More books under 220 pages: a response

I read a blog post this morning that I simply had to respond to. 101 books under 220 pages by Mols. She listed some great books: some of which I've read, some of which I've heard of, and some which just sound intriguing. So, I thought I would make a blog of my own, in a similar style, listing some other books of under 220 pages.

This is of especial interest to me, since my own book of Asexual Fairy Tales comes it at 132 pages, and I'm now crowdfunding a second volume. However, I decided to limit the list below to books that don't feature my work. I hope you find lots here to enjoy!


  1. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight translated by Simon Armitage (114 pages)                    This story, first told in the late fourteenth century, is one of the most enthralling, enigmatic and beloved poems in the English language. Simon Armitage's version is meticulously responsive to the tact, sophistication and dramatic intensity of the original. It is as if, six hundred years apart, two poets set out on a journey through the same mesmeric landscape – physical, allegorical and acoustic – in the course of which the Gawain poet has finally found his true translator.
  2. Poems from The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien Hardback volume containing the well-loved poems from Tolkien's literary masterpiece The Lord of The Rings, featuring a cover illustrated by celebrated Tolkien artist Alan Lee. Featuring poems written in Tolkien's inimitable style -- each of which add to the magic, mystery and lyricism of the epic saga The Lord of The Rings. These poems can also be enjoyed as a separate entity, apart from the main body of the text , with each stanza giving an insight into the mythology and sagas of Tolkien's parallel universe of Middle-earth.
  3. A Choice of Anglo-Saxon Verse translated by Richard Hamer (207 pages) A Choice of Anglo-Saxon Verse contains the Old English texts of all the major short poems, such as The Battle of Maldon', The Dream of the Rood, The Wanderer and The Seafarer, as well as a generous representation of the many important fragments, riddles and gnomic verses that survive from the seventh to the twelfth centuries, with facing-page verse translations.
  4. Firece Fairytales by Nikita Gill (157 pages) Traditional fairytales are rife with cliches and gender stereotypes: beautiful, silent princesses; ugly, jealous, and bitter villainesses; girls who need rescuing; and men who take all the glory. But in this rousing new prose and poetry collection, Nikita Gill gives Once Upon a Time a much-needed modern makeover. Through her gorgeous reimagining of fairytale classics and spellbinding original tales, she dismantles the old-fashioned tropes that have been ingrained in our minds. In this book, gone are the docile women and male saviors. Instead, lines blur between heroes and villains. You will meet fearless princesses, a new kind of wolf lurking in the concrete jungle, and an independent Gretel who can bring down monsters on her own. 
  5. John Keats: An Anthology. English Poets Series (144 pages)                                                  A lovely, pocket-sized anthology of some of Keats' best loved poems, including "La Belle Dame Sans Merci," "The Eve of St Agnes" and "Ode to a Nightingale".   
  6. Beowulf translated by Michael Alexander (176 pages) Beowulf is the greatest surviving work of literature in Old English, unparalleled in its epic grandeur and scope. It tells the story of the heroic Beowulf and of his battles, first with the monster Grendel, who has laid waste to the great hall of the Danish king Hrothgar, then with Grendel's avenging mother, and finally with a dragon that threatens to devastate his homeland. Through its blend of myth and history, Beowulf vividly evokes a twilight world in which men and supernatural forces live side by side. And it celebrates the endurance of the human spirit in a transient world.      
  7. The Lais of Marie de France translated by Glyn S Burgess & Keith Busby (140 pages)      This is a prose translation of the lais or poems attributed to Marie de France. Little is known of her but she was probably the Abbess of the abbey at Shaftesbury in the late 12th century, illegitimate daughter of Geoffrey Plantagenet and hence the half-sister of Henry II of England. It was to a king, and probably Henry II, that she dedicated these poems of adventure and love which were retellings of stories which she had heard from Breton minstrels. She is regarded as the most talented French poet of the medieval period.
  8. Poems by Steve Turner (192 pages)                                                                                                This thematic selection of the best of the material produced by the performance poet since the mid-1970s is designed to appeal to a broad range of readers of all ages. Some of the subjects are serious, such as love and death, and some are more ephemeral, including daydreams and today's best friend, offering a wide variety of fun and reflective verse.                            
  9. The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane & Jackie Morris                                                       From Acorn to Weasel: a gorgeous, hand-illustrated, large-format spellbook celebrating the magic and wonder of the natural worldAll over the country, there are words disappearing from children's lives. Words like Dandelion, Otter, Bramble, Acorn and Lark represent the natural world of childhood, a rich landscape of discovery and imagination that is fading from children's minds.The Lost Words stands against the disappearance of wild childhood. It is a joyful celebration of the poetry of nature words and the living glory of our distinctive, British countryside. With acrostic spell-poems by peerless wordsmith Robert Macfarlane and hand-painted illustrations by Jackie Morris, this enchanting book captures the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages.           
  10. Wenceslas by Carol Ann Duffy (38 pages)                                                                            Carol Ann Duffy's wonderful Christmas poem retelling the carol of King Wenceslas, beautifully illustrated by Stuart Kolakovic. Beginning with the King’s Cook, who is preparing a sumptuous Christmas Pie, Wenceslas takes us to a medieval feast. The lords and ladies are at their places, the wine is in full flow, the musicians are playing in the gallery and the entertainment has begun. All should be perfect. But when the good King looks up from his table he sees something more than just snow, falling deep and crisp and even . . .

