32 Short Reads To Boost Your GoodReads Challenge

Hey pals,

I’ve nearly completed my 2020 GoodReads Challenge with only a few books left to read, but I recently went through my TBR of all the books I own to check their page length to start strong in 2021, or in case I need a bit of help by the end of next year. So I’ll be listing books around 250 pages or less and a little info about them, and then also include some books from my Already Read list to help you guys end the year or start next year strong!

Books I Own and Still Haven’t Read

Witch Child by Celia Rees: 240 pages. a charity shop pick up. YA novel about a teenage girl who loses her grandmother to a hanging because she was accused of being a witch. The MC narrowly escapes this fate but has to hide her identity from here on. I talked about this book in my 2020 TBR video but never got to reading it.

Lord Loss by Darren Shan: 224 pages. I’ve had and kept this book for a long time. I’ve never actually read this. I have a vague memory of reading the beginning but that’s it, so I’d like to pick it up and finally give it a read now that I enjoy spookier stories. I talked in more depth in this post.

The Psychic Case Files: 224 pages. Tony Stockwell is a psychic medium often invited to help in cold cases. Everyone is on it with true crime at the moment, I think this could be a good book to introduce me to the world of reading crime, nonfiction or fiction. (In NonFic TBR post)

Vampyr Legion by Alan Gibbons: 192 pages. “What if there are places where our nightmares live and wait for us? Phoenix has found one and it’s alive. Armies of bloodsucking vampyrs and terrifying werewolves, the creatures of our darkest dreams, are poised to invade our world. After his battle with the evil Gamesmaster in SHADOW OF THE MINOTAUR, Phoenix knows this is for real. As he prepares to enter the second deadly computer game in The Legendeer series, he knows he must win or never come back. It’s kind of like a Jumanji but for supernatural beings. I have a vague memory of reading this and would like to re-read it. I didn’t know this was the second in its series but I seemed to get on with it fine the first time, so I’m not too worried. (Discussed in this post)

The End of Eddy: 192 pages. A memoir about a man who grew up in a village in the North of France, coming to terms with his sexuality in a place that wasn’t very accepting. Apparently very popular with thousands of ratings on Goodreads averaging nearly 4 stars. I was gifted this book at uni for participating in a performance night (mentioned in NonFic TBR post)

The Great Gastby. by F. Scott Fitzgerald. 200 pages. As we are nearly back in our own roaring 20’s, I’d like to give this a read. Dumbass me ended up buying the play version by accident but found a used copy of the novel in the Last Bookstore in LA! I thought the interpretation of the novel into film in 2011 (right??) was pretty cool, plus I love Dicaprio and McGuire and will be imagining them as I read. Plus, I’m not really a Classics reader and the most I’ve read is Shakespeare and Frankenstein. My attempts at reading Austin were futile and I can only hope that Gatsby won’t hurt my brain. tbr books ive had a while blog post

Human Enough: 199 pages. A YA Fantasy about a young queer autistic vampire hunter who has a vampire boyfriend… I talked about this in a video too!

Midnight: 192 pages. A Jacqueline Wilson Middle Grade book. “Violet has always been in the shadow of her mesmerizing, controlling brother Will — by turns delightful and terrifying. Now that Will has learned a shocking secret about his own past, things seem to be getting worse.” This is on my Re-read list for 2021.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: varies from 90-200 pages, I have a pretty short novel at maybe 150. Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the original title of a novella written by the famous Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson that was first published in 1886. It is about a London lawyer named John Gabriel Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde.

Talking as Fast as I Can: 224 pages. The memoir of Lauren Graham, Loreli of Gilmore Girls. A book of personal essays through her life, supposed to be comedic, and also lots of behind the scenes of Gilmore Girls (which is one of my favourite shows as I discuss in this post!!) I haven’t seen Lauren in other roles and I’m not sure I could actually ever see her in one because I truly fell in love with Loreli.

Wishful Drinking: 163 pages. This was a random addition I bought for 99p on Amazon for kindle. This happens semi-regularly that a book I’ve had on my wishlist is discounted so much I find it hard to say no. I read Postcards From the Edge a few years ago, I picked up a copy in a charity shop obviously, and really enjoyed it. I’ve read that this is actually a memoir and even though I was never really a fan of Carrie’s until she died, but I know she is a very interesting lady and can’t wait to learn more about her.

Bridget Jones’s Diary: 288 pages. a little over what I was going for but also, it is in diary format in some places, or uses lists. Mentioned in my Birthday Book Haul.

Ugly Shy Girl: 96 pages. This is a poetry book I grabbed on Hive.co.uk pretty cheap because I wanted to have and read some more poetry. “This twisted tale is about the struggle of growing up in a place where you don’t belong, surrounded by people you hate …and how delicious getting your own back can be.”

Dark To Light: 64 pages. a poetry book, “one woman’s journey through the darkness, madness, loneliness, and despair of manic-depression. The book opens with poetry and prose that express the darker side of the illness. It is in her darkness, however, that she learns she is not alone and that by sticking together with others caught in the same bondage as she, there is both Hope and Light to be found.”

