We’re all for the intellectual workout that you get from challenging books, but sometimes you just can’t bring yourself to face that 800-page biography on your nightstand. Consider these quick reads for instant literary gratification: Thanks to a shorter length, easy-to-read style or sheer unputdownability, you’ll have no trouble being finished by Monday.
8 Books We Devoured in a Single Weekend
the Woman In The Window By A.j. Finn
Aside from its page-turning premise—an agoraphobic woman witnesses something she shouldn’t while spying on the family across the street—many of this thriller’s chapters are scarcely more than a page (in other words, lots of blank space that gets you to the end that much quicker).
an American Marriage By Tayari Jones
The Oprah’s Book Club pick is already being hailed as a modern love story, and if you’re fascinated by the intimacies and struggles of relationships, you’ll zip right through this tale of a young couple who gets torn apart by a wrongful conviction.
when Breath Becomes Air By Paul Kalanithi
Quick doesn’t have to mean light: Kalanithi’s heartbreaking memoir, written in the last stretch of his life after the young doctor and new father was diagnosed with cancer, plumbs the deepest depths of what it means to live and to die. Which is exactly what makes it impossible to put down.
the Hate U Give By Angie Thomas
Worried you don’t have time to power through this YA tale before the movie comes out? You definitely do. While the book packs a lot into its 464 pages—it follows a black teen grappling with her friend’s death at the hands of a police officer—the narrator’s voice is so easy to read you’ll wish it were longer.
the Ocean At The End Of The Lane By Neil Gaiman
This dark fable tells of a boy who stumbles into a magical world—but it’s much quieter and spookier than Harry Potter, and despite its supernatural elements, will resonate with anyone who lived inside their head as a kid. (Also, props to Gaiman for creating a truly terrifying villain.)
delicate Edible Birds By Lauren Groff
If you loved Groff’s more recent offerings, you’ll tear through her first short-story collection, which features the author’s same wry voice in vignettes that range from the historical (a group of journalists fleeing Nazi-occupied France) to the quotidian (a housewife taking a night poetry class).
my Brilliant Friend By Elena Ferrante
If you never got around to reading the series your mom, your coworker and everyone else raved about, now’s the time: The HBO adaptation of the first of Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels premieres November 18. (More than enough time to read all four books if you ask us.)
hyperbole And A Half By Allie Brosh
Brosh’s collection of oddball illustrated essays is a novel-length book for those with internet-length attention spans (it started as a blog, after all). Her wild-eyed stick figures are the perfect medium for topics as heavy as depression and as amusing as her pets, “simple dog and helper dog.”