Who said big does it better? With tiny but skillful you’ll reach heaven! Top 5 books under 300 pages

Hi dear friends,

Keep the kids away today as Top 5 Tuesday hosted by Shanah @bionicbookworm  won’t maybe stay PG rated! 😀  Topic of the day: top reads under 300 pages. And as I am tired my brain just launched on its “no filter” usual. It had me thinking about ….size!

Who said the bigger the better?

Big can be scary you know! All these pounds of pages trying to fit into your narrow and delicate shelf!  It will sure break something. You’ll be traumatized by that first time, afraid of trying another mammoth story, staying monobookish forever.

Soon you’ll dream of small stories. You will regret having missed the opportunity to enjoy lots of small works, quelching your curiosity and experiencing reads to the fullest.

And let’s not forget that often big books can be lazy, filled with empty chapters, relying on their size to do all the work with no finesse and leaving you unsatisfied. Tiny books are so used to be overlooked for their more endowed colleagues that they just HAVE to compensate! They must pack lots of skills to keep it going all along, ensnaring you, launching you higher and higher to reach reader’s extasy ending on an explosive finale.

 

By now I am sure that you are either blushing, either laughing, either convinced to never come back to that shocking blog and calling to have it shut down!

 

If by any miracle you are still reading and want to know some of the most enjoyable books under 300 pages, let’s stop the foreplay and go to third base.

My top today will be …more than five (how surprising I know!)

My “best of the bests” book: Making Faces by Amy Harmon

Amy Harmon has just a magic touch with words. With a few well thaught sentences she delivers pearls of wisdom and sensitivity. I filled nearly two pages with her quotes and sentences so beautiful I wanted to keep them and meditate them each day.

Though, this is not a love story. This is THE STORY of LOVE, its multiple faces and its miracles.
It can be the love of a friend to rely on, the unwavering love of a brotherhood or the powerful love of parents for their special child. It can also be the intense love of a lover.
That’s love who makes us really see. See with our heart and not with our eyes. See the true beauty in the outward ugliness.
Bailey may be disabled but he was a special person because of his love and courage, quote:”because life has sculpted him in something amazing”. As Ambrose said “Bailey thaught those he loved to love, put things in perspective, to live for the present, to say I love you often and mean it”. And this is a big lesson, so true but often forgotten except when ordeals knock at our door.

 

Love My Way by Kate Sterritt (Adult contemporary)

It’s a character driven story with a stunning plot. Kate Sterrit took a huge risk with this one.
When I told her I nearly DNF (because you bet that I reached for her as soon as I finished!) she told me that she knew the risks but she had to write the story “her way”.

So go into this story “my way”: blind and trusting.

 

The Silver Cage by Anonymous (LGBTQ and phenomenal)

This story is about being trapped by your beliefs and upbringing.
It’s about wearing a mask your own life. Feeling like wearing clothes you outgrew decades ago.
It’s about the fear of being rejected would people really get to know you.
About guilt. So much guilt it nearly drives you insane.
About redemption that you crave but believe you don’t deserve
… and would probably never come.

It’s a powerful and tragic story. Filled with incredible amounts of suffering. Yet it’s written in such fashion that it feels just real. Not overdone. Not exaggerated.

 

Stolen by Lucy Christopher (YA contemporary)

”What you did to me wasn’t this brilliant thing, like you think it was. You took me away from everything –my parents, my friends, my life. You took me to the sand and the heat, the dirt and isolation. And you expected me to love you. “

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It was not my usual “man kidnap girl” read. This story has a haunting quality, thanks to the choice the author did to write the book like letters from the girl to her captor.

”But what else can I do, other than to plead with you like this? Other than to write down my story, our story, to show you what you’ve done… to make you realize that what you did wasn’t fair, wasn’t right.”

 

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi (YA contemporary)

I finished A Very Large Expanse of Sea in one day. I devoured this book like my life depended on it.
From the very first sentences I was horrified by what Shirin had to endure every day. Just for her choice to wear a scarf around the head.
How many violences were imparted on her.
Because of the heinous actions of some she was assimilated to terrorists and treated like one.

“It didn’t matter how unaccented my English was. It didn’t matter that I told people, over and over again, that I was born here, in America, that English was my first language, that my cousins in Iran made fun of me for speaking mediocre Farsi with an American accent -it didn’t matter. Everyone assumed I was fresh off the boat from a foreign land.”