Short story collections & anthologies

  1. Vasilisa the Wise by Kate Forsyth & Lorena Carrington (101 pages)                                      For many young women, the only fairy-tales they know are the ones that have been retold by Walt Disney Studios. Once upon a time, these stories of magical transformation were meant for young women as they grew away from childhood and towards adulthood. They were told by their mothers and grandmothers and the wise women of the clan as they spun and wove and stirred their pots and made their potions. The heroines of these old tales set out on a difficult road of trials to discover their true destiny. And, contrary to popular opinion, marrying a prince was not the only goal. These ancient tales of wonder and adventure are about learning to be strong, brave, kind and true-hearted, and trusting in yourself to change the world for the better.
  2. The Girl Who Married a Lion by Alexander McCall Smith (174 pages)                         Alexander McCall Smith was born in what is now Zimbabwe and grew up hearing stories that so enchanted him, he passed them along to his own children. He now shares them in this jewel of a book.      
  3. Tales from the Perilous Realm by JRR Tolkien (178 pages) Enchanted by a sand-sorcerer, the toy dog Roverandom explores a world filled with strange and fabulous creatures; the fat and unheroic Farmer Giles of Ham is called upon to do battle with the dragon Chrysophylax; Hobbits, princesses, dwarves and trolls partake in the adventures of Tom Bombadil; Smith of Wootton Major journeys to the land of Faery via the magical ingredients of a giant cake; and Niggle the painter sets out to paint the perfect tree.
  4. The Wilful Princess & The Piebald Prince by Robin Hobb (157 pages)                              One of the darkest legends in the Realm of the Elderlings recounts the tale of the so-called Piebald Prince, a Witted pretender to the throne unseated by the actions of brave nobles so that the Farseer line could continue untainted. Now the truth behind the story is revealed through the account of Felicity, a low-born companion of the Princess Caution at Buckkeep.With Felicity by her side, Caution grows into a headstrong Queen-in-Waiting. But when Caution gives birth to a bastard son who shares the piebald markings of his father's horse, Felicity is the one who raises him. And as the prince comes to power, political intrigue sparks dangerous whispers about the Wit that will change the kingdom forever...   
  5. Irish Love Stories by Brendan Nolan (191 pages)                                                                These pages teem with gods and mortals and fairyfolk and even ordinary people.Were they all by some miracle of the author's imagination to appear in the same place at the same time they would be of many backgrounds, times and locations.Yet, they would all have one thing in common.They would tell how a seed of love can become a tree of life.New lovers become their own folklore.They inspire all to fall in love over again.       
  6. The Celestial Omnibus by EM Forster (150 pages)                                                              1923. English author and critic, member of Bloomsbury group and friend of Virginia Woolf who achieved fame through his novels, which include: Room with a View, Maurice, A Passage to India, and Howard's End. The Celestial Omnibus is a collection of short-stories Forster wrote during the prewar years, most of which were symbolic fantasies or fables.   
  7. The Monkey God and Other Hindu Tales by Debjani Chatterjee (84 pages)                       The three worlds of gods, humans and demons come alive in these age-old tales from Hindu mythology. The twelve stories retold here contain much of the enduring wisdom of India. 
  8. Sleep is a Beautiful Colour edited by Santino Prinzi & Meg Pokrass (164 pages)                  Now in its sixth instalment, this anthology of flash-fictions celebrates National Flash Fiction Day (UK). From taxidermy fascinators and robot lawnmowers to the bewildering things children say, each of these flashes offer perspectives on life as only these characters know it. Some of these stories will shock, others will amuse, but all will leave you wondering how intriguing life and the world around us really is.

