By Maura G.
I set a goal to read 50 books this year. It’s March and I’ve already read 18. I am reveling in this reading spurt I’m in right now, because I’ve been in a reading slump for the past few years.
Through undergrad and graduate school I just didn’t have the mental bandwidth to read outside of my class-assigned books. If you, like me not all that long ago, have little brain space to read but want to be reading something, this is a list for you. Whether it’s something you can read in fits and starts in the pick-up line after school, on your lunch break, or on the train, there’s something here to take your mind off your daily life and make you think. These books are all relatively small and are easier to read when it comes to difficulty of language, but have a nice depth to them, as well.
And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman, 97 pages
This novella tells the incredibly moving tale of a boy and his grandfather as the grandfather slowly loses his memory. I cried every time I picked it up because Backman’s metaphor for memory and the sweetness of the relationships in the grandfather’s life are just so beautiful.
Small Things Like These by Clare Keegan, 118 pages
A coal merchant in a small Irish town is delivering an order to a local convent when he makes a startling discovery. Set in the 1980s, this story wrestles with the complicit silence of those living in a town controlled by the church.
Animal Farm by George Orwell, 122 pages
If you missed reading this in school, it’s a must-read. One of the most prevalent fables of our time, it tells the story of mistreated farm animals who set out to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality.
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, 96 pages
This beloved French children’s tale is worth your time, for, “All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.” It tells the sweet tale of a pilot crashing over the Sahara Desert and meeting a quite peculiar yet startlingly wise young boy.
Bluets by Maggie Nelson, 112 pages
A collection of brilliant and devourable (it’s so good it requires me to make up words!) lyric essays on the color and the idea of blue.
The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros, 101 pages
A classic homage to Chicago and its Latino population, this series of vignettes is a must-read if you missed it in school, and a great one to revisit if you didn’t!
The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka, 129 pages
A beautiful and raw telling of the stories of Japanese picture-brides brought to San Francisco nearly a century ago.
I hope these bring you some enjoyment in times of busyness or amid a reading slump. Happy reading!