Bite-Size Backlist Books for Your TBR

Last year I confidently set my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal at 12 books. Surely I could read one book a month, especially after exceeding my Challenge goal the previous two years. Right? Apparently not, because I struggled to read the 6 I did log and most were for review assignments. I had a major case of reader’s block. Nothing I picked up held my attention and I ended up trading books for TV.

While I love a good binge watch, I missed reading. This year I set my Challenge goal at 20 books and I’m determined to meet it by using some new strategies, one of which is reading shorter books. This probably seems like a no-brainer, but I’ve typically passed up smaller standalones in favor of a meaty series, new release, or celeb book club pick.

After logging my first two bite-size books, a graphic novel and a collection of short stories, I realized I was onto something. I also realized that since I’d had trouble getting into books last year, the notion of finishing one seemed undoable. But, with a shorter book, the finish line wasn’t as far away and I felt like a champ finishing the two I already have. Its reignited my fire and my goal of 20 books seems perfectly doable.

I scavenged my shelves for books with about 250 or fewer pages and set them aside in a little stack. They cover a range of genres, so I can still mood read and pick my next read based on what piques my interest. I added the books I could find on Bookshop to a reading list if you’re interested in checking any of them out.

  1. How to Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa (Bookshop)
    – Asian-American (Lao), cultural heritage, short stories
  2. Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey (Bookshop)
    – Dystopian western, science fiction, LGBTQ
  3. Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer (Bookshop)
    – Science fiction, horror, series (book 1)
  4. Tin Man by Sarah Winman (Bookshop)
    – Contemporary, fiction, LGBTQ
  5. Testimony of an Irish Slave Girl by Kate McCafferty (Amazon)
    – Historical fiction, Ireland, European history
  6. Border Town by Shen Congwen (Bookshop)
    – Historical fiction, Asian American (Chinese), classic literature
  7. Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas (Bookshop)
    – Memoir, humor, Iranian
  8. You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld (Bookshop)
    – Fiction, short stories, book club
  9. Sweet and Deadly by Charlaine Harris (Bookshop)
    – Fiction, mystery, thriller
  10. Dear Martin by Nic Stone (Bookshop)
    – African American, young adult, social justice
  11. Girls on the Line by Jennie Liu (Amazon)
    – Young adult, cultural heritage, Asian American (Chinese)
  12. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Bookshop)
    – Fantasy, magical realism, romance
  13. Women Talking by Miriam Toews (Bookshop)
    – Historical fiction, feminism, contemporary
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