If you want to buy any of these books, check out this link, I’ll be adding lists as I go. This includes an affiliate link.

fierce femmes memoir book
heartstopper graphic novel books

Books I’ve Read

Heartstopper series by Alice Oseman, a beautiful graphic novel about Charlie and Nick falling in love and having that fluffy rom-com episodic story. See my other posts about these books here and here and my two videos here and here. The perfect mixture of manga style drawings and story telling, with a cast of very British people. Wonderful selection of characters who portray all kinds of different people of our real world. Wonderful bisexual representation with our main boy Nick. A light and fluffy story, even the angsty bits aren’t too angsty and you’ll feel warm and fuzzy inside. I’m also very excited for volume three to come out in early February! Book three TW Eating Disorders.

The Georgia Nicolson Series: roughly 250 pages a book. 10 books in the series.

Gossip Girl Series: 225 pages per book, 12-14 books in the series. “Welcome to New York City’s Upper East Side, where my friends and I live, go to school, play, and sleep—sometimes with each other. S is back from boarding school, and if we aren’t careful, she’s going to win over our teachers, wear that dress we couldn’t fit into, steal our boyfriends’ hearts, and basically ruin our lives in a major way. I’ll be watching closely . . . You know you love me,” Check out my thoughts on book one here. A reading vlog is coming in the new year.

From Baghdad, with Love: 264 pages, just over my aim but definitely a short read. “Lt. Col. Jay Kopelman went to extraordinary lengths to bring back to America the puppy his combat-hardened Marines rescued in war-torn Fallujah–called the “most dangerous city on Earth.” That tense journey back to peacetime America was the easy part, they would learn. By the time they returned home, Lava and Lt. Col. Kopelman were kindred spirits, bound by the chaos they had shared in Iraq.”

How To Give Up Plastic: 208 pages. a nonfiction book, check out this video where I talked about it a little and this Instagram post with my final thoughts.

Dark Days: 50 page book of three essays. Also available super cheap. “White man, hear me! History, as nearly no one seems to know, is not merely something to be read. And it does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past. On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do. … in great pain and terror one begins to assess the history which has placed one where one is, and formed one’s point of view. … My point of view certainly is formed by my history, and it is probable that only a creature despised by history finds history a questionable matter. On the other hand, people who imagine that history flatters them (as it does, indeed, since they wrote it) are impaled on their history like a butterfly on a pin and become incapable of seeing or changing themselves, or the world.”Check out my instagram post where I talked about my overall thoughts on this book.

Lot: 179 pages. “Stories of a young man finding his place among family and community in Houston, from a powerful, emerging American voice. In the city of Houston – a sprawling, diverse microcosm of America – the son of a black mother and a Latino father is coming of age. He’s working at his family’s restaurant, weathering his brother’s blows, resenting his older sister’s absence. And discovering he likes boys.”

Queer: a Graphic History: 176 pages and it’s a graphic novel/book. I mention it in my December TBR and my Wrap up video.

Kai Cheng Thom’s Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: 188 pages. A creative non-fiction novel with really beautiful fantasy elements woven in and some sections of poetry, about a trans woman of colour. I spoke more on this book in this post and NonFic TBR post. This book was an interesting one. I won it in a giveaway and I’m glad that happened, because I’m not sure I would have picked it up myself. It’s easy to read and has a wonderful twist on the typical memoir with beautiful fantasy comparisons and descriptions. Also check out my videos recommending it here and here.

Carrie Fisher’s Postcards From The Edge: 226 pages. It is said to be non-fiction heavily influenced by Carrie Fisher’s life but creatively presented as this is from two points of view. One is this Hollywood actress, the other is a wannabe scriptwriter. It is in three sections and all written extremely differently which is really interesting to see. I had no idea how iconic Carrie Fisher was until after her death unfortunately. Check out my Non Fiction TBR post.

Beautiful Music For Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills: 262 pages. This is the first book I’ve read with a trans main character. His name is Gabe and he wants to be a radio DJ and works on a community radio in the dead of night. I do feel like it’s sad and unfortunate that we know Gabe’s dead name in this (because we all know this leads to people dead naming the character rather than forcing them to use the correct name) and there is transphobic related violence later in the book, besides that I enjoyed the book a lot

Rupi Kaur poetry books: 204 pages of short poetry. “Milk and honey’ is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. ‘milk and honey’ takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.” The Sun and Her Flowers.

the witch doesn’t burn in this one by Amanda Lovelace: 192 pages. I’d call this the political book of insta poetry. This has similar formatting to Rupi Kaur, which makes it accessible and easy to get through, and leaves an echo of each poem’s final line in your mind. It’s also very inclusive feminist art, I’ve not read anything that includes all women in their art and says it so out right. I love the links to witches and magic, it really hit the nail on the head with metaphors and analogies. This book made me feel angry and powerful all at once and fed me motivation to change things. If you’re looking for revolution, this is your poetry book. 2019 wrap up

Perks of Being a Wallflower: 224 pages.

Boyfriends with Girlfriends: 224 pages. Written by a Latinx Gay man. Check out my pride LGBTQ+ book video.

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan; 200 pages. This may have been my first queer book read. Multi-POV book showing us a selection of different queer boys and narrated by the gay men of previous generations who had died and did not get to live their full life because of AIDs and the laws we had in place in the Western World. It’s a lovely book with a sad overtone because of the narration but something I really enjoyed and have re-read a few times.

Obviously there are millions of books out there that probably meet the 250 pages or below criteria, but this stemmed from making my own list from my own books and I thought including books I have already read would be beneficial. I may continue making posts like this when I have accumulated enough new books. Leave your recommendations in the comments!

~ Artie

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