I don’t know about you, but I’m rushing to stay on top of holiday prep and getting in the thesis work I promised myself I’d manage before Christmas. Usually for me this means fun reading falls under the table as I don’t get enough guilt-free quiet time to really get into a book. So what I’m finding works quite well is to keep to shorter books under 260 pages, like novellas, short story collections and comics. That way I have enough head space for the thesis, get the prep done and still get to enjoy reading time. Thicker books are amazing to read in the calmer time between Christmas and New Years, but that’s a post for another time.
Here are 9 shorter works to enjoy during the rush before Christmas (links to goodreads) that are not holiday books or cozy crime:
A middle grade book about the Gaither sisters, who head to Oakland in 1968, where their mother wants them to join a Black Panther summer camp.
A collection of four dystopian tales about women and procreation set in Australia. Disturbingly good.
A story of a space station run by an AI, and empire, refugees drawing on Vietnamese culture.
First part of the Southern Reach trilogy, in which the 12th expedition attempts to find out what is going on in the mysterious Area X . It’s slow, atmospheric and creepy.
John Lewis was one of the key figures of the Civil Rights movement. Book 1 is his account of growing up in Alabama, meeting MLK and the Nashville Student Movement.
Moon Girl follows Lunella Lafayette, super genius, who wants to change the world. Then she meets a prehistoric red scaled tyrant. It’s epic.
A collection of short stories centering on remarkable but mostly forgotten women or ones more known in association with their more famous relatives. Favorite: “Hell-Diving Women.”
This is a mystery for middle graders, in which Cherokee girl Sasa with support from dog Wheezer tries to find our why her young brother died. A fantastic way to learn more about the ‘Trail of Tears’ and its aftermath.
How about some poetry? This is amazing Xicana poetry in which Ortiz makes the case for ‘loud-mouthed women.’ Check out her spoken word performances on youtube!
How do you read in the run up to Christmas? Holiday books, chunksters or short fiction?