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Why do people look for books shelved as under-200-pages?
This question got me wondering and, of course, I googled. Here’s what I found. The top five reasons are:
- The reading goal deadline is approaching
- Need a quick read for a book club
- Short on time
- Just something to read in-between lengthier books (my tick is here)
- Want to get out of the reading slump (and here)
- To try out a new genre
What about you? Give your reason in the comments.
Meanwhile, I’ll be giving you a piece-by-piece of the best books under 200 pages for any taste: from fiction novels to autobiographies.
As a bonus, I’ve collected some dwarf slices of writing with less than 50 pages that can be swallowed in one bite. Let’s save them for dessert.
Fiction Books Under 200 Pages
In this section, you will find the most captivating short novels from the following genres:
- Historical fiction
- Mystery and horror
- Science fiction
Romance Books Under 200 Pages
What about following one between a serial killer who punishes the guilty and an FBI agent?
Her Vigilante is a perfect mixture of steamy erotica and romantic suspense that comes with some serious trigger warnings: depictions of death, gore, and violence; alcoholism; sexual addiction; and unprotected sex.
If you don’t mind the moral ambiguity of the hero and forbidden attractions, your copy is waiting for you here.
After you put out the fire inside (believe me, it’s not that easy after such a read), you can proceed to the next book with fewer than 200 pages.
From the writer known as CoHo by her fans, aka CoHorts.
From the Queen of BookTok with 1.4 million followers.
One of the best contemporary romance stories and YA books under 200 pages ever written.
Finding Cinderella has a vivid cinderellish start. Daniel gets a crush on his Cinderella but she vanishes as abruptly as she appeared.
Later, the tale takes an unexpected turn when he gets acquainted with an extraordinary girl called Six.
You’ll be laughing, crying, and falling in love with the characters from this spin-off of Hopeless and Losing Hope.
These were the first books written by Colleen Hoover and united into a spellbinding series Hopeless. However, Finding Cinderella can be read as a standalone novel.
Fantasy Books Under 200 Pages
If you know King Arthur only from school and have never read any Arthurian stories, this book will blow up your mind. In a good sense, of course, just like it did with me.
Nicola Griffith impressed me with the power of words in her queer, feminist, and heartfelt retelling of the Arthurian mythos. It’s told from the perspective of a girl disguised as a boy (representing Percival aka Peredur).
Bursting with magic, Per wants to try out her skills and embarks on an adventurous journey to find her destiny and love.
I wouldn’t be fully satisfied with this list if it lacked the author who wrote one of my favorite romantic and bloody short stories – Harlequin Valentine (which is only 40 pages, btw).
But this story is certainly not less worthy of reading.
Gaiman lures you into the dark fantasy depths of the Ocean with crumbs of eeriness he leaves so delicately, as if not on purpose. You cower from the monsters that disturb the surface of the pages when the nightmarish, traumatic childhood clashes with the disappointing adulthood of a man.
The book won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Fantasy in 2013 and moved some of the top fantasy books on my list way down.
Historical Fiction Books Under 200 Pages
“It’s a thin line between math and mad”, as one of the Goodreads reviewers pointed out.
And it is, indeed.
Benjamín Labatut describes the scientific breakthroughs that revolutionized the world but also brought suffering and chaos, especially during WWI and WWII.
When I was reading this story, I was dismayed and overwhelmed by both the brilliance and agony that radiated from the inventions.
Some of the scientists’ names from the book are:
- Alan Turing – cryptanalyst, mathematician
- Fritz Haber – chemist
- Alexander Grothendieck – mathematician
- Werner Karl Heisenberg – physicist
- Carl Wilhelm Scheele – chemist
- Karl Schwarzschild – astronomer
Check out this story, a half-breed of fiction and nonfiction in a unique manner of the author.
After its release in 1925, The Great Gatsby made its way from a modest success, to say the least, to the Great American Novel canon.
