2019 Reading Challenge: A Book You Can Read In One Sitting

In 2019, OPL invites patrons to take part in the reading challenge! Each month, OPL will highlight a theme and offer suggestions for titles to read or listen to. As you’re working through the challenge, feel free to tag @omahalibrary on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to let us know which read you picked up this month!

When you’re getting back to reading after a slump, getting to the end of a 400+ page book can feel daunting, which is why February's reading challenge is to read "A Book You Can Read In One Sitting".

Whether you’ve just finished a long, challenging read, or haven’t picked anything up in months (or years!), an excellent way to get back to books is to pick up a novella. Personally, I love a 200-page read as a sort of palate cleanser between longer books, or as a low-commitment dive into a genre I don’t usually read. Whatever you’re looking to get out of this month’s challenge, I’m sure there is a one-sitting read that’s perfect for you.

There are a few popular authors who have short works that provide a great introduction to their writing to see if you’d enjoy more, like "Fox 8" by George Saunders (author of “Lincoln in the Bardo”), "Between the World and Meby Ta-Nehisi Coates, "The Strange Libraryby cult-classic writer Haruki Murakami, or "Dear Ijeawele, Or, A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

For horror, try "The Visible Filth" by Nathan Ballingrud, "Hammers on Bone" by Cassandra Khaw, "Northwood" by Maryse Meijer or "The Atrocities" by Jeremy C. Shipp. If you’re not ready for true horror, "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" by Neil Gaiman is dark fantasy and could be a nice fit.

To try some science fiction, pick up "All Systems Red" by Martha Wells, "The Warrior Within" by Angus McIntyre, "Binti" by Nnedi Okorafor, or "The Expert System’s Brother" by Adrian Tchaikovsky.

New-to-romance readers might like "The Thrill of You" by Celeste Norfleet, "One Snowy Night" by Jill Shalvis, "Protected by Love" by Jennifer Ryan, or "Crystal Clear" by Beverly Jenkins. Romance writers frequently publish works in anthologies as well, like "Daughters of a Nation: A Black Suffragette Historical Romance Anthology," "The Farmers’ Bride Collection" and "The Cost of Betrayal: Three Romantic Suspense Novellas."

There are a lot of exciting fantasy novellas, including Catherynne M. Valente’s retelling of Snow White as a western, "Six-gun Snow White,"River of Teeth" by Sarah Gailey, "Rock Manning Goes for Broke" by Charlie Anders, or "Every Heart a Doorway" by Seanan McGuire.

If you want to delve into short nonfiction, "The White Darkness" by David Grann, "I'm Just a Person" by comedian Tig Notaro, "The Case for a Maximum Wage" by Sam Pizzigati and "In Conclusion, Don't Worry About It" by Lauren Graham are good fits.

Should none of these titles stand out to you, OPL staffers also recommend "The Atlas of Reds and Blues: A Novel" by Devi S. Laskar, "The Emissary" by Yōko Tawada, and "Ok, Mr. Field" by Katharine Kilalea.

Best of luck with this month’s challenge, readers!