Short Books to Help Your Reading Challenge (including #NonFicNov recs!)

Hello readers!

It’s nearly the end of the month and a lot of us have been affected by Pandemic-related slumps, and are starting to fall behind on our reading challenges… so help with that, I’ve compiled eight books I enjoyed and one I’d love to read ASAP which are fast, engaging reads, from non-fiction to horror and magical realism.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates is a letter from the author to his son about his life in the United States as a Black man and how things have changed from his father’s generation, to his own and from his son’s generation. His tone is bleak, fatalistic with incredibly beautiful writing. I highly recommend it! It also contributes to your Non-Fiction November objectives if you are doing the challenge!

Darkness Visible by William Styron is 84 pages long and tells the author’s experience with depression, his experience in a hospital and his eventual recovery. It’s an honest, beautifully written account of mental illness which left me feeling hopeful and understood. Another NonFicNov read!

Eartheater by Dolores Reyes, translated by Julia Sanches, is the story of a girl who has the ability to find missing or dead people by eating the earth where they have been. It’s an interesting story about forgotten girls and women from Argentina. Truly a unique book!

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata, translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori, is the story of a woman who’s never had any ambition in career or marriage, and is considered very strange by her family, friends and colleagues, especially as she goes older, so she decides to enter a relationship of convenience with a detestable man in a similar situation. This is a funny, sharp story highlighting the pressure in Japanese culture to comply to societal pressure. I found it highly relatable, but I have to say some asexual/aromantic folks have found the characterization too robotic and stereotypical. Still, I thought this was brilliant and the main character was lovely.

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a short horror story based on the author’s own experience with marriage and isolation. I loved this so much I immediately started over the moment I finished it. Truly amazing.

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite is a dark, funny story about two sisters from Nigeria. One of them pursues her sister’s love interest to prove that men are not worthy of her love – but there’s a problem. She always ends up killing her boyfriends, and now the other sister must decide between her serial killer sister and the man she loves.

Book Love by Debbie Tung is a collection of adorable comics about loving books! It’s so cute and such a quick read (like most comics and graphic novels). A nice way to remember why we love reading so much.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson is the story of a family who got poisoned and died, with only three survivors: two sisters who did not take the poison and one uncle who’s been deeply affected by the poison and is now an invalid. One of the sisters is suspected of having killed them, and the town turns against them. It’s a Gothic classic that is full of twists, suspense and is a delight to read.

Mostly Hero by Anna Burns is a parody of superhero tropes by the author of Milkman, and I am still halfway through this, but it’s both funny and with surprising depth! It definitely has a different tone from Milkman, so don’t expect something similar if you pick this up.

2 thoughts on “Short Books to Help Your Reading Challenge (including #NonFicNov recs!)

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