10 Books You Can Finish In A Day
Read a lot of books in a few hours.
10 Books You Can Binge In A Day
Read a lot of books in a few hours.
I have heard several friends complain that they have been trying to get back to reading books, but have been unable to find one that holds their attention for long. In this article, I compiled a list of 10 short books you can finish in a day. Here are some hand-picked fiction and non-fiction recommendations that I absolutely loved and I am sure any rookie or seasoned reader would be able to appreciate.
1. You Were Never Really Here by Jonathan Ames
Genre: Crime Thriller
On the face of it, this is a gritty cold-blooded thriller, but this 97-page novella packs in much more than that — exploring clinical depression, child abuse and a twisted father-son relationship that goes a long way in shaping the protagonist, the ex-Marine Joe, and giving the audience an insight into his actions. Not a single paragraph in the book is a drag, and every dialogue and every character has a role to play in moving this dark, disturbing story forward. Full points to the author for holding my attention for a gripping two hours.
Reading this book is a rare treat because Ames creates a story that is very atmospheric — letting the reader imagine scents and sights masterfully with his words. Apart from that, the discussion of mental health is very subtle and delicate. Kudos to the author for giving us a real and relatable protagonist who is clinically depressed, and yet carries on through life without it being a debilitating influence.
2. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This short book is full of reasons why all of us should be feminists. I loved reading it, but I was already aware of most of the ideas the author has put forward. As a working woman in a developing country, I have faced similar or worse situations as depicted in the book. I only wish more men would read this book. I’m sharing one of the hardest-hitting quotes here:
And then we do a much greater disservice to girls, because we raise them to cater to the fragile egos of males. We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls: You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful but not too successful, otherwise you will threaten the man. If you are the breadwinner in your relationship with a man, pretend that you are not, especially in public, otherwise you will emasculate him.
3. Poonachi: Or the Story of a Black Goat by Murugan Perumal
Genre: Anthropomorphized fiction
This story is told through the eyes of a young black goat. The book follows the goat’s journey as she enters adolescence and adulthood — plodding on through life in the farm owned by an old couple. The book starts out on a high, with a tiny black goat bullied by other kids on the farm. As the story progresses, we see the world through her eyes — the dynamics among other animals, their relationships between themselves and with humans, the freedom of roaming in forests and the captivity of being allowed to graze on pastures but with a rope around one’s neck. Through the eyes of this naive goat, the author makes a commentary on the socio-economic condition in general.
It is a delight to read a story told through such an innocent perspective. The author gives a commentary about the disparities in society between those in power and those without. The book will certainly make the reader introspect on their privilege.
4. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
“The sky was a little more sky. The world, a little more world.”
So heartwarming, this line made me smile. Coraline is the story of a little girl who goes on an adventure, with her nemesis being an evil witch. It follows all tropes of a ‘child vs witch’ stories, though written superbly. This is a good short spooky book, nevertheless. Those who are familiar with Neil Gaiman’s writing will be aware of the raw honesty he puts into his tales, and this one is no different. The parent-child bond, explored with such delicate mastery, leaves the reader with a smile on their faces.
The audiobook, performed by the author himself, is a masterpiece, complete with songs, music, and spine-chilling voiceovers — making it an extraordinary experience totally worth the three hours spent in listening.
5. Love Story by Erich Segal
How can one not fall in love with a book that begins with these lines — “What can you say about a twenty-five-year-old girl who died? That she was beautiful. And Brilliant. That she loved Mozart and Bach. And the Beatles. And me.”
Prepare to have your heart broken as the author takes you on a journey of love and how it impacts lives, and how, no matter how short-lived, its memory can live on forever.
Love, after all, means never having to say you are sorry.
6. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Genre: Philosophical fiction/Biography
This is one of those books that makes you think about life — what you’re missing out, and the beauty you could be passing by every day without really paying it any attention. Tuesdays with Morrie makes you introspect a lot without being overly preachy about it.
The underlying theme of the book is how dying changes a person’s perspective towards life, and how so many people carry on with their days simply existing, and not living. It leaves the reader with a lot of food for thought about the importance of kindness, compassion, and the importance of doing what one’s heart wills.
7. Hear the Wind Sing by Haruki Murakami
Genre: Contemplative fiction/Literary Realism
Haruki Murakami’s first novel is a journey of the narrator as he relives his time with his best friend (The Rat), the three girls he has slept with, and the girl who works at the record shop he recently met and connected with. The story begins abruptly — with the narrator introducing us to his friend and how they bonded over beer and fries — and ends abruptly when the narrator leaves the city to settle in Tokyo for college. Even though there is no direction to the story, you will find yourself compelled to finish the book because of how well-written it is.
The fascinating thing about this book is that it follows the “Boku” way of telling fiction- Boku is the Japanese term for I-myself. The whole book is in the form of a dialogue between Boku (the narrator) and the reader. Throughout the book, Murakami’s words will make you look deep within your soul and make you realise that no matter how different you think you are, in the end, you are not alone; there are people who have felt your pain and will continue doing so.
8. Animal Farm by George Orwell
Genre: Political satire/Dystopian
The book can be read and enjoyed as a traditional farm fable, where a group of animals are tired of being dominated by humans in all spheres of their life. So, they stage an epic insurrection, overthrow the ‘evil’ humans and set up their own ‘independent’ way of life — ploughing fields, building windmills and harvesting the food on their own. Sadly, for these animals, things do not remain as rosy for long. The events in the story lead to an amusing ending that will leave the reader chuckling with glee.
Otherwise, the book can be taken as satire — a take on the imperfections of our own world. It takes a dig on the extremes the government (or those in power) are willing to go to brainwash its citizens and, in return, how willing the citizens are to give up control over their own lives as long as they can exist within a protective bubble of denial where nothing ever goes wrong.
9. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
A man from London and his best friend become homeless when the earth is destroyed by a bunch of aliens to make space to make way for a hyperspace bypass. This short, hilarious book will take you through a journey across the universe with the most delightful ensemble of characters you will ever have the privilege to meet.
But, apart from its stellar plot, what really makes the book stand out is how accurately the author depicts the feeling of homelessness, of never really belonging anywhere — a problem so many people of our generation are assailed with.
10. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
Genre: Introspective Fiction
A heart-breaking story with flawed, relatable characters at its core — Breakfast at Tiffany’s is loaded with quotable quotes that will stay close to you even after the last page is turned.
“You can love somebody without it being like that. You keep them a stranger, a stranger who’s a friend.”
11. (Bonus) What did Tashi do? by Anangsha Alammyan
Genre: Cybercrime Thriller
A beautiful woman. An anonymous stranger. A spine-chilling nightmare that blurs the thin line between online bullying and a full-blown real-life ordeal. In a fast-paced, mind-numbing tale of misplaced trust and poor data security, blackmail and friendship, lust and a love that had gone cold years back, will the protagonist Tashi be able to regain control over her life and win the fight against the anonymous stranger on the internet who seems to be one step ahead of her, no matter which direction she chooses to go?
This novella impresses upon the reader the impact cyberbullying and blackmail can have upon a woman’s life.
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