15 New Books Under 300 Pages That Will Help You Smash Your Reading Goal Before The End Of The Year

By Kerri Jarema

If you're starting to panic about all of those reading goals you have left to achieve in the last hundred days of the year, I totally feel you. Every January I get super excited by a bookish blank slate, a new yearly reading challenge, and add tons of books to my TBR stack. But because we all only have so many hours in the day, I often get to the last few months of the year with tons of books still sitting on my shelf unread. If you're in the same boat, I have some good news: There are tons of brand new books that clock in below 300 pages.

Prioritizing these short books over the 400+ page behemoths on your stack will give you the time to get a ton more reading done before 2020 rolls around. On top of that, but you'll also be keeping up with the literary Joneses — each of the 15 reads below will definitely make it onto numerous end-of-year bests lists. Whether you want to get lost in some ethereal poetry, thought-provoking memoirs or page-turning literary fiction, you'll find all of that and more below:

'Red at the Bone' by Jacqueline Woodson

Page Count: 208 pages

It is the evening of 16-year-old Melody's coming of age ceremony in her grandparents' Brooklyn brownstone. Sixteen years earlier, that very dress was sewn for a different wearer: Melody's mother, for a celebration that never took place. Woodson unfurls the history of Melody's parents and grandparents to show how they all arrived at this moment.

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'The Witches are Coming' by Lindy West

Page Count: 272 pages

Lindy West's latest takes a look at the history of rape culture in media, tackling everything from the myths of "reverse sexism" and "political correctness." And it doesn't shy away from the issues with classic teen movies like Sixteen Candles.

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'My Time Among the Whites: Notes from an Unfinished Education' by Jennine Capó Crucet

Page Count: 208 pages

Jennine Capó Crucet's memoir in essays relates her experiences growing up in the U.S. as the daughter of Cuban immigrants. She examines privilege, power, and the myriad ways in which one can both benefit from, and be marginalized by, whiteness.

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'Make It Scream, Make It Burn: Essays' by Leslie Jamison

Page Count: 272 pages

In this essay collection, Jamison writes on obsession and longing through such seemingly disparate topics as the loneliest whale in the world, reincarnated children, devotees of an online existence called Second Life, Civil War photography, and a museum dedicated to breakups.

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'Year of the Monkey' by Patti Smith

Page Count: 176 pages

In her latest memoir, Patti Smith embarks on a year of solitary wandering on the coast of Santa Cruz. Throughout, she reckons with grief, loss, aging, and a dramatic shift in the political landscape of America.

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'Grand Union: Stories' by Zadie Smith

Page Count: 256 pages

In these 10 new stories, Zadie Smith tackles a wide range of subjects including race, class, relationships, and gender roles, examining them all through the lens of a world that feels increasingly divided.

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'Life of the Party' by Olivia Gatwood

Page Count: 128 pages

In her new poetry collection, Olivia Gatwood weaves together her coming of age with an investigation into our culture's romanticization of violence against women. She explores the boundary between what is real and what is imagined in a life saturated with fear.

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'Whose Story Is This?: Old Conflicts, New Chapters' by Rebecca Solnit

Page Count: 150 pages

In Rebecca Solnit's latest essay collection, she tackles climate change, gun control and the #MeToo movement, recalls her sexual assault, and examines the cases of Harvey Weinstein, Jian Ghomeshi, and Brett Kavanaugh.

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'Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, and Advice for Living Your Best Life' by Ali Wong

Page Count: 224 pages

In her first book, Ali Wong shares hilarious and heartfelt letters to her two young daughters that cover everything they need to know in life. She pens letters on the unpleasant details of dating, and how to be a working mom in a male-dominated profession.

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'Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me' by Adrienne Brodeur

Page Count: 256 pages

As her mother carries on an affair with her husband's closest friend, 14-year-old Adrienne becomes her closest confidante. But the affair has disastrous consequences, impacting Adrienne’s life in profound ways. Only years later will she find the strength to embrace her life — and her mother — on her terms.

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'In the Dream House' by Carmen Maria Machado

Page Count: 264 pages

Carmen Maria Machado's memoir articulates her heartwrenching experiences in an abusive same-sex relationship, told in each chapter through different narrative tropes, including classic horror themes.

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'Pet' by Akwaeke Emezi

Page Count: 208 pages

There are no monsters anymore, or so the children in the city of Lucille are taught. But when Jam meets Pet, a creature who emerges from one of her mother's paintings and a drop of Jam's blood, she must reconsider what she's been told.

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'Aphrodite Made Me Do It' by Trista Mateer

Page Count: 224 pages

Trista Mateer's moving poetry collection tackles heavy topics like grief, sexual assault, body image and trauma, through the unique lens of imagined conversations between the author and the goddess Aphrodite.

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'Obviously: Stories from My Timeline' by Akilah Hughes

Page Count: 288 pages

Through this intimate essay collection, comedian Akilah Hughes brings readers on her hilarious and complicated journey from her childhood in Kentucky to her transformative twenties in New York City.

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'The Nobodies: A Novel' by Liza Palmer

Page Count: 272 pages

When journalist Joan Dixon is laid off, she goes to work as a junior copywriter at Bloom, a Los Angeles startup. As Joan starts to poke beneath Bloom's bright surface, she realizes that she may have stumbled onto the scoop of her lifetime.

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