A lot of people are keen to read a variety of books but struggle to find the time, especially in busy months of the year. The other day I wrote about the different ways that you can sneak reading time into your schedule and in this post I want to introduce you to some quirky and quick reads that will give you rewarding reads and can be easily squeezed into your day.
So let me draw your attention to some recent books that I read which were around a hundred pages or less. Each of them was very different and they all had strong voices. I might never have tried them ordinarily but took a chance on each one and it definitely paid off. They all managed to impress me and get me thinking, with storylines that were fresh, intriguing and captivating. Quick reads can often be very satisfying after all.
1) The Cockroach by Ian McEwan
This story is very strange! Strange in a really good way. Quirky indeed.
The lead character has transformed from an insect into a human being and inhabited the body of the Prime Minister, which turns out to be a job that he relishes, despite the difficult political climate that he instantly inherits. The political satire is fun, with a backstabbing cabinet member and press releases whirling the spin as a brand new policy is introduced in Britain.
The law is being changed so that money moves backwards in a process called Reversalism. I had to take a moment to get my head around this as it involved money flowing in the opposite direction to normal. For instance if you had a salary of £40,000 a year then instead of getting paid that amount you would have to pay back the economy by spending the equivalent of that sum in shops. In fact, money would become obsolete and if you were caught with some you might risk arrest.
This book is exactly one hundred pages and really hooked me in straight away. I found myself flicking through the pages quickly and smirking as a I read the ironies and made parallels between the storyline and modern politics. Definitely check out this brilliant book from the author of ‘Atonement’ and ‘The Children Act’. It proves that quick reads can be clever and intriguing.
2) Lark by Anthony McGowan
With a rucksack containing sandwiches and a trusty dog by their sides, two brothers go for a day out, walking in the Yorkshire hills, wanting to take their minds off an upcoming visit to the mother who abandoned them. They are keen for an adventure, spurred on by their own dad’s recollections of walking in the hills when he was a lad.
This is a YA book but it is satisfying for any reader, with a strong storyline and a character who soon draws you into his life, making you feel nostalgic about your own youth. He looks after his brother and tries to keep his spirits up as the snowy weather causes more disruption to their journey than planned and a tragic event gets them stranded during the night.
Anthony McGowan was nominated for awards for this book. All I can say is Rightly So. This quick read is satisfying, has a good narrative timeline and really draws you in.
3) We The Animals by Justin Torres
The main character in this story recalls the highs and lows of growing up with two brothers in a troubled household in Puerto Rico. With short chapters and a variety of memories described, this book takes you on a rollercoaster ride through a life tormented by parents whose troubled marriage drove the brothers to feel unloved. They grew to rely on each other and stuck up for one another when they got into awkward situations, as they often did.
One memory about staying the night on the floor of the business that their dad was security guard for told about how, despite being pulled from pillar to post, these three boys always managed to make each other giggle and see the positives in their lives. When their dad hurt their mother, they rallied to her side and on one occasion mum packed up their things and gave them all a desperate chance to escape their dad’s wrath.
Moments of laughter are soon followed by moments of drama and complete heartbreak. This book may be short but it is a whirlwind of emotions and incredibly well written. I read it as an ebook and found it captivating.
I hope that one of these books caught your attention as all of them were hugely enjoyable in their own ways. Two of them were paperbacks that I read at home and one was an ebook that I mainly read during work breaks on my phone.
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