Reading takes up a lot of time so sometimes it’s satisfying consuming a book that can deliver a good read and interesting thoughts in few number of pages. Here are 10 short but sweet books that you might enjoy:
1. Binary Star by Sarah Gerard
In this 172 page novel, we account the journey of an anorexic and her alcoholic boyfriend on a road trip across the continental United States. As the main character deals with depression and anxiety, Gerard’s stream of consciousness style flourishes along the backdrop of the somber reality that the characters live in. The way she portrays relationships and the mental anguish of an eating disorder is a very dark and melancholy read but it is a read that provides insight into the loneliness of human gravity.
2. The Old Man And The Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Revered as a classic, The Old Man and the Sea is a 128 page masterpiece by none other than American writing legend Ernest Hemingway. Santiago is an old man but also an experienced fisher. The novel follows his pursuit and constant battle with a giant marlin off the Gulf Stream. It is not some dramatic, exaggerated fishing adventure. There’s only the stark reality that only a masterful writer like Hemingway can illustrate in front of your eyes.
3. The Death Of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy
How is one supposed to face death? By all accounts, Ivan Ilych is a successful man. He has a secure job, a nice house and a good wife but one day he finds a pain in his arm that just doesn’t seem to go away. This persistent pain ends up being death’s calling card and he must face the Grim Reaper at his doorstep. Tolstoy crafts a beautiful and universal story within 128 pages and, in my opinion, it is a must read for everybody due to its valuable message drawn from an ordinary guy’s life — and death.
4. John The Posthumous by Jason Schwartz
A highly underrated and enlightening novel that has easily become one of my favorite pieces I’ve read in 2016. Jason Schwartz wonderfully utilizes language and imaginative writing to build a creative literary work that is about marriage and family as well as about speaking to the reader and showing off his descriptive imagery. The book is just under 150 pages and its unique reliance on words rather than story makes this an interesting, yet short, read.
5. Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon
If you’re not in the mood for fiction, you can read Austin Kleon’s uplifting book on creativity. In 160 pages, he shows us that creativity can be everywhere and for everyone if you’re willing to embrace your influence. Nothing is original so collect ideas from places that give you inspiration.
6. The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud
In this piece, author Kamel Daoud continues on the story of Mersault from a short but sweet classic called The Stranger by Albert Camus. To an extent, this novel delves into the same stylistic elements and even borrows some characters from Camus but even without reading The Stranger, this book follows Daoud’s own existential journey and asks the reader to realize in just 160 pages that victims of random violence must be humanized, mourned for and remembered.
7. The Story Of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli
A delusional, fantastical, and creative book with a nonsensical turn in every page. Valeria Luiselli’s first novel is a crazy work of fiction but somehow with all of its quirks this book shines through like a new set of teeth in 184 pages. This “novel-essay” pushes the boundaries of both fiction and art, all while telling the story of the idiosyncratic Gustavo Sanchez Sanchez.
8. Fatherland: A Family History by Nina Bunjevac
Unlike the rest of the books on this list, this one is a graphic novel. It acts as a memoir of the author, his family and his journey. This book captivates you with its incredible artwork and intense story but it also gives you a great history lesson on the Balkans as the reader follows Nina Bunjevac to Yugoslavia.
9. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
To call this novel a modern classic is an understatement. The book follows two sisters, Ruth and Lucille, as they try to find a home with their remaining family members after their mother abandons them. This book is beautifully written by one of the best contemporary writers alive today. It illuminates so much about loss, survival, and family while teaching the reader about the impermanence and transient nature of all things around us. Things are only important when we think about and remember them.
10. Alfred Hitchcock: The Man Who Knew Too Much by Michael Wood
A brief 144 page telling of the infamous director’s life and career. This is another one for the people looking for a short, interesting non-fiction read. If you’re into movies, history, or biographies this book will let you into the outstanding film career of one of the greatest to ever come across a camera.
These wide variety of books could be read in one or two sittings and provide a quick and enticing escape for anybody who loves to read. Do you have any other short but sweet recommendations
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