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Quick Reads to Smash Your Reading Challenge!

Quick Reads to Smash Your Reading Challenge!

The time is nigh. If you're trying to smash your reading challenge goals, we've got a list of short books and novellas to help you power to the finish!

Playlist Tags: reading challenge novellas

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A Heart that Works

By Rob Delaney
Narrated by: Rob Delaney
Length: 3 hours 25 minutes

NEW YORK TIMES bestseller*People magazine Fall Must Read pick * 2022 BuzzFeed Fall Reading pick

A visceral and deeply personal memoir by the star of the Amazon Prime series Catastrophe, about love, loss, and fatherhood.

In 2016, Rob Delaney’s one-year-old son, Henry, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The family had moved from Los Angeles to London...

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Which Side Are You On

A Novel

By Ryan Lee Wong
Narrated by: Scott Takeda
Length: 5 hours 38 minutes

How can we live with integrity and pleasure in this world of police brutality and racism? An Asian American activist is challenged by his mother to face this question in this powerful—and funny—debut novel of generational change, a mother’s secret, and an activist’s coming-of-age

Twenty-one-year-old Reed is fed up. Angry about the killing of a...

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Even Though I Knew the End

By C.L. Polk
Narrated by: January LaVoy
Length: 3 hours 51 minutes

C. L. Polk turns their considerable powers to a fantastical noir with Even Though I Knew the End. A magical detective dives into the affairs of Chicago’s divine monsters to secure a future with the love of her life. This sapphic period piece will dazzle anyone looking for mystery, intrigue, romance, magic, or all of the above. An exiled auspex... Read more »

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Dead-End Memories

Stories

By Banana Yoshimoto
Narrated by: Kathleen Li
Length: 4 hours 18 minutes

Japan's internationally celebrated master storyteller returns with five stories of women on their way to healing that vividly portrays the blissful moments and the sorrows that surround us in everyday life

First published in Japan in 2003, Dead-End Memories collects the stories of five women who, following sudden and painful events, quietly... Read more »

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Small Things Like These

By Claire Keegan
Narrated by: Aidan Kelly
Length: 1 hour 56 minutes

Small Things Like These

“A small moving book about generosity, history, family and religion. Perfect for the holiday season when gratitude is on our minds. Bill Furlong didn’t come from much, but he had a benefactor. As he learns what is really happening in the “laundry” where young women end up, his memories of kindness move him to action. A quiet read that shows the power of a moral compass.”

Bookstore1Sarasota image Andrea, Bookstore1Sarasota
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The Last White Man

A Novel

By Mohsin Hamid
Narrated by: Mohsin Hamid
Length: 3 hours 5 minutes

The Last White Man

“I loved this book! Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West stands up as one of my favorites, even years later. His newest delivers just as brilliantly. Themes of race and bigotry, couched in almost fable-like storytelling, feel timely, yet enduring.”

Watermark Books image Rebekah Rine, Watermark Books
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A Prayer for the Crown-Shy

A Monk and Robot Book
Monk & Robot: Book #2

By Becky Chambers
Narrated by: Em Grosland
Length: 3 hours 53 minutes

A Prayer for the Crown-Shy

“Just as wonderful and as tender as A Psalm for the Wild-Built. A sweet and earthy cup of tea to warm the soul. New and old characters to giggle with, cry with, and just flat out fall in love with. A book that I will return to again and again.”

Third Street Books image Allie Bisset, Third Street Books
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And Yet

Poems

By Kate Baer
Narrated by: Kate Baer
Length: 54 minutes

The second full length poetry collection from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of What Kind of Woman.

Kate Baer shot into the literary stratosphere with the publication of her debut poetry collection, What Kind of Woman, which became an instant #1 New York Times bestseller.

Kate’s second full-length book of traditional poetry, And Yet,...

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Life Ceremony

Stories

By Sayaka Murata
Narrated by: Natalie Naudus, Eunice Wong, Pun Bandhu, various narrators, Emily Woo Zeller, Jeena Yi & Nancy Wu
Length: 5 hours 54 minutes

The long-awaited first short story-collection by the author of the cult sensation Convenience Store Woman, tales of weird love, heartfelt friendships, and the unsettling nature of human existence

With Life Ceremony, the incomparable Sayaka Murata is back with her first collection of short stories ever to be translated into English. In Japan,...

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How to Keep House While Drowning

A Gentle Approach to Cleaning and Organizing

By KC Davis
Narrated by: KC Davis & Dr. Raquel Martin
Length: 3 hours 3 minutes

How to Keep House While Drowning

“I absolutely loved the book and wanted to immediately listen to it again! I was also thrilled to be reading a book written by a Licensed Professional Counselor about cleaning of all things! This book's primary focus is mental health, and this is the lens in which cleaning is viewed from. Davis addresses trauma and how it can impact the completion of certain tasks in the home, introduces self-care kits and placing them around the house, and dedicates a portion of her book on caring for Black hair. What I think is most important about this book is its emphasis on disconnecting cleaning, morality, and identity. You are not a bad parent or person if your home is messy. Throughout the book, Davis offers and encourages self-compassionate reframing of thoughts about cleaning. She prompts the reader to reflect on where these thoughts and feelings about cleaning and its assumed connection to self-worth and competency come from. Whether you are struggling with anxiety, fatigue, depression, ADHD, or lack of support, or wish to have a healthier relationship with cleaning and yourself, I would highly recommend this book.”

