The end of the year is fast approaching, and readers around the world are probably looking at their Goodreads Challenge, sweating because they are a few books behind schedule. If you are looking for quick reads under 300 pages to help increase the number of books you’ve read this year, here is a list of short books to read to fulfill your Goodreads goal.
This haunting science fiction novel is one that readers will not be able to put down once they dive into it. Pitched as “a haunting, Orwellian novel about the terrors of state surveillance,” this quiet drama throws readers into the midst of an island where the residents’ memories are being manipulated by the Memory Police.
Over time, pieces of their memories are plucked away. First it’s hats, roses, birds, until it escalates and body parts begin disappearing, too. Following a woman living on the island who risks everything to conceal her editor in her home, because he is one of the rare few whose memories aren’t being manipulated. And because of that, he has a target on his back. This quick read feels like a sleepy nightmare unfolding before your eyes, and it is sure to leave readers pondering this tale, long after they’ve finished reading it.
If you’re looking for a wholesome short romance book to read to help boost your Goodreads goal for the end of this year, Rafe is a story that readers will devour in a few sittings. Sloan needs a live-in nanny after her previous one quit unexpectedly. In comes Rafe, a quiet, burly, drop-dead gorgeous nanny who is a natural when it comes to caring for children. Everything falls into place perfectly until Sloan and Rafe realize that they both have feelings for one another, and things become complicated.
Nikita Gill’s recent release, Great Goddesses, is a fantastical poetry collection exploring powerful women from mythology like Medusa, Circe, and Athena, to name a few. This empowering collection sheds light on women who are often misunderstood and is a piece of “modern feminist magic.”
Told in verse, The Poet X is a moving, gorgeously written novel about a girl’s love for slam poetry. This is one story that I would highly recommend readers listen to on audiobook, because Elizabeth Acevedo herself narrates the story. She brings an extra layer of passion and life to the story. The way she delivers each poem is awe-inspiring and is a quick audiobook to listen to in order to help you beat your Goodreads Challenge.
While I highly recommend listening to The Poet X on audiobook, I greatly implore readers to sit down and read Security, a slasher book that left me on the edge of my seat as I devoured it in a few days. This uniquely structured novel follows one of my favorite tropes: a group of unsuspecting characters is stuck in one setting (a strange hotel that is being constantly monitored by a group of security guards) as a killer is set out to cut down each employee, one by one.
This is the type of story readers should go into without knowing much about the synopsis, but once you begin the journey of reading it, you won’t want it to end.
For fans of graphic novels, Sheets is an adorable, pastel-colored story about a sheet-covered ghost who innocently haunts a laundromat. What more could you need? Sheets is wholesome, autumnal, cute as heck, and is sure to leave a smile on readers’ faces. Sometimes all you need in life is to read a quick, lovely graphic novel, and this is one that I think is highly underrated.
If you’re looking for a literary fiction novel exploring grief, The End of Loneliness will strike the hearts of readers around the world. Exploring almost the entirety of the protagonists’ lives, this quick read highlights the universal feeling of grief, heartbreak, and finding one’s purpose in life in a way that is haunting and languid. “With inimitable compassion and luminous, affecting prose, Benedict Wells contends with what it means to find a way through life, while never giving up hope you will find someone to go with you.”
I hope everyone is doing well with their Goodreads Challenge goals at the end of this year! Fret not, no matter how many books you read by the end of this year, you are still an accomplished reader.