The student news site of Terra Linda High School.

The Voice

The Voice

The student news site of Terra Linda High School.

The Voice

The student news site of Terra Linda High School.

Quick Reads to Start Your Reading Resolution


2023 is coming to a close, ushering in a new year and the opportunity to set new goals for yourself. Reading is a topic that comes up on many people’s lists of resolutions but often isn’t followed through with. Some hope to reach a certain number of books by the end of the year, while others simply wish to get into the habit of reading more. Whatever your objective may be, it’s always valuable to have a starting point. In this case, that starting place takes the form of a collection of books that are quick and easy to get through. From literary nonfiction to art-filled fantasy, there’s an option available in this list for all kinds of readers to fill a variety of preferences.  

Tuesdays with Morrie is a heartfelt memoir by Mitch Albom. It teaches life lessons from an old man to a young man. The novel is a mere 192 pages; however, as TL junior Isobel Ganguly states, “it has such a beautiful take on life. It’s such an out-of-world experience to read it because it’s about a wholesome old guy.” Tuesdays with Morrie is also an extremely fast-paced novel. Ganguly explains that she finished it within a day and that “it was a very easy read, and the language wasn’t overcomplicated; it was very well-paced.” making it an excellent choice for those who enjoy a nice, easy read. The book follows Albom as he reconnects with his former college professor, Morrie Schwartz. In Schwarz’s final stage of life, he teaches Albom his final lesson, the lesson of how to live. Ganguly affirms that this would be a good book to launch your reading resolution; she herself has set a reading goal: “I think because of junior year, I’m going to be less ambitious and try to just do 40. I’m hoping I’ll catch up over the summer, and that’ll bump it up.” While it is a high goal, she advocates for maintaining an open mind: “I’m not gonna try to rush myself; I’m just going to have fun with reading, like it’s not a competition. Sometimes it feels like you want to get all those books you can, but I’m just gonna take my time and enjoy the book I’m reading.”

With shapeshifting sidekicks, morally gray characters, and a story that challenges the traditional idea of good vs. evil, Nimona by ND. Stevenson is a fantasy graphic novel that includes all of these aspects and more. It follows Nimona, a young shapeshifter, who teams up with supervillain Ballister Blackheart on a mission to expose the corruption of their kingdom’s leaders. Events escalate as Nimona’s dark past begins to be revealed, and no one is who they seem to be. TL junior Emma Onstott praised this novel for its “cute art styles, representation, and good world-building.” It is a quick read full of adventures that won’t take a long time to get through. “My advice for new readers is to start with short books that interest you and set a specific number of pages or minutes to read every day,” Onstott said. Starting small and being consistent can help build habits, and if you enjoy fantasy, this book would be a great place to begin implementing this!

The graphic novel Heartstopper by Alice Oseman is brimming with detailed art and heartfelt stories, which makes it a great start to any reading goal. It is just under 300 pages, and, being a graphic novel and full of pictures, it is not as difficult to become engaged with compared to other text-heavy novels. It is a coming-of-age story about teen Charlie Spring, who becomes friends with his classmate Nick Nelson when they are placed next to each other in class. As they grapple with their growing feelings for one another, they must also navigate the tribulations of love, friendship, and sexuality. Terra Linda freshman Abby Lauster sums up the book by saying, “The book is lighthearted and fun but also tackles harder topics in a respectful way. The romance in the book is absolutely adorable and always brings me joy.” Lauster, who hopes to reach her reading goal of 50 books in 2024, asserts that this is definitely a book they would recommend to others due to its quick pace and relatable characters. Lauster concludes with, “The book is also difficult to put down because every single time that you do, you just want to get back to reading about these characters.”

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi is a Japanese novel translated into English. The novel is written in the style of short stories interconnected in a time-travel coffee shop in Tokyo. It follows a plethora of characters who find peace through their experiences. Goodreads user Kate Pfeil reviews it, stating the writing is “absolutely beautifully simply written, incredibly unique especially on such an overused idea like time travel” Pfeil goes on to explain how it is “absolutely tragic” yet also “incredibly happy” especially while dealing with heavy topics, finishing off by calling it “one of the few books I can call inspiring” The book is a short 272 pages, yet it holds such power to move people. It’s a great way to start off your reading season, and if you just can’t get enough of the writing or storylines, there are several others in the series.

For lovers of cozy graphics and stories that feel like a warm blanket, The Tea Dragon Society by K. O’Neill is a whimsical graphic novel as well as a fantasy. Young Greta is the protagonist, a blacksmith-in-training who becomes enraptured with the craft of caring for the young tea dragons, who have the ability to produce magical tea. As Greta learns to take care of them, she makes many new friends and explores a whole new world. TL junior Emma Onstott says this novel is “definitely [her] favorite book” and rates it a full 5 out of 5 stars. It is definitely a quick read with less than 100 pages, and Onstott says she was able to finish it in under half an hour, which makes it an unchallenging way to start getting into a reading habit.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig is a novel about Nora Seed as she navigates through her life from life to death through the Midnight Library. TL Head Librarian Kendra Rose explains, “It’s a great book to read with a friend or a book club. I think it lends itself well to discussions about life and the choices we make. It makes you think about how you got here and where you might be going.” The book has a total of 304 pages and is relatively fast-paced while also being easy to understand, making it a good choice to start your reading goal with. However, it isn’t necessary to set a certain number of books either. Rose states, “I don’t like to set reading goals; they are too specific for me. My general goal all the time is just to read more. I will say, though, that this year I would like to read more physical books since lately I’ve mostly just been listening to audiobooks on the go.”

These books are all great ways to start off your reading year! Getting into reading can be a super good way to escape into a different reality or learn more about other types of worlds and cultures. No matter if you’re a new reader or an avid reader, shorter, fast-paced books are always easier to get into and can motivate you to continue. Happy reading!

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