The Little List: 11 Short Books with Big Stories

April 7 2017
Share The Little List: 11 Short Books with Big Stories

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

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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

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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.

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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

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Survival Lessons
Alice Hoffman

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

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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

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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

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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

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The Grownup
Gillian Flynn

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

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

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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

Read the full review of GLACIERS

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Glaciers
Alexis Smith

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Tinkers
by Paul Harding

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

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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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MENTIONED IN:

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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

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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

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

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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

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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

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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

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

My 8 Favorite Audiobook Listens of 2021 (So Far)

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By Karen Bellovich | September 14, 2021

New in Paperback: 9 September Releases We Need ASAP

By Alice Martin | September 13, 2021

Book Club Favorites: 6 True Stories Primed for Meaningful Discussions

By Holly Claytor | September 10, 2021

Close
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

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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

Amazon logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

My 8 Favorite Audiobook Listens of 2021 (So Far)

By Kelly Dasta | September 17, 2021

My Book Haul: 9 Shiny New Additions to My Shelf

By Sharon Van Meter | September 16, 2021

8 Captivating Books to Read This Hispanic Heritage Month

By Off the Shelf Staff | September 15, 2021

8 Stirring Historical Reads for Fans of The Alice Network

By Karen Bellovich | September 14, 2021

New in Paperback: 9 September Releases We Need ASAP

By Alice Martin | September 13, 2021

Book Club Favorites: 6 True Stories Primed for Meaningful Discussions

By Holly Claytor | September 10, 2021

Close

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