Short Books To Help You Hit Your Reading Goals


Short Books To Help You Hit Your Reading Goals

This February, the shortest month of the year, I finished 13 books.

I’m not saying that’s a super normal number of books to read. Generally, I read around eight books a month; in 2023, I read exactly 100 books, my goal for the year.

I don’t plan my reading much though, and I’m not super goal-oriented. I simply read what I want to read! But I will admit it is fun to try to conquer that GoodReads goal number (and know I am reading more and scrolling less). I wasn’t trying to search out short books in February, but for some reason that’s what was working for me in the wintry weather.

So whether you’re trying to finish more books this year, don’t love longer books, or need a palate-cleanser after finishing the whole Sarah J. Maas library, here are some shorter works to try:

My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite (226 pages)

This short novel takes place in Nigeria, where Korede is forever living in the shadow of her gorgeous younger sister, Ayoola. Unfortunately, she’s also frequently helping her sister get rid of the body of Ayoola’s latest boyfriend. When Ayoola catches the eye of a doctor at the hospital where Korede works, things get messy. Satiric and darkly funny, this will certainly give you something to think about.

Braised Pork by An Yu (240 pages)

This short book with a dose of magical realism is Chinese author An Yu’s first book, exploring grief, love, and fantasy. Jia Jia finds her husband dead in their bathroom in the first pages of the novel, with a sketch of a fish near him. This sends her on an exploration, through her art and with a local bartender, as she tries to find the meaning of the fish. It’s an odd book that feels a little trippy, but worth the 240 page journey.

The Mona Lisa Vanishes by Nicholas Day (288 pages)

You can read this one with or without your kids! A fascinating exploration of the theft of the Mona Lisa, solving crime in the 1910s, and how conceptions vs. reality change history. The book also follows the life of daVinci, so there is all kinds of history here! It includes a great lesson about conspiracy theories at the end as well.

How to Be a Good Creature by Sy Montgomery (208 pages)

Montgomery writes nonfiction about her adventures with animals as a science and nature journalist. Here, she shares thirteen stories about these animals and the lessons they taught her. You travel with her from childhood to her current day. The audiobook is narrated by the author, and I enjoyed the few hours it took to listen to it.

News of the World by Paulette Jiles (209 pages)

If you’re a historical fiction fan, this short novel by Paulette Jiles may strike your fancy. In a post Civil War Texas, Captain Kidd travels around reading aloud the newspaper to those who can’t read or get access to the papers. Along the way, he is offered another job: delivering 10-year-old Johanna to her relatives after she’s spent four years with the native Kiowa (who killed her family and then raised her as their own). The relationship between wild Johanna and the elderly Captain Kidd will warm your heart, and it feels like there’s a lot more to this book than could be held in 200 pages.

Are you a fan of short books? Have you read any of these? I’m always up for more recommendations!


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