Best Books Under 300 Pages

This post was initially inspired by lists made by Boston and Cece! Later I realized that with the pandemic, some people won’t be able to focus on longer books, so I knew I had to make a post listing my favorite short books.

These are all novellas or books or short stories. No graphic novels or poetry for this one, because those you can nearly always read quickly.

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Let’s get the first obvious one out of the way. The Wayward Chidlren’s series is an adult portal fantasy novella series that is so imaginative and wonderful. The first one is also a murder mystery, so that’s even better in terms of a quick read.

It is also extremely queer.

The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember

This is a f/f Little Mermaid retelling set in the Viking era. It’s more of a slow-burn romance, with more focus placed on the mermaid, Ersel, trying to figure out what’s going on in her mermaid society.

TW for Discussions of infertility (this aspect is #ownvoices), off-page sexual assault, and a nonbinary character as a villain

The Deep by Rivers Solomon

This is a truly imaginative and emotional novella, considering the idea of “what if those pregnant Africans who were pushed or jumped off of slave ships, what if their descendants became mermaids?” It’s all about shared history and remembering vs forgetting the past. It is also very queer as the sex and gender of the mermaids are fluid and a character is described as demi, even if the word is never used.

I can’t stop screaming about this book. I definitely read it too quick the first time, so I definitely plan on rereading it.

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

This is super queer and nerdy! It’s a love-letter to conventions and nerdy things and friendship. It’s light-hearted, and lovely.

There are two points of view, one from a Chinese-American bi woman, and one from an autistic woman. They both have their separate love stories, f/f and m/f respectively, both equally lovely.

This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone

Another book community fave, this one is more recent. It’s so gorgeous, the only reason it’ll take you a while to read this book just over 200 pages is you’ll be rereading lines until they stay in your heart.

It’s also f/f in such interesting and imaginative worlds. Absolutely a modern classic.

No Man of Woman Born by Ana Mardoll

Ok, this is kind of cheating because it’s an anthology, but I’ve now made it my mission to get more people to read this book. It’s all about trans people breaking prophecies; binary trans people, non-binary trans people, trans people using neo-pronouns, trans people using they/them pronouns, you get the idea.

Every story was either 4 or 5 stars, which is a rarity for me!

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

This is a book about coming of age and grief. Marin is dealing with the aftermath of an event as she enters her first year of college and is coming to terms how soon she’s going to speak with someone from her old life for the first time in months.

I remember reading this book in one day and nearly crying.

Possibilities by Nicole Field

This novella is a non-sexual BSDM relationship with a genderfluid main character and it was just, really good. I don’t mention it enough, but I do recommend it. It’s just so different than your normal fantasy novella.

It’s no longer available on Amazon, but it is available on the author’s gumroad. Other books by the author are also on there, but of the books I’ve read of the author’s works, this is my favorite.

Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron

I don’t hear nearly enough about this one, it’s very good. Angels have been falling to Earth for a couple of years, but they always land dead, until Jaya, who is tired of the angels, finds on who’s alive. I remember describing this as kind of a direct-to-video type of plot. It’s a bit formulaeic, but the world-building and characters make up for it.

the main character, Jaya, is biracial (white and Sri Lankan) and sapphic and Allie, is bisexual (said on page) and has cystic fibrosis.

To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

Do you want to be sucked into a world in a short amount of time and have an ending that’ll have you lingering on it for a couple hours so you’re not focusing on the world? This is your book.

Four people are traveling to distant worlds to explore. It’s a very quiet book in that way, with very little conflict until the very end. Until then, it’s about exploration and the wonder of discovery.

Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno

And finally, the book that took me by surprise and took my entire heart. Summer of Salt is about a magic family living on a tiny island who’s entire economy is based on the tourism in the summer season thanks to one magnificent bird. When the bird goes missing, Georgina, a member of the magical family, must look for it.

This had such beautiful imagery, a cheesy yet wonderful f/f romance, and laugh-out-loud lines.

TW for rape and rape culture discussions

What are your favorite short reads? I have so many on my TBR!

2 thoughts on “Best Books Under 300 Pages

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