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Short Books to Read This Semester

Books to read in the new year | Photo by Jessica Fugett | The Wright State Guardian

Books to read in the new year | Photo by Jessica Fugett | The Wright State Guardian


It is the end of the first month of the year, a time when many New Year’s resolutions get thrown out the window. If one of your goals this year was to read more, do not give up! Below are some short books from various genres that will not only satiate your reading appetite but also encourage you to keep up the momentum.  

“We Are Okay” by Nina LaCour 

This is an emotional YA book about a girl named Marin who left everything from her old life behind to attend a school across the country. Months later, Mabel, her best friend, visits her during winter break and you follow them explore New York City as she tries to uncover why Marin left California. Because this book also takes place during the winter, now is still the perfect time to read this–but be sure to have a warm blanket (and tissues!) nearby. 

“Ring Shout” by P. Djèlí Clark  

This fantastic novella by an acclaimed sci-fi and fantasy author created a major buzz after its release last year, and will surely not disappoint any sci-fi fan out there.

In this horror alternative-historical fiction novella, we are transported to the 1920s and follow a trio of women as they hunt down the monsters called “Ku Kluxes.” This incredible and creative book will be one you will not want to miss! 

“Silver in the Wood” by Emily Tesh 

An eerie, atmospheric novella about a man tethered to the woods, that reads very much like a fairy tale. Tobias has lived an unremarkable life in the woods until a man named Henry Silver moves into the village near the woods.

As the two grow closer, the secrets Tobias has long ago buried deep begin to return, but this time there is much more at stake. “Silver in the Wood” is an incredible and whimsical read that will suck you in from the very first page.  

“Red at the Bone” by Jacqueline Woodson 

Beginning in 2001 during a coming of age ceremony and drifting backward in time, we follow many generation’s perspectives as they reflect on their family history and their past.

Exploring sexuality, gentrification, race and class all within a 200-page book is something Woodson does beautifully and will make you feel like the characters and their stories will live on long after you close the last page. The audiobook is also equally excellent as it gives you the feeling of being told family secrets and secret desires.  

“This is How You Lose the Time War” by Amal-El Mohtar and Max Gladstone  

This is arguably the most popular book on this list. Not only did this win the 2019 Hugo Award for Best Novella, but also Nebula Award, Locus Award and many, many others.

In a series of letters that span across time and space, we follow two rival agents as they leave notes for each other during a war that puts their futures at stake. The clock is ticking, but their feelings for each other is something they cannot seem to ignore.  


Ariel Parker

Contributing Writer

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