Skip To Content
  • win badge

46 Brilliant Short Novels You Can Read In A Day

Great reads under 200 pages. Mostly.

1. Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill

Good grief Dept. of Speculation is good. Beautifully, heartbreakingly, profoundly good.

Anna James@acaseforbooks

Good grief Dept. of Speculation is good. Beautifully, heartbreakingly, profoundly good.

9:57 PM - 26 Feb 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

2. Animal Farm by George Orwell

3. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Still thinking about We Have Always Lived in the Castle - what a clever book. Want to discuss it with someone!

Juliet Mushens@mushenska

Still thinking about We Have Always Lived in the Castle - what a clever book. Want to discuss it with someone!

5:01 PM - 31 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

4. The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

5. Heartburn by Nora Ephron

6. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

7. Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? by Lorrie Moore

There's a tenderness to Who Will Run the Frog Hospital that is equal parts remorse and remembrance (poignant?). Overall a great novel.

Paige Occeñola@ohnopaige

There's a tenderness to Who Will Run the Frog Hospital that is equal parts remorse and remembrance (poignant?). Overall a great novel.

10:19 AM - 01 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

8. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

9. The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Reading and loving Kate Chopin's The Awakening. "Even as a child she had lived her own small life all within herself."

Lucy Caldwell@beingvarious

Reading and loving Kate Chopin's The Awakening. "Even as a child she had lived her own small life all within herself."

11:12 AM - 30 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

10. Shopgirl by Steve Martin

11. The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie

12. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

13. The Giver by Lois Lowry

14. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

'The sense of an ending' by Julian Barnes is the best book I have ever, ever read. Read it in a few hours, could not put it down

Caitlin@Caitlinellen__

'The sense of an ending' by Julian Barnes is the best book I have ever, ever read. Read it in a few hours, could not put it down

11:48 PM - 30 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

15. Sula by Toni Morrison

16. The Dig by Cynan Jones

So I read The Dig by Cynan Jones yesterday. An intense poem of a novel. Quite wonderful writing. Do check it out if you can.

Scott Pack@meandmybigmouth

So I read The Dig by Cynan Jones yesterday. An intense poem of a novel. Quite wonderful writing. Do check it out if you can.

8:01 AM - 03 Mar 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

17. How to Get Into the Twin Palms by Karolina Waclawiak

18. Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

19. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

20. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

21. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

I read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson when I was 14. It changed my life and made me see beyond the safety of my world. #yasaves

Nikki@Nikkayme

I read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson when I was 14. It changed my life and made me see beyond the safety of my world. #yasaves

7:45 AM - 05 Jun 11ReplyRetweetFavorite

22. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

23. Rape: A Love Story by Joyce Carol Oates

Finished "Rape, a love story" by Joyce Carol Oates. A punch to the gut. When you get your breath back, you realize, you needed that punch.

Dan Therriault@dantherriault

Finished "Rape, a love story" by Joyce Carol Oates. A punch to the gut. When you get your breath back, you realize, you needed that punch.

1:42 PM - 12 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

24. The Quiet American by Graham Greene

25. The Passion by Jeanette Winterson

finished 'the passion.' made a noise. stared helplessly into space. turned back to the first page and am now reading it again. #winterson

Helena Fitzgerald@helfitzgerald

finished 'the passion.' made a noise. stared helplessly into space. turned back to the first page and am now reading it again. #winterson

10:47 PM - 13 Jan 13ReplyRetweetFavorite

26. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

27. Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson

My mind is completely blown after reading Anne Carson's AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF RED for the 1st time. Her sentences are tattooed on my brain.

Michele Filgate@readandbreathe

My mind is completely blown after reading Anne Carson's AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF RED for the 1st time. Her sentences are tattooed on my brain.

6:13 PM - 28 Nov 12ReplyRetweetFavorite

28. The Mezzanine by Nicholson Baker

Rereading The Mezzanine for the 3rd time -- it explains so much about our times. Anyone know how to contact Nicholson Baker?

Alexis C. Madrigal@alexismadrigal

Rereading The Mezzanine for the 3rd time -- it explains so much about our times. Anyone know how to contact Nicholson Baker?

1:51 AM - 06 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

29. At the Gates of the Animal Kingdom by Amy Hempel

30. Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Also really enjoyed Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer, imagine Iain M Banks scripted Lost as a Tarkovsky homage.

Colm Linnane@Librarydotcolm

Also really enjoyed Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer, imagine Iain M Banks scripted Lost as a Tarkovsky homage.

12:46 PM - 29 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

31. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

32. Being There by Jerzy Kosinski

33. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

34. The Neon Bible by John Kennedy Toole

35. Speedboat by Renata Adler

Am recommending to EVERYONE my read of the summer - Speedboat by Renata Adler. Best novel I've read in such a long time.

Alex Preston@ahmpreston

Am recommending to EVERYONE my read of the summer - Speedboat by Renata Adler. Best novel I've read in such a long time.

11:34 AM - 12 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

36. Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garciá Márquez

37. If You're Not Yet Like Me by Edan Lepucki

Finished with If You're Not Yet Like Me, by Edan Lepucki: Well, okay. This is as perfect a short story/novella as ... http://t.co/v6VKBaIF9w

Rebecca@rlhazelwood

Finished with If You're Not Yet Like Me, by Edan Lepucki: Well, okay. This is as perfect a short story/novella as ... http://t.co/v6VKBaIF9w

1:47 AM - 07 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

38. The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon

39. The Lover by Marguerite Duras

40. Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote

w.soundcloud.com

41. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

42. Time's Arrow by Martin Amis

the concept and the audacity of Martin Amis to pull off Time's Arrow. Stunning!

anonceleb@anonceleb

the concept and the audacity of Martin Amis to pull off Time's Arrow. Stunning!

7:15 PM - 28 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

43. Lucinella by Lore Segal

Excited doesn't begin to cover it. Lucinella's the weirdest, most wonderful book I've read in years http://t.co/WMxVjmZgAi @melvillehouse

Emily Freyer@emfreyer

Excited doesn't begin to cover it. Lucinella's the weirdest, most wonderful book I've read in years http://t.co/WMxVjmZgAi @melvillehouse

8:05 PM - 30 Sep 13ReplyRetweetFavorite

44. Night by Elie Wiesel

45. A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf

46. Ablutions by Patrick deWitt

Patrick deWitt's Ablutions is an astonishing first novel with a second person narrative. Brutal yet brilliant and visceral. I loved it.

Ranjit@qtfan

Patrick deWitt's Ablutions is an astonishing first novel with a second person narrative. Brutal yet brilliant and visceral. I loved it.

8:10 PM - 15 Sep 11ReplyRetweetFavorite

Why not take a stroll to your local bookshop and buy one?

This list isn't exhaustive. If there's a short novel we've missed, please add it in the comments below so others might enjoy it. Oh, and just because you can read these in a day doesn't mean you have to. Happy reading!

H/T to Flavorwire / Reddit / Go Book Yourself.

Want more amazing things to read? Sign up for the BuzzFeed Books newsletter and we’ll send you reading recommendations every week!