12 Captivating Reads With Less Than 200 Pages
Books don't have to be long to be good. In fact, shorter books tend to make better classics. Short reads can also be a powerful way for readers to reignite the flame of inspiration in themselves—the thrill of devouring an entire book quickly is like nothing else, if we may say so.
If you're more accustomed to lengthier reads, here are just some of our favourite books under 200 pages that will captivate your attention for a quick minute, including inspirational memoirs, insightful essays, award-winning non-fiction, and classic novels that are forever relevant.
Here are just some of our favourite reads with less than 200 pages.
You Will Not Have My Hate by Antoine Leiris
This is the gripping memoir by Antoine Leiris. In 2015, while he was at home with his baby son, his wife Hélène went to the Bataclan Theatre, where gunmen entered and killed her and 88 others. Three days later, Antoine wrote an open letter to the killers on Facebook, which went viral and inspired this book. You Will Not Have My Hate is a heartbreaking story with a message of hope.
Sula by Toni Morrison
This 1973 novel by Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison is about a young Black girl growing up in America's Midwest in the first half of last century. This is a powerful piece of work from one of the greatest writers of our time.
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Published in 2014 and adapted from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's 2012 Tedx talk of the same name, this book-length essay remains one of the most important feminist texts of our time. We Should All Be Feminists is about how feminism is defined in the 21st century—a conversation worth having, whether you consider yourself a feminist or not.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Even if you've seen Baz Lurhman's lavish 2013 film extravaganza, reading F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel will give you new appreciation for its cultural relevance. It's also a really good read. Set in prohibition-era New York during the Jazz age, The Great Gatsby follows Nick Carraway, young Midwesterner fresh from Yale, who rents a bungalow next to the estate of multi-millionaire Jay Gatsby, a mysterious multi-millionaire who isn't what he seems.
Animal Farm by George Orwell
An allegory for the ages, this satirical novella was first published in 1945 and is still relevant today. The story follows a group of farm animals who rebel against their human farmer and attempt to create a utopian society, with tragic results. Breeze through the paperback, or get lost in the incredible illustrations in the latest graphic novel edition of this classic.
Heartburn by Nora Ephron
The late and much-loved filmmaker Nora Ephron wrote one novel during her incredible career, and this is it. The autobiographical novel is a heartbreaking and yet somehow uplifting depiction of a failed marriage between an upper-middle class couple. If you love Ephron's films, you'll love Heartburn.
Freedom Is a Constant Struggle by Angela Y. Davis
Activist and scholar Angela Davis is an icon of the 1970s feminist movement in the US, and has been a vocal proponent of police abolition during the more recent Black Lives Matter movement. In this insightful and inspiring collection of essays, she reflects on Black feminism, intersectionality and the prison industrial complex.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Published in 1979, this is the first of six books in British author Douglas Adams' comedy sci-fi series adapted from his radio play of the same name. Its quintessential British humour will have you saying "just one more page" and before you know it you'll be onto The Restaurant at the End of the Universe before you know it.
Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote
You might have seen the film, but if you haven't read Truman Capote's 1958 novella, treat yourself to this delightful and nuanced piece of storytelling. In the age of digital influencers and iconic scammers (looking at you, Caroline Calloway) Breakfast at Tiffany's is a timely classic.
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
In this classic novel, an ageing fisherman battles a fish off the coast of Cuba. It was Hemingway's last major work of fiction and won him a Pulitzer in 1953, and a Nobel Prize in 1954. Just 127 pages, The Old Man and the Sea is a quick read so you can easily decide for yourself what all the fuss is about.
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
This French novella is one of the most popular, most translated, most adapted books of all time. Written by French aristocrat Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, it tells the story of a young prince who travels to outer space. It's about loneliness, loss and love, universal themes that will captivate your imagination.
The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Piss You Off! by Gloria Steinem
Another icon of the 1970s feminist movement, activist and journalist Gloria Steinem offers nuggets of hope and humour in this collection of quotes and thoughts. If the title sounds familiar, listen to "Lemon" by N.E.R.D and Rihanna.
In the mood for a longer read? Here are six of the most critically acclaimed books of 2020.