Stories at the Speed of Life

James Patterson has just released a series of books called BookShots, which are a variety of books approximately 100-150 pages long that the average booklover should be able to finish in just a few hours. Excited? I was. Being a busy booklover, I know the frustration of having to set down a good book because real life intrudes, but with these BookShots I was able to read a good story from cover to cover during one sitting. (Actually, there were three of them, so three sittings.)  The only problem was that when I was finished, I was ready for more.

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Cross Kill, by James Patterson was the first BookShot I read.  In only 113 pages, the reader is launched into an impossible mystery, as Alex Cross investigates the shooting of his own partner, John Sampson. However, all evidence leads to a man that Cross watched die more than ten years ago, Gary Soneji. Has Soneji risen from the grave?  Will Sampson survive?  Will Cross?  I’m not going to tell you—just know that nothing will prepare you for the end of this book. Continue reading

Quick Reads: 55 Books Under 200 Pages

Traveling with books can be cumbersome, but traveling without books is unimaginable. Usually I keep one book in the car or in my carry-on and one book in my suitcase. And depending on the book, it can really start to weigh you down. (Tip: Don’t take Les Mis with you on a plane, even if you are traveling from Dallas to Seattle. By the time the trip is over, your shoulder will be sore from propping it up.)

The answer is to take small books that you can read quickly. So, I asked our 3,000 HPB Bibliomanics: what quick reads (under 200 pages) would you recommend for the traveling booklovers? And they responded in mass. So, here are 55 Quick Reads (a.k.a. great books under 200 pages you’ll enjoy diving into whether at home or on-the-go):

1. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck / 2. Siddhartha by Herman Hessel / 3. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman / 4. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway / 5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald / 6. The Pearl by John Steinbeck / 7. Help Thanks Wow by Anne Lamott / 8. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (not the Complete Guide) / 9. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes / 10. Beasts by Joyce Carol Oates / 11. The Neon Bible by John Toole / 12. Consider the Oyster by M.F.K. Fisher / 13. The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder / 14. Chronicle of Death Foretold by Gabriel Garciá Márquez / 15. The Stranger by Albert Camus / 16. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens / 17. The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket / 18. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein / 19. Cannery Row by John Steinbeck / 20. Being There by Jerzy Kosinki / 21. The Red Pony by John Steinbeck / 22. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White / 23. The Awakening by Kate Chopin / 24. A Man Without a Country by Kurt Vonnegut / 25. Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O’Nan / 26. Mezzanine by Nicholson Baker / 27. Black Orchids by Rex Stout / 28. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells / 29. Animal Farm by George Orwell / 30. The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde / 31. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton / 32. A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle / 33. Heartburn by Nora Ephron / 34. The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell / 35. Strange Pilgrims by Gabriel Garciá Márquez / 36. Grendel by John Gardner / 37. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote / 38. Flatland by Edwin Abbot / 40. Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto / 40. Shopgirl by Steve Martin / 41. The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo / 42. Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell Jr. / 43. The Girl on the Fridge by Edgar Keret / 44. Love is Letting Go of Fear by Gerald G. Jampolsky / 45. I And Thou by Martin Buber / 46. Perelandra by C.S. Lewis / 47. Pafko at the Wall by Don Delilo / 48. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett / 49. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George / 50. At the Gates of the Animal Kingdom by Amy Hempel / 51. Lord of the Flies by William Golding / 52. The Passion by Jeanette Winterson / 53. The Quiet American by Graham Greene / 54. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt / 55. Rape: A Love Story by Joyce Carol Oates.

Now, my only dilemma is choosing. Which one should I take to my family reunion this weekend?

Did we miss your favorite quick read under 200 pages? Let us know in the comments below.

Julie is Production Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.
You may follow her on Twitter at @auntjewey.

11 Quick Reads: Books Under 200 Pages

Some of the best things in life come in small packages, like diamond rings —  and short novels. One of my favorite things about short novels is that most have an incredibly simple plot, but fit an incredibly amount of emotion and even action into such a small package. These 11 “quick reads” are all under 200 pages (in at least one of their formats). Short novels can be fantastic to tote along with you this summer while lying on the beach for an afternoon or during the kids’ soccer practice.

Even at 11 books, this list seems incomplete. What quick read that’s under 200 pages would you add to this list? — Kristen B.