If you are an avid reader but you’re always extremely busy, I must tell you that there are quite a few brilliant short books that anyone can find the time to read. You can try finding solace in the wonderful world of novellas, since this narrative form usually consists of around 80 to 150 pages and they demand far less time than a novel. Here are 9 amazing short books that will mesmerize you and that you won’t be able to put down until you finish reading them:
1. Animal Farm – George Orwell
In my opinion, this is definitely one of the most brilliant short books ever written! It’s a classical satire of the Russian Revolution and it describes a democratic society built on the belief that everyone is equal - in this case, all the animals. You can even say that this book describes the essence of politics for every age, and that’s why it’s a must-read in my opinion.
2. The Call of the Wild – Jack London
This is another classic short book everyone should read. It tells the story of Buck, a domesticated dog that gets stolen from his master. Buck gets shipped to the Arctic to live among other sled dogs, and has to leave his domesticated life behind in order to embrace the wild. It’s a very good book to read and I recommend it for any age.
3. Three Tales – Gustave Flaubert
Gustave Flaubert, a French novelist, is considered to be a master of style who was devoted to finding the right word in every masterpiece he created. Even though his most notable creation is Madame Bovary, he also has a wonderful collection of short stories and this edition includes: “A Simple Heart,” “The Legend of Saint Julian the Hospitator,” and “Herodias.”
4. The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway
This is actually a classic tale that describes the story of an old Cuban fisherman who goes to the sea in search of a great catch. It talks about courage in the face of defeat, personal triumph, adversity and the struggles of life. It’s one of Hemingway’s best works and it really motivates you to never give up, no matter how difficult the challenges you’ll have to face may be.
5. The Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger
This story has captured the attention of many teenagers and you can even say that it’s a brilliantly unique look at a universal problem. It’s a classic tale that will always be relevant and if you haven’t read it already, I recommend you to do it as soon as possible.
6. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
This is a very provocative book that has been labeled a parable, a parody, an allegory or even a morality tale that presents the story of a couple of school boys stranded on a desert island. Their attempt to govern themselves leads to anarchy and it shows us how power can turn ordinary good people into power hungry tyrants.
7. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
This is another classic tale that is a must read, since it’s one of the best books out there. It tells the story of two men struggling for work in the Great Depression. The New York Times describes it as "[a] thriller, a gripping tale . . . that you will not set down until it is finished. Steinbeck has touched the quick."
8. Different Seasons – Stephen King
This is actually a collection of four very inspiring and interesting novellas: “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption” (this is actually the basis for the famous and highly awarded film, The Shawshank Redemption), “Apt Pupil,” “The Body” (the film Stand by Me is based on this novel) and “The Breathing Method.”
9. The Snows of Kilimanjaro – Ernest Hemingway
This book contains ten of Hemingway’s most popular and most acclaimed works of short fiction. It’s one of the books everyone should read in order to get more acquainted with Hemingway’s works. You could even say that “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” is the best short story of all time, and you wouldn’t be very far from the truth.
There are a lot of brilliant short books anyone can find the time to read. I just mentioned a few in this little article but I’m sure there are many more I forgot about. Do you know any other amazing short books I can add to this list? Please tell us about them in the comments section!