20 Classics Under 200 Pages
Today I wanted to share a post recommending 20 classics under 200 pages. I’m in the middle of a reading slump so short reads are my favourite right now. And as anyone who knows me or has read my previous posts will know, I love classics!
20 Classics Under 200 Pages
Animal Farm by George Orwell
This 122 page novella is an allegory of the Russian Revolution, specifically the impact of communism. It’s a political criticism, but it’s also an engrossing read. You can get a lot out of it, even if you don’t know the context.
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
A 63 page short story about the impact of postpartum depression, and the treatment of women with fragile mental health. The story focuses on a woman who recently gave birth and has been shut in the yellow wallpapered nursery by her husband after she begins to suffer from a nervous condition. It’s a very classical and hard-hitting short story.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
A well-known story about Nick Carraway as he enters the world of Jay Gatsby, an extremely wealthy man trying to win back his first love. Only 180 pages.
The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffman
This is a short Christmas read that is probably a little different from the story you probably know from the ballet or the Barbie Nutcracker film (yes, that was my introduction to this story). The book is a lot darker, but it’s still an atmospheric Christmas read and only 102 pages).
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The shortest Sherlock Holmes story is Hounds of the Baskervilles. Set in Devon, this story actually focuses a lot more on Watson than Holmes, as Holmes doesn’t feel this case is worthy of him. But it’s a solid mystery and only 112 pages long.
Ariel by Sylvia Plath
Before her untimely death by suicide, Sylvia Plath wrote a series of beautiful poems. These were published after her death, and they share her experience of womanhood and depression.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Would it be a list of short classics if I didn’t include A Christmas Carol? This beloved Christmas story is only 104 pages. Need I say more?
The Pearl by John Steinbeck
If you were forced to read Of Mice and Men in school and are not sure if you like John Steinbeck’s writing then read The Pearl. It’s only 96 pages. To bastardize it, it’s a story about greed after a poor diver discovers the most beautiful pearl in existence.
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
A 72 page children’s story with the most beautiful illustrations. There is a reason these stories are classics, and why it all started with this gorgeous little book.
Daphnis and Chloe by Longus
Potentially the oldest romance in print, this 128 classic is a beautiful love story from Ancient times. Dapnis and Chloe were abandoned as children and raised separately, but close to each other. The story follows their inept romance as the mischievous Gods bring them together and keep them apart simultaneously.
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
A beloved French children’s classic at only 44 pages. Who didn’t love Madeline growing up? If you did, line up in twos and dive right in.
Only Dull People Are Brilliant at Breakfast by Oscar Wilde
A short collection of anecdotes and witticisms of the beloved playwright and author, Oscar Wilde. These are hilarious and it’s only 60 pages.
Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan
A 154 literary novella set in the heat of France, following a single father and his teenage daughter who meddles in his love with devastating consequences.
The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
A lot of people recommend We Have All Lived in the Castle but I recommend The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. It’s only 30 pages but it will stay with you forever.
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
A prequel to Jane Eyre at 176 pages. The story focuses on Mr Rochester’s first wife, Bertha, who is really called Antoinette Cosway. It breaks down the ‘mad woman in the attic’ trope in a really powerful way.
Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
A 156 page story that will never leave your heart. It’s a powerful LGBT+ love story, reviewing the impact of death and the complexities of the heart.
Passing by Nella Larsen
If you liked The Vanishing Heart then you need to read Passing which really set the bar for Britt Bennett. It’s only 141 pages and it’s very moving and will make you think.
The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen
This beloved children’s classic is your standard fairy tale morality story about two friends, one of whom is bewitched by the Snow Queen. It’s only 96 pages and really interesting, but quite dark for a children’s story.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
And another children’s classic that I personally adore, despite the religious allegory, is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It’s only 146 pages and so magical.
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
This popular American young adult novel is a hard-hitting, memorable story that I whipped through. It’s so special and I highly recommend it. The story follows a teenage gang, all of whom are like brothers and though they make mistakes are incredibly lovable. It’s only 192 pages and you’ll fly through it.
Which of the above have you read? And which classics under 200 pages would you recommend? Let me know in the comments below.