There’s something really satisfying about finishing a bunch of books really quickly, and what better way to do that with a series of super short reads? Plus sometimes you just need a quick palate cleanser before jumping into the next book, and these recommendations are perfect for that. So keep reading for some of my favorite books that are less than 200(ish) pages!
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (173)
Every Heart a Doorway and its sequels are the perfect short reads, set at a school for children who come back to our world after traveling through a door to another one. McGuire does an amazing job setting up the premise for this series and creating diverse, developed characters in such a small amount of space, which is especially refreshing when fantasy books seem to be getting longer and longer without actually adding substantive content. While I was left wanting more from this book, it’s in the best way possible. And I’m really enjoying how McGuire is even further unfolding the world with subsequent books. I can’t wait to see what she does with future installments!
Dear Ijeawele / We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (69 / 43)
Dear Ijeawele and We Should All be Feminists are almost too short to include in this post, but they’re a great way to feel like you accomplished something while also being absolutely amazing reads. In fact, I think both of them should be required reading. They just do a great job simplifying feminism and applying it to our daily lives and showing how pervasive gender inequality can be. Seriously, if you read one book from this list, it should be one of these two.
Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik (177)
I thought Notorious RBG would just be a fun coffee table book, but it’s way more than that! This fun little book does a great job summarizing Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life while also sprinkling in some annotated copies of her appellate briefs and opinions, photos, memes, even her workout! While it’s a short book, the two authors did a great job giving a good overview of such an important figure, and it made me an even bigger fan of RBG than I already was!
Persuasion by Jane Austen (202)
While I’m not a big classics reader, I’m a huge fan of Jane Austen. I highly recommend Persuasion even if you’re not specifically looking for something short because it’s an excellent novel. Captain Wentworth’s letter to Anne will forever be one of the most romantic scenes in any book ever. But if you want a classic that’s not too long, Persuasion is the perfect length. And I think it’s a really good Austen novel to start with if you’ve struggled to get into some of her longer works.
Dear Martin by Nic Stone (212)
Even though Dear Martin is one of the shorter YA novels I’ve read, it really packs a punch! I’m not sure how she did it, but Stone somehow managed to create believable characters and throw a ton of really heavy stuff at them without making it feel like too much or like the characters were just a vehicle for her to talk about racism and police brutality. And I love how letters written by the protagonist to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. are interspersed throughout the book. This one is really easy to sink into and really fast to read through while raising a ton of important topics, and I highly recommend it.
Women & Power by Mary Beard (128)
While Women & Power is pretty short, I think Beard raises a couple of interesting points about feminism and women in power that I hadn’t really considered before. I really appreciated her opinion, and it definitely got me reconsidering my own perspective, which is always a huge win for a book to accomplish. I would just note that these two essays are derived from speeches that Beard has given; I wish she’d developed them further into full-fledged essays, but even what’s in the published version is pretty powerful!
Those are six of my favorite short reads I’ve picked up in recent months. What are some of your favorite reads under 200 pages? Let me know in the comments!