Jessica, Preston | March 16, 2021
I am an impatient reader of nonfiction. I could read an 800-page novel and yearn for more, but when it comes to works of nonfiction I often find myself muttering aloud, “Just get to the point already.” The solution? Whenever I find myself in need of a nonfictional palate cleanser, I stick to short books. If you’re looking for interesting nonfiction you can finish in an afternoon, read on for some of my recent favourites under 100 pages:
Wisdom in Nonsense: Invaluable Lessons from My Father, by Heather O’Neill (40 pages): Fans of O’Neill’s debut novel, which was inspired by the author’s unconventional childhood, will love this short tome. Taken from a speech the author made for the Canadian Literature Centre in 2017, O’Neill’s tribute to her father is extremely moving.
We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (52 pages): Based on her 2011 TEDx Talk, celebrated author Adichie presents a compelling argument for equality in Nigeria and around the world. Describing her own experiences with the limitations of gender expectations, Adichie explains clearly and concisely why all people – not just women – benefit from feminism. Follow up with “Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions” (63 pages).
No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference, by Greta Thunberg (68 pages): This little book contains eleven speeches made by teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, including her famous speech at the 2019 World Economic Forum, “Our House Is On Fire.”
Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination, by J.K. Rowling (69 pages): In 2008, shortly after the final “Harry Potter” book was released, Rowling made the commencement address at Harvard University. Her speech, accompanied by bold illustrations, is just as hopeful and inspiring in book form.
I’m Afraid of Men, by Vivek Shraya (85 pages): In her powerful account of being a trans woman today, Canadian musician and artist Vivek Shraya describes her experiences with masculinity as a child and the misogyny and transphobia she has faced as an adult. Fans will also enjoy Shraya’s poetry collection, “Even This Page Is White.”
Do you prefer quick reads or lengthy volumes? Tell us in the comments below!