April 2014

Warm Up: Short Book Recommendations!


Are you getting geared up, readers? The Readathon is just around the corner and I have a bit of advice on how to make the most of your reading stack. Picking up Les Miserables isn’t always the best plan when you’re trying to read for 24 hours straight, but mixing up your reading with graphic novels and novellas is always a great fix. Here are ten short, sweet books that would be great on any Readathon reading list.

The Unknowns by Gabriel Roth (224 Pages)

Sometimes too many heavy books can make reading drag, so the funny voice of Eric Muller will be great for keeping you giggling through at least part of your 24 hours.

All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld (240 Pages)

If you don’t mind a darker read, the atmosphere of Evie Wyld’s new novel will pull you straight into the dreariness of British farm life and hold on tight. 

The Maid’s Version by Daniel Woodrell (164 Pages)

Being able to get through a great piece of literary fiction in under 200 pages is a fantastic feeling. This one treated me well during October’s Readathon. 

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (215 Pages)

If you’re not afraid of a good cry at some point during the day, A Monster Calls is the way to go. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The Wife by Meg Wolitzer (224 Pages)

I’m just going to put this book on every list I make this year until you all read it, m’kay? But really, if you’ve wanted to read The Interestings but haven’t been able to squeeze it in, this is the perfect time to grab The Wife instead.

The Last Girlfriend on Earth by Simon Rich (213 Pages)

Short stories are practically made for events like the Readathon, especially those like Simon Rich’s super short and hilariously funny tales. 

Glaciers by Alexis M. Smith (174 Pages)

This pocket sized little novel is just totally squeze-worthy and wonderful. Read it so we can gush about how great it is. 

The Illusion of Separateness by Simon Van Booy (224 Pages)

What would be a day of reading if you couldn’t be floored by incredibly beautiful sentences? Simon Van Booy is the man to turn to. 

Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill (182 Pages)

Jenny Offil’s novel in vignettes surrounding the breakdown of a marriage is so weird and wonderful you just might be tempted to read it twice – I know I was!

The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida (176 Pages)

Mixing in some non-fiction is another great way to break up your day and The Reason I Jump, a fascinating peek into the mind of a thirteen year-old with autism, is highly recommended. 

What are some of your favorite novellas or short books?

River City
Thanks SO much to Shannon of River City Reading for her awesome recommendations!

25 thoughts on “Warm Up: Short Book Recommendations!”

  1. I read The Reason I Jump late last year, and while I really, really didn’t like it, I will say it’s a great and easy book to get through when you need a long-book break! I don’t have any short books (well, I have The Phantom Tollbooth, which is only ~250 pages!) but I do have a short story collection (A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories) by Flannery O’Connor to read as needed!

  2. I have two novellas to recommend for the readathon: one is We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – stunner of a story guaranteed to wake people up! And the other is The Colour of Milk by Nell Leyshon. Absolutely memorable.

  3. I absolutely love glaciers! It’s such a short book but it is gush worthy! I can’t wait to read All the Birds, Singing and Dept. Of Speculation though!

    Some other short favorites: The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Hector and the Search for Happiness.

  4. Last month I read the delightful ‘The President’s Hat’ by Antoine Laurain. It’s 208 pages long on kindle and is a charming French tale about someone coming into possession of the French president’s hat.

  5. I mix it up throughout the event. I usually start with books I’ve started prior to the event to get them finished. It also gives me an encouragement boost because I count those as read during the event, even if they were started before. Then I read one or two full length books on a reader or in print. When I need to get up and move I switch to audio books (and since i will need to get my half hour run/walk in on Saturday this will help). As the hours progress and I start to lose steam, I switch to shorter reads, and usually try for some funny or lighter reads to keep me going. When I really start to get tired, I pull out the graphic novels (I have a bunch of the Stephen King Dark Tower ones to catch up on and several harlequin mangas on my reader from that short lived line) since they are much more about looking at the pictures than reading. I made it 22 hours last year. I’m going for the whole 24 this time.

  6. Banana Yoshimoto’s novels are a breeze and work terribly well as palate cleansers between books in which there’s too much going on. Though I’d probably skip Asleep for this readathon, ’cause even *thinking* about it makes me long for a good 14-hour sleep.

    I’ll take the Patrick Ness recommendation. Sometimes a good cry is exactly what you need to stay awake 😛

  7. I personally wouldn’t recommend The Reason that I Jump. Yes, its short, but it was sort of reading a miniature version of A Million Little Pieces.

  8. Ooh, I have an ARC of the Maid’s Version around the house somewhere and Glaciers is floating around, too.

    I’m pretty sure I’m going to throw a few graphic novels into my readathon stack this year.

  9. I’m reading The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry right now, and it would be a fantastic short read (~250 pages) for this event! Plus, it’s a buzzy new release.

  10. Oh dear, I can never read weepy books during a readathon because by the time I’m done blubbing I always have a headache and my eyes get so puffy I end up needing a nap! My stupid o’clock read’s going to be The Library of Unrequited Love by Sophie Divry, which is not only book-related (yay!) but is also a miniscule 92 pages long AND has quite large print, which is ideal when it’s 4am and your eyes are starting to go blurry. 😀

  11. I second The Reason I Jump, Dept. of Speculation, and The Last Girlfriend on Earth! Most of the others are on my “want to read” list, as well.

    A novella like Parnassus on Wheels would also be a great read-along choice!

  12. This book has also been on my TBR list for awhile. I would bump it up to read during the Readathon but alas my library doesn’t have any copies – it’s still on order. I’ve taken the same action as you and added myself to the holds list (only third in line, hope the book comes in soon!)

  13. I have a couple of books of short stories I can turn to for short relief. I also like YA books, I have a copy of WONDER by RJ Palacio that I’ve been meaning to read, and I have We Were Liars too.
    Audio books also break up my day.
    Happy Reading all!

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