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The ReadDown

15 Short Books For Busy People

So you think you don’t have time to read? Do you want to read one book in a day? These books are quick, powerful reads packed into around 300 pages or less.

  1. 1
    Home Book Cover Picture
    Home Book Cover Picture

    Home

    by Toni Morrison

    An emotional powerhouse of a novel about a modern Odysseus returning to a 1950s America mined with lethal pitfalls for an unwary Black man. Page count: 160
    Home Book Cover Picture
    Home Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $15.00

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  2. 2
    We Have Always Lived in the Castle Book Cover Picture
    We Have Always Lived in the Castle Book Cover Picture

    We Have Always Lived in the Castle

    by Shirley Jackson

    Shirley Jackson’s beloved gothic tale of a peculiar girl named Merricat Blackwood and her family’s dark secret. Page count: 160
    We Have Always Lived in the Castle Book Cover Picture
    We Have Always Lived in the Castle Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $26.00

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  3. 3
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Illustrated Edition Book Cover Picture
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Illustrated Edition Book Cover Picture

    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: The Illustrated Edition

    by Douglas Adams

    It’s an ordinary Thursday morning for Arthur Dent…until his house gets demolished. The Earth follows shortly after to make way for a new hyperspace express route, and Arthur’s best friend has just announced that he’s an alien. After that, things get much, much worse… Page count: 320
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Illustrated Edition Book Cover Picture
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Illustrated Edition Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $22.00

    Also available from:

  4. 4
    Notes on Grief Book Cover Picture
    Notes on Grief Book Cover Picture

    Notes on Grief

    by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    Notes on Grief is an exquisite work of meditation, remembrance, and hope, written in the wake of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s beloved father’s death in the summer of 2020. It is a book for this moment—a work readers will treasure and share now more than ever—and yet will prove durable and timeless, an indispensable addition to Adichie’s canon. Page count: 80
    Notes on Grief Book Cover Picture
    Notes on Grief Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $16.00

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  5. 5
    On Tyranny Book Cover Picture
    On Tyranny Book Cover Picture

    On Tyranny

    by Timothy Snyder

    The Founding Fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy. Today, our political order faces new threats and we are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. On Tyranny is a call to arms and a guide to resistance, with invaluable ideas for how we can preserve our freedoms in the uncertain years to come. Page count: 128
    On Tyranny Book Cover Picture
    On Tyranny Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $9.99

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  6. 6
    Love Poems for the Office Book Cover Picture
    Love Poems for the Office Book Cover Picture

    Love Poems for the Office

    by John Kenney

    John Kenney is back with a collection that tackles the hilarity of life in the office. From waiting in line for the printer and revising spreadsheet after spreadsheet, to lukewarm coffee, office politics, and the daily patterns of your most annoying—and lovable—coworkers, Kenney masterfully captures the warmth and humor of working the “9 to 5” in today’s modern era. Page count: 112
    Love Poems for the Office Book Cover Picture
    Love Poems for the Office Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $15.00

    Also available from:

  7. 7
    Nightbitch Book Cover Picture
    Nightbitch Book Cover Picture

    Nightbitch

    by Rachel Yoder

    In this blazingly smart and voracious debut, an artist turned stay-at-home mom becomes convinced she’s turning into a dog. An outrageously original novel of ideas about art, power, and womanhood wrapped in a satirical fairy tale, Nightbitch will make you want to howl in laughter and recognition. And you should. You should howl as much as you want. Page count: 256
    Nightbitch Book Cover Picture
    Nightbitch Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $26.00

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  8. 8
    The Dangers of Smoking in Bed Book Cover Picture
    The Dangers of Smoking in Bed Book Cover Picture

    The Dangers of Smoking in Bed

    by Mariana Enriquez

    Mariana Enriquez has been critically lauded for her unconventional and sociopolitical stories of the macabre. Written with a resounding tenderness toward those in pain, in fear, and in limbo, The Dangers of Smoking in Bed is Enriquez at her most sophisticated, and most chilling. Page count: 208
    The Dangers of Smoking in Bed Book Cover Picture
    The Dangers of Smoking in Bed Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $27.00

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  9. 9
    Tokyo Ueno Station Book Cover Picture
    Tokyo Ueno Station Book Cover Picture

    Tokyo Ueno Station

    by Yu Miri

    A surreal, devastating story of a homeless ghost who haunts one of Tokyo’s busiest train stations. A powerful masterwork from one of Japan’s most brilliant outsider writers, Tokyo Ueno Station is a book for our times and a look into a marginalized existence in a shiny global megapolis. Page count: 192
    Tokyo Ueno Station Book Cover Picture
    Tokyo Ueno Station Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.00

    Also available from:

  10. 10
    Rhode Island Red Book Cover Picture
    Rhode Island Red Book Cover Picture

    Rhode Island Red

    by Charlotte Carter

    The first book in the Nanette Hayes Mystery series introduces us to jazz-loving, street busker Nanette, whose love life leads her into some very hot water. Page count: 192
    Rhode Island Red Book Cover Picture
    Rhode Island Red Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $15.00

    Also available from:

  11. 11
    Angel & Hannah Book Cover Picture
    Angel & Hannah Book Cover Picture

    Angel & Hannah

    by Ishle Yi Park

    The sweeping, unforgettable story of an interracial couple in 1990s New York City who are determined to protect their love against all odds—a reimagining of Romeo and Juliet. Page count: 192
    Angel & Hannah Book Cover Picture
    Angel & Hannah Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $18.00

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  12. 12
    Subpar Parks Book Cover Picture
    Subpar Parks Book Cover Picture

    Subpar Parks

    by Amber Share

    Millions of visitors each year enjoy Glacier National Park, but for one visitor, it was simply “Too cold for me!” Another saw the mind-boggling vistas of Bryce Canyon as “Too spiky!” Based on the wildly popular Instagram account, Subpar Parks celebrates the incredible beauty and variety of America’s national parks juxtaposed with the clueless and hilarious one-star reviews posted by visitors. Page count: 224
    Subpar Parks Book Cover Picture
    Subpar Parks Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $22.00

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  13. 13
    Whereabouts Book Cover Picture
    Whereabouts Book Cover Picture

    Whereabouts

    by Jhumpa Lahiri

    A marvelous new novel from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri about a woman questioning her place in the world, wavering between stasis and movement, between the need to belong and the refusal to form lasting ties. Page count: 176
    Whereabouts Book Cover Picture
    Whereabouts Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $24.00

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  14. 14
    Talking as Fast as I Can Book Cover Picture
    Talking as Fast as I Can Book Cover Picture

    Talking as Fast as I Can

    by Lauren Graham

    In this collection of personal essays, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood reveals stories about life, love, and working as a woman in Hollywood. This book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and—of course—talking as fast as you can. Page count: 240
    Talking as Fast as I Can Book Cover Picture
    Talking as Fast as I Can Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

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  15. 15
    Create Your Own Calm Book Cover Picture
    Create Your Own Calm Book Cover Picture

    Create Your Own Calm

    by Meera Lee Patel

    Designed to help us better understand ourselves and dial down the everyday worries getting in our way, these thoughtful and beautifully illustrated journal pages are a safe space for reflection, self-acceptance, and the freedom to move forward with more clarity and joy. Page count: 128
    Create Your Own Calm Book Cover Picture
    Create Your Own Calm Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.00

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