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5 Short Classics To Read in 2022

While reading a lengthy classic like Anna Karenina can be well worth it, not everyone has the time to delve into a thousand-page novel. This doesn't mean you need to give up on reading classics this year though!

1984 book poster

There are plenty of short classics that are fun and easy reads. If you're hoping to discover more classics in 2022, why not give one of these short classics a go?



1. Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan

bonjour tristesse by Francois Sagan

153 pages

This little novella was published when Sagan was just 18 years old, and became an overnight success. A bohemian coming-of-age tale, Bonjour Tristesse is told from the perspective of 17-year-old Cécile and covers a summer she spends with her widowed father and his mistress on the Côte d'Azur. Cécile thrives in the relaxed lifestyle her father provides, and becomes jealous when an outside force attempts to bring order and structure into their lives.


Pair with: Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman


2. Animal Farm by George Orwell

Animal Farm by George Orwell

112 pages

On the surface, Animal Farm seems like a simple enough tale: the animals on a farm revolt against the cruel farmer who abuses them. The farm becomes a sort of country, self-governed by the animals themselves. However, if you dig deeper, Orwell's novel transforms into a disturbing parable about what happens when you sacrifice personal freedom for greater security.


Pair with: I Who Have Never Known Men by Jacqueline Harpman



3. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

216 pages

The Sun Also Rises was Hemingway's first full-length novel and the book that put him on the map as one to watch. Considered a quintessential Lost Generation novel, The Sun Also Rises captures perfectly the post-WWI angst and disillusionment many felt. Hemingway's book follows Jake, a vet injured in the war, and Lady Brett Ashley, his love interest, as they party their way through Spain. Hemingway's passion for Spain and bullfighting really comes through in this one!


Pair with: On the Road by Jack Kerouac



4. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

165 pages

Ray Bradbury's short sci-fi novel has never been more applicable than it is now. Fahrenheit 451 is set in a future where firemen don't put out fires, they burn books. This gripping tale follows Guy, a fireman who begins to question the morality of burning books and destroying the lives of those who read them. What makes this novel even more frightening is that society has stopped reading, not because it's illegal, but because they have so many other distractions that they've lost interest in books and what they have to offer.


Pair with: 1984 by George Orwell



5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby book poster

163 pages

The Great Gatsby may be required reading in most high-school curriculums, but I'd argue you get more out of Fitzgerald's novel if you read it for pleasure as an adult. This is another quintessential Lost Generation novel, but also a literary work that defined the Jazz Age. His wife, Zelda, was referred to as the first American flapper, and Fitzgerald became known for his ability to write about the empty, often dissolute lives of the rich in the 1920s.


Pair with: Voyeur by Francesca Reece



What classics are your reading in 2022? Tell us below in the comments!

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