The Bluestocking Bookshop image R. Aimee, The Bluestocking Bookshop
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Sanaaq

An Inuit Novel
Contemporary Studies on the North: Book #4

By Mitiarjuk Nappaaluk
Narrated by: Tiffany Ayalik
Length: 5 hours 54 minutes

Sanaaq is an intimate story of an Inuit family negotiating the changes brought into their community by the coming of the qallunaat, the white people, in the mid-nineteenth century. Composed in 48 episodes, it recounts the daily life of Sanaaq, a strong and outspoken young widow, her daughter Qumaq, and their small semi-nomadic community in...

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Love & Saffron

A Novel of Friendship, Food, and Love

By Kim Fay
Narrated by: Kimberly Farr, Cassandra Campbell, Mark Bramhall, Maggi-Meg Reed & Kim Fay
Length: 3 hours 46 minutes

Love & Saffron

“Such a sweet gentle tale of pen pals, born of a love of food and a great recipe. I was so enthralled and touched by the simplicity and beauty of the every-day-life displayed within the pages of this book. Keep a box of tissues handy. I was listening to the audio version while walking laps at the YMCA and CERTAINLY turned heads when I suddenly burst into tears!”

The Well-Read Moose image Kathy, The Well-Read Moose
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The Lonesome Bodybuilder

Stories

By Yukiko Motoya
Narrated by: Natalie Naudus, Brian Nishii, Erin Bennett, Richard Powers, Tanya Eby, Kate Mulligan & various narrators
Length: 5 hours 9 minutes

The Lonesome Bodybuilder

“Yukiko Motoya takes the mundane and brilliantly spikes it with the fantastical, the aberrant, and the all-out unexpected. These stories tilt the axis of reality by degrees, deftly inverting scenes of both solitude and cohabitation, pitting the personal against the domestic. Amid increasingly splashy motifs, The Lonesome Bodybuilder asks how we define ourselves through our relationships to others and whether our true identities can ever be known. Buoyant, charming, and layered with intent, this collection deserves a bevy of admirers.”

Justin Walls image Justin Walls, Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing
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What Moves the Dead

By T. Kingfisher
Narrated by: Avi Roque
Length: 5 hours 11 minutes

What Moves the Dead

“This was one of the best retellings of The Fall of The House of Usher I’ve ever read. Between the representation and the absolutely witty humor and excellently horrifying descriptions. This was an absolute joy to read. Also, half way through the book I learn that Avi Roque narrates the audiobook and I will listen to anything he narrates, because he’s: Just. That. Good. He added the right vibe and feel that this book begs to have. Now, no one talk to me about mushrooms for the next week or so, I’m temporarily horrified by them.”

Rediscovered Books image Armilene, Rediscovered Books
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The Woman in the Purple Skirt

A Novel

By Natsuko Imamura
Narrated by: Jennifer Ikeda
Length: 3 hours 55 minutes

A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: NPR · Marie Claire

“A taut and compelling depiction of loneliness and obsession.” --Paula Hawkins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train

“[It] will keep you firmly in its grip.” --Oyinkan Braithwaite, bestselling author of My Sister, the Serial Killer

“The love child of Eugene Ionesco and Patricia...
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A Mirror Mended

Fractured Fables

By Alix E. Harrow
Narrated by: Amy Landon
Length: 3 hours 48 minutes

A Mirror Mended is the next installment in USA Today bestselling author Alix E. Harrow's Fractured Fables series!

Zinnia Gray, professional fairy-tale fixer and lapsed Sleeping Beauty is over rescuing snoring princesses. Once you’ve rescued a dozen damsels and burned fifty spindles, once you’ve gotten drunk with twenty good fairies and made out...

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Assembly

By Natasha Brown
Narrated by: Pippa Bennett-Warner
Length: 1 hour 59 minutes

This blistering, fearless, and unforgettable literary novel finds a woman with everything on the line and a life-or-death decision waiting for her—perfect for fans of Claudia Rankine and Jenny Offill.

Come of age in the credit crunch. Be civil in a hostile environment. Go to college, get an education, start a career. Do all the right things. Buy...

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Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk

A Modest Bestiary

By David Sedaris
Narrated by: David Sedaris, Sian Phillips, Dylan Baker & Elaine Stritch
Length: 2 hours 2 minutes

Featuring David Sedaris's unique blend of hilarity and heart, this new collection of keen-eyed animal-themed tales is an utter delight. Though the characters may not be human, the situations in these stories bear an uncanny resemblance to the insanity of everyday life.

In "The Toad, the Turtle, and the Duck," three strangers commiserate about... Read more »

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Intimacies

A Novel

By Katie Kitamura
Narrated by: Traci Kato-Kiriyama
Length: 5 hours 26 minutes

Intimacies

“A masterful exploration of all the ways we can know and be known. One of my favorites of 2021!”

A Great Good Place for Books image Samantha, A Great Good Place for Books
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All Systems Red

Murderbot Diaries: Book #1

By Martha Wells
Narrated by: Kevin R. Free
Length: 3 hours 17 minutes

All Systems Red is the first tense science fiction adventure novella in Martha Wells' series The Murderbot Diaries. For fans of Westworld and Ex Machina. All Systems Red by Martha Wells begins The Murderbot Diaries, a new science fiction action and adventure series that tackles questions of the ethics of sentient robotics. It appeals to fans of... Read more »

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