Top Ten Short-But-Good Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme for the list lovers among book bloggers, created and hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is “Top Ten Books to Read in a Day” and I know that Daisy at this week’s roundup post took it to mean books that keep you on edge, so much that you don’t put them down and end up reading them whole in a day. The thing is, my unputdownables are longer books, too long to be read in a day anyway. I tend to dislike shorter books… but of course there are exceptions, and when I like a shorter book that’s very high praise coming from me! So it’s to these small treasures that I dedicate this post:

My Top Ten Books That Are Beautiful Despite Their Shortness:

  1. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: I don’t think this needs any presentation, right? But if you read French, do check out the pop-up version by Gallimard, it’s just wonderful!
  2. The Drawing of the Dark by Tim Powers: this was my big discovery last year. I know it is not for everyone, but if you have even just the slightest interest for anything fantasy, go and read it now.
  3. Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino: my precious Calvino! Of course I could mention If on a Winter Night a Traveller or the Cosmicomics, but Invisible Cities succeeds in putting so much in so little a book and it seems to me that it fits this list better.
  4. Venice is a Fish by Tiziano Scarpa: born and bred in Venice, Scarpa sings his love for his hometown in tones that are lyrical and trivial at the same time. Makes you wish your own hometown was just as special, and then it makes you open your eyes and discover that it is, in its own way.
  5. The Beekeeper by Maxence Fermine: if you want to breath the air of Provence for just an hour, this is exactly what you want to look for. A minimalist book that is nevertheless full of the scents of Southern France, and of its colors, and of its magic.
  6. Pereira Maintains by Antonio Tabucchi: I knew nothing whatsoever about Portugal when I fist read Tabucchi’s masterpiece, but it still left me with a life-lasting impression — of good literature, of perfect balance, more than of Portugal itself.
  7. Fables: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham: the first volume of the series still is the best.
  8. Os Olhos de Ana Marta by Alice Vieira: the tenderness! the narrative structure! the deep Portuguese-ness! I raved about it enough here.
  9. Allegro ma non troppo by Carlo Maria Cipolla: and I don’t mean both essays but just the one that went under this title, about the role and diffusion of spices in the Medieval European economy and society. One of the funniest things I ever read.

2 comments on “Top Ten Short-But-Good Books

  1. Love The Little Prince, just love it. Haven’t read any of these but I’ll have to scope them out and put a few on my to-reads list. Thank you. : )

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