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Great short books : a year of reading--briefly

Call Number

  • 011.73 D2628 (CEN, OSH)

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First Scribner hardcover edition.

Publication Information

New York : Scribner, 2022.

Physical Description

xxiv, 416 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


Davis provides a guide to some of the best short novels of all time. The works span from the eighteenth century to the present day, covering multiple genres, cultures, and countries, and are arranged alphabetically by title. Each short (4-to-6 pages) profile includes the first lines of the work, a brief plot summery, information about the author, and Davis's opinion on why you should read the book-- and what you should read next.


  • Introduction : Notes of a common reader
  • Agostino / Animal farm : a fairy story / Another Brooklyn / The awakening / The ballad of the sad café / Big boy leaves home / Bonjour tristesse / Candide, or optimism / Charlotte's web / A clockwork orange / The country girls / Death in Venice / Dept. of speculation / The dry heart / Ethan Frome / Evil under the sun / The fifth child / The ghost writer / The great Gatsby / The hour of the star / The house on Mango Street / If Beale Street could talk / If this is a man [survival in Auschwitz] / July's people / The lathe of heaven / Lord of the flies / The lost daughter / The lover / Lucy / Maus I : a survivor's tale : my father bleeds history / Middle passage / Mrs. Dalloway / The hours / The nickel boys / No one writes to the colonel / The old man and the sea / On Chesil Beach / One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich / Oranges are not the only fruit / Pale horse, pale rider / A pale view of hills / Passing / The perfect nanny / A portrait of the artist as a young man / The postman always rings twice / The prime of Miss Jean Brodie / The red badge of courage / Rita Hayworth and Shawshank redemption / The sailor who fell from grace with the sea / The stranger / Sula / Surfacing / Their eyes were watching God / Things fall apart / Tokyo Ueno station / Waiting for the barbarians / We have always lived in the castle / Wide Sargasso sea / Afterword : What's not here
  • My favorite fifteen great short books.

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