We've all had one of those weeks where it feels like life is just determined to pound us into the ground. Sometimes it feels like there is so much on our plate, we can't take five minutes to eat a granola bar, let alone read a book. But here's a secret: no matter what's going on, you don't have to give up reading. There are plenty of books that can fit into even the craziest of weeks.
One of my biggest pet peeves is when people tell me they're "too busy to read anymore." I totally get being busy — my personal schedule is a nightmare. But one of the reasons I love reading is that you can do it at any time, anywhere, for any amount of time. It's not a commitment. Even when you're just sneaking in a few pages on the train, or grabbing ten minutes before bed, reading adds something magical and important to your life. And, especially when you're stressed, reading makes you feel so much better.
Reading doesn't have to mean sitting down for hours at a time with a massive volume. On this list you'll find comics, short story collections, poetry, and short novels; perfect for when you don't have a lot of time on your hands. Even though some of these reading experiences are short, they'll whisk you away with just as much gusto as a longer work.
So, give yourself a break, and let one of these great books improve your crazy week.
1. 'Big Mushy Happy Lump' by Sarah Andersen
Sarah Andersen's comics are sure to bring a smile to your face. In this (short) collection, Andersen uses her silly style to make astute observations about life. A perfect, bite-sized pick-me-up that you can read one comic at a time or all in one sitting.
2. 'What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky' by Lesley Nneka Arimah
In this collection by Lesley Nneka Arimah, every story will feel like a full, heart-wrenching ride. Womanhood, mother-daughter relationships, immigrant experiences, and Nigerian culture are all prominent themes in this stunning book.
3. 'Losing It' by Emma Rathbone
The story of a 26-year-old who upends her life on a mission to lose her virginity, this book perfectly walks that line between fun and smart. A treat to read.
4. 'America #1' by Gabby Rivera
Comics are a great way to take a breather and get empowered at the same time. And this new series, starring America Chavez, leader of the Ultimates, is absolutely fantastic. Written by the wonderful Gabby Rivera (yes, the author of Bustle's American Woman Book Club's inaugural pick, Juliet Takes a Breath), this comic is filled with equal parts kick-assery and self-discovery.
5. 'There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé' by Morgan Parker
Poetry is a great way to take yourself away from the world for a moment, and this new collection from Morgan Parker is killer. Her writing doesn't hold back, and you'll find yourself falling in love with every poem.
6. 'When Watched' by Leopoldine Core
This great collection of short stories is filled with characters that are so fascinating and so real, you'll find yourself absolutely drawn in. Set in and around New York City, every piece opens an authentic and unique window into a person's inner world.
7. 'The Red Car' by Marcy Dermansky
For such a small book, this novel packs quite a punch. The story of a woman who returns to her former life after the death of a mentor, every chapter veers in a direction you were never expecting, twisting the real around the strange in a way that will make your ears perk.
8. 'Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?' by Kathleen Collins
Though it's short, this short story collection is sure to pull you into its world. Posthumously published, this book is filled with brilliant pieces that you'll want to soak in by yourself.