When I was little(r), I used to pack a backpack full of books and cycle to our local library. I would replenish my stock and return the next day (or the next), having finished several books in a single day.
Things are a little different now – we read thicker books, more complicated books, books that exhaust us. But there is still value in those short books you can read in a day – and that’s The Broke and the Bookish‘s question this week.
I’m not sure if the intention is to read all of these books in a day, or just one of them – but if you had the time, you could finish most books in one day, so I’m sticking to the shorties.
Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes – an excellent (and short) YA novel about a teacher changing the lives of his students at a struggling school in Bronx, New York. I’m pretty sure the MTV movie Freedom Writers is based on this.
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery – short, insightful and simply wonderful. This book was
my first encounter with philosophy.
Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers – this is probably the third or fourth time I write about this book (I should get royalties, seriously). Easily read, powerful. One of the few books I read more than once.
The Twits by Roald Dahl – possible one of the shortest Dahl books, and maybe one of the most undervalued too. It’s fun and enjoyable.
The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler – oh wow, I remember checking this out from the library when I was 15 and being so worried about what anybody would think if they saw me reading it. But then I devoured it, and it was perhaps one of the most formative books of my teenage years.
The Road to Mecca by Athol Fugard – a play by one of South Africa’s most excellent playwrights. Set in a small conservative town in one of the darker times of the Republic, it will shock you and entice you. And again – it is short.
For One More Day by Mitch Albom – or any Mitch Albom book actually. Having a little more time to mull over the content is useful, though. TBTB recently wrote a review for it here.
Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume – one of those books on the edge between kids’ and YA, and I think the first book where I finally started understanding romance. I would read it again, more than ten years later. I would actually suggest any of Blume’s books – she is a true master of her craft. Kids should read it because it might be helpful to them, and adults should read it to be brought back down to earth.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – a good book, a quick read.
Unwind by Neil Shusterman – the longest book on this list – one that was so gripping that I couldn’t put it down. It’s not for the sensitive though. You should read the description before considering it.