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. “
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!