Short novels to read in a day

 Read reviewDolores

Dolores

Lauren Aimee Curtis

On a hot day in late June, a young girl kneels outside a convent, then falls on her face. When the nuns take her in, they name her Dolores.    

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 Read reviewKim Jiyoung, Born 1982

Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982

Cho Nam-Joo, Jamie Chang

Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 is the South Korean sensation that has got the whole world talking. The life story of one young woman born at the end of the twentieth century raises questions about endemic misogyny and institutional...

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 Read reviewIndelicacy

Indelicacy

Amina Cain

A ghostly feminist fable, Amina Cain's Indelicacy is the story of a woman navigating between gender and class roles to empower herself and fulfill her dreams.

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Lie With Me

Lie With Me

Philippe Besson, Molly Ringwald

A gorgeous coming-of-age love story about two teenage boys in 1980s France.

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 Read reviewWeather

Weather

Jenny Offill

From the author of Dept. of Speculation, a dazzling and deadpan new novel about hope and despair, fear and comfort as it plays out in these times of environmental and political turbulence.

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Grief Is the Thing with Feathers

Grief Is the Thing with Feathers

Max Porter

In a London flat, two young boys face the unbearable sadness of their mother's sudden death. Their father, a Ted Hughes scholar and scruffy romantic, imagines a future of well-meaning visitors and emptiness. In this moment of...

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The Incendiaries

The Incendiaries

R. O. Kwon

A powerful, darkly glittering novel about violence, love, faith, and loss, as a young Korean American woman at an elite American university is drawn into acts of domestic terrorism by a cult tied to North Korea.  

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McGlue

McGlue

Ottessa Moshfegh

Salem, Massachusetts, 1851: McGlue is in the hold, still too drunk to be sure of his name or situation or orientation - he may have killed a man.    

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Heartburn

Heartburn

Nora Ephron

This autobiographical novel by Nora Ephron, Oscar-nominated screenwriter (When Harry Met Sally) and successful director (Sleepless in Seattle), is a bittersweet and very funny book about love and loss. Published as part of a...

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Napoleon's Beekeeper

Napoleon’s Beekeeper

José Luis de Juan, Elizabeth Bryer

In his novella, José Luis de Juan meticulously interweaves historical sources with an imagining of the lives of two very different men, one a humble apiarist on an island, the other - also born on an island - who aspires to...

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Ghost Wall

Ghost Wall

Sarah Moss

Teenage Silvie and her parents are living in a hut in Northumberland as an exercise in experimental archaeology. Her father is a difficult man, obsessed with imagining and enacting the harshness of Iron Age life. Haunting Silvie's...

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 Read reviewLeaving the Atocha Station

Leaving the Atocha Station

Ben Lerner (Y)

Veering between the comic and tragic, the self-contemptuous and the inspired, Leaving the Atocha Station is a dazzling introduction to one of the smartest, funniest and most audacious writers of a generation

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A Slipping Down Life

A Slipping Down Life

Anne Tyler

In a small Southern town teenager Evie Decker becomes obsessed with local rock singer Bertram 'Drumstrings' Casey, and decides to take her life into her own hands. When she carves his name on her forehead their two lives become...

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The Vegetarian: A Novel

The Vegetarian: A Novel

Han Kang, Deborah Smith

A trangressive, unsettling novel in three acts, about rebellion and taboo, violence and eroticism, and the twisting metamorphosis of a soul

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Dept. of Speculation

Dept. of Speculation

Jenny Offill

The second novel from an LA Times First Fiction Prize finalist, Dept. of Speculation is an annihilating, electrifying account of marriage and motherhood, love and madness

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 Read reviewCrimson

Crimson

Niviaq Korneliussen, Anna Halager

'One of the Top Ten Nordic fiction books' - Sjon, Guardian; 'A work of a striking modern sensibility' - New Yorker

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The Days of Abandonment

The Days of Abandonment

Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein

Rarely have the foundations upon which our ideas of motherhood and womanhood rest been so candidly questioned. This compelling novel tells the story of one woman's headlong descent into what she calls an ‘absence of sense'...

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A Pale View of Hills

A Pale View of Hills

Kazuo Ishiguro

Etsuko lives alone in rural England, trying to come to terms with the recent suicide of her daughter. A visit from her other daughter Niki sends Etsuko retreating into the depths of her memory. She finds herself reliving one...

