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35 Brilliant Short Books Anyone Can Find The Time To Read

35 Brilliant Short Books Anyone Can Find The Time To Read

If you lead a busy life, settling down to read a book may seem unfeasible. If you’re disappointed by this, yet keen to indulge in classic literature, you can find solace in the less demanding world of novellas.

This narrative form usually consists of around 80 to 150 pages. Despite their diminutive nature, novellas have amassed many classics. They demand far less time if you have a hectic lifestyle, enabling you to discover many brilliant new authors. The following are 35 such books anyone can find the time to read.

    The Call of the Wild

    by Jack London

    London’s tale of primitive reawakening. Buck, a domesticated dog, grows increasingly wild after he is stolen from his owner. An exhilarating read.

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      Three Tales

      by Gustave Flaubert

      Flaubert’s sublime work consists of A Simple Heart, Saint Julian the Hospitalier, and Hérodia. They deal with themes of love and loneliness.

      Print | eBook


        Different Seasons

        by Stephen King

        Four inspiring novellas from King make up Different Seasons. Two were adapted into the films Shawshank Redemption and Stand By Me.

        Print | eBook | Audiobook


          Modern Classics Outsider

          by Albert Camus

          Also known as The Stranger, Camus’s classic portrays the life of Meursault. His refusal to behave according to society’s norms causes trouble, for which he is unrepentant.

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            The Wall

            by Jean-Paul Sartre
            The Wall is a gritty account of three POWs awaiting execution. The intense thoughts and feelings they struggle with make this a disturbing classic.

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              Candide

              by Voltaire
              Young Candide refutes his tutor’s claims about the world, leading to an astute satire mocking politics, science, religion, and philosophy.

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                Animal Farm

                by George Orwell
                Orwell’s legendary polemical allegory places the Soviet Union into a farm. It’s a gripping read, and is a regular staple in literary education.

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                  The Old Man and the Sea

                  by Ernest Hemingway
                  Hemingway’s classic sees an old man take to the sea in search of a great catch. A stirring tale about adversity and the struggles of life.

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                    The Snows of Kilimanjaro

                    by Ernest Hemingway
                    Ten of Hemingway’s emotive short stories form this memorable book. It’s classic Hemingway and belongs on everyone’s book shelf.

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                      Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

                      by Philip K. Dick

                      Themes of humanity and reality run throughout as protagonist Rick Deckard hunts down humanlike replicants. The film Blade Runner is loosely based on Dick’s novella.

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                        The Catcher in the Rye

                        by J.D. Salinger
                        Notorious for unfortunate reasons, Salinger’s tale of angst-ridden Holden Caulfield has captured the attention of many teenagers.

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                          The Driver’s Seat

                          by Muriel Spark
                          Scottish writer Spark’s “metaphysical shocker.” After 16 years in a tedious job, Lise heads off on a hedonistic, self-destructive holiday.

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                            Anthem

                            by Ayn Rand
                            Rand’s striking, dystopian novel about a future world where individuality has been eliminated.

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                              Bonjour Tristesse

                              by Françoise Sagan

                              Sagan became famous overnight with Bonjour Tristesse. It follows carefree, 17-year-old Cécile as she holidays with her father, but her uneven emotional state leads to tragedy.

                              Print


                                Lord of the Flies

                                by William Golding

                                Golding’s enduring classic about school boys stranded on a desert island. Their attempts to govern themselves soon lead to anarchy.

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                                  The Awakening

                                  by Kate Chopin

                                  Published in 1899, Chopin’s short novel was ahead of its time in dealing with the topics of marital problems, adultery, and the role of women in society.

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                                    Why I Am So Wise

                                    by Friedrich Nietzsche

                                    Why I am So Wise is an insightful excerpt from Ecce Homo (Nietzsche’s last book). It’s a fascinating example of his genius.
                                    Print | eBook


                                      The Ballad of the Sad Café

                                      by Carson McCullers

                                      McCullers’s weirdly wonderful story of small-town life. It portrays a bizarre human triangle involving rampaging macho desire and female resolve.

                                      Print | eBook | Audiobook


                                        Post Office

                                        by Charles Bukowski

                                        A hilarious account of Bukowski’s time at a post office. His wild antics may not be for everyone, but it’s a fine example of Beat Generation writing.

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                                          Tristessa

                                          by Jack Kerouac

                                          Kerouac fell in love with the novella’s eponymous Mexican girl in the ’50s, and his musings on her drug addiction are very moving.

