Motherbooker’s Recommendations: 5 Great Quick Reads


This would typically be the time that I post a book review but, unfortunately, I was never going to finish a book for today. I’m so used to reading shorter books at the moment that I completely underestimated the time it would take to read a 300+ page book. When it comes to books, size doesn’t matter. Some of the best books that I’ve read recently have been around 200 pages. I know in certain parts of the bookish community, there is something competitive about book size. To some people, if you’re not reading long books then you aren’t doing it right. Me? I’ll do whatever it takes to get enough books read in a week. With a full-time job and other committments, shorter books are the best way to do that. Of course, this means that I’ve got quite an arsenal of quick reads ready to recommend.


Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Paperback page count: 213

This is one of those books that people will either love or hate. The novel has been adapted from a critically acclaimed play, so it has a very strange feel to it. Something that I really loved. The premise of the novel is simple: who would you visit if you could go back in time? The story is set in a strange little coffee shop that has magical properties. Customers can go through a ritual that will send them through time to visit somebody they love. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is going to be an example of Japanese science-fiction. It’s not. This is a book that is interested in people and relationships and I think it’s great.


Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruk

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Paperback page count: 192

This book was not at all what I expected it to be but it was so good. It’s not got a lot going on in terms of plot but it does draw you in. It isn’t exactly a love story but it shows two people reaching out to each other. Addie Moore and Louis Waters are both widowers with grown-up children when they begin spending the night together. Their relationship starts off fairly innocently as two lonely being looking for a body to sleep next to. Things get more complicated when Addie’s grandson turns up. The couple turn their attentions to give the young boy a great time while adjusting to his parents divorce. This book might sound dull but the writing elevates it to new levels. It’s a beautiful and simple tale of life.


Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Paperback page count: 176

This is a difficult book to describe but it is one that I am utterly obsessed with. The novel is split into four main parts that document the personal history of Kim Jiyoung, a 33-year-old mother who has been suffering from mental health issues. She has started to take on other people’s personalities and nobody can explain why. The majority of the novel lets us into her sessions with a psychiatrist. It is also accompanied by facts and statistics about life in Korea. This is a fairly clinical and cold account of one woman’s struggles in a society that doesn’t favour women. It’s thought provoking and really interesting. Not the happiest of reads but one you won’t forget in a hurry.


Animal Farm by George Orwell

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Paperback page count: 102

Okay, I don’t really have to explain this one. Orwell is a genius and Animal Farm is a classic. I don’t even know why I’m bothering to recommend it. Except that I do. I think Animal Farm is so often overlooked in favour of 1984 and that is criminal. This novella is kind of perfect. Unlike it’s sibling, this book gets right to the point and doesn’t waste time on quoting fictional books. It still serves as the perfect allegory and is as relevant today as it ever was. If you haven’t read this in a while then it’s definitely worth it.


If Cats Disappeared from the World by Genki Kawamura

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Paperback page count: 202

As well as having a title that you can’t ignore, this book poses a great question to the reader. What would you give up for one more day of life? After being diagnosed with terminal cancer, that is the exact scenario that is put to the unnamed narrator of the story. He is visited by the Devil who promises him an extra 24-hours. The only catch is, he has to get rid of something in exchange. At first, it seems like an obvious choice but the dying man suddenly realises the consequences are much bigger than he first thought. How long can he continue to put off his death? This is a cute and charming tale and isn’t as morbid as you’d expect. This is a story about life, love, family, and our longevity. This is a slow and steady exploration of humanity and existence. It’s a stream of consciousness novel that delves into the past and raises as many questions as it attempts to answer.

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