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Turbulence

Turbulence

David Szalay

The brilliant new short story sequence from the Man Booker-shortlisted author of All That Man Is Twelve people on the move around planet Earth, twelve individual lives, each in turmoil, and each in some way touching the...

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If Cats Disappeared From The World

If Cats Disappeared From The World

Genki Kawamura, Eric Selland

A million-copy bestseller, a poignant and thought-provoking Japanese tale that asks what it really is that makes life worth living.

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 Read reviewConvenience Store Woman

Convenience Store Woman

Sayaka Murata, Ginny Tapley Takemori

The English-language debut of an exciting young voice in international fiction, selling 660,000 copies in Japan alone, Convenience Store Woman is a bewitching portrayal of contemporary Japan through the eyes of a single woman who...

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Our Souls at Night

Our Souls at Night

Kent Haruf

From the Folio Prize-shortlisted author of Plainsong, Eventide and Benediction, a stunning novel about finding happiness.

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 Read reviewPink Mountain on Locust Island

Pink Mountain on Locust Island

Jamie Marina Lau

An unpredictable and innovative debut novel from a provocative new voice in Australian fiction

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 Read reviewCrudo

Crudo

Olivia Laing

A blisteringly funny and remarkably tender debut novel from Olivia Laing, one of the finest non-fiction writers of her generation. Winner of the James Tait Black Award 2019, shortlisted for The Goldsmiths Prize 2018

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 Read reviewTrain Dreams

Train Dreams

Denis Johnson

An epic in miniature: a gripping tale of a man's disintegration and his country's transformation, from the National Book Award-winning author of Tree of Smoke.

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The Bookshop

The Bookshop

Penelope Fitzgerald

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize. In a small East Anglian town, Florence Green decides, against polite but ruthless local opposition, to open a bookshop.

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Annihilation

Annihilation

Jeff VanderMeer

The first volume of the extraordinary Southern Reach trilogy.   

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The Lost Daughter

The Lost Daughter

Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein

Leda is a middle-aged, divorced mother devoted to her work as an English professor. After the departure of her grown-up daughters, she takes a holiday on the Italian coast. But after a few days things become unsettling; on the...

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The Passion

The Passion

Jeanette Winterson

inventive and brilliant' Guardian'As moving and funny as it is skilful, and reflects the author's formidable appetite for life' Sunday Times'A book of great imaginative audacity and assurance...brilliantly physical (and funny)...

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The Sense of an Ending

The Sense of an Ending

Julian Barnes

Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. May be Adrian was a little more...

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 Read reviewMy Name Is Lucy Barton: From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Olive Kitteridge

My Name Is Lucy Barton: From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Olive Kitteridge

Elizabeth Strout

From Lucy's hospital bed, we are drawn ever more deeply into the emotional complexity of family life, the inescapable power of the past, and the memories - however painful - that bind a family together.

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The Mezzanine

The Mezzanine

Nicholson Baker

Nicholson Baker's hilarious, genre-defining debut novel, part of a stunning redesign of Baker's Granta backlist.

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The Guest Cat

The Guest Cat

Takashi Hiraide, Eric Selland

An international bestseller. A charming and wonderful novel about a cat that brings joy into a couple's life

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Sula

Sula

Toni Morrison

As young girls, Nel and Sula shared each other's secrets and dreams in the poor black mid-West of their childhood. Sula is a story of fear - the fear that traps us, justifying itself through perpetual myth and legend.   ...

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We Have Always Lived In The Castle

We Have Always Lived In The Castle

Shirley Jackson

Living in the Blackwood family home with only her sister Constance and her Uncle Julian for company, Merricat just wants to preserve their delicate way of life. But ever since Constance was acquitted of murdering the rest of the...

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The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Muriel Spark

Romantic, heroic, comic and tragic, unconventional schoolmistress Jean Brodie has become an iconic figure in post-war fiction. Her glamour, freethinking ideas and manipulative charm hold dangerous sway over her girls at the Marcia...

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The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tony Tanner

Young, handsome and fabulously rich, Jay Gatsby appears to have it all, yet he yearns for the one thing that will always be out of his reach, the absence of which renders his life of glittering parties and bright young things...

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Breakfast at Tiffany's

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Truman Capote

It's New York in the 1940s, where the martinis flow from cocktail hour till breakfast at Tiffany's. And nice girls don't, except, of course, for Holly Golightly: glittering socialite traveller, generally upwards, sometimes...

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