Top Ten Tuesday [18]: Flash Reads

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is about the books that I’ve read in a flash. These are books that are incredibly short but not necessarily serials.

We Should All Be Feminists
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

52 pages. Read in March 2015

 Feminism explained in a clear, concise manner. If you’ve ever struggled to explain what it is,  Adichie’s TEDx speech is a must-read. Don’t get me wrong, everyone has their own definition. But this tiny little book is the bible I adhere to.

 

 

Morphine
by Mikhail Bulgakov

64 pages. Read in December 2013

It literally took me half an hour to read this book. It’s about a doctor’s tragic love affair with depression and morphine. This is Bulgakov in his rawest, I thought. I remember reading it at a time when I was desperately clawing my way out of the deepest pits of a reading slump. It did the trick!

 

 

Ronit & Jamil
by Pamela L. Laskin

Audio, 1 hr and 29 min. Read in March 2017

I’ve been looking forward to reading this book so when it came out, I got it right away. I’m not gonna lie, I thought there was a mistake when I saw the length. I didn’t realize this book was written in verse, which is no big, except it felt incomplete and it didn’t really live up to my expectations.

 

 

You Will Not Have My Hate
by Antoine Leiris

99 pages. Read in February 2017

I don’t think anyone would soon forget the horrors of the terrorist attacks in Bataclan, Paris. When men opened fire at a concert, killing 90 people in the theater alone. One of them was Antoine’s wife. She left a husband and their son barely two years old. Three days later, he wrote this letter to her murderers. This book is sad and hopeful in equal measure.

 

 

This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life
by David Foster Wallace

138 pages. Read in March 2017

There’s never been a book more powerful than this one. David Foster Wallace’s one and only commencement speech is an eye-opener about life, compassion and how we’re programmed to think.

 

 

The Housekeeper and the Professor
by Yōko Ogawa

180 pages, Read in March 2014

If you’ve ever found Mathematics romantic, this book is written with you in mind. Admittedly, I picked up this book because of the underlying allusion to a romance in the title. Boy, was I disappointed! Still, this book was amazing. It made me appreciate Math in a whole another spectrum.

 

 

Assholes: A Theory of Donald Trump
by Aaron James

144 pages. Read in June 2016

Fuck this guy. Seriously. Fuck him. <– Real thoughts about this book and its subject. I think I’ve already made my position known about President Shit for Brains. Anyway, Aaron James philosophies on how America got here.

 

 

The Strange Library
by Haruki Murakami

96 pages. Read in 2015

Wildly imaginative. Totally crazy and absolutely out of my range as far as fiction goes. Sadly, this was my baptism of fire in the world of Murakami. And we didn’t get on well. He pulls his readers in fantastic realms that only his brilliant mind could conceive. Unfortunately, I missed the bus on this one. Still, a nice intro, if I may so myself.

 

 

The Ocean at the End of the Lane
by Neil Gaiman

178 pages. Read in 2013

Speaking of brilliantly weird books, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is another one that went over my head. A book so odd that to this day, I couldn’t describe exactly what it was about. One thing I’ve deduced from reviews of his work is that they have the overwhelming characteristics of a fairy tale anointed by the Grimm Brothers themselves.

 

 

Between the World and Me
by Ta-Nahesi Coates

154 pages. Read in 2016

I read this in December when it seems like I was angry every fucking day. Oddly enough, I felt a sense of unburdening after finishing this book for the second time literally hours after I read it the first time. I took stock of where I am and how it bad it could still be. And I hate that my perspective in life was suddenly a little better at the expense of another’s.

  • I have the Strange Library to read on my shelf and I’m glad it’s a quick read actually. Too bad this one was a bit too weird though! I really enjoyed your snapshot on these books Joy!

    • It’s a tiny book. I’m sure it’ll be a fast one for you as well. But yeah, it’s weird. But it’s a good weird. 🙂

  • I’m bookmarking this post for future reference! Love Bulgakov & Yoko Ogawa although I haven’t read these two. And the Murakami’s looks like my odd sort of read 🙂

    • Ohh I have a few Ogawas that I haven’t read. Hotel Iris is good and dirty. Lol.

