Ten Short Book Club Picks


With summer approaching, your book club might be looking for short, discussion-worthy reads. I love shorter formats! Here are some of my favorites:

1. Adé: A Love Story by Rebecca Walker (128 pages) – A moving novella that is easy to get lost in. Rich and descriptive with intimate insight into Swahili culture.

2. The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami (96 pages) – For those who are unafraid of a quirky surreal read: “A lonely boy, a mysterious girl, and a tormented sheep man plotting their escape from a nightmarish library.”

3. Snow Hunters by Paul Yoon (224 pages) – A lovely, quiet story about a North Korean POW refugee; literary but minimalistic.

4. Late Lights by Kara Weiss (150 pages) – A powerful look at childhood friendships and how time–especially time spent apart–affects those relationships as we mature into adults.

5. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (181 pages) – A poignant, fantastical story even for those who “don’t like fantasy.”

6. Our Love Could Light the World by Anne Leigh Parrish (202 pages) – Interconnected short stories that read like a novel. An unforgettable story of a dysfunctional family.

7. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (160 pages) – A memoir in graphic novel form about the author’s experiences growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution.

And let’s not forget the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography. CCLaP is a treasure chest for readers wanting interesting (and short!) reads, especially the last three titles on my list:

8. Life After Sleep (143 pages) by Mark R. Brand – Speculative fiction about a society where people only need two hours of sleep each night.

9. Sad Robot Stories by Mason Johnson (126 pages) – Sci-fi in a post-apocalyptic future where only robots remain. Kind-hearted Robot will steal your heart.

10. Women Float by Maureen Foley (68 pages) – Story about friendship, family, and overcoming fears and childhood loss.

  • Somehow I didn’t realize that The Ocean at the End of the Lane was so short. I really need to fit it in this summer.

  • Another Murakami haunting me! I know that’s not one I should start with, but it’s so small and cute that I really want to.

  • Great list! I wish I had more shorter fic books on my TBR pile atm. I’ve only read The Ocean at the End of the Lane but I’ll have to check out the other titles on your list, thanks 🙂

  • Oh, my gosh! There are some selections on this list that sound wonderful, Monika! Thanks so much for this; pinning for future reference.

  • I have to check out Life After Sleep. Oh the books I could read if I only needed 2 hours of sleep. 🙂

  • Jennine G.

    What a good idea! I didn’t realize some of these were so short or I might’ve stop and read them already. Thanks for the ideas.

  • Words for Worms

    Love it! Sad Robot Stories deserves all the love.

  • Great list!!! I wish I had a book club. 🙁

  • I have not read that Murakami, but now I have to (and at 96 pages I have no excuse).

  • Nice … and SHORT! I’m going to TBR every single book here because you recommend them and are just too awesome to ignore 😉

  • Kelly TheWellReadRedhead

    I am totally going to use this list with my book club! I am generally responsible for making the list that we vote on, and they always want a short-ish book…so these will be super helpful. 🙂

  • Lilly

    Ahhh I want to read ALL of these… I haven’t been reading much at ALL lately and it’s driving me crazy.

  • This is a great idea! I’m sure my book club would appreciate some short reads 🙂

  • Julie @ Smiling Shelves

    My book club is always looking for another good reads. Thanks for the recommendations!

  • Ooh, Life After Sleep sounds so intriguing! I’d never heard of it before – thanks for introducing me.

  • This looks like a great list! I love shorter books that get to the point (I get very frustrated by bloated writing).