Graphic novels

  1. Black Butler by Yana Toboso (114 pages) In the Victorian age of London The Earl of the Phantomhive house, Ciel Phantomhive, needs to get his revenge on those who had humiliated him and destroyed what he loved. Not being able to do it alone he sells his soul to a demon he names Sebastian Michaelis. Now working as his butler, Sebastian must help the Earl Phantomhive in this suspenseful, exciting, thriller manga.  
  2. Bride of the Water God by Mi-Kyung Yun (184 pages) When Soah’s impoverished, desperate village decides to sacrifice her to the Water God Habaek to end a long drought, they believe that drowning one beautiful girl will save their entire community and bring much-needed rain. Not only is Soah surprised to be rescued by the Water God — instead of killed — she never imagined she’d be a welcomed guest in Habaek’s magical kingdom, where an exciting new life awaits her! Most surprising, however, is the Water God himself... and how very different he is from the monster Soah imagined.
  3. Fushigi Yugi by Yuu Watase (197 pages) Fifteen-year-old Miaka Yuki is transported into an ancient Chinese kingdom by an old book, The Universe of the Four Gods. Following the legend in the story, Miaka becomes the Priestess of Suzaku and must find her seven Celestial Warriors before she can save the kingdom and return home.
  4. Otogi Zoshi by Narumi Seto (179 pages) For Hikaru, learning swordsmanship is far more interesting than thinking about marriage...and she won't let being the only daughter of a noble house in 10th-century Japan stand in her way! But one fateful day, Hikaru comes across a group of thieves who want revenge on her adored older brother Raikou for obliterating their village. Now Hikaru must sharpen her sword, as she is the only person who can prevent her brother's head from being served on a platter!
  5. Raven Girl by Audrey Niffenegger (80 pages) 
  6. Once there was a Postman who fell in love with a Raven. So begins the tale of a postman who encounters a fledgling raven while on the edge of his route and decides to bring her home. The unlikely couple falls in love and conceives a child — an extraordinary raven girl trapped in a human body. The raven girl feels imprisoned by her arms and legs and covets wings and the ability to fly. Betwixt and between, she reluctantly grows into a young woman, until one day she meets an unorthodox doctor who is willing to change her.


  1. Writing Ourselves by John Eames (36 pages, 48 pages, 40 pages)                                            A triptych of short booklets which offer an imaginative venture into the minds of the Brontë sisters as they contemplated the central issues of their most famous novels. The texts, though fully researched, are neigher fully biographical nor literary critical, but a unique form of creative nonfiction.                                                        
  2. Pearls of Life by Martin Lönnebo, Carolina Welin & Carolina Johnasson (89 pages)    Stranded by stormy weather on a small Greek Island, Lutheran Bishop Emeritus Martin Lonnebo created the Pearls of Life concept to guide his own prayer. He shared the idea with others and was amazed at their response and their stories of ever deepening prayer.          
  3. A Book of Prayers to Keep For Ever by Sophie Piper (96 pages)                                        Each of these books is a collection, containing the best of the traditional offerings along with some fresh choices to make these books ideal for children to browse and enjoy while they are young and to remember and turn to as they grow up. The book comes with presentation page and enough space for the recipient to add personal favourites of their own.
  4. Favourite Yorkshire Recipes by Amanda Persey (48 pages)                                        Beginning with Yorkshire Pudding, and accompanied by beautiful illustrations of Yorkshire settings, Amanda takes us through a variety of traditional recipes, both savoury and sweet.
  5. A Little Book of Afternoon Teas by Rosa Mashiter (60 pages)                                     Afternoon tea is an English tradition, a social as well as culinary occasion. A Little Book of Afternoon Teas presents an exquisite array of English afternoon tea fare, from delicate cucumber sandwiches to ice creams and heartier meals and cakes.
  6. Edible and Medicinal Wild Plants of Britain and Ireland by Robin Harford (156 pages)      Robin has spent over fifteen years experimenting and exploring the world of wild plants, uncovering how our ancestors used plants to nourish and heal themselves. This book will help you rediscover this lost heritage. Knowledge that was once common to everyone.
  7. Early Christian Writings: The Apostolic Fathers translated by Maxwell Staniforth & Andrew Louth (195 pages)                                                                                                        The writings in this volume shed a glimmer of light, in an otherwise dark period, on the emerging traditions and organizations of the infant Church. They are a selection from a group known as the Apostolic Fathers, so-called because several of the authors were most likely disciples of the Apostles themselves. Like much of the New Testament, their writings take the form of letters, and for the most part deal with practical problems of the life of the early Church, as it struggled in the face of persecution to establish itself in the Roman world. They give us a picture of Christianity still drawing on the theology and traditions of its parent religion, Judaism.  


