Life can be crazy. Whether it’s taking care of kids, work, school, or anything else that life can throw your way, finding time to sit down and read a book can be difficult. It’s even more difficult to find time for those giant books that you know will take ages to get through. If you relate to this problem, I recommend reading a novella. Novellas may be small and short, but they are mighty and can pack quite a punch. One of these top 10 novellas might just be what you need to break through your reading slump.
Top 10 Novellas for Adults
By Kelly Barnhill
A fifteen-year-old teenager is the backbone of her small Midwestern family, budgeting the household finances and raising her younger brother while her mother, a talented artist, weaves beautiful tapestries. For six years, it’s been just the three of them-her mother has brought home guests at times, but none have ever stayed. Yet when her mother brings home a six-foot tall crane with a menacing air, the girl is powerless to prevent her mom from letting the intruder into her heart, and her children’s lives. Utterly enchanted and numb to his sharp edges, her mother abandons the world around her to weave the masterpiece the crane demands.
By C.L. Polk
An exiled augur who sold her soul to save her brother’s life is offered one last job before serving an eternity in hell. When she turns it down, her client sweetens the pot by offering up the one payment she can’t resist-the chance to have a future where she grows old with the woman she loves. To succeed, she is given three days to track down the White City Vampire, Chicago’s most notorious serial killer. If she fails, only hell and heartbreak await
By T. Kingfisher
When Alex Easton, a retired soldier, receives word that their childhood friend Madeline Usher is dying, they race to the ancestral home of the Ushers in the remote countryside of Ruritania. What they find there is a nightmare of fungal growths and possessed wildlife, surrounding a dark, pulsing lake. Madeline sleepwalks and speaks in strange voices at night, and her brother Roderick is consumed with a mysterious malady of the nerves. Aided by a redoubtable British mycologist and a baffled American doctor, Alex must unravel the secret of the House of Usher before it consumes them all.
By Brandon Sanderson
Sentenced to death after attempting to steal the emperor’s scepter, Shai, a Forger, is given one chance to save her own life, using it to try to create a new soul for the nearly dead emperor.
By J. Sheridan Le Fanu
This is the text of and critical essays on the 1872 vampire tale chronicling the experiences of a young woman lured by the charms of a female vampire.
By Catherynne M. Valente
The future is blue. Endless blue… except for a few small places that float across the hot, drowned world left behind by long-gone fossil fuel-guzzlers. One of those patches is a magical place called Garbagetown. Tetley Abednego is the most beloved girl in Garbagetown, but she’s the only one who knows it. She’s the only one who knows a lot of things: that Garbagetown is the most wonderful place in the world, that it’s full of hope, that you can love someone and 66% hate them all at the same time. But Earth is a terrible mess, hope is a fragile thing, and a lot of people are very angry with her. Then Tetley discovers a new friend, a terrible secret, and more to her world than she ever expected.
By Rivers Solomon
Yetu holds the memories for her people–water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners–who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly is forgotten by everyone, save one–the historian. This demanding role has been bestowed on Yetu. Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. And so, she flees to the surface escaping the memories, the expectations, and the responsibilities–and discovers a world her people left behind long ago.
By S.L. Huang
Rosa, also known as Red Riding Hood, is done with wolves and woods. Hou Yi the Archer is tired, and knows she’s past her prime.They would both rather just be retired, but that’s not what the world has ready for them. When deadly sunbirds begin to ravage the countryside, threatening everything they’ve both grown to love, the two must join forces. Now blessed and burdened with the hindsight of middle age, they begin a quest that’s a reckoning of sacrifices made and mistakes mourned, of choices and family and the quest for immortality.
By Richard Matheson
A novella, and ten short stories, introduce us to the last man on earth; a man planning a funeral for his unsuspecting wife; and a man whose telephone rings inside his head– with calls from his dead father.
By Becky Chambers
It’s been centuries since the robots of Panga gained self-awareness and laid down their tools; centuries since they wandered, en masse, into the wilderness, never to be seen again; centuries since they faded into myth and urban legend. One day, the life of a tea monk is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honor the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of “what do people need?” is answered. But the answer to that question depends on who you ask, and how. They’re going to need to ask it a lot.
Written by Taryn P. (Circulation)