View All Posts

Jun 20

Short, But Good!

Posted on June 20, 2016 at 10:44 AM by Craig Jacobson

Untitled Document

Summer is upon us, schools are letting out, and hopefully some moments of leisure are in your near future. Whether you are traveling near or far this summer, your most important accessory is a great book to read along the way. The following suggestions are excellent choices for a leisurely afternoon read in the sun or a weekend trip, all under 200 pages:

annihilation.jpgIn the world of fiction, we begin with two classics: Jane Austen’s comic gem Lady Susan may not be as well-known as Pride & Prejudice, but it is not to be missed. If you get a chance, the film adaptation, titled Love & Friendship, is currently in theaters. Secondly, for any of those who question the rapid advancement of technology, Ray Bradbury’s 1953 science fiction novel Fahrenheit 451 continues to be relevant in the present day. Additionally, immerse yourself in the psychological landscape of an isolated family in the unsettling We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson or go on a science fiction adventure in the trilogy opener Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer. Other suggestions include the story of a decades long friendship in Sula by Toni Morrison, and the story collection The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka. 

between.jpgIf non-fiction works are of more interest to you, there are plenty of shorter works in a wide range of topics to explore. The 2015 National Book Award recipient for non-fiction was Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, comes in at 150 pages, and is written as a letter from father to son. The following two titles focus on human psychology in two very different settings. Man’s Search for Meaning, by the Austrian psychologist Viktor E. Frankl, was written following the author’s experiences during World War II in Nazi concentration camps. Susanna Kaysen’s experiences and treatment at a psychiatric hospital in Girl, Interrupted are revealed in her memoir. Additionally, two memoirs by two very well-known authors round out my non-fiction reading suggestions. Oaxaca Journal by Oliver Sacks details both naturalist and cultural elements on his travel in southern Mexico. And finally, the author of dozens of bestsellers provides a glimpse into his mind for readers in On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. 

Wherever your summer takes you this year, hopefully you have a good book with you along the way!