Share The Little List: 11 Short Books with Big Stories

The Little List: 11 Short Books with Big Stories

Aimee Boyer is the Director of Programming and Merchandising at Simon & Schuster. She always judges a book by its cover, among other things, and never met a genre she didn’t like, except maybe math.

These short tales pack quite the punch in under 200 pages. Though these books won’t take you much time to read, I’m sure they will stay with you for some time after you finish. If you are trying to read 50 books this year, you’ll get a head start on that goal for certain. These 11 books stay true to the old adages “Good things come in small packages” and “Enjoy the little things in life.”


The Uncommon Reader
by Alan Bennett
A hilarious novella about Queen Elizabeth II and her newfound love of reading. A book for book lovers, indeed.…120 pages
The Uncommon Reader
Alan Bennett

When her corgis stray into a mobile library parked near Buckingham Palace, the Queen feels duty-bound to borrow a book. Discovering the joy of reading widely (from J. R. Ackerley, Jean Genet, and Ivy Compton-Burnett to the classics) and intelligently, she finds that her view of the world changes dramatically. Abetted in her newfound obsession by Norman, a young man from the royal kitchens, the Queen comes to question the prescribed order of the world and loses patience with the routines of her role as monarch. Her new passion for reading initially alarms the palace staff and soon leads to surprising and very funny consequences for the country at large.

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Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
by Dai Sijie
The tale of two friends sent to a mountain village for re-education during China’s Cultural Revolution. This story celebrates the magic of reading.…184 pages
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
Dai Sijie

At the height of Mao’s infamous Cultural Revolution, two boys are among hundreds of thousands exiled to the countryside for “re-education.” The narrator and his best friend, Luo, guilty of being the sons of doctors, find themselves in a remote village where, among the peasants of Phoenix mountain, they are made to cart buckets of excrement up and down precipitous winding paths. Their meager distractions include a violin—as well as, before long, the beautiful daughter of the local tailor. But it is when the two discover a hidden stash of Western classics in Chinese translation that their re-education takes its most surprising turn. While ingeniously concealing their forbidden treasure, the boys find transit to worlds they had thought lost forever. And after listening to their dangerously seductive retellings of Balzac, even the Little Seamstress will be forever transformed. From within the hopelessness and terror of one of the darkest passages in human history, Dai Sijie has fashioned a beguiling and unexpected story about the resilience of the human spirit, the wonder of romantic awakening and the magical power of storytelling.

MENTIONED IN:

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Survival Lessons
by Alice Hoffman

A true gem that celebrates life when the toughest times are upon you.… 96 pages

Survival Lessons
Alice Hoffman

A true gem that celebrates life when the toughest times are upon you.… 96 pages

MENTIONED IN:

The Little List: 11 Short Books with Big Stories

By Aimee Boyer | April 7, 2017

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Black Olives
by Martha Tod Dudman

Ah, Virginia. A woman falls into her ex’s back seat and what comes next is part stalker, part woman scorned, and part comedic accident.…192 pages

Black Olives
Martha Tod Dudman

Ah, Virginia. A woman falls into her ex’s back seat and what comes next is part stalker, part woman scorned, and part comedic accident.…192 pages

MENTIONED IN:

The Little List: 11 Short Books with Big Stories

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The Grownup
by Gillian Flynn

A chilling tale by the bestselling author of GONE GIRL that you can finish reading in one sitting…. 64 pages

The Grownup
Gillian Flynn

A chilling tale by the bestselling author of GONE GIRL that you can finish reading in one sitting…. 64 pages

MENTIONED IN:

The Little List: 11 Short Books with Big Stories

By Aimee Boyer | April 7, 2017

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Glaciers
by Alexis Smith
In GLACIERS, Isabel’s story unfolds in a day and leaves the reader wanting to turn one more page…. 174 pages

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Tinkers
by Paul Harding
This Pulitzer Prize–winning novel is a beautiful look at death, life, and memory…. 191 pages
Tinkers
Paul Harding

One of the first books publicly shared by the president after taking office in 2009, Paul Harding’s debut novel is a Pulitzer Prize winner and is a meditation on life, loss, illness, faith, and nature, told through the perspective of a dying old man. As the clock runs down, his memories intertwine with those of his father and grandfather.

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Frank
by Jon Ronson

A fun and true tale of when author Jon Ronson played keyboard for the Frank Sidebottom Oh Blimey Big Band…. 80 pages

Frank
Jon Ronson

A fun and true tale of when author Jon Ronson played keyboard for the Frank Sidebottom Oh Blimey Big Band…. 80 pages

MENTIONED IN:

The Little List: 11 Short Books with Big Stories

By Aimee Boyer | April 7, 2017

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The House on Mango Street
by Sandra Cisneros
THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET is the classic coming-of-age story about Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago.… 110 pages
The House on Mango Street
Sandra Cisneros

The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero. Told in a series of vignettes – sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous – it is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become.

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I Don't Know
by Leah Hager Cohen

This is a smart little book about how we react when we feel less than smart…. 128 pages

I Don't Know
Leah Hager Cohen

This is a smart little book about how we react when we feel less than smart…. 128 pages

MENTIONED IN:

The Little List: 11 Short Books with Big Stories

By Aimee Boyer | April 7, 2017

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Grief Is the Thing with Feathers
by Max Porter

A husband is lost in sadness after the sudden death of his wife. His two sons struggle with the loss of their mother.  Until one day they are visited by the Crow…. 128 pages

Grief Is the Thing with Feathers
Max Porter

A husband is lost in sadness after the sudden death of his wife. His two sons struggle with the loss of their mother.  Until one day they are visited by the Crow…. 128 pages

MENTIONED IN:

The Little List: 11 Short Books with Big Stories

By Aimee Boyer | April 7, 2017

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