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All Books

Author:

Eva Holland

This is a fascinating and well told story about arctic exploration, using the story of a doomed Italian airship expedition as a focal point. It is a great example of the strength of the short ebook format for history: there is enough space to tell the details that really bring the story to life, but no pressure to pad the story to "book length," which would slow it down. As it is, it is an enjoyable one-evening read from which I learned a lot that I didn't know about arctic exploration. I highly recommend it!

Favorite Thing:
The story of Roald Amundsen's conviction that air travel was the future of arctic exploration.
Cover of Mussolini's Arctic Airship
Book Length:
Shorter
Part of Series:
Not part of a series
Stand Alone:
Yes
Stickiness:
Moderate
Categories:
Disclosures:
None
Author:

JY Yang

This is a story about a young woman forced into a line of work based on who she is, who has found a measure of happiness but must decide how to respond when events threaten her status quo. The characters feel real, the universe is believable, and the story will linger in your mind after you've finished it.

Favorite Thing:
The main character
Waiting on a Bright Moon book cover: Two women looking at each other in front of a moon
Book Length:
Shorter
Part of Series:
Not part of a series
Stand Alone:
Yes
Stickiness:
Moderate
Categories:
Disclosures:
None
Author:

Jordan Michael Smith

This is a good book about a fascinating and inspiring man. It looks briefly at what went wrong for Jimmy Carter in the Presidency, but the bulk of the book is about Carter's post-presidency, arguing that Carter redefined what it means (and what it should mean) to be a former President of the United States. It is also the story of a man coming back from a very public and humiliating failure and building a meaningful "second act" in life that made a real difference.

Favorite Thing:
The story about how Jimmy Carter became involved in Habitat for Humanity
Humanity book cover: a picture of Jimmy Carter
Book Length:
Shorter
Part of Series:
Not part of a series
Stand Alone:
Yes
Stickiness:
High
Categories:
Disclosures:
None
Author:

Charles Todd

This is a short mystery that is related to a longer series of mysteries by the same author, but it stands well on its own. It is set in the Scottish highlands, and the setting is like another character in this story. The setting and the main character, Hamish MacLeod, are the stars of the book, but the mystery itself is solid, too. All in all, this is an enjoyable pick if you're looking for a short mystery.

Favorite Thing:
The way the setting felt like another character in the story.
Book Length:
Shorter
Part of Series:
Short story/novella related to a series of long books
Stand Alone:
Yes
Stickiness:
Moderate
Categories:
Disclosures:
None
Author:

Yoon Ha Lee

This is an action-packed military sci-fi story. It is set in the same universe as longer books, but it stands well on its own. The main character is a special operations type military officer, sent undercover on a mission that involves an old friend. I read this book on vacation, and it was a perfect fit: good, escapist fun.

Favorite Thing:
The little details in the story... like the duck fat.
Extracurricular Activities book cover, and image of a male military office, viewed from behind.
Book Length:
Shorter
Part of Series:
Short story/novella related to a series of long books
Stand Alone:
Yes
Stickiness:
Moderate
Categories:
Disclosures:
None
Author:

Patricia G. Buddenhagen

This is a deceptively simple story about a woman whose comfortable life is disrupted when an old childhood friend builds a vacation home in the beach community where she lives. But there's more under the surface. Even the protagonist recognizes that the disruption she feels may be entirely of her own making, and both the protagonist and the maybe-antagonist are sympathetic characters. The story made me think about how far childhood can reach into adulthood, and how hard it is to feel truly comfortable in your own skin.

Favorite Thing:
The way the story puts the reader inside the protagonist's uncertainty about what is happening.
Beach Plum Jam book cover, a picture of a jar of beach plum jam.
Book Length:
Shortest
Part of Series:
Not part of a series
Stand Alone:
Yes
Stickiness:
Moderate
Disclosures:
None
Author:

Paul Vlitos

This is a fun mystery story, featuring an unconventional London private investigator who thinks he's just taken a dognapping case, but slowly discovers that it is much more than that. If you're looking for an action-packed short mystery with a bit of sardonic humor, this is a good choice. I didn't notice until after I had started reading it that it is part of a series of novellas, so if you're the type who likes to read series from the beginning, go back and find the first one. This story stands on its own, though.

Favorite Thing:
The bit of humor in how the story is told
The Scarlet Ceremony book cover
Book Length:
Short
Part of Series:
Part of a series of short stories/novellas
Stand Alone:
Yes
Stickiness:
Low
Categories:
Disclosures:
None
Author:

Vandana Singh

This novella has a really original and fascinating premise, in which mathematics can be explored in a quasi-physical state. The universe it builds is one I'd love to revisit, but this story stands on its own and feels complete. The theme about leaving home and whether you can ever really return is explored in a thought-provoking but not heavy-handed way. But the real strength of this novella is the writing, which pulls you along through the story and the necessary world-building detours so expertly that it feels like a leisurely read, and yet I couldn't put it down. In short, this is a great sci-fi novella that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

Favorite Thing:
The unique premise and how well it was explored
Distances book cover (a representation of the space described by a mathematical function)
Book Length:
Short
Part of Series:
Not part of a series
Stand Alone:
Yes
Stickiness:
High
Categories:
Disclosures:
None
Author:

Su-Yee Lin

This interesting short story is about a worker in a factory in China, who doesn't know what the factory is making and doesn't really care, until things start getting weird. It is an enjoyable and quick read. I would have liked a little more from the ending, but even so, the story planted some things to think about. This is a good pick for you if you like magical realism and are looking for a diverting short story.

Favorite Thing:
The hint that the factory was somehow selecting the right type of workers.
Dream Machine book cover
Book Length:
Shortest
Part of Series:
Not part of a series
Stand Alone:
Yes
Stickiness:
Moderate
Disclosures:
None
Author:

Mona Simpson

This is an interesting short story about a past-her-prime actress who is contacted by the family of her former stepfather. He is dying, and wants to see her. The story follows her response, and the emotions and memories it stirs up. It is a really well-written story. When I finished it, I first wished it would have resolved a few more things, but as it "settled" in my mind, I think that perhaps leaving those things unresolved was central to what it says about family and what we can expect from them.

Favorite Thing:
The last part of the story (I don't want to say more, because I don't want to spoil it!)
Book cover for Steps: text with some small graphic elements
Book Length:
Shortest
Part of Series:
Not part of a series
Stand Alone:
Yes
Stickiness:
Moderate
Disclosures:
None

Pages