Photo credit:  Angela Tiffin

Photo credit: Angela Tiffin

The holidays are a time when we fantasize about relaxing with a good book but with all the travel, visiting family and holiday preparations we can’t always find the time.  When time is tight, humorist essays, novellas and short stories are an easy fit in a busy schedule.

1.  The Thanksgiving Visitor and A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote – These sentimental short stories about a 7 year-old orphan in rural Alabama in the 1930’s are rumored to be autobiographical.  Technically, A Christmas story comes first and then Capote continued the characters in The Thanksgiving Visitor but they can be read in any order and you can even get them in one book.

2.  The Pilgrim Hawk –  This book is not really about pilgrims or Thanksgiving but it is an engaging novella that has an American, Paris and a bird so how can you go wrong.

3.   I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai, Christina Lamb –  While technically not short but this 352 page read is just one of those books that make you thankful that you and your family live in America with the freedoms that we have.  Afterwards, instead of being comatose on the sofa after turkey, you will be fired up to do something to help the rights of young girls in oppressive cultures.

4.  Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris –  This quirky set of essays by satirist David Sedaris are easy to read when you only have a few moments.  Warning:  don’t listen to it on audio with children around like we did.  There are Santa spoilers.

5.  Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding –   While not exactly a novelette, if you loved Bridget Jones one and two you will figure out how to make time to read this third book in the series.  This time the lovable, funny Bridget is widowed (noooo!) and you guessed it, back on the dating scene as a single mom.