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Short books to read

Short books to read
There is something immensely satisfying about picking up a book and finishing it in a single day. I haven’t had those days in a really long time which is why I have been perusing my bookshelves, looking for short reads that I have enjoyed in the past. Perhaps picking up a book I’ve enjoyed in the past and reading it in a single sitting will give my currently sluggish reading life the boost it needs. Here are my top three picks. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros This modern classic, about a Latina girl growing up in Chicago, has been translated and has been a part of many syllabi all over the world. Written in 1984, it has been banned time and again. Written in short bursts, with small chapters, some of which are barely a page long, this little book has sold millions of copies. Loosely based on the author’s own experience, The House on Mango Street is the story of Esperanza Cordero, a 12-year-old Chicana girl growing up in the Hispanic quarter of Chicago. The story explores what it’s like belonging to a low economic class family and living in a patriarchal community besides also dealing with elements of class, race, identity, gender, and sexuality.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

If you haven’t read The Little Prince, you’re in for a treat. And if you have, then I suggest you pick up the slim volume again because it hits a little differently every time you read it. It’s considered one of the best children’s books ever written but I believe adults could do with the wisdom as well. The book also has watercolor illustrations, done by the author, that make the story charming and tender. The Little Prince is essentially a philosophical tale about a little boy who decides to leave home to see what the world has to offer. Traveling through neighboring asteroids (before finally landing on Earth), he comes across strange people all of whom teach him valuable lessons. It’s a poignant story about the importance of having a child-like enthusiasm for life. The Awakening by Kate Chopin Kate Chopin wrote two books in her life. The first is forgotten and the second is a classic. When The Awakening was first published in the late 1800s, it was condemned as it was a story about a woman who was trapped in a loveless marriage and went on to have an affair. But this feminist novel of identity has a social relevance that is difficult to overlook. What does it mean to be a woman and how far are we willing to go for others, especially in a society where our very existence seems to be in relation to men? You might breeze through this short book but the message and emotions it stirs up will consume you. The protagonist, Edna Pontellier, is a formidable heroine who knows what she wants and doesn’t settle for anything less. She is perhaps the woman we should all learn to be.