June 10, 2015

30 Short Books You Can Read in 30 Days But Will Remember for a Lifetime

I try to only recommend books that I have both read and truly enjoyed. Please feel free to share and post your list of memorable short books and novellas in the comments section below.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future and learns that human life--not money--is of infinite worth. Paperback | Kindle | Audible | Graphic Novel

A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

The first murder-solving case featuring Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson at 221B Baker Street. Paperback | Kindle | Audible | Graphic Novel

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Orwell's view of the Russian Revolution as told through a barnyard satire. Paperback | Kindle | Audible

Candide by Voltaire

The satiric story of a man named Candide who decides to travel the world to follow the guidance of his mentor, Dr. Pangloss, but suffers ridiculous misfortune after misfortune along the way. Paperback | Kindle | Audible

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Young Coraline steps through a forbidden door in her house only to discover another family on the other side, eerily similar to her own. Paperback | Kindle | Audiobook | Graphic Novel

Daisy Miller by Henry James

A young, independent American woman travels abroad and flouts social conventions of appropriate female behavior. Paperback | Kindle | Audible

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

A stream-of-consciousness look at a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway. To outsiders, Clarissa leads the life of a perfect party hostess but dark shadows reveal her vulnerability, unhappiness, and long-kept secrets. Paperback | Kindle | Audible

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Social outsiders George and Lennie face the world together, the bonds of friendship enabling them to cope with the cruelties of reality. Paperback | Kindle | Audible

Oroonoko by Aphra Behn

Ooronoko's love for Imoinda results in both being cast into slavery and transported from their African home to an English colony where Oroonoko fights to win his right to freedom. Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

Passing by Nella Larsen

In 1920s Harlem, New York, Clare Kendry has been able to racially pass for white despite her African-American ancestry. A run-in with childhood friend, Irene, threatens to expose her secret. Paperback | Kindle | Audible

Quicksand by Nella Larsen

Helga Crane's mixed-race Danish and West Indian black heritage leave her feeling that no matter where she moves, she will never be able to find a true sense of home and community. Plagued by the way in which people mistreat her, Crane searches for love, fulfillment, and acceptance. Paperback | Kindle

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Edna's life with her husband and two sons in turn-of-the-century New Orleans leaves her feeling empty. Her friendship with Adele Ratignolle and the arrival of known charmer Robert Lebrun will alter her world forever. Paperback | Kindle | Audible

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

While Claudia and Frieda MacTeer's childhood in the black neighborhood of Lorain, Ohio during the Great Depression appears much like those of the kids around them, they take notice of quiet Pecola who endures never-ending abuse and prays for the day she can escape the ugliness of her life. Paperback | Kindle | Audible

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

Shepherd dog Buck is stolen and sold into service during the late nineteenth-century Klondike gold rush. Despite harsh treatment and abuse, the dog relearns his animal instincts and grows into a leader. Paperback | Kindle | Audible | Graphic Novel

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Despite the wealth, indolence, and extravagance of the American Jazz Age, Jay Gatsby's parties can only provide a temporary distraction from his long-lost love. Paperback | Kindle | Audible | Graphic Novel

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

Esperanza Cordero comes of age amid the poverty of her Latino Chicago neighborhood. She dreams of her future and how she can escape the sense of hopelessness that surrounds her. Paperback | Kindle | Audible

The Lifted Veil by George Eliot

This celebrated Victorian tale of horror follows the story of Latimer who believes he can see the future and envisions his near death. When he meets Bertha, his brother's wife, and then marries her after his death, he realizes he may have made a deadly mistake. Paperback | Kindle | Audible

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

This translated French picture book tells the story of the little prince, young Osment, who travels alone from planet to planet. When he meets a crashed pilot, they decide to make their journey together and in so doing discover friendship. Paperback | Kindle | Audible

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

The highly symbolic story of a man, Gregor Samsa, who wakes up realizing he has transformed into an insect and battles with isolation and grief at the reaction of his family who treat him as a great burden. Paperback | Kindle | Audible | Graphic Novel

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

The deeply profound tale of an aged Cuban fisherman who battles what might be the last great catch of his life while all alone in the Gulf Stream. Paperback | Kindle | Audible | Child's Version

The Pearl by John Steinbeck

The parable of a pearl diver, Kino, who finds the "pearl of the world" in order to pay a doctor to save the life of his child, but struggles to do so because of others' greed. Paperback | Kindle | Audible

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

When Dorian Gray sits for a portrait, he fears he will never be able to maintain the health and beauty rendered in the painting. When he makes a supernatural vow to never lose his youth, he faces the consequences of eternal agelessness and a darkening portrait that threatens to betray the secrets of his sold soul. Paperback | Kindle | Audible | Graphic Novel

The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis

In the tradition of John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress and Dante's Divine Comedy, C. S. Lewis tells a theological fantasy story about the epic journey a man takes on a bus ride from hell to heaven. Paperback | Kindle | Audible

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

Young sisters Ruthie and Lucille have no one else they can depend upon when their aunt Sylvie shows up on their doorstep to take care of them. The girls endure repeated abandonments while learning the meaning of creating, losing, and recreating a sense of home. Paperback | Kindle | Audible

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Though Dr. Jekyll is one of the most respected men in London, friends fear his association with a hideous man known as Mr. Hyde foretells great danger. Paperback | Kindle | Audible | Graphic Novel

The Stranger by Albert Camus

This translated French tale tackles existentialism, absurdity, and philosophy as it tells of the indifferent attitude of Meursault before and after he commits murder. Paperback | Kindle | Audible

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

A governess cares for two orphans in the country and soon fears someone or something is out to attack her and the children. Paperback | Kindle | Audible

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