Okay let me walk you through this situation. You go to a bookstore to ambitiously pick up a 900-page fantasy novel – 2 weeks in, you’ve barely gone through 200 pages and the plot is lost on you. Sound familiar?

Working adults, especially ones with kids, will understand that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. They want a short, speedy read that can be completed over the course of a week, or even a weekend. So we’ve come up with a curated list of books that are under 200 pages for all you busy bees out there. In conjunction with International Women’s Day, we’ve picked a selection of books by beloved female authors as well as up and coming individuals.

1. A Room Of One’s Own – Virgina Woolf

Virginia Woolf needs no introduction. In her feminist essay, A Room of One’s Own, Woolf writes in a stream of consciousness style about the necessity of women having a “room” of their own – to gain independence from men and the stifling nature of society.

2. To Be Taught, If Fortunate – Becky Chambers

Sci-Fi isn’t for you, you say? Well we’re about to change your mind. At 153 pages, Chambers managed to concise an entire space exploration along with diverse characters and extensive world building. Consider this your gateway into the sci-fi, if you will.

3. Convenience Store Woman – Sayaka Murata

Japanese writers have that certain je ne sais quoi about them. Convenience Store Woman follows the journey of 38-year old Keiko, who’s been working at a convenience store since she was 18 and we see how the decisions she makes in life makes ripples in the world around her. In essence, Murata talks about not fitting into a cookie cutter society and finding the beauty in the little things.

4. Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

A classic that is known and loved by many. Shelley’s Frankestein, written in 1818, is a pioneer in science fiction and horror – it speaks of the dangers of technology and medicine in the wrong hands. Up till today, Frankestein has been adapted into various forms of media and books – a true testament of a great book.

5. Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi

If you’re more inclined to visual learning, then Persepolis would be the best fit for you. Marjane Satrapi documents her daily life from childhood to her early adult life in Iran during the Islamic Revolution through black and white comic strip images. It gives us valuable insight into adolescence set in a country that isn’t privy to the rest of the world, and how we use humour as a universal coping mechanism.

Bonus pick:

6. Homeless – Liyana Dhamirah

Much like most of the population in Singapore, we’ve probably never heard of the existence of a homeless community. Liyana Dhamirah recounts her time spent being homeless, the circumstances leading up to her situation and the incongruous nature of Singapore’s public service.

Fiction not your cup of tea? Check out PIF’s curated selection for non-fiction books here.