Novellas are for those who suddenly find themselves with a lot less extra time on their hands (how exactly are you managing this? and want to read a short story that offers all the emotions of reading a regular length novel — just without the extra bits and side characters. This is when you’re done with Instagram and the endless scrolling (Again, how?) and want something you can quickly lose yourself in.
Here is a list of contemporary novellas under 200 pages. Feel free to add your own in the comments below.
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata, Translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori
Keiko Furukura enjoys working at the Smile Mart. She finds a quiet purpose inside the store mandated by its rules and regulations, but finds her tranquility shattered one day, when a new co- worker, as cynical and bitter as her, joins the staff. Will he upset her perfect world inside the store and will that be for the better?
This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar
An unlikely correspondence between two rival agents in the midst of a war starts off as psychological warfare between the two warring nations, but grows into something more, something romantic, something that could change the past and the future.
The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide
A young married couple move into a rented cottage on an estate; hoping to punctuate the silence in their relationship with words. A stray cat, Chibi, enters their kitchen one day, and their marriage is now filled with sharing stories about their encounters with the cat. But, as the time to leave the cottage approaches near, will silence take over their marriage again?
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
The Queen on a walk with her corgis, chances upon a book mobile, and on a recommendation from a palace kitchen worker begins her exploration of reading that amuses her and annoys her palace officials.
An Elderly Lady Is Up to No good by Helene Tursten
Maud, an 88-year-old senior citizen lives a solitary existence, but she likes it that way. When a corpse is found in the apartment complex she owns, Maud is the prime suspect. Her cantankerous behaviour has led her to have more enemies than friends, and with no one to vouch for her, Maud
has to prove her innocence before she is thrown in jail.
The Final Solution by Michael Chabon, Illustration by Jay Ryan
Linus, a nine-year-old boy has found his way to an English village after escaping from Nazi Germany. Mute and alone, his sole companion is an African grey parrot, who keeps repeating a sets of numbers in German, which catches the ears of the famed English detective now in retirement. A short suspenseful tale of intrigue, whose solution will leave you speechless.
We Love Anderson Cooper by R. L. Maizes
In this collection of short stories, the flawed essence of being a human is celebrated with a touching sense of mirth. All of the 11 characters in the stories are determined to do well, but often fall short of their intention to do well, leading to some hilarious laughs and twists. We are all human, at the end of the day.
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
A classic story of childhood and self-discovery, the story follows the remarkable life of Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago. Written in a simple yet attentive manner, the narrative written in a vignette prose is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous.