5 Quick Reads To Help You Finish Your Goodreads Challenge

by - 3:26 PM

Ahh, December. It's the last week of the year, right between Christmas and New Year's, when we're all relaxing with our families, laying around the house stuffed full of good food . . . and scrambling desperately to finish our Goodreads challenges. If you're in that boat, never fear! Here are some of my favorite short books (all under 200 pages) that can help you cross the finish line before January 1st.

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton: If you like historical fiction or classics, this is the pick for you. This wintry, melancholic novella clocks in around 180 pages and definitely packs a punch. From beautiful nature description to deep explorations of moral issues, there's plenty to remember about Ethan Frome.

Phantoms as Euphemisms for Disaster by N.L. Shompole: I've already talked about N.L. Shompole's latest poetry collection, Lace Bone Beast, enough on here. So now I shall be recommending one of her older collections and a recent read for me: Phantoms as Euphemisms for Disaster. Y'all know N.L. Shompole is one of my favorite poets and few auto-buy authors; her work is so incredibly beautiful I can't even describe it. She tackles topics like womanhood, heartbreak, and her African heritage spectacularly in this powerful little volume. Any fans of Rupi Kaur or Amanda Lovelace have to give N.L. Shompole a try.

Crush by Richard Siken: This is another book of poems, but it's stylistically different from all the Milk and Honey-esque stuff that's been the fad lately. The stanzas are written more like snippets from a story, but they still maintain that visceral emotion that will stay with you long after you've closed the book. This is one of my all-time favorite poetry collections (and it's #ownvoices LGBT+ rep). Plus, there's a free pdf of it available here. So now you really have no excuse not to read it ;)

Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman: Ex Libris is a short collection of essays about the trials and tribulations of being a bookworm. From the troubles of merging book collections to the time she poured over her roommate's 1974 Toyota Corolla manual because it was the only written material in the apartment she had not read at least twice, Fadiman's essays mix love of literature with self-deprecatory wit. I flew through this in an afternoon, and it was a lovely escapist read.

The Reluctant Godfather by Allison Tebo: This novella is a Cinderella retelling from the POV of Burndee, a very snarky and very reluctant fairy godfather. AND GUYS. I. LOVE. THIS. BOOK. Yes, that's coming from me, someone who doesn't like fairytale retellings. But it has twists and turns galore, and it strikes the perfect balance between paying homage to the original fairytale and embarking on a fabulous new adventure. And Burndee is SUCH a hilarious narrator. I can't recommend this one enough.

Let's chat! What are your favorite poetry books? Retellings? Other short books? And tell me about your Goodreads challenge journeys! Comment below, and have a lovely day. <3


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  1. I read my first Edith Wharton this year, a short story called Xingu, and loved her style and humour so I think I will take up your recommendation of Ethan Frome soon. Thanks also for the link to Crush. I enjoyed the first couple of poems this morning. Amazing imagery!

    1. Ethan Frome was my first Wharton! I might have to read the short story. Yes, they're so good, aren't they?

  2. Aw the Reluctant Godfather sounds so fun?! I'm interested in that! I confess I don't read much poetry but I kind of want to try more (I was always terrified of it in highschool, but maybe that's also because I didn't get to choose the poems??) I confess to reading a far few novellas this year to bump up my reading count.😂

    1. IT IS. I was trotting along just fine reading it, and then the ending happened and MY HEART. Oh yeah, high school poetry is really hit or miss. A lot of times, they focus on classic poems, but that's not what'll get kids interested in poetry.

  3. I'm reading Slade House at the moment which is a 200ish page book and perfect for any last minute goal hitters too! Great suggestions here too!


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