5 Short Essay Collections You Can Easily Finish In One Weekend

It's Friday, and you know what that means: it's time to create your perfect weekend reading list. This week, instead of trying to start a lengthy novel or tackle an extensive work of nonfiction, pick up a short essay collection you will definitely have time to finish before Monday hits.

After a long and stressful week, nothing feels better than settling into a relaxing Saturday and Sunday with a good book. The only problem is, now that the weather is nicer and summer is fast approaching, the weekends are starting to get packed with parties, cookouts, vacation, and more. With so much to do and no snow to blame on bailing, how can one possibly get any reading done? Essay collections, that's how.

Like short story collections, books of essays are ideal for the busy reader who has to squeeze their TBR pile in between the infinite list of to-do items. Stuck in line at the grocery store deli? Pick out a short essay to read while you wait for your cold cuts. Found a spare moment of quiet before your friends arrive for brunch? Dive into a piece you can finish before the coffee is poured. No matter what you have going on this weekend, no matter how little free time you think you have, I promise, you can squeeze in some essay reading. That is, if you have the right collection.

Ready for some great nonfiction reading? Then pick up one of these 5 short essay collections perfect for busy book-lovers.

'Look Alive Out There' by Sloane Crosley

Hardcover Page Count: 256

The brilliant and ever-relatable Sloane Crosley, author of the bestselling I Was Told There'd Be Cake, is back in this new book of hilarious and heartfelt essays about life's misadventures. Full of humor and insight, Look Alive Out There is a must-read collection from one of the true modern masters of the form.

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'How to Write an Autobiographical Novel' by Alexander Chee

Paperback Page Count: 288

In one of the year's most hyped essay collections, Alexander Chee explores art, literature, politics, and the many ways in which they shape our identities, and our lives. A powerful and provocative book, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel will change the way you see this celebrated novelist, and it just might transform how you see yourself, too.

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'Meaty' by Samantha Irby

Paperback Page Count: 272

Recently re-released in paperback, Samantha Irby's Meaty is a modern classic. It's a sharp and witty collection of extremely personal essays about dating, sex, body image, and womanhood that are are as raunchy as they are sincere.

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'The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives' edited by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Hardcover Page Count: 192

In this gut-wrenching and thought-provoking book, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen has carefully collected essays by 17 fellow refugee writers. Featuring eye-opening narratives from places all over the world, and more specifically the borders in between them, The Displaced is compelling collection that should be considered required reading.

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'The Empathy Exams' by Leslie Jamison

Paperback Page Count: 256

The book world has been buzzing with praise of her new (and lengthy) book about addiction, The Recovering, but Leslie Jamison also has another nonfiction book that's a bit more manageable in length. A remarkable examination of human pain and the search for comfort, The Empathy Exams will completely transform your perspective on humanity.

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