Share 10 Books That Are Small But Mighty

10 Books That Are Small But Mighty

Sarah Jane Abbott is an assistant editor for Paula Wiseman Books and Beach Lane Books, imprints of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.  She grew up having NANCY DREW books read to her by her father, and is now an avid reader of mystery, thriller, and horror, along with everything from literary fiction to poetry to personal essays.  She graduated from Bucknell University with a degree in English and a concentration in creative writing.  Sarah Jane is an advocate of quasi-destructive book love—her best-loved volumes are highlighted, scribbled in, dog-eared, and wavy from being dropped in the bath tub.  

I admit it: I am the kind of person who puts tasks I’ve nearly completed on my to-do list just so I can quickly check them off. I love the satisfaction of having completed something. That extends to reading too. There’s a lot to be said for losing oneself in a long novel, but it’s a special kind of pleasure to blaze through a short book in a day and add it to my reading log. If you’re looking to rack up your book count for the year or just seeking a book to start and finish in one afternoon, here are 10 short reads that are light on page count but not in substance.


His Favorites
by Kate Walbert
On a lark, three teenage girls "borrow" a golf cart and drunkenly speed it across the greens at night. When it crashes, one of the girls is thrown from the cart and killed. The driver, Jo, flees her hometown and enrolls at a prestigious boarding school, where she must come to terms with the shattering events of her past—and the beloved, predatory teacher occupying her present life.

Page Count: 160 pages
His Favorites
Kate Walbert

MENTIONED IN:

10 Books That Are Small But Mighty

By Sarah Jane Abbott | September 21, 2018

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Walks With Men
by Ann Beattie
In 1980 in New York City, Jane, a valedictorian fresh out of Harvard, meets Neil, an intoxicating writer 20 years her senior. The two quickly become lovers, living together in a Chelsea brownstone, and Neil reveals his rules for a life well lived. But Neil's certainties, Jane discovers, mask his deceptions. Her true education begins.

Page Count: 112 pages
Walks With Men
Ann Beattie

MENTIONED IN:

10 Books That Are Small But Mighty

By Sarah Jane Abbott | September 21, 2018

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Affections
by Rodrigo Hasbún
Shortly after the end of World War II, the egocentric and extraordinary Hans, once the cameraman for a Nazi propagandist, flees to Bolivia with his family to start over. There, he embarks on an expedition in search of the fabled lost Inca city of Paitití, enlisting two of his daughters to join him on his outlandish quest into the depths of the Amazon, with disastrous consequences.

Page Count: 144 pages
Affections
Rodrigo Hasbún

MENTIONED IN:

10 Books That Are Small But Mighty

By Sarah Jane Abbott | September 21, 2018

Better Late Than Never: 11 Books You Might Have Missed in 2017 (But Should Totally Read)

By Julianna Haubner | March 23, 2018

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Another Brooklyn
by Jacqueline Woodson
Running into a long-ago friend sets memories in motion for August, taking her back to her childhood in 1970s Brooklyn, when the world was full of both promise and peril. This novel exquisitely renders a powerful, indelible, and fleeting friendship that united four young lives.

Page Count: 192 pages
Another Brooklyn
Jacqueline Woodson

MENTIONED IN:

10 Books That Are Small But Mighty

By Sarah Jane Abbott | September 21, 2018

Readers’ Choice: The Top 10 Most Shelved Books in April

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 27, 2018

12 Tips for How to Read as Many Books as Possible

By Taylor Noel | April 5, 2018

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West
by Carys Davies
When widowed mule breeder Cy Bellman reads in the newspaper that colossal ancient bones have been discovered in Kentucky and giant monsters may still roam the wilderness beyond the Missisippi River, he sets out from his small Pennsylvania home to see for himself, plunging headlong into the unknown.

Page Count: 160 pages

MENTIONED IN:

10 Books That Are Small But Mighty

By Sarah Jane Abbott | September 21, 2018

Set Out for the Adventures of a Lifetime with These 9 Novels

By Taylor Noel | May 16, 2018

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The Body
by Stephen King
Twelve-year-old Gordie Lachance hears a rumor that a missing kid's body is lying along the railroad tracks, so he and his three friends set out to see it. During the course of their journey, Gordie, Chris, Teddy, and Vern come to terms with death and the harsh truths of growing up in a small factory town that doesn't offer much in the way of a future.

Page Count: 192 pages
The Body
Stephen King

MENTIONED IN:

10 Books That Are Small But Mighty

By Sarah Jane Abbott | September 21, 2018

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Annihilation
by Jeff VanderMeer
The basis for the recent film adaptation, this slim novel follows four women: an anthropologist, a surveyor, a psychologist, and a biologist, as they venture into the mysterious, quarantined Area X. They must attempt what 11 teams before them have failed to do: map the terrain, record observations, and come back alive.

Page Count: 208 pages

Read the full review of ANNIHILATION.
Annihilation
Jeff VanderMeer

MENTIONED IN:

10 Books That Are Small But Mighty

By Sarah Jane Abbott | September 21, 2018

12 Books You Must Read Before Seeing the Movies this Spring

By Tolani Osan | February 1, 2018

A Hitchcockian Novel You Can Judge By Its Cover

By David Zucker | March 11, 2016

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Giovanni's Room
by James Baldwin
David, whose fiancée, Hella, is away on a trip, meets a bartender named Giovanni to whom he is drawn in spite of himself. They begin an affair, but Hella's return home brings David's relationship with Giovanni to a crisis that rapidly spirals into tragedy.

Page Count: 176 pages

Read the full review of GIOVANNI'S ROOM.
Giovanni's Room
James Baldwin

Read a Classic by an Author of Color

Set in the 1950s Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence, a young man finds himself caught between desire and conventional morality. With a sharp, probing imagination, James Baldwin’s now-classic narrative delves into the mystery of loving and creates a moving, highly controversial story of death and passion that reveals the unspoken complexities of the human heart.

MENTIONED IN:

10 Books That Are Small But Mighty

By Sarah Jane Abbott | September 21, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Reading Your Way Through Paris in 15 Books

By Julianna Haubner | April 3, 2018

The 5 Best Books I Read Last Year

By Allison Tyler | December 13, 2017

What We’re Reading for Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge

By Sarah Jane Abbott | February 28, 2017

15 Books from Ann Patchett’s Very Long List of Favorites

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 4, 2016

If PRIDE had a Library: 8 Gay Novels to Impress Your Date

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 19, 2014

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Of Love and Other Demons
by Gabriel García Márquez
Sierva María, the only child of a decaying noble family in an eighteenth-century South American seaport, is bitten by a rabid dog. Believed to be possessed, she is brought to a convent for observation. There she is tended to by Father Cayetano Delaura, who gradually feels something shocking begin to occur: he has fallen in love—and it is not long until Sierva María has too.

Page Count: 160 pages
Of Love and Other Demons
Gabriel García Márquez

MENTIONED IN:

10 Books That Are Small But Mighty

By Sarah Jane Abbott | September 21, 2018

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Binti
by Nnedi Okorafor
Binti is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza, the finest university in the galaxy. But to accept the offer, she'll have to give up her place in her family, travel among strangers, and place herself in the crosshairs of a deadly intergalactic war.

Page Count: 96 pages

MENTIONED IN:

10 Books That Are Small But Mighty

By Sarah Jane Abbott | September 21, 2018

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Short books not your thing? Check out this list of extra-long reads.

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