The days are getting darker and the end of the decade is inching closer. If you’re already ahead of the game, and have read the big books of the year—Madhuri Vijay’s JCB Prize-winning The Far Field, Bernardine Evaristo’s Booker Prize-baggingGirl, Woman, Other, and Lucy Ellmann’s Ducks, Newburyport, which took home the Goldsmiths Prize this week—here are some smaller gems to finish the year with. And if you’re struggling to meet your reading goals for 2019, HuffPost India has your back—and some single-sitting books for you. Easier on the wrist, but no less stimulating, these 10 small and short books also make for friendly travel companions and fun presents.
As a bonus, and because we truly believe you will love these little books, we’ve also recommended book pairings—or what we think you should read next. Don’t say you weren’t spoilt for choice. And happy reading!
1. Exquisite Cadavers by Meena Kandasamy (Atlantic Books; 100 pages)
Palimpsest-like, playful, polemical, provocative and at its most powerful in the peripheries of its pages—Kandasamy’s latest is a response to the reactions to When I Hit You. The experience, for me, felt closest to reading JM Coetzee’s Diary of a Bad Year, which I similarly read multiple times, in multiple ways. Do you read the main narrative first, or the margins? Do you somehow read them simultaneously, or separately? Exquisite Cadavers has fun with form, fact, and fiction—a “literary hall of mirrors”—and is not unlike a choose-your-own-story-style book. Kandasamy interrogates how we read and invites new ways of reading and being read. In her preface, she says that she has embarked on an experiment—which she pulls off successfully, of course—and this positively ambitious and audacious work may just be my book of the year.
What next? In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado or The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy
2. A Month in Siena by Hisham Matar (Viking; 118 pages)
If, like me, you...