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25 Short Books You Can Read in a Day

We get it, sometimes you’re really not in the mood to tackle those mammoth-sized books on your shelves that are constantly staring you down.  If that’s the case, we have curated a list of novels from across genres that you can start and finish reading in a day!

FEVER DREAM by Samanta Schweblin

A young woman named Amanda lies dying in a rural hospital clinic. A boy named David sits beside her. She’s not his mother. He’s not her child. Together, they tell a haunting story of broken souls, toxins, and the power and desperation of family.

A YEAR WITHOUT A NAME by Cyrus Grace Dunham

For as long as they can remember, Cyrus Grace Dunham felt like a visitor in their own body. Their life was a series of imitations–lovable little girl, daughter, sister, young gay woman–until their profound sense of alienation became intolerable. Written with disarming emotional intensity in a voice uniquely theirs, A Year Without a Name is a potent, thrillingly unresolved queer coming of age story.

WEATHER by Jenny Offill

From the beloved author of the nationwide best seller Dept. of Speculationone of the New York Times Book Review‘s Ten Best Books of the Yeara “darkly funny and urgent” (NPR) tour de force about a family, and a nation, in crisis.

FAMOUS PEOPLE by Justin Kuritzkes

This fresh, smart novel in the guise of a celebrity memoir probes the inner life of a mega-famous pop star.

TIN MAN by Sarah Winman

From internationally bestselling author Sarah Winman comes an unforgettable and heartbreaking novel celebrating love in all its forms, and the little moments that make up the life of one man.

THE GODDESS TWINS by Yodassa Williams

After years of traveling the world, black identical twins Aurora and Arden think they’ve settled into normalcy in Ohio. But days before their eighteenth birthday, the snarky twins develop powers in telekinesis and telepathy―at the same time that their famous mother, who’s on tour in London, disappears.

GHOST WALL by Sarah Moss

In the north of England, far from the intrusions of cities but not far from civilization, Silvie and her family are living as if they are ancient Britons, surviving by the tools and knowledge of the Iron Age.

TURBULENCE by David Szalay

From the acclaimed, Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author of All That Man Is, a stunning, virtuosic novel about twelve people, mostly strangers, and the surprising ripple effect each one has on the life of the next as they cross paths while in transit around the world.

THE FRIEND by Sigrid Nunez

When a woman unexpectedly loses her lifelong best friend and mentor, she finds herself burdened with the unwanted dog he has left behind. Her own battle against grief is intensified by the mute suffering of the dog, a huge Great Dane traumatized by the inexplicable disappearance of its master, and by the threat of eviction: dogs are prohibited in her apartment building.

FOLLOW ME TO GROUND by Sue Rainsford

A haunted, surreal debut novel about an otherworldly young woman, her father, and her lover that culminates in a shocking moment of betrayal–one that upends our understanding of power, predation, and agency.

LANNY by Max Porter

There’s a village an hour from London. It’s no different from many others today: one pub, one church, redbrick cottages, some public housing, and a few larger houses dotted about. Voices rise up, as they might anywhere, speaking of loving and needing and working and dying and walking the dogs. This village belongs to the people who live in it, to the land and to the land’s past.

WIDE SARGASSO SEA by Jean Rhys

This masterpiece of modern fiction was Jean Rhys’s return to the literary center stage. With Wide Sargasso Sea, her last and best-selling novel, she ingeniously brings into light one of fiction’s most fascinating characters: the madwoman in the attic from Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre.

RED AT THE BONE by Jacqueline Woodson

An unexpected teenage pregnancy pulls together two families from different social classes, and exposes the private hopes, disappointments, and longings that can bind or divide us from each other, from the New York Times-bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of Another Brooklyn and Brown Girl Dreaming.

PERSUASION by Jane Austen

Published in 1818, Persuasion was Jane Austen’s last completed novel. In this compelling love story, Anne Elliott is unhappy and unmarried at twenty-seven. At the urging of her family, she broke her engagement to the man she loved eight years before because he was poor and didn’t have good family connections. When they meet again, he is wealthy, a captain in the navy, and looking for a wife, but he has not forgiven Anne for her rejection and resolves not to fall in love with her again.

THE INCENDIARIES by R.O. Kwon

A powerful, darkly glittering novel of violence, love, faith, and loss, as a young woman at an elite American university is drawn into a cult’s acts of terrorism.

SULA by Toni Morrison

Two girls who grow up to become women. Two friends who become something worse than enemies. Their friendship ends in an unforgivable betrayal–or does it end? Terrifying, comic, ribald, and tragic, Sula is a work that overflows with life.

WHAT WE LOSE by Zinzi Clemmons

From an author of rare, haunting power, a stunning novel about a young African-American woman coming of age–a deeply felt meditation on race, sex, family, and country.

MARY VENTURA AND THE NINTH KINGDOM by Sylvia Plath

Never before published, this newly discovered story by literary legend Sylvia Plath stands on its own and is remarkable for its symbolic, allegorical approach to a young woman’s rebellion against convention and forceful taking control of her own life.

THE THIRD HOTEL by Laura Van Den Berg

In Havana, Cuba, a widow tries to come to terms with her husband’s death–and the truth about their marriage–in Laura van den Berg’s surreal, mystifying story of psychological reflection and metaphysical mystery.

A GOOD MAN by Ani Katz

A dark and gripping novel of psychological suspense about a family man driven to unspeakable acts, in the vein of The Perfect Nanny and We Need to Talk About Kevin.

GOODBYE, VITAMIN by Rachel Khong

Her life at a crossroads, a young woman goes home again in this funny and inescapably moving debut from a wonderfully original new literary voice.

THE GIRL WHO RIDES THE METRO by Christine Féret-Fleury

A modern fairytale about a French woman whose life is turned upside down when she meets a reclusive bookseller and his young daughter.

THE LAST BOOK PARTY by Karen Dukess

A propulsive tale of ambition and romance, set in the publishing world of 1980’s New York and the timeless beaches of Cape Cod.

THE CIRCUS by Jonas Karlsson

A real-life vanishing act leaves one man looking for his missing friend in thisKafkaesque new novel from the author of The Room and The Invoice.

MY SISTER THE SERIAL KILLER by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Korede’s sister Ayoola is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is dead, stabbed through the heart with Ayoola’s knife.

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