We’re almost a month into the new year and, just like during any other, I find myself thinking about what I want to accomplish. Of all I have to look forward to this year, a wedding and earning a Masters’ degree, all I can think about are the books I want to read. My reading goals took a heavy hit in 2020. I found myself anxious all year, which left me unable to sit down and focus on a book. In 2021, this is something I am determined to change. I look forward to voraciously devouring story after story, and getting lost in these new worlds. While I enjoy setting aside weeks to plow through longer books, I’ve been finding myself reaching for shorter volumes that don’t require long bouts of attention, whether it be poetry or novellas. Here are some short books to help you get started on your own reading journey:
Trick by Dominic Starnone – This translated novella is sharp, well-written and quite clever. It follows a grandfather’s flustered attempts to care for his young grandson over the course of four days. Silliness ensues as he tries to care for the boy while reflecting on his own life as an artist at the end of his career.
84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff – A charming and cozy collection of correspondence between Hanff, a writer in New York City, and a book dealer in London. While the two never meet, they grow a strong friendship over their love of books.
Why I Write by George Orwell – The term “Orwellian” has been thrown around a lot lately. So, why not explore the depths of Orwell’s writing from the man, himself? This collection of essays center around writing, politics and the depths of human emotion.
Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot – The coming of age memoir set on an Indian Reserve in the Pacific Northwest. In this book, Mailhot discusses her relationships with both parents, mental illness and how hard it can be searching for your place in this world.
Passing by Nella Larsen – A thought-provoking novella, Larsen explores the perception of race while following Irene as she rekindles an attachment to her childhood friend Clare at the height of the Harlem Renaissance.
Here are more short reads to get this year started off on the right track. Happy reading!