Short stories are fun. Short stories are my friends.
As the year draws to an end, I find myself searching for quick and short reads in a desperate attempt to keep up with my Goodreads Reading Challenge. It’s more difficult than it seems, though. I don’t want to read just any book for the sake of reaching my goal—the book has to genuinely pique my interest.
I figured some of you may be experiencing the same thing as me, so I thought I would share some of my favorite, quick (under 130 pages) reads. Hopefully, there’s something that catches your eye 😊.
Six Months, Three Days by Charlie Jane Anders
Doug and Judy have both had a secret power all their life. Judy can see every possible future, branching out from each moment like infinite trees. Doug can also see the future, but for him, it’s a single, locked-in, inexorable sequence of foreordained events. They can’t both be right, but over and over again, they are.
Obviously these are the last two people in the world who should date. So, naturally, they do
If you’re interested in this first book, it’s actually available online for free here.
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
What does “feminism” mean today? That is the question at the heart of We Should All Be Feminists, a personal, eloquently-argued essay—adapted from her much-viewed TEDx talk of the same name—by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun.
With humor and levity, here Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century—one rooted in inclusion and awareness. She shines a light not only on blatant discrimination, but also the more insidious, institutional behaviors that marginalize women around the world, in order to help readers of all walks of life better understand the often masked realities of sexual politics. Throughout, she draws extensively on her own experiences—in the U.S., in her native Nigeria, and abroad—offering an artfully nuanced explanation of why the gender divide is harmful for women and men, alike.
Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell
If you broke Elena’s heart, Star Wars would spill out. So when she decides to queue outside her local cinema to see the new movie, she’s expecting a celebration with crowds of people who love Han, Luke and Leia just as much as she does. What she’s not expecting is to be last in a line of only three people; to have to pee into a collectible Star Wars soda cup behind a dumpster or to meet that unlikely someone who just might truly understand the way she feels. Kindred Spirits is an engaging short story by Rainbow Rowell, author of the bestselling Eleanor & Park, Fangirl and Carry On, and is part of a handful of selected short reads specially produced for World Book Day.
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The compelling story of two outsiders striving to find their place in an unforgiving world. Drifters in search of work, George and his simple-minded friend Lennie have nothing in the world except each other and a dream–a dream that one day they will have some land of their own. Eventually they find work on a ranch in California’s Salinas Valley, but their hopes are doomed as Lennie, struggling against extreme cruelty, misunderstanding and feelings of jealousy, becomes a victim of his own strength. Tackling universal themes such as the friendship of a shared vision, and giving voice to America’s lonely and dispossessed, Of Mice and Men has proved one of Steinbeck’s most popular works, achieving success as a novel, a Broadway play and three acclaimed films.
Night by Elie Wiesel
An autobiographical narrative in which the author describes his experiences in Nazi concentration camps, watching family and friends die, and how they led him to believe that God is dead.
Night is Elie Wiesel’s masterpiece, a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie’s wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author’s original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie Wiesel reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forget man’s capacity for inhumanity to man.
Animal Farm by George Orwell
As ferociously fresh as it was more than a half century ago, this remarkable allegory of a downtrodden society of overworked, mistreated animals, and their quest to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality is one of the most scathing satires ever published. As we witness the rise and bloody fall of the revolutionary animals, we begin to recognize the seeds of totalitarianism in the most idealistic organization; and in our most charismatic leaders, the souls of our cruelest oppressors.
The Crossing by Gary Paulsen
A critically acclaimed tearjerker from a master storyteller: On one side of the border is brutality and heartache; on the other side–a new life.
14yo Manny is an orphan in Juarez, Mexico. He competes with his bigger, meaner rivals for the coins American tourists throw off the bridge between Texas and his town. Across that heavily guarded bridge await a different world and a better existence.
On the night when Manny dares the crossing–through the muddy shallows of the Rio Grande, past the searchlights and the border patrol–the young man encounters an old stranger who could prove to be an ally or an enemy. Manny can’t tell for certain. But if he is to achieve his dream, then he must be willing to risk everything–even his life.
Thanks for reading this post! What are some of your favorite, quick reads? Let me know if you plan on reading any of these recommendations or if you’ve already crossed them off your list!