Episode for July 3, 2023
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Get his new book! Great Short Books: A Year of Reading―Briefly
A delightful, entertaining guide to some of the best short novels of all time from a bestselling historian, author, and lifelong reader.
Fall back into the joys of literature with an extraordinary book for book lovers: a compulsively readable, deeply engaging list of great short novels. A journey into short fiction designed with our contemporary attention spans in mind, Great Short Books suggests fifty-eight excellent short novels, all easily readable in a week or less—a “baker’s dozen” approach to a fun, fascinating year of reading.
From hard-boiled fiction to magical realism, the 18th century to the present day, Great Short Books spans genres, cultures, countries, and time to present an enchanting and diverse selection of acclaimed and canonical novels. From works in translation like Yu Miri’s Tokyo Ueno Station and Marguerite Duras’s The Lover to popular, acclaimed authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Stephen King, this compilation is a celebration of classics from the historic to contemporary—plus a few bestsellers. Each entry includes the novel’s opening lines, a spoiler-free plot summary, a “why you should read it” section, and suggestions for what to read next.
Just like browsing in your favorite bookstore, this eclectic collection is a fun and practical book for any passionate reader hoping to broaden their collection—or anyone who wants to find an entertaining and effortless reentry into reading.
For 30 years, Kenneth C. Davis has proven that Americans don’t hate history — just the dull version they slept through in class. Davis’s approach is to refresh us on the subjects we should have learned in school. He does it by busting myths, setting the record straight, and making history human.