LIST: Short novels you can read in one sitting

Kim Czaccei Dacanay
LIST: Short novels you can read in one sitting
You’re never 'too busy' to read. Here are some novels you can read in one sitting.

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Francis Bacon said it best: some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. 

The length and volume of a book don’t give away the genius behind it – only the kind of time commitment that it will demand from the readers. If you have a lot of time to chew and digest a book, good for you. However, if you’re running on a pretty tight schedule, you need not miss out on anything. 

Nothing feels better than the satisfaction that comes with finishing a book. It’s as if a magic spell is shattered, and suddenly you’re back in your room, crying, laughing, or sighing… or crying, laughing, and sighing at the same time. With that, treat yourself with these sharpened little gems we recommend:

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Length: 176 pages

Written by George Orwell, Animal Farm frequents the prescribed academic reading requirements in high school. And for good reasons, too.

This allegorical novel is packed with satire critical of the exploitative nature of humans (and apparently, pigs). It also warns of the dangers of a society that calls itself egalitarian. Orwell, through animals and barns, presents how socialist rhetoric can be distorted, perverted even. 

Animal Farm is one of the books that will leave you reflecting. (And at just under 200 pages too!) 

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Length: 160 pages

Jackson is known for her novel The Haunting of Hill House – which has gained newfound appreciation because of its Netflix adaptation. 

Jackson has always had a masterful way of telling spooky tales and tackling ghosts. We Have Always Lived in the Castle, is her final novel, published just three years before her death in 1965. 

Much like the Hill House show (not the book)the story deals with family, tragedy, and a house filled with ghosts of the past. 

Reading this novel is as chilling as it is troubling. You have been warned!

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Length: 160 pages

The Outsiders is a coming-of-age novel that boldly revolutionized the adolescent characters as commonly presented in the mainstream media. 

In the book, 14-year-old protagonist Ponyboy, despite coming from a broken home, doesn’t smoke or drink. Unlike how troubled boys are stereotyped in media, Ponyboy is unabashedly soft in the face of life’s hardships. Ponyboy is an outsider looking in. 

Adolescence, for those going through it, can seem like the hardest thing ever. So if you need a crash course in teenager-ing right, dive right in!

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

Length: 196 pages

In less than 200 pages, Woodson managed to bring light important issues such as systematic racism, the folly of ambition, and sexual identity. 

Travel through time with 16-year-old Melody as the history of her family unfurls, revealing the delicate string that brings them all together. 

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

Length: 159 pages

This 1956 novel tells the captivating story of a homosexual man living in Paris. 

David explores his sexuality in the sweetest and most romantic city in the world. Though this novel is not all glitters and butterflies, Baldwin will hook you, turning each page in a fervor, until you’ve realized that you finished the book. 

Reading is a unique and personal experience for all of us. We read the way we want to. (In the before times, I used to read during commutes and in-between my classes in the university.) Just don’t forget these words: taste, swallow, chew, and digest. –

Kim Czaccei Dacanay is a Digital Communications volunteer at Rappler. She is a History major from the University of Santo Tomas, and works as a freelance writer.