25 Short Books to Help You Meet Your 2016 Reading Challenge Goal
Panic may be setting in for those of us racing toward the end of our 2016 Reading Challenge and falling a little short. Thankfully, there’s no need to fear or fail. Here's a quick sampling of some fantastic speedy reads—all under 200 pages long. From the classics, to romance, to fantasy, there's a bit of something for everyone.
Do you know other books you can easily polish off before the new year? Leave the title and your recommendation in the comments.
The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
The author who brought us Gone Girl and Dark Places brings back the chills and thrills with her take on modern gothic horror with this Edgar-Award winner for best short story. (64 pages).
Shine by Jodi Picoult
One of our most popular authors, Picoult introduces the characters from 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards Fiction Finalist Small Great Things in this prequel. Need more convincing? This great story is snacksized. (42 pages).
Witness to a Trial by John Grisham
Another prequel and another quick read, this time from the king of legal thrillers, John Grisham. In this slim yet action-packed story, he sets up all of the conspiracies, corruption and murder to come in The Whistler. (36 pages).
Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies by J.K. Rowling
This collection of J.K. Rowling's writing originally appeared on Pottermore.com. Here it's collected with exclusive new content that reveals more details from the wizarding world of Harry Potter. (71 pages).
Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
Running into an old friend sparks memories from the 1970s for August, transporting her to a Brooklyn that was a place where she and her girls believed they were beautiful, talented, and brilliant. (192 pages).
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
The queen of gothic horror brings us this tale of murder that one Goodreads reviewer summed up as "bizarre, strange, haunting, sinister, disturbing, twisted, foreboding, suffocatingly claustrophobic, leaving you with the ever-growing sense of unease." (160 pages).
Heartburn by Nora Ephron
Ephron writes the ultimate 'he did me wrong and made a serious mistake because I'm about to write a novel about how horrible he is' book. Based on the collapse of her second marriage, Ephron shows she's not one to mess with—in her usual hilarious and witty fashion, of course. (179 pages).
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, this book galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. (106 pages).
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Finally get this tale of an old Cuban fisherman and his battle against a giant marlin off your Want to Read List this December. (132 pages).
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Bah! Humbug! First published in 1843, you've probably seen many movie and TV versions of this Dickens Christmas tale. Now, just in time for the holidays, read the original story. (144 pages).
Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli
In these essays, Italian theoretical physicist Rovelli guides readers through the most transformative physics breakthroughs of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It's smart and fascinating. (96 pages).
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
Acclaimed by critics and taught in many a high school and university, this series of vignettes tells the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago. (110 pages).
A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean
“The world is full of bastards, the number increasing rapidly the further one gets from Missoula, Montana.” In Maclean's autobiographical novella, he looks back at his family's complicated history, especially that between two brothers. (168 pages).
Sula by Toni Morrison
This short book from Morrison, who won the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature, follows the lives of two heroines from their small-town childhoods to their divergent paths as adults. (192 pages).
Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
"Men explain things to me, still. And no man has ever apologized for explaining, wrongly, things that I know and they don't." This smart and scathing essay will have you nodding your head in agreement throughout, especially if you belong to the female half of the population. (168 pages).
The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante
An Italian national bestseller for almost a year straight, this novel about an abandoned wife is a great introduction to the beloved author of the Neapolitan novels. (188 pages).
We the Animals by Justin Torres
A blistering debut novel about three brothers and their parents reinvents the coming-of-age story in a way that will leave you feeling like you've just had a punch in the gut. (128 pages).
Every Beat of My Heart by Bella Andrew
How about a little romance? This double-wedding novella is a winner with our legions of romance fans. Plus, it's a great introduction to the steamy Sullivan family. (79 pages).
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord by Sarah J. Maas
Readers of the Young Adult Fantasy genre are simply crazy for Maas. This novella is bound to get you hooked on her Throne of Glass series. (70 pages).
The Darkest Fire by Gena Showalter
Once you consume this read, it may kindle your interest in the entire Lords of the Underworld series. Ok, I'm done with the puns now. (66 pages).
The Pearl by John Steinbeck
This classic based on a Mexican folk tale explores the secrets of man’s nature, greed, and the possibilities of love. (96 pages).
Animal Farm by George Orwell
"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." A satire on the Soviet Communist system that you've probably pretended to have read at some point in your life. (97 pages).
The Giver by Lois Lowry
If you didn't read this in middle school, and you didn't see the movie, you can now see why more than a million Goodreads readers give this book 4+ stars. (180 pages).
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
This is someone you know's favorite book, guaranteed. This novel has enchanted readers around the globe with its message of the transforming power of dreams and the importance of listening to your heart. (197 pages).
The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz
One of Oprah's favorite books and a self-help classic, Ruiz based his guide on ancient Toltec wisdom. The Four Agreements are: Be Impeccable With Your Word, Don't Take Anything Personally, Don't Make Assumptions, and Always Do Your Best. (168 pages).
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