If you’re looking at the calendar and panicking that there are less than three weeks (!!!) to hit your Goodreads goal, then fear not! I’ve got you covered. There are plenty of fantastic short books and graphic novels out there that won’t take long at all to finish, and today I’m recommending a bunch that I’ve loved.
Obviously, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t finish your Goodreads goal or read as many books in 2019 as you’d hoped, but if you’re like me and hate losing on meaningless goals that you set for yourself, then these recommendations might help. Let’s get into these books!
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
At only 236 pages, this contemporary YA follows Marin during the winter break of her first year of college – so this is the perfect time of year to read it! This book might not be fast-paced, but it flies by nonetheless. I read it in a single day because I simply didn’t want to put it down. It deals heavily with grief and depression, so you might need a bit of time after finishing to let your heart recover.
Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
Graphic novels always go by quick, but this one is particularly fast because it’s so adorable that you won’t want to stop reading until you’ve finished! Following two boys, Nick and Charlie, falling in love in high school, this is one of my favorite graphic novels and a go-to cheer up remedy. Plus, if you like this, Alice Oseman also wrote two novellas following these characters (Nick and Charlie and This Winter) that can add to that Goodreads goal!
The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark
This novella is only 110 pages long, making it the shortest book on this list. But if you think that’s too short to tell a compelling story with incredible worldbuilding, you would be wrong! The Black God’s Drums is a steampunk fantasy set in 19th century New Orleans following a homeless teen named Creeper with a storm goddess living in her head. I was blown away by the story that Clarke was able to tell so concisely, and I desperately want more from this world.
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Throwing a classic in here to spice things up! You probably already know the premise for this book: ten people are invited to an island and start getting killed off one by one…until there are none. Clocking in at 264 pages, this book flies by – I read it in one sitting because I needed to know what was going on. If you’re in the mood for a classic murder mystery that’s become a staple for the genre, don’t miss this one!
The Tea Dragon Society & The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill
Here’s a twofer for you! Combined, these two graphic novels are less than 200 pages, so you can probably read them both in a single afternoon. Plus, they’re perfect if you need some cheering up during these dark winter days! The art is soft and summery and absolutely adorable. The only downside is that you’ll want to own a tea dragon of your own, and I’m sad to report that they don’t actually exist.
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, illustrated by Jim Kay
This one isn’t quite a graphic novel, but it does have illustrations (beautiful illustrations, by the way, from the same person who did the illustrated Harry Potter books) which make it go by quick. Following a young boy named Conor who keeps getting visits from a monster that tells him stories to deal with the fact that his mother is dying, this book is heart-wrenching and absolutely beautiful. I read it in one sitting and cried through most of it.
This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
Told mostly through letters between two time agents on opposite sides of a time war, this novella is perfect if you want something so beautiful that you have to reevaluate your entire existence. Not to oversell it or anything. At only 208 pages, this book will go by quicker than you want it to, but I still recommend taking your time with it (if time is something you have) to fully absorb the stunning writing style.
City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
Middle grade books are usually short reads anyway, and this one is less than 300 pages, so it’s just the thing if you need something quick and fun. Following Cass, a girl who can see ghosts, and her best friend Jacob, a ghost, as their family moves to Edinburgh to film a ghost-hunting TV show, this book is spooky (in a not-to-scary way) and full of heart. Plus, you can read the sequel (Tunnel of Bones) right after, which is a little longer but just as fun!
Sourdough by Robin Sloan
This 259 page book follows a woman named Lois who is given a sourdough starter that seems to have a mind of its own. After she becomes obsessed with baking sourdough bread, she gets involved in a strange underground market. Quirky, weird, and slightly inexplicable, this is a great book to go into without knowing quite what to expect, which is exactly what I did.
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
Another graphic novel for you! This one follows a dressmaker named Frances who’s hired by Prince Sebastian to make dresses for his alter-ego, Lady Crystallia. Not only is it a quick read, but it’s absolutely adorable and will definitely fill your heart with happiness. With bright colors and a sweet story, it’s just the thing if you need something light and cheerful in your life.
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
This 226-page novel is set in Nigeria and follows a woman named Korede whose sister, Ayoola, keeps killing her boyfriends and roping Korede into helping cover it up. Darkly funny and surprisingly thought-provoking regarding the ways that women are objectified by men, this is a quick read that will probably stick in your mind even long after you finish it. Plus, you can get weird stares when you read it in public!
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
I couldn’t make a post of graphic novel recommendations without mentioning this one! This book follows a young shapeshifter named Nimona who’s determined to become a supervillain, so she joins Lord Ballister Blackheart in his evil schemes against Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin. Hilarious and adorable, this is basically a perfect graphic novel on every level. Pick it up this year if you get the chance!
What short books or graphic novels do you recommend? How are you doing on your Goodreads goal?