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.
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.
Click here to buy. '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. Click here to buy. '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.
Click here to buy. '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.
Click here to buy. '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.
Click here to buy. '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.
Click here to buy. '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.
Click here to buy. '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.
Click here to buy. '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.
Click here to buy. '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.
Click here to buy. '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.
Click here to buy. '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.
Click here to buy. '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.
Click here to buy. '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.
Click here to buy. '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.
Click here to buy.