  1. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (90 pages)                                                                                          Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti's stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach.If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself - but first she has to make it there, alive.     
  2. The Voyages of Sindbad translated by NJ Dawood (100 pages)                                      SEVEN VOYAGES.SEVEN MISSIONS.ONLY ONE MAN HAS SURVIVED THEM. A poor man meets a great sailor and asks to hear his tale. He is amazed to be told of seven journeys to foreign lands, every one ending in shipwreck. Sindbad the Sailor has grown rich from his travels, but his path to fortune has been anything but easy.
  3. The Abduction of Sita by RK Narayan (110 pages)                                                          Ravana, the Supreme Lord, has enslaved all the gods. Although he now rules the world, he cannot resist a beautiful woman. When he catches a glimpse of the princess Sita, he falls under her spell and steals her away. Her beloved husband, Rama, will do anything to get her back. With the help of the brave monkey Hanuman, he journeys across the world to find her. But the evil Ravana will not give up Sita without a fight.     
  4. The Iron Age by Arja Kajermo (118 pages)                                                                            Arja Kajermo’s debut The Iron Age is part coming-of-age novel, and part fairy-tale told from the perspective of a young girl growing up in the poverty of post-war Finland. On her family’s austere farm, the Girl learns stories and fables of the world around her – of Miina, their sleeping neighbour; that you should never turn a witch away at the door; how people get depressed if pine trees grow too close to the house; and why her father was unlucky not to have died in the war. Then, when she is little more than six years only, the family crosses from Finland to Sweden, from a familiar language to a strange one, from one unfriendly home to another. The Girl, mute but watchful, weaves a picture of her volatile father, resilient mother and strangely resourceful brothers.                
  5. Phantases by George MacDonald (212 pages)                                                                              In MacDonald's fairy tales, both those for children and (like this one) those for adults, the "fairy land" clearly represents the spiritual world, or our own world revealed in all of its depth and meaning. At times almost forthrightly allegorical, at other times richly dreamlike (and indeed having a close connection to the symbolic world of dreams), this story of a young man who finds himself on a long journey through a land of fantasy is more truly the story of the spiritual quest that is at the core of his life's work, a quest that must end with the ultimate surrender of the self.                          
  6. The Wood Beyond the World by William Morris (168 pages)                                                    "The Wood Beyond the World" was first published in 1894 and its author, William Morris is often considered one of the authors who aided in the growth of fantasy, utopian literature, and science fiction. C.S. Lewis cites William Morris as one of his favorite authors and J.R.R. Tolkein admits to being influenced greatly by Morris' fantasies. The hero of this romance is named Golden Walter, son of Bartholomew Golden, a great merchant in the town of Langton on Holm. Tired of his mundane life, Walter sets out on a sea voyage, anxious to see and learn more of the outside world, eventually winning for himself the kingdom of Stark-Wall and the love of a beautiful maiden.        
  7. The Boy With the Cuckoo-Clock Heart by Mathias Malzieu (167 pages)                    Edinburgh, 1874. On the coldest night the world has ever seen, Little Jack is born with a frozen heart and immediately undergoes a life-saving operation. But Dr Madeleine is no conventