Short books to read

Short books fit into the life spaces we have for reading. If you are busy, you need something to give an instant hit. Try poetry – you can dip in and find something pithy for brief indulgence. Or short stories, exquisite in their crafting and hugely satisfying in the worlds they create within the space of so few pages. And some short novels deliver a complete and satisfying experience while taking just a short amount of your time.

Short books often punch well above their weight – delivering riches far beyond what might be suggested by their diminutive size. Don’t be deceived by their slight appearance, size isn’t everything. But do be assured, you will be able to enjoy the experience within a manageable time frame. You won’t forget the plot because you started it three months ago and it’s easy to hold a light volume instead of a hefty tome. If you like to read something compressed, that you can complete in one sitting, these books will fit the bill.

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Assorted Fire Events

David Means


Michael Gardiner

Exciting Times

Naoise Dolan


Sai Murray

Drinking Coffee Elsewhere

ZZ Packer

Finbar's Hotel

Dermot Bolger

The Cranes That Build the Cranes

Jeremy Dyson

The Long and Short of It

Jodi Taylor

Whispers in the Walls

Leone Ross and Yvonne Brisset (eds)

Days Like Today

Rachel Ingalls

The Unknown Errors of our Lives

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni


A L Barker

A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies

John Murray

The Hidden

Tobias Hill


Jonathan Falla


Melissa Harrison


David Foster Wallace

A Choreographer's Cartography

Raman Mundair

My Documents

Alejandro Zamba


Craig Raine

Barcelona Plates

Alexei Sayle


Christopher Fowler


Tom Franklin

Monkey's Birthday

Simon Crump

The Sisters Brothers

Patrick deWitt

African Love Stories

Ama Ata Aidoo

Basket of Deplorables

Tom Rachman

Too Asian, Not Asian Enough

Kavita Bhanot (ed)

The Deep

Mary Swan

The Dog

Jack Livings

Detective Story

Imre Kertesz

The Silent Wife

A S A Harrison

Zero History

William Gibson

The Expats

Chris Pavone

The Yacoubian Building

Alaa Al Aswany

Taking it to Heart

Marie Desplechin

Mr Peanut

Adam Ross

Sweet Home

Wendy Erskine

Stories of Your Life and Others

Ted Chiang

Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage

Alice Munro

Cairo Stories

Anne-Marie Drosso

The Laws of Evening

Mary Waters

All That Follows

Jim Crace

The Elephant Vanishes

Haruki Murakami

Matters of Life & Death

Bernard MacLaverty

Alpha Male

William Brandt

Age of Consent

Marti Leimbach


Sean O'Reilly

The Pale King

David Foster Wallace