16 More Little Books For Long Journeys

Some Tumblr users pointed out that there are lots of great titles by women that we missed in this list. With the help of Housing Works Bookstore Café, here’s a collection of some of their spot-on recommendations. posted on

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1. The Hour of the Star by Clarice Lispector

Page count: 96
Excerpt: “All the world began with a yes. One molecule said yes to another molecule and life was born. But before prehistory there was the prehistory of the prehistory and there was the never and there was the yes. It was ever so. I don’t know why, but I do know that the universe never began. Make no mistake, I only achieve simplicity with enormous effort.”
Recommended by: haoerheluyisiboerhesi

2. Passing by Nella Larson

Page count: 160
Excerpt: “But she did not look the future in the face. She wanted to feel nothing, to think nothing; simply to believe that it was all silly invention on her part. Yet she could not. Not quite.”
Recommended by: haoerheluyisiboerhesi

3. If You’re Not Yet Like Me by Edan Lepucki

Page count: 102
Excerpt: “Girls who want to be warriors can’t afford to be so careless. And: Girls will bleed, and they will cry.”
Recommended by: Nouvella Books

4. The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Page count: 195
Excerpt: “But the beginning of things, of a world especially, is necessarily vague, chaotic, and exceedingly disturbing. How few of us ever emerge from such beginning! How many souls perish in its tumult! The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation. The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.”
Recommended by: jostraveler

5. Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan

Page count: 154
Excerpt: “A strange melancholy pervades me to which I hesitate to give the grave and beautiful name of sorrow. The idea of sorrow has always appealed to me but now I am almost ashamed of it’s complete egoism. I have known boredom, regret, and occasionally remorse, but never sorrow. Today it envelops me like a silken web, enervating and soft, and sets me apart from everybody else.”
Recommended by: thecollator

6. Ayiti by Roxane Gay

Page count: 108
Excerpt: “The soldier moved in. Every night, he returned to Marise’s well kept home, complained about the heat, the heavy air, the trash everywhere, the dark shiny people throwing rocks and bottles and angry words. He ate her food. He shared her bed, touched her body with his soldier hands; he filled her and frightened her and she felt something she didn’t understand.”
Recommended by: thecollator

7. The City Is a Rising Tide by Rebecca Lee

Page count: 208
Excerpt: “James was one of those atheists God must love the most, much more than those of us who were believers, since it is their insistence on fairness and their sensitivity to suffering that make their minds closest to the mercy found in God’s mind, but also made them reject any belief in God.”
Recommended by: Mercer Island Books

8. Weight by Jeanette Winterson

Page count: 176
Excerpt: “What is it that you contain? The dead. Time. Light patterns of millennia opening in your gut. Every minute, in each of you, a few million potassium atoms succumb to radioactive decay. The energy that powers these tiny atomic events has been locked inside potassium atoms ever since a star-sized bomb exploded nothing into being. Potassium, like uranium and radium, is a long-lived radioactive nuclear waste of the supernova bang that accounts for you. Your first parent was a star.”
Recommended by: shame-the-devil

9. Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson

Page count: 191
Excerpt: “Poor things, she thought — do they have to spend all this energy just to surround me? It seemed pitiful that these automatons should be created and wasted, never knowing more than a minor fragment of the pattern in which they were involved, to learn and follow through insensitively a tiny step in the great dance which was seen close up as the destruction of Natalie, and far off, as the end of the world.”
Recommended by: strandedstmarkscitylights

10. An Accident in August by Laurence Cossé

Page count: 192
Excerpt: “Calm down. Just calm down. It will all be fixed tomorrow. Change the brake light and touch up the paint, it won’t take all day.”
Recommended by: myimaginarybrooklyn

11. The Book of Proper Names by Amélie Nothomb

Page count: 122
Excerpt: “There is only one key to knowledge, and that is desire.”
Recommended by: strict—machine

12. Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

Page count: 152
Excerpt: “As I grow older, much older, I will experience many things, and I will hit rock bottom again and again. Again and again I will suffer; again and again I will get back on my feet. I will not be defeated. I won’t let my spirit be destroyed.”
Recommended by: 19ninetytwo

13. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Page count: 160
Excerpt: “In life you’ll meet a lot of jerks. If they hurt you, tell yourself that it’s because they’re stupid. That will help keep you from reacting to their cruelty. Because there is nothing worse than bitterness and vengeance… Always keep your dignity and be true to yourself.”
Recommended by: The Twig

14. When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Willaims

Page count: 208
Excerpt: “When I look in the mirror, I see a woman with secrets. When we don’t listen to our intuition, we abandon our souls. And we abandon our souls because we are afraid if we don’t, others will abandon us.”
Recommended by: Malaprop’s Bookstore

15. The All of It by Jeannette Haien

Page count: 145
Excerpt: “One thing I’ve learned, Father — that in this life it’s best to keep the then and the now and the what’s-to-be as close together in your thoughts as you can. It’s when you let gaps creep in, when you separate out the intervals and dwell on them, that you can’t bear the sorrow.”
Recommended by: Malaprop’s Bookstore

16. Sweet Tomb by Trinie Dalton

Page count: 104
Excerpt: “I’ve foreseen my death since the day my Mom named me: Candy. It will happen after I’ve binged on my gingerbread walls, eaten the frosted windowpanes, and chewed hunks off the peppermint fireplace.”
Recommended by: The Georgia Review

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