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                                            Satori In Paris

                                            by Jack Kerouac

                                            Interested in Buddhism, Kerouac headed to Paris to research his family history (satori is the experience of kenshō – “seeing one’s true nature”). Distracted, what followed was high, drunken comedy.

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                                              After the Quake

                                              by Haruki Murakami

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                                              Six stories from the famed Murakami. After the Quake considers the devastating Kobe earthquake of 1995, and how it transformed a nation.

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                                                The Sorrows of Young Werther

                                                by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

                                                Goethe’s tragic masterpiece examines a young man balancing his artistic nature with the demands of the critical world.

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                                                  Notes From the Underground

                                                  by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
                                                  One of only four novellas from the Russian great, Notes From the Underground is based around the musings of a disorderly, alienated individual

                                                  Print | eBook


                                                    One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

                                                    by Alexander Solzhenitsyn

                                                    Solzhenitsyn’s brutal account of a man in a Soviet labor camp shocked the world upon its release. Gritty, revelatory reading.

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                                                      Of Mice and Men

                                                      by John Steinbeck

                                                      Steinbeck’s classic is the moving tale of two amiable men struggling for work in the Great Depression.

                                                      Print | eBook | Audiobook


                                                        Goodbye Tsugumi

                                                        by Banana Yoshimoto

                                                        A reflective novel on strained childhood friendships in Japan. Yoshimoto uses the pen name Banana as she finds it “purposefully androgynous.”

                                                        Print


                                                          Ethan Frome

                                                          by Edith Wharton

                                                          Wharton’s novella deals with a dreary domestic situation in New England. The arrival of lively Mattie shakes up the order, with conflicting results.

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                                                            Mrs. Caliban

                                                            by Rachel Ingalls

                                                            A surreal love story by one of literature’s forgotten female writers. Here, a Californian housewife indulges in an affair with a small green monster.

                                                            Print | eBook


                                                              The Visitor

                                                              by Maeve Brennan

                                                              A poignant tale focusing on Anastasia King, who returns to her grandmother’s house but finds herself estranged from her family.

                                                              Print | eBook


                                                                Death in Venice

                                                                by Thomas Mann

                                                                Traveling writer Gustav von Aschenbach heads to Venice in search of spiritual fulfillment. He is led astray by primitive desires.

                                                                Print | eBook


                                                                  The Dead

                                                                  by James Joyce

                                                                  Irish novelist Joyce details a New Year’s Eve gathering in Dublin. An emotionally charged, brilliant account of family life unfolds.

                                                                  Print


                                                                    King Cophetua

                                                                    by Julien Gracq

                                                                    Set in the French countryside of 1917 as World War I rages, Gracq’s beautiful tale displays all the anxieties of the time.

                                                                    Print


                                                                      The Crying of Lot 49

                                                                      by Thomas Pynchon

                                                                      Pynchon’s innovative story of Oedipa Maas. She becomes snared in a global conspiracy, learning life lessons along the way.

                                                                      Print | eBook | Audiobook


                                                                        The Invention of Morel

                                                                        by Adolfo Bioy Casares

                                                                        This suspenseful tale takes in seemingly impossible romances on an enigmatic island. It’s an inspiring consideration of exploration.

                                                                        Print

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                                                                        Last Updated on January 17, 2019

                                                                        8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                                                        8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                                                        In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                                                                        Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                                                                        Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                                                                        Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                                                                        Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                                                                        The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                                                                        There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                                                                        How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                                                                        According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                                                                        Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                                                                        Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                                                                        The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                                                                        Listen carefully:

                                                                        We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                                                                        The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                                                                        Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                                                                        8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                                                                        There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                                                                        Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                                                                        1. Pray Daily

                                                                        You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                                                                        When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                                                                        Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                                                                        Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                                                                        2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                                                                        A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                                                                        By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                                                                        Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                                                                        If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                                                                        This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                                                                        How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                                                                        3. Smile Often

                                                                        Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                                                                        Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                                                                        Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                                                                        The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                                                                        4. Organize Your Working Desk

                                                                        A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                                                                        When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                                                                        Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                                                                        Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                                                                        5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                                                                        I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                                                                        Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                                                                        What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                                                                        6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                                                                        God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                                                                        I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                                                                        I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                                                                        7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                                                                        You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                                                                        How do you do that? This is my formula:

                                                                        First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                                                                        If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                                                                        If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                                                                        If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                                                                        Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                                                                        8. Go Exercise

                                                                        Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                                                                        The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                                                                        You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                                                                        12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                                                                        The Bottom Line

                                                                        It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                                                                        It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                                                                        Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                                                                        More Resources About Mindfulness

                                                                        Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                                                                        Reference

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