  • Ohh, short books are good at times 😀 Lovely list sweetie. <3 Yay for liking these 🙂 I haven't read any of them, but curious.

  • sarabara081 @ Forever 17 Books

    I don’t even know how to flash read. lol Everything takes me days or even weeks in some cases. The Assholes book sounds interesting especially because I hate that jackass too. lol

    • These books won’t take you long to read — except maybe for that Gaiman one. That one I struggled.

  • LOL @ Asshole. I know. Off to look up We Should All Be Feminist ..

  • You Will Not Have My Hate sounds like something I’d be interested in and I remember you talking about how much you enjoyed Between the World and Me. Ronit and Jamal was one I was curious about earlier this year and then I found out it wasn’t as deep as expected 🙁

    • So disappointed with Ronit and Jamil. I bet you can go to the library and read it in one go without having to check it out. Honestly, not worth the money I spent, sadly.

  • You Will Not Have My Hate sounds heartbreaking! Very sad!

    • So sad. It was hard to see the husband struggle through their daily life without her. I cried then I hugged my husband and my kids.

  • The Strange Library intrigues me, but it might be TOO strange for me! 🙂

    • It was totally weird. I bought it because it takes place inside a library. But strange. Strange, indeed.

  • You Will Not Have My Hate looks good!

    • It is good but sad and depressing. Life affirming, though.

  • I didn’t remember that The Ocean at the End of the Lane was that short. I remember it being a big story. It was an odd story but one I enjoyed. All of the others that made your list are new to me.

  • for short reads they look really thought provoking. I saw We Should All Be Feminists, it does look good

    • Most of these are, oddly enough. A tiny little thing but very impactful.

  • We Should All Be Feminists and Between the World And Me are two of my favourites literary books ever, not to mention fantastic short reads! I’ve never heard of The Housekeeper and the Professor before, but I’m definitely going to look into it now…even though I’ve never found math romantic. 😉

    • I’ve never found Math to be romantic either, but for some strange reason, it was totally romantic here. Must be the way it was written. 🙂

  • I love Neil Gaiman but he’s been a bit of a hit and miss for me too I just feel like I’ll never get that deeper meaning he’s trying to portray. I like little reads from time to time but I think readers are used to lengthier reads and they always just feel that little bit incomplete.

    • Same here. I can never figure him out. I wanted to break through the barrier so I though reading something short of his would’ve been a great way. I still struggled, though.

  • The only one of these that I’ve heard of is The Ocean at the End of the Lane. But it sounds too strange for me. The Paris terrorist attack one sounds like it would be really sad and a tear jerker. You read a lot of books that are really different but I like that because I hear about books I would never have heard of. Interesting post!

    • I know. I like discovering other books from other readers, too! I go to Rabid Readers for my PNR fix. 🙂

  • Ronit and Jamil is that short? I wanna give it a go now!

    • Very short! It’ll probably be less than 100 pages in hardback since it’s written in verse.

  • Karen

    I think I have Gaiman’s on my Kindle. I didn’t realize it was so short!

    I also want to read Between the World and Me.

    I read fast so if a book is novella length – I can read several a day.

    Karen @For What It’s Worth

    • Then you’ll probably have no problem getting through these!

  • kindlemom1

    What a fun idea for a topic this week, I love this!

    • I thought so too! I don’t usually participate but this topic was too good to pass up!

  • ChristinaBookAddict

    All of these books are new to me. I like the sound of Assholes….ha! That would definitely be an interesting read.

    • It was. 🙂 Not ingenious in anyway because we all know why he won. Hahah

  • math…hmmmmm, eh who knows

  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane baffled and stunned me. I wasn’t sure what to feel about it and I feel that I’m missing some points. And like you, I find it difficult to describe what it’s about. Also your mere mention of Mathematics on The Housekeeper and the Professor attracts me to it. hahaha. Might have to check that out.

    • Yasss! You might enjoy that one if you like Mathematics. 🙂 I love the poignant relationship between the professor and the housekeeper and her son.