The Turn of the Screw
This ghostly novella is chilling and suspenseful. A governess takes a new position and discovers that the spirits of past employees stalk the estate. Even more sinister, the ghosts seem to show special interest in the children she looks after, who in turn become secretive. What could they be hiding?
Told as an extended flashback, this story explores a scandal that unfolds in a small New England town. Ethan Frome gets caught in a love triangle between his sickly wife and her cousin, who arrives to help care for her. When his wife gets suspicious, Frome must suffer the consequences.
The House on Mango Street
Linked vignettes tell the story of Esperanza, a Latina girl growing up in a poor neighborhood of Chicago. Esperanza must reconcile her desire to escape to a better life with her love for her family and culture. Lyrical prose, vivid imagery, and compelling characters come together in this timeless classic.
The Outsiders 50th Anniversary Edition
S. E. Hinton
This 1960s novel follows two rival teenage gangs. Tension builds after a series of misunderstandings, and violence erupts. Written by a teenager, this edgy coming-of-age story has a palpable authenticity; the relatable characters seek to figure out their place in the world, sometimes with disastrous results.
The Sense of an Ending
A middle-aged man must reflect on his life and legacy after he receives a mysterious inheritance. Two long-lost friends from his past resurface—one from beyond the grave—disrupting his peaceful retirement. Carefully plotted, suspenseful, and surprising.
Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Gabriel García Márquez
After a young bride is returned to her family for not being a virgin on her wedding day, the family vows to exact revenge on the man who disgraced her. The murder is examined from several angles and perspectives, told in Márquez’s distinctive magical realist style.
A collection of short stories that are brilliant, precise character studies. Moore’s sharp observations of human behavior reveal the uncomfortable truths we would never say out loud. Ordinary tragedies and everyday disappointments are elevated by her careful prose, cut through with a dark sense of humor.
There’s nothing better than a short and engrossing book you can read in one sitting—you get the satisfaction of crossing a book off your list without a huge time commitment. These books have all the emotional impact, complex characters, and engaging plot lines of much longer books. Perfect for a relaxing afternoon!
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