Magic in 100 pages: 10 short books everyone should read

Like the harsh winter winds blowing outside, December is also swiftly passing by and I am terribly lagging behind on my reading goals for 2018. So all those people struggling like me, here I present to you a list of 10 books under 100 pages that will help you finish your reading challenges, and if not atleast close the year on a decent number!

1. The Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka
It is the story of Samsa, a travelling salesman who transforms into a gigantic insect one morning. Comic and harrowing at the same time, the book deals with alienation and disillusionment.

Average reading time: 45 minutes
Page count: 68 pages.

2. The Old Man and The Sea – Ernst Hemingway

The last novel Ernest Hemingway saw published, The Old Man and the Sea has proved itself to be one of the enduring works of American fiction winning him Nobel prize. It is the story of an old Cuban fisherman and his supreme ordeal: a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream.

Average reading time: 3 hours
Page count: 112 pages (a little longer than 100)

3. Animal Farm – George Orwell

Most of you must have read this masterpiece but just in case you haven’t. One of the most telling satiric fables ever penned –a razor-edged fairy tale for grown-ups that records the evolution from revolution against tyranny to a totalitarianism just as terrible.

Average reading time: 2 hours
Page count: 88 pages

4. The Murders in the Rue Morgue –Edgar Allen Poe
It is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe published in Graham’s Magazine in 1841. It has been recognized as the first modern detective story; Poe referred to it as one of his “tales of ratiocination”. It has inspired innumerable detective stories including Sherlock.

Average reading time: 30 minutes
Page count: 38 pages

5. The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám – Omar Khayyám
For every romantic and poetry lover out there, this book is a fantastic read. The quatrains of Omar Khayyam translated from Persian by Edard Fitzgerald over a period of three years are a delight to read.

Average reading time: 2 – 3 hours
Page count: 90 pages

6. A Thousand Mornings – poems –Mary Oliver
A goodreads choice 2012 winner, this book is a collection of poems with startling clarity and humour. The author explores the wilderness outside and within.

Average reading time: 3 hours
Page count: 96 pages

7. The House on Mango Street – Sandra Cisneros
Acclaimed by critics and loved by readers of all ages, it is the remarkable coming-of-age story of Esperanza Cordero told in the form of vignettes.

Average reading time: 90 minutes to 2 hours.
Page count: 110 pages (a little over 100)

8. The Salmon who dared to leap higher – Ahn Do-hyun
The life of the salmon is a predictable one: swimming upstream to the place of its birth to spawn, and then to die. This is the story of a salmon whose silver scales mark him out as different – who dares to leap beyond his fate. It’s a story about growing up, and about aching and ardent love. For swimming upstream means pursuing something the salmon cannot see: a dream.

Average reading time: 4-5 hours
Page count: 128 pages (a little above 100 but so worth it!)

9. The Overcoat –Nikolai Gogol
The Overcoat which is generally acknowledged as the finest of Gogol’s memorable Saint Petersburg stories, is a tale of the absurd and misplaced obsessions.

Average reading time: 30 minutes
Page count: 48 pages

10. Johnathan Livingston Seagull – Richard Bach
This is a story for people who follow their hearts and make their own rules…people who get special pleasure out of doing something well, even if only for themselves…people who know there’s more to this living than meets the eye: they’ll be right there with Jonathan, flying higher and faster than ever they dreamed.

Average reading time: 1-2 hours
Page count: 96 pages

These books may be short but the wisdom they impart, the stories they tell, the emotions they make you feel are far more profound.

Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year 2019!

Guest post by Meghal Naik