Quick reads: 5 short books by female authors that you can read in a day

Quick reads: 5 short books by female authors that you can read in a day

Sometimes the idea of committing to a huge book is daunting. Sometimes life gets too busy to factor in lots of dedicated reading time. And sometimes, all we’re really in the mood for is a book that is short and sweet.

From poetic prose to collections of essays to a practical career guide, we’ve recommended some small books for those seeking a quick read, or something they can knock off in a day.

And the best part? All of these short books are written by female authors, and pack in a powerful read in 200 pages or less.

Home Body by Rupi Kaur

Home Body by Rupi Kaur

Many millennial women will already be familiar with poet, performer, and artist Rupi Kaur. Her hugely successful previous works of poetry Milk and Honey and The Sun and Her Flowers have sold more than eight million copies combined and been translated into 40 different languages.

Her latest collection of poetry, Home Body, explores themes of trauma, loss, healing, friendship, productivity, and migration.

Kaur’s writing is raw, moving, and often confronting, and readers will enjoy embracing her lyrical and emotive language.

Purchase a copy of Home Body here.

Notes to Self by Emilie Pine

Notes to Self by Emilie Pine

Emilie Pine’s book of six essays Notes to Self is the perfect short read that does not skimp on substance.

The book opens with a gripping story about her alcoholic father who is suffering liver failure in an under-resourced hospital in Greece, and how Pine and her sister must begin the onerous duty of nursing him throughout his illness.

The book also explores Pine’s shame about growing up as a female, including the sexism she has faced, growing up in a single-parent household, the pain of miscarriage, and much more.

While Notes to Self reflects the deeply personal and painful experiences of Pine’s life, she shares them with such honesty and vigour that it makes this collection of stories, many of which read like a memoir, so incredibly relatable.

Purchase a copy of Notes to Self here.

Little Black Book: A Toolkit for Working Women by Otegha Uwagba

Little Black Book by Otegha Uwagba

As the title of this book suggests, it is little, but this speedy read is packed full of great career advice and is especially relevant for women working in creative roles.

Described as “the modern career guide every creative woman needs”, Little Black Book includes no-nonsense guidance from Uwagba, who speaks from experience on everything from building a successful self-made career to money management to building an impressive personal brand.

It’s a great book to dip in out of regularly, and would also make a thoughtful gift for a career-focused friend who can benefit from the nuggets of wisdom shared in this small but insightful guide.

Purchase a copy of Little Black Book here.

I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron

I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron

Even though I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron was first published in 2006, the book still holds up today thanks to the timeless and relatable themes explored.

In this book, Ephron discusses many of the aspects that affect women the world over – from lamenting about how much she hates her purse to her attempts to reclaim all the time she has spent on personal maintenance, such as getting her hair done and applying moisturiser to her skin.

Full of wit and wry humour, Ephron chronicles her life as a food-obsessed, city-dwelling woman juggling all the ridiculous challenges it throws her way.

Purchase a copy of I Feel Bad About My Neck here.

Dearly by Margaret Atwood

Dearly by Margaret Atwood

From the famed author of The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood brings us a new work of poetry to enjoy. Before she became one of the world’s most renowned novelists, Atwood was a poet and Dearly is her first collection of poetry in more than decade.

As expected, her writing is poignant, thoughtful, and wise, but also at times playful and light-hearted. This collection of poetry touches on several themes including absences, endings, ageing, retrospection, gifts, and renewals.

Dearly is a welcome and delightful offering from Atwood which both loyal fans and new readers will treasure for its insight and empathy.

Purchase a copy of Dearly here.

TELL US: Have you enjoyed any short books recently? If so, share your recommendations in the comments section below.

Sharon Green, editor

Sharon Green

Sharon Green is the founding editor of SHE DEFINED.

An experienced journalist and editor, Sharon has worked in mainstream media in Australia and the United Kingdom.

Forever in search of a publication that confronted the real issues faced by modern women, Sharon decided to create her own.