5 Short Books to Help You Finish That Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2020

This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, Book Riot may earn a commission.

We are nearing the beginning of 2021, and that means some panic might be setting in when it comes to completing that 2020 Goodreads Reading Challenge.

Don’t you worry, we have your back. Here are five books from different genres and styles for every taste, all short enough for a quick end-of-the-year read. They even might just help you catch up on that challenge!

Read on to review some books that might make your TBR a little bigger, but will make your looming reading challenge a thing of the past.

Luster: A Novel by Raven Leilani

Running at 169 pages long, this thrilling adult novel explores Edie, who is stumbling her way through her 20s. She is currently sharing a subpar apartment in Bushwick, clocking in and out of her office job, and making a series of inappropriate sexual choices while also exploring her artistic side. Then she meets Eric, a digital archivist with a family in New Jersey, including a wife who has agreed to an open marriage as long as they follow some rules. Things take a turn when Edie finds herself unemployed and invited into Eric’s home by his wife, where she becomes a role model to Akila, the couple’s young adopted daughter.

The novel touches on themes of race, politics, and sexuality. Released just this year, it’s perfect to enjoy as a quick comical, dramatic, and important read to help you reach your reading goal in no time.

Magic Dark and Strange by Kelly Powell

At a length of 175 pages, this young adult novel is the perfect mix of mystery and horror. Catherine Daly has an unusual talent: by day she works for a printer, but by night she awakens the dead for a few moments with loved ones seeking a final goodbye. Yet her magic comes with a price, for Catherine loses an hour from her own life for every hour that a ghost is brought back.

Then she is given the task of collecting a timepiece from an old grave, and is sure that the item must contain some kind of enchantment. To help her, she gets Guy Nolan, the watchmaker’s son, to help her dig it up. But instead of a timepiece, they find a surprise: the body of a teenage boy, who comes back to life with no memory of his past.

The magic from this boy is more powerful than any Catherine has ever dealt with, and revealing it brings enemies. Will Catherine and Guy survive this intense situation with their own lives intact? Make sure to pick up this spooky story for a short treat with a nice mysterious edge.

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

In this adorable middle grade novel, ever since Cass almost drowned, she can pull back the Veil that separates the living from the dead. She can even enter the world of spirits, and her best friend is a ghost himself. So things are already pretty strange, and they’re about to get even more questionable.

Thanks to her parents, who sign on to host a TV show about the world’s most haunted places, the family heads off to Edinburgh, Scotland. Here graveyards, castles, and secret passageways mix in with the ghosts and urge Cass to discover their secrets. And when she meets a girl who shares her eerie “talent,” she realizes how much she still has to learn about the Veil and even her own self.

Make sure to grab this novel, a fast read at just 188 pages. Make sure to pick up its sequel, Tunnel of Bones, and look for the third book in the series (Bridge of Souls) in March 2021.

Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno

At under 300 pages (274, to be exact), this book might seem longer than the other ones recommended, but it’s a speedy, culture-filled and romantic read that goes quick. In the book, Rosa Santos is cursed by the sea, according to her Cuban American family. She’s even more cursed when it comes to dating, so it’s been said that she should stay away from boys with boats.

Yet, through it all, Rosa feels more caught in a crossroads than cursed, caught between her culture and choices: between her abuela, a beloved healer and pillar of their community; her mother, an artist who crashes in and out of her life like a hurricane; and living in Port Coral, Florida. She also dreams of seeing Cuba, the island her abuela refuses to talk to her or anyone else about. As her college decision looms, Rosa meets Alex Aquino, the mysterious boy with tattoos of the ocean whose family owns the town’s marina, and who is also the owner of a boat.

Will Rosa be able to find herself and leave thoughts of an imminent curse behind when it comes to a possible romance? Read on and find out in this joyful tale meant to be read in one sitting.

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

In this heartfelt 177-page memoir by the late Carrie Fisher, Princess Leia from Star Wars herself, you will find yourself learning so much about her life and her ups and downs, and feel like you’re having an intimate conversation with her.

Filled with provocative moments, she describes growing up with celebrity parents, her early success in the Star Wars franchise, her often demanding professional life, her battle with addiction and bipolar disorder, at times painful romances, and her role as a single mother.

This story is one to love, that shows us how sometimes it’s quite the struggle to recover and heal from one’s demons, and also gives us a close look into Carrie’s mind. You’ll find yourself enthralled and missing the actress’s quirky and honest personality.


Have any other short and quick read books to recommend for readers looking to wrap up that Goodreads challenge before 2021 hits? Let us know which ones at @BookRiot and let me know those that we should pick up ASAP for our collection at @AuroraMiami on Twitter.

Start an Audiobooks.com Free Trial and listen to all your faves!