The Sweet & Shortlist: 3 Quick, Light Reads

Today, I’m bringing you three book recommendations that, I hope, you haven’t heard of before—or that you haven’t thought about in a long time.

  1. Forgotten Classic: A worthy book from days of yore.
  2. Backlist Gem: A book published a while ago that still deserves attention.
  3. Small But Mighty: A book recently published by a small press.

Since it’s summer, and we’re usually not in the mood for anything too heavy, I decided to keep the books on this list short and fun.

Let’s dive in!

1. FORGOTTEN CLASSIC: Tartuffe by Moliere (1664)

I’m going to break the rules right out of the gate. This is a play, not a book, but it’s hilarious and written in rhyming couplets of 12 syllables each—the whole play! The adorable little pairs just keep you rolling right through this laugh-out-loud comedy.

The plot: A husband and wife have fallen under the influence of a man named Tartuffe, who is outwardly pious but inwardly deceitful. The couple can’t see through his act, but their children sure can—and they’re determined to expose him for the hypocrite he is. But can they convince their obtuse parents?

Why read it? Because this is a work of art by one of the most talented French writers of all time. Art, not just entertainment, although, it’s entertaining, too!

2. BACKLIST GEM: Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer (2000)

This young adult novel is light and funny, but also…surprisingly emotional. Bauer, who—side note—wanted to be a comedian before becoming a writer, is genuinely funny without trying too hard. I flipped through my copy just to make sure it’s as good as I remember it, and it is.

The plot: Teenage Hope moves with her aunt from the big city to a small town, where they both get jobs waitressing at the same local diner and try to sink some roots. Before she knows it, Hope is hopelessly entangled in the lives of the quirky townsfolk.

Why read it? Because it’s comfort food, and it goes down like butter on a warm roll. Plus, your library likely has a copy, so go grab it.

3. SMALL BUT MIGHTY: Mari in the Margins by Rebecca J. Gomez (May 14, 2024)

​I reviewed this last month​, and I want to share it again because I enjoyed it so much. This is a novel in verse, so it conveys much with few words. The mountains and valleys of childhood are dear to my heart, and they’re beautifully depicted here.

The plot: Marivel is the middle child in a family of 9 kids. Whew! Even on a good day, she gets lost in the shuffle. How can she stand out in her own right? What makes her special?

Why read it? Because, admit it, you’ve been wanting to reconnect with your inner child. It’s just as emotionally resonant for adults as the intended middle-grade audience. Also, this is a fantastic portrayal of a realistic, healthy family with both parents in the picture.

Check out my picture interview with the author, ​Rebecca J. Gomez​, and get to know her on a personal level.

Now you! Share your favorite quick, light reads in the comments.

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