10 Quick Read Books You Can Finish Reading in a Single Weekend

books to read in a weekend, books

Short novels you'll race through!

The Best Quick Reads

We're all busy people and, if you're anything like me, you don't get to read nearly as much as you'd like. It can get frustrating when it takes forever to finish a book because, if you're anything like me, you'll forget things! A great solution is to find a short book you can finish in just a weekend!

While I was researching books for this article, I was surprised just how many incredible short novels I found! I've read short books before, but haven't really thought about them in that context.

From amazing literary novels to awesome nonfiction books, this list has something for everyone to enjoy! Find a novel for the upcoming weekend and relax.

1. Hello Sunshine by Laura Dave


Sunshine Mackenzie seems to have the perfect life in Laura Dave's Hello Sunshine. Sunshine is a culinary superstar, has bestselling cookbooks, and a devoted husband. Then she gets hacked and her life falls apart around her. In an instant, she loses her husband, TV show, fans, and even her home. Left with no other choice, Sunshine returns to her childhood home and her estranged sister.

Get Hello Sunshine here.

2. The Giver by Lois Lowry


Depending on when and where you grew up, you may have read Lois Lowry's The Giver in school. It's worth it to read again as an adult. If you haven't read it before, it's the story of Jonas, a 12-year-old boy who lives in a world with "no poverty, no crime, no sickness, and no employment." However, things are not actually as wonderful as they seem. Jonas gets chosen to become the next Receiver of Memories and, under the guidance of the Giver, he realizes that giving up your humanity for perpetual peace comes with a cost, a cost Jonas isn't sure he's willing to pay.

Get The Giver here.

3. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson


In Jeanette Winterson's Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, main character Jeanette is the adopted daughter of working class parents. Her mother is mentally ill and copes by throwing herself into an evangelical church, and expecting Jeanette to follow her. However, after it comes out that Jeanette is a lesbian, she is mistreated, abused, and rejected by everyone in her life. It sounds like the book is depressing, but this coming-of-age novel also carries with it triumph, wit, and poignancy.

Get Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit here.

4. Sula by Toni Morrison


There's a decent chance you've read Toni Morrison's Nobel Prize-winning novel, The Bluest Eye, but my favorite book of by her is Sula. It's the story of Nel Wright and Sula Peace who become friends as children in Medallion, Ohio. Their connection is immediate and fierce enough "to withstand bullies and the burden of a dreadful secret." They're even there for each other when Sula becomes a pariah and Nel turns into a pillar of the black community. However, an unforgivable betrayal changes everything between them.

Get Sula here.

5. Transgender History: The Roots of Today's Revolution by Susan Stryker


Susan Stryker's Transgender History: The Roots of Today's Revolution is a historical look at American transgender people dating back to 1850. The chronological book covers major movements, events, and writing. Highlighting important movements from the post-World War II trans communities, trans radicalism and social change, the era of identity politics, the 90s and 00s, and modern movements. Key players, memoir excerpts, major texts, and speeches are also included to create a great introduction to trans history for everyone.

Get Transgender History here.

6. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


Topping out at just 64 pages, you could probably read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's We Should All Be Feminists in just one sitting. An essay adapted from her TED Talk, she poses a new vision of feminism, one that inclusive of all races, sexualities, genders, levels of ability, and more. She draws upon her own experiences to help break the stigma and stereotypes the come with the word, bringing forth a new meaning.

Get We Should All Be Feminists here.

7. The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid


Mohsin Hamid's novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, may only be 191 pages, but it packs a punch. Changez is a Pakistani immigrant who graduated from Princeton at the top of his class and gets recruited for a great job. He has a beautiful girlfriend, and is living the dream. Until September 11, 2001 when America's attitude changed toward anyone who looked like him. Changez begins to feel conflicted, pulled between his new home and his homeland.

Get The Reluctant Fundamentalist* here.

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


If you're in the mood for something a little spookier, We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson is a safe bet. Six years ago, the wealthy New England Blackwood family was poisoned. Four members were killed, one was left disabled, and two for got away unscathed. Elder daughter Constance was put on trial for the murder and acquitted, but the Blackwoods became pariahs. Protagonist Merricat is unreliable, bizarre, and unforgettable, as is the haunting ending.

Get We Have Always Lived in the Castle here.

9. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates


Written as a series of letters to his son, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates is an understandably critical look at the United States' history of racism, especially towards Black people, and how it has shaped the country we know today. Jon Foro says Coates' discussion of "Ferguson, Trayvon Martin, and South Carolina" aren't simply "bumps on the road of progress and harmony, but the results of a systemized, ubiquitous threat to 'black bodies' in the form of slavery, police brutality, and mass incarceration." Coates' book is a quick, but worthwhile read that everyone needs to read.

Get Between the World and Me here.

10. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman


Neil Gaiman is a household name. His novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane is less so, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a chance! A funeral brings a middle-aged man home. Something draws him to a farm he went to as a child, a place in which he met a girl named Lettie, her mother, and grandmother. Although he hasn't thought of Lettie in years, the "strange, frightening, dangerous" past comes flooding back to him.

Get The Ocean at the End of the Lane here.

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