So we’re in October of the year and usually, now’s the time when, while the world is actually prepping for Christmas, bookworms start panicking because they haven’t reached their Goodreads goal yet. We start looking for short books to read or try to cram in as many books from our TBRs as possible in a bid to cross that frontier. So a couple of years ago, I decided to make my followers’ job easier by giving them more than 40 book recommendations of quick, easy reads that would help them smash their Goodreads goal with time to spare.
Two years have passed since that video, a duration in which I’ve read more of such books that I ended up loving. So I thought I’d do an upgraded version of it on my channel. The video will go up soon and it will have more than 60 book recommendations – something I decided to put up here in written form as well. Some of these books are part of the old recommendation list, many are new. I hope that this list will help you out while you’re looking for short, quick reads to smash your Goodreads goal.
A quick disclaimer: These recommendations are in no particular order, except a few favorites that you’ll know as you encounter them. Plus, I’ll try to keep the descriptions as short as possible since there are more than 60 book recommendations in here. It’s one hell of a list, trust you me. 😉
If you’d like to watch the video instead, it will go up on my YouTube channel soon. If you’d like to stay updated, don’t forget to subscribe. Here’s the link to my channel: The Melodramatic Bookworm.
Any Nikita Gill Book
Nikita Gill’s writing, be it poetry or prose, has a kind, compassionate, empowering quality to it – something that’s hard to find these days. Plus, the books are easy to read as well. You’ll fly through them, but they will stay with you. They’re that effective.
The Heartstopper series / Nick and Charlie by Alice Oseman
Heartstopper is a graphic novel series and Nick and Charlie is a novella following the characters from Heartstopper. These books follow a queer relationship between two boys and in the words of the author, focus on support, healing, and recovery. They also focus on mental health and eating disorders, and handle them with care and love. Fantastic books that I always highly recommend.
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
One of my favorite books of all time, The Little Prince is the story of a prince visiting different planets in the universe. He ends up on Earth and talks about how humans are, while talking about love, loss, time, friendship, and loneliness. It’s a children’s book and I feel like it is universally loved for the way it is written.
The Clothing of Books, In Other Words & Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri
All these books have fewer than 200 pages if I’m not mistaken and are super easy to read.
While The Clothing of Books talks about the importance of book covers, in In Other Words, Jhumpa Lahiri talks about her experience with learning a new language (Italian). In Other Words is one of my favorite books of all time because of how much of myself I found in it. Whereabouts, on the other hand, talks about solitude and solitary experiences – something that drew me to it because I LOVE solitude. I recommend all of them but go into Whereabouts with caution because there’s a 50-50 chance of you liking it.
Any Elizabeth Acevedo Book
Elizabeth Acevedo is a powerful writer and tells stories that will touch your heart and stay there till rest of eternity. While The Poet X is a coming-of-age story of a girl battling with teenage, family, and her dream of becoming a slam poet, With the Fire on High deals with teenage motherhood and life after that, and Clap When You Land talks about the loss of a parent and found families in the most literal sense of the term. Highly recommend every single one of them!
The Brown Sisters trilogy by Talia Hibbert
Talia Hibbert’s books have sassy, moody, fun characters and are diverse too. Not to forget, they have representation of people with chronic conditions.
Get a Life, Chloe Brown follows the oldest Brown sister, Chloe and her story of finding love. She has chronic pain and I related to her the most. My favorite of the lot.
Take a Hint, Dani Brown follows the middle Brown sister, Dani, who is involved in a bit of a fake dating trope. Representation galore in here!
Act Your Age, Eve Brown follows the youngest Brown sister, Eve, who has left home to find her calling. How she does it and who she meets forms this story.
The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan
Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series is one of the best series to exist out there. Be it as a series based on Greek mythology or as a fantastical adventure or as a children’s series – there’s something in it for everyone.
We did a full discussion for the Bookbound Club. It was the first pick for our book club and we had a ton of fun!
Persepolis & Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi
Two graphic novels by Marjane Satrapi – technically three, for Persepolis is in two parts: ‘The Story of a Childhood’ and ‘The Story of a Return’. While Persepolis outlines the author’s life in Tehran, her moving away to Vienna, and her eventual return, Embroideries is in a lighter vein where women are gathered and are talking about their lives and the people in them while still holding the political background in a vice-like grip. Both are greatly informative, and especially in these times, I’d recommend these for an understanding of Iranian history.
