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Five super short, super satisfying books to take on vacation

August is hot. The holiday is calling. Books are too long. And yet we must read them. Or at least carry her to the beach with us so we can look in her general direction.

In the age of baggage fees and carry-on only fares, the question of what to pack has never been more thorny.

What goes into a perfect vacation? The comfortable shoes you should Clothes to walk around Madrid or ones to complete your outfit?

What is more important when it comes to personal entertainment? That top-seller that everyone is talking about, or those magazines that would so easily slip into the narrow front compartment of your suitcase that serves no purpose?

You don’t have to make a hard choice this year. These five super short books – each about 150 pages Or less — are super satisfying reads that eat up less of your baggage allowance than an extra pair of sandals.

1. Bonjour sadness by Françoise Sagan

The shortest novel on our list is Bonjour sadness, published in 1954 when Françoise Sagan was still a teenager herself. (If you find a copy longer than 100 pages, be prepared for a lengthy introductory essay.) The book is said to be about a teenager vacationing with his father and young, fashionable mistress on the French Riviera. Actually, it’s about rich people on vacation realizing that their little manipulations have consequences — which is one hell of a souvenir.

2. The Key-Lock Man by Louis L’Amour

When temperatures rise so high that reading seems almost impossible, I find genre fiction to be the way to go: driving, formulaic, predictable. If you cut out a few paragraphs or even pages, you won’t get lost. hondo is probably my favorite of Louis L’Amour westerns, but The Key-Lock Man is small enough to fit in a back pocket without sacrificing the must-haves of a true western: a gunfight, a damsel in distress, a (horse) race for your life.

3. Maigret’s mistake by Georges Siménon

Let’s keep the genre fiction going. Most of Belgian writer Georges Simenon’s detective novels, which feature his most famous invention – Parisian detective Jules Maigret – are lighter than a tube of sunscreen, but Maigret’s mistake is a particularly irresistible psychological thriller. It’s so easy to get distracted on vacation, but this novel – about a murdered woman and her missing boyfriend – is so tightly convoluted that there’s no natural place to put it down.

4. Such small hands by Andres Barbara

Admittedly, this spooky thriller about a violent cabal of orphans won’t be everyone’s idea of ​​a holiday read. But I challenge you to find a book that delivers pounds more twisted story and dark atmosphere. When a new girl arrives at the orphanage after a horrible accident, the initial playful interest turns into a nightmare. You’ll read this book in one sitting, I guarantee it.

5. Ellen Forest by Kaye Gibbons

For those who insist on something more literary for the holiday, I can suggest the debut novel by the criminally ignorant novelist Kaye Gibbons. The 1987 book is narrated by a middle-aged girl from the American South who is, yes, also an orphan trying to find a home after the death of her mother. It’s a challenging read about Ellen’s childhood, but the sentences are so razor-sharp and the world of the rural South so tangible that you’ll be done before you know it. Also, there’s a strong contender for the Literary Olympiad’s best opening sentence: “When I was little, I thought about how I could kill my father.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/short-books-holiday-b2137447.html Five super short, super satisfying books to take on vacation

JOE HERNANDEZ

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