

Jim i'm just going to say if readers are just picking short books to meet a social media-created reading goal I find that pretty ridiculous.


message 19: by TraceyL (last edited Nov 19, 2020 03:28PM) (new)

TraceyL Great list! I added 5 to my TBR, and already read 9 others :)


Marc *Dark Reader of the Woods* Otilia wrote: "I love this kind of books, novels, book are true friends to spend time with, although I am a writer from the USA and I provide high school essay writing services."

Oh yes. Definitely a writer from the USA. Totally legit.


message 21: by Sheldon (new)

Sheldon This is helpful.


message 22: by Alost (new)

Alost oof this destroys the purpose of having a reading challenge. If it's to read maximum number of books, of course you can choose to read the smallest books possible. But is that really what you're hoping to accomplish?

This is rather a list to crush the spirit of reading challenge. Really, whom are you trying to impress at the slaughter of your own taste and choice?


message 23: by Cat (new)

Cat Anika wrote: "None of these caught my eye. I only enjoy fantasy, sci fi,
and dystopian"


Have you tried Riot Baby or Good Citizens Need Not Fear: Stories?


message 24: by Cat (new)

Cat Alost wrote: "oof this destroys the purpose of having a reading challenge. If it's to read maximum number of books, of course you can choose to read the smallest books possible. But is that really what you're ho..."

That's the beauty of a reading challenge, Alost. The goals of quantity and breadth of reading is up to the individual!


message 25: by Jane (new)

Jane Wood When I read a book I like to take my time. I appreciate it more, the prose and the plot, and the characters too, all add to the enjoyable experience of indulging another author’s hard work and the emotion involved in writing the book in the first place. I believe only another author will truly understand what I mean here.
The numbers of books read in a year means nothing to me. It’s all about enjoyment and relaxation to me. Just my opinion.


message 26: by Ann (new)

Ann Mara wrote: "Stakes Is High: Life After the American Dream is one of my top reads of 2020.
The Harpy is a fascinating short book."


Thanks. TBR-ed.


message 27: by Ann (new)

Ann Cat wrote: "Anika wrote: "None of these caught my eye. I only enjoy fantasy, sci fi,
and dystopian"

Have you tried Riot Baby or Good Citizens Need Not Fear: Stories?"


Thanks. Checking these out.


message 28: by Ann (new)

Ann I met my reading challenge a month ago but added these too.
These lists save me time and I like the feeling of accomplishment in finishing a short book quickly.


श्रेया (Shreya) The men in the comments are so obnoxious 🐵 goodness.


message 30: by Seajelly (new)

Seajelly I'd add the horror title Night of the Mannequins by Stephen Graham Jones.


message 31: by Tanya (new)

Tanya Anika wrote: "None of these caught my eye. I only enjoy (...) dystopian"

Tender is the Flesh should very much have caught your eye then.


message 32: by Mark (new)

Mark Magers Here is my list of short books. This list actually includes some male authors. Most of these books are not from 2020.
Codename Villanelle (Killing Eve #1)
The Colour of Milk
Last Night at the Lobster
Convenience Store Woman
Push (also a film)
Winter's Bone (also a film)
I Just Want My Pants Back (also an MTV tv series)
The Boat Rocker
White Elephant
The Broke Diaries - funny!
Almost Interesting - David Spade
Midnight Express ( also a film)


message 33: by Mark (new)

Mark Magers Here are three funny and short books.
Texts from Mittens
How to tell if your Cat is Plotting to Kill you
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops


message 34: by Warda Haque (new)

Warda Haque Great list of books thinking I will finish reading them all


message 35: by Alon (new)

Alon Currently reading Obama's autobiography so I do not think I will finish my challenge


message 36: by David (new)

David N Unfortunately not one of the above books catches my eye.


message 37: by Anne (new)

Anne Harvey Not seeing a lot of UK books there...


message 38: by R (new)


message 39: by Steve (new)

Steve Vinton You've missed out 'The Wisdom of Donald J Trump'. So short it does not actually have any pages.


message 40: by David (new)

David Humphrey Seajelly wrote: "I'd add the horror title Night of the Mannequins by Stephen Graham Jones."

Thanks, added NotM to reading list. Like the sound of it.


message 41: by Dianne (new)

Dianne  Haras I just added 3 more books so I hope I will have the time to read before year end. -Dianne


message 42: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Jim wrote: "i'm just going to say if readers are just picking short books to meet a social media-created reading goal I find that pretty ridiculous."

Agree


message 43: by Alice (new)

Alice I have already passed my reading challenge for this year . I did see some titles that I am interested in reading though and will revisit to obtain those titles at a later date. Thanks for the updates on reading material.


message 44: by Janice (new)

Janice Twenty by Debra Landwehr Engle should be added to the list. Lovely book!


message 45: by Gene (last edited Nov 25, 2020 12:57PM) (new)

Gene Borowski The Lilies of the Field by William Edmund Barrett

"The Lilies of the Field" is a great read. SCHMIDT! :)


message 46: by Sheila (new)

Sheila Samuelson Boryana wrote: ""Don't overthink it" is listed twice." No its listed ONCE!!


message 47: by Photojaq (new)

Photojaq I was in the 52 Books in 2020, and finished last week! Since them I'm reading Christmas books, a fun books about cats.


message 48: by Janice (new)

Janice Sheila wrote: "Boryana wrote: ""Don't overthink it" is listed twice." No its listed ONCE!!"

LOL. They corrected the error when it was discovered.


message 49: by Janice (new)

Janice Jim wrote: "i'm just going to say if readers are just picking short books to meet a social media-created reading goal I find that pretty ridiculous."

Why do you care how others choose to read?


message 50: by Rindis (last edited Nov 25, 2020 01:33PM) (new)

Rindis Cat wrote: "Anika wrote: "None of these caught my eye. I only enjoy fantasy, sci fi, and dystopian"

Have you tried Riot Baby or Good Citizens Need Not Fear: Stories?"


Can't say either those look any more interesting than the rest of list. (Admittedly, with me, you're down to SF&F, not dystopian.)

Though I can point out Masquerade in Lodi as meeting the 2020 and 250-page requirements, though I'm way behind on the series as a whole, so I can't say anything to that one in particular.


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