One of the best classic books under 200 pages, it paints American society at the beginning of the twentieth century in all its nuance and frustration trying to accomplish the American Dream.
Jay Gatsby makes himself rich inspired by his love for the inaccessible woman. But is it only love that pushes him to hold glamorous parties and pretend to be a nobleman?
If you take a more careful look at the behind-the-scenes of glamor and glitz, you’ll see the hidden themes. Thought-provoking, bold, and often uncomfortable.
Throw yourself into the age of jazz and human follies.
Mystery and Horror Books Under 200 Pages
“Sleep is the cousin of death.” – Antoine Wilson
It was hard to fall asleep with the thoughts buzzing in my mind after reading this mysterious thriller and this phrase uttered by the narrator.
It all starts at the airport with the narrator meeting Jeff Cook, a fellow UCLA alumnus. Jeff shares his story of saving a man and then entering his life to see that the man wasn’t a nice guy at all and didn’t deserve to live, according to Jeff.
Then there’s a chain of events and the longest road to understanding morality in one of the shortest novels in less than 200 pages.
I would call it the strangest library and I hardly feel it needs any more introductions.
Just as you begin reading, you notice how well the game of metaphysics and symbolism is played by Haruki Murakami. The boy finds himself in a trap in the reading room where he meets other prisoners: an enigmatic girl and a Sheep Man who plan a breakout.
Almost instantly, creepiness gets under your skin with Murakami’s clinical tone, so beware and enter The Strange Library with caution.
If you like novels set in libraries, check out more of them on our list.
Sci-fi Books Under 200 Pages
Now you’re looking at the 2017 nominee for the Goodreads Choice Award in the Best Science Fiction category and the 2018 winner of Hugo, Locus, Nebula, and Alex Awards.
A robot that could have turned into a mass murderer becomes conscious instead. It calls itself Murderbot and tries to achieve full self-awareness. It all happens on a far-away planet with scientists messing with experiments…
If you have a weakness for sci-fi stories about robots, you’ll love All Systems Red. It’s the first book from The Murderbot Diaries, a 7-book series by Martha Wells. You might get addicted, just like I did, and read the whole bundle.
Can you imagine a society in which the task of firefighters is not to put out fires but to burn books?
In a world where TV screens have replaced books, Guy Montag, a firefighter, will try to hack the system.
The concept of Fahrenheit 451 was prompted by Hitler burning books in the streets of Berlin when the author was fifteen. Later, he learned about the fire in the Library of Alexandria.
This dystopian work of science fiction is one of the shortest novels written in just nine days. It also belongs to the list of compelling red-cover books that stir imagination and feelings.
Nonfiction Books Under 200 Pages
Can’t stop procrastinating?
Let’s face it – we are constantly attacked by distractions and addictions like:
- Social media
- Video games
And this list could go on and on.
Perhaps you need a dopamine detox with Thibaut Meurisse that will help you stop procrastinating and reach your goals. You’ll also discover the unpleasant truth about the feel-good or “the pleasure hormone” dopamine.
Dopamine Detox is the #1 best-seller in 90-Minute Self-Help Short Reads on Amazon and one of my favorite self-help books under 200 pages overall.
Snag the copy and try a two-day practice to keep focused on the essentials.
“I’m a Barbie girl, in the Barbie world.”
Who wouldn’t dream of living in the perfect Barbie world? Was Barbie a simple toy or a harmful symbol for kids?
Tanya Lee Stone digs deep into the controversial history and moral dilemmas of the most famous dolls with originally slim figures and blonde hair.
Other experts say Barbie was “the first feminist”.
What do you think?
Read the book to consider various opinions and see the impact of Barbie on generations.
This is a masterpiece of nonfiction by a British professor who transcended the universe Stephen Hawking and an American theoretical physicist Leonard Mlodinow.
Stephen Hawking shook the world in 1974 with his discovery that black holes aren’t black.