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
A great, short novel-in-verse where Will’s brother has been shot dead in the streets and having found a gun, sets out to take revenge. On the long way down in the elevator, he is confronted with the ghosts of people trying to tell him the right thing to do. It’s a hard-hitting book but can be read in 1-1.5 hours. Highly recommend!
The Truth Pixie & A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig
Here comes one of my favorite authors of all time!
The Truth Pixie is about the truth pixie who can tell nothing but the truth and in this process steps on some toes. How she handles it is what we read about in here. A Boy Called Christmas is the story of Father Christmas as a boy and his adventures.
Both these books are short, easy reads and will teach you quite a few things about people and the world, as is Matt Haig’s forte.
Art Matters & The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman & Chris Riddell
Master storyteller Neil Gaiman’s Art Matters is a nonfiction book that talks about all the reasons why art matters and why you should give your creativity more credit and more space to grow. The Sleeper and the Spindle, on the other hand, is a crossover fairytale of sorts between The Sleeping Beauty and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Both are short books you can read in half an hour maximum, and have breath-taking illustrations by Chris Riddell.
The Graveyard Book & Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Both of these are creepy books you can read as part of your Halloween TBR, if you maintain such a TBR, and both about 200-250 pages long with a simple, easy writing style.
The Graveyard Book sees a boy being taken in by ‘people’ at a graveyard after his parents are killed. Coraline sees Coraline opening a door she shouldn’t and end up getting stuck in a world where her loved ones aren’t really her loved ones. Both are creepy but fun, and you will find some lessons in there for you to take home.
The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
One of the strangest books I’ve ever read, this is about a boy who becomes curious about something and enters a library looking to research that topic. The librarian guides him to a cell instead. What he encounters there and will he be able to get out of this strange library, forms this weird little story.
It will take time for you to understand this one because it’s that convoluted even though it’s a book you can finish in half an hour tops. I still don’t understand it completely and have decided to do a reread one of these days. 😂
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
A great metaphorical, allegorical story about a salesman called Gregor Samsa waking up one day and finding that he has turned into a vermin, The Metamorphosis covers concepts of society, family, and human behavior in the face of something unknown.
Galatea by Madeline Miller
A very recent read of mine, this one’s a story from ancient Greece about Galatea, who having been brought to life from being a sculpture by her sculptor and now husband, is now expected to cater to his every whim because he’s her “Creator”. But she has to think of their child and becomes determined to escape. This is a very, very short book – about 60-70 pages – and a great one to read, especially because of what it details.
Ruskin Bond books
Ruskin Bond’s books are like a grandfather’s embrace. Be it The Blue Umbrella or The Cherry Tree or any of his other books, he has a way of writing where he shows the utmost respect to nature while doling out dollops of sweetness along the way and a compassionate understanding of human nature.
Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi & tr. into English by Geoffrey Trousselot
A fantastic book about a café where you can travel back in time, albeit with some conditions, Before the Coffee Gets Cold has 4 stories interweaving with each other to talk about missed chances, love, friendship, and so much more. It’s an easy read, but equally emotionally hard-hitting. The audiobook is amazing as well.
For One More Day & Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom
Mitch Albom is a sensitive writer. In his books, he gives out lessons on life in a simple language that will settle down within you for the rest of eternity. For One More Day is about regrets and the result of wanting one more day to make everything right, and Tuesdays With Morrie is a memoir about Morrie Schwartz, the author’s teacher, who begins to lose his faculties due to ALS. Fabulous books, both.
Displacement by Kiku Hughes &
They Called Us Enemy – George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, Harmony Becker
Two books set during the Japanese internment camps during World War II. Displacement follows a young girl as she is displaced from the present to back then. She’s trying to figure out what’s happening around her and learns of everything that’s happened to her people in the camps. They Called Us Enemy is George Takei’s graphic novel memoir about his experience in the internment camps and how his family got through it while he was a kid. The values he learns, most importantly kindness from his father, and how they shaped him into the person he grew up into is inspiring to say the least.
Dopehri by Pankaj Kapur
A fantastic book, this, I’d recommend that it be read in Hindi. This way, the impact of the story and the narration will be even better. It’s the story of Amma Bi, a woman living alone in Lucknow, who hears footsteps at a particular time every day but doesn’t see anyone. We also see her relationship with the people around her and how she gets through everyday life. It’s beautiful, funny, and heart-warming – must read!
