Summer Shorts: 10 Novellas Perfect for Literary Lounging

Sometimes when the weather is warm and the sun is shining, the last thing we want is to weigh ourselves down with a huge heavy novel, but instead yearn for a slim, compact novella that still packs a punch. After all, in the summer months, we like to be ready to head to the beach at any moment, and there’s nothing better than slipping a 150-pager into a back pocket and devouring it on a towel. Lucky for us, Shelf Unbound, a free digital magazine featuring the best of small press and independent books, has put together a wonderful list of indie novellas — their descriptions as gleefully brief as they are — and allowed us to reprint it here. Click through to get a few great ideas for slim summer reads courtesy of Margaret Brown and Marc Schuster at Shelf Unbound, and then be sure to check out the rest of the most recent issue here — and while you’re at it, you may just want to sign up for a free subscription. Enjoy!

Breakfast at the Hotel Déjà Vu, Paul Torday

Length: 100 pages

Summary: Former MP Bobby Clarke, career ruined by a financial scandal, retires to a Mediterranean hotel to recuperate from a serious illness and write his memoirs.

Author: Paul Torday is the author of the bestseller Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, recently adapted as a movie starring Ewan McGregor.

First lines: “The view from the window of his hotel room was just as he had hoped it would be. Twenty feet below Bobby’s window was the decking of a sun terrace. Faded white umbrellas sheltered sets of wooden chairs and round tables. He opened the window and leaned out to obtain a better view.”

Our Twitter-length review: Paul Torday unfolds a full-blown story, complete with philosophical meanderings, in a novella that has turned us into fans of his style.