In 1988, he wrote A Brief History of Time which differs only by two letters from this title. Why? Because his readership asked for more simplistic explanations.
I truly enjoyed how the scientists explained the evolution of the universe, wormholes, time travel, and many more interesting concepts that concern astrophysics and space science in simple words.
Your turn – here’s the link.
Is reading dead? Are books buried under the piles of TikToks, Instagram reels, or other distractors?
In the age of distraction, you’ll rarely come across an article that teaches you how to read a book. More likely, you’ll find some tips on how to apply filters to your social media videos.
So, what’s this book under 200 words about?
Alan Jacobs proves that reading is even more than alive and shares different reading techniques and some aspects that concern how people –
- Read responsively
- Read silently
- Read on e-devices
- And more crucially, read with pleasure
What are you waiting for?
Memoirs With Less Than 200 Pages
My stomach was in pain.
My cheeks were in pain.
I laughed so hard while reading this book that it hurt.
Quite often, I also felt the warmth that filled my heart. Other times, I blushed at the autobiographical details.
After a broken relationship, 28-year-old Justin Halpern starts living with his 73-year-old unapologetically honest dad. If you wonder what it means, here are some of his quotes:
“I just want silence… Jesus, it doesn’t mean I don’t like you. It just means right now, I like silence more.”
“Your penis betrayed you, son. Made you think stupid. It won’t be the last time that happens.”
“Sometimes life leaves a hundred-dollar bill on your dresser, and you don’t realize until later it’s because it f*cked you.”
Buy the book to revel in the sarcastic comments of Halpern’s father.
This time, your heart will be in total pain…
It will be broken into pieces, especially if you’re a highly empathetic person.
I nearly cried my eyes out when I was reading this heart-wrenching, intimate memoir by Antoine Leiris, a man who lost his wife Hélène on November 13, 2015.
She became one of the 130 victims after a series of Paris attacks by the terrorist organization ISIS. It happened at Bataclan Theater where Hélène attended a concert.
Grieving and struggling with anger, Leiris finds strength and endurance to cope with his loss and give his love to his baby son. And love vanquishes hate…
You can get the book from Amazon. Let it be a reminder of courage and emotional resiliency.
Top 10 Books Under 50 Pages
Now to the shortest of the short:
- The Lottery by Shirley Jackson – dystopian fiction, horror, 30 pages
- I Lock My Door Upon Myself by Joyce Carol Oates – historical fiction, 48 pages
- Waiting on a Bright Moon by J. Y. Yang – fantasy, sci-fi, 40 pages
- Six Geese A-Laying by Sophie Kinsella – fiction, chick-lit, 32 pages
- Birthday Girl by Haruki Murakami – magical realism, fantasy, 48 pages
- The Hitman’s Weakness by Ivy Banks – paranormal, erotica, 35 pages
- Letter from the Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr. – nonfiction, history, politics, 48 pages
- Nikola Tesla: Imagination and the Man That Invented the 20th Century by Sean Patrick – nonfiction, biography, 47 pages
- Holloway by Robert Macfarlane and Dan Richards – nonfiction, travel, 48 pages
- Millionaire Kids: How Millionaires Teach Their Kids by Russell Mitchell – nonfiction, motivation & self-improvement, 39 pages
Make the most of your day with good books under 200 pages you can read in one sitting:
- Her Vigilante by Lillian Lark
- Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover
- Spear by Nicola Griffith
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
- When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamín Labatut
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Mouth to Mouth by Antoine Wilson
- The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
- All Systems Red by Martha Wells
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
- Dopamine Detox by Thibaut Meurisse
- The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie by Tanya Lee Stone
- A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow
- The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction by Alan Jacobs
- Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern
- You Will Not Have My Hate by Antoine Leiris
Don’t forget about your dessert – tiny “bites” under 50 pages.
Have you read or are you planning to read any of these stories? Do you generally prefer shorter or longer books?
Comment below so we can chat about it!