Wonder by RJ Palacio
Auggie Pullman has Treacher Collins Syndrome, which means that his face is disfigured and he has to get multiple surgeries for it. He is home-schooled but is now ready to start going to school. What he experiences, the friends he makes, and how he gets through it all forms this very heart-warming story. It’s all about kindness and I was *this* close to bawling my eyes out.
My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
A VERY, VERY creepy, disturbing book, really. It’s about two sisters, one of whom is a serial killer. And despite it being so creepy, it teaches you about family and what family will do for you. Highly recommend, but do be careful when you pick it up.
Sudha Murty Books
Reading Sudha Murty’s stories is like listening to your grandmother telling you stories by the fireside. Sudha Murty teaches us morals and values in the simplest language possible and keeps your attention. She just has this quality, where you keep going back for more because they’re so wholesome.
I’ve Never Been (Un)happier by Shaheen Bhatt
This is Shaheen Bhatt’s memoir in which she talks about her experience with depression. It’s gut-wrenching to read and while everyone’s experiences are different with mental health, it’s like a mirror of sorts for everyone going through something.
Why You Should Read Children’s Books, Even Though You Are So Old and Wise by Katherine Rundell
A short book that talks about the importance of children’s books and why people shouldn’t dismiss them outright. We learn so much from them and it’s a shame that people think reading them is not real reading. This book outlines the reasons why we must show them the respect they deserve.
Circus Folk and Village Freaks by Aparna Upadhyaya Sanyal
Here’s a little excerpt about this book from my review from a few years ago:
Circus Folk & Village Freaks is a collection of 18 absurd short stories, each intertwined with a central thread that you’ll only realize a while into the third story. Each story tells us about one person who is considered a ‘village freak’ and how their life turned out. Some end up finding acceptance by working in the circus – a place where social ‘freaks’ are welcomed, and some end up living in a different lifestyle, each appropriate for what they want to do.
Animal Farm by George Orwell
This allegorical tale is heavy as it focuses on how situations and governments can quickly change into totalitarian fascism. It might seem a simple tale, but there’s so much more to it in this story of a group of mistreated animals standing up for themselves and trying to bring about change.
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
A short book, but one that will make you think. This focuses on memory and how it changes in hindsight, a lesson you’ll learn as you reach the end of the book. We think we remember things one way, but really, it’s not always like that. It’s a tedious read to a certain extent, but a great one, in my opinion, in the themes that it explores.
Koi Good News? by Zarreen Khan
Oh, a fun book here! Koi Good News? is the story of a couple who have been married for 4 years but don’t yet have kids. People around them start with the question, ‘koi good news?’ to ask them when they’re planning to have kids. It’s a reflection of society’s invasive behavior and Zarreen Khan tackles this with utmost ease and a humor that will make you snort!
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Another comedy here, this time about a name. Here’s a little excerpt from my Goodreads review:
A story about mistaken identities and the bumbling reasons behind them! This is hilarious while doing a little social commentary about the times it was set in, given how much importance is set on finding a “suitable” marriage. I mean, it being a product of its times is all too obvious, which is why I lopped off a star, but otherwise, I must say, this made me cackle!
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
This is the story a group of cousins who call themselves the liars. Cadence goes back to the Sinclair family’s private island after a gap of two summers and sees a world of difference in people’s behavior. It’s a story about the consequences of one’s mistakes and is a gripping one that takes you on a massive roller-coaster of emotions.
This was our last Bookbound club discussion that we did on my YouTube channel. If you’d like to go check it out, here’s the link: We Were Liars – Bookbound Club Discussion.
The Periodic Table of Feminism by Marisa Bate
In this book, Marisa has listed out the women who were the main figures in the feminist movement. We get information bytes about who they were, what they did, and the period in which they were active. It’s an informative book and great for you to start off with.
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
One of the most recent books I’ve read, Of Mice and Men is the story of two men, George and Lennie, two ranch workers moving across California in search of work during the Great Depression. There are racist slurs here, which in my opinion, a white author shouldn’t have used. But apart from that, reading about the priorities of white men back then was an interesting experience.
So those were more than 60 book recommendations that I had for you today. What did you think of these books? Have you read any of these? Which did you like? Which didn’t you like? Which short books would you recommend that one can read to smash their Goodreads goal? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you! ❤
The video for this will go up on my channel soon. If you’d like to watch that instead, here’s where you can stay updated by subscribing to my channel: The Melodramatic Bookworm.
I’ll see you in tomorrow’s Blogtober post.
Until next time, keep reading and add melodrama to your life. 😊