 

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch (YA contemporary with triggers)

I was hooked from the beginning. It’s a story of survival of resilience and of the deep bond of sisterhood. Emily Murdoch’s writing is down to earth, matter of fact and progressively the little clues pile up to lead us to the truth. I’ve been bluffed all right, sucked into Carey and Jenessa’s world, not wanting to stop reading for anything in the world.

”It’s easy to get angry at Mama. She often forgot about us completely-like not coming home for weeks on end, or forgetting to hug us or wash our clothes. I didn’t mind picking up the slack, because I’d have done anything for Nessa.”

 

I Have Lost my Way by Gayle Foreman (YA contemporary and my favorite by her)

I read this one on the Eurostar the day before meeting Gayle Forman at YALC London. It was a bad idea as I ended crying on the train and my teenage daughter thinking “What the Hell mom! I SO don’t know you!”

The day after, at the discussion panel about friendship in YA books Gayle was extremely pleased to learn that I cried because she is an evil woman! Or rather because she loves crying while writing and think a day without crying is a lost day.

 

Birthday by Meredith Russo

This book hit me hard.

I am someone who will empathize with the character, live his life, suffer with him if the author does it right.

Well it is to believed that Meredith Russo is extremely gifted as I walked in Morgan shoes all along, crying inside, raging against the unfairness of the situation.

I read it till the wee hours of the morning and ended up with puffy eyes, a congested nose and not one tissue left, thankful for being more educated and aware of some transgender ordeals and sufferings.

As Carmyn Garrett author of Full Disclosure said: “I couldn’t put this book down. Birthday broke my heart and made me tear up, but it was also so triumphant. This book will save lives.”

 

These are my top books but do tell me what are your tiny but powerful reads?

Thanks for reading!

Sophie

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22 Replies to “Who said big does it better? With tiny but skillful you’ll reach heaven! Top 5 books under 300 pages”

  1. Ah, i know some “elitist” book people who wouldn’t touch a book that is under 400 pages. Not sure where that page count comes to be fair, it just seems sort of random. 😀
    I like to mix up long books with short ones, or if i’m interested in a book, it being short won’t stop me.

    That book, Love My Way… last summer i was going nuts, cuz i remembered seeing a book with a woman & lot of hair on the cover, but couldn’t find it (didn’t remember the title). Took me a week to come to the conclusion it was this book. And then i wondered why was i looking for it, cuz it didn’t sound like my sort of book. I think i will consider it tho, cuz you made me really curious 😀

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Norrie you reading romance??? But Love My way is very surprising and nothing is as it seems so yes that should be right up your alley!

      1. I read 2 this year that was under “romance”… one was more like a funny detective story tho, the other, i dunno. Contemporary with some mystery, and people happened to fall in love? So yea, i think those actually work for me 😀
        Now i’m even more curious about Love My Way!

  2. As we all know, Sophie, some of the best things come in small sizes. And trust you to get us all sweaty over size with your intro to this post! I thought you were actually going to go, well, there. Ha! Ha!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Bwahahaha not there “there” Alexandra!

  3. I haven’t read of these books Sophie but I really want to read Making Faces, and A Large Expanse Of Sea.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Raven they are just magical!

  4. Lol! Sophie I love your posts. 😉

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      I am happy to please Flora ;-))))

  5. I need to read Amy Harmon and Birthday!
    Genesis @ Whispering Chapters

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Oh yes Genesis!!

  6. Oh yeah, motion of the ocean baybee Great recommendations!

  7. Cracked me up! You never cease to surprise me:) I’m a fan of shorter stories. If done right, they pack a mean punch.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Happy to have made you laugh Laura! I think you need it these days (car + work +…)

  8. Tanya Atkinson says: Reply

    I’d forgotten what a relatively short book Making Faces was! If You Find Me was a good one. And Birthday was wonderful but broke my heart.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Tanya I had to hold the physical copy of Making faces in my hand to be sure as it’s so powerful!

  9. This has to be one of the dirtiest posts I must have read from you Sophie!!! Hahaha Love the introduction. 😀

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Weeellll Lashaan…yes! I promise to get back to PG rated but my brain just rebelled that day LOL

  10. Making Faces, GAAHHHH! I shed some serious tears reading that book. I absolutely adored I Have Lost My Way too. It was such a powerful story about connection. So good!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Once again you are my bookish sister from another mother Sam! 😉

  11. I loved Stolen even though it wasn’t quite what it was advertised as… ❤️

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      I recall your review of Stolen not so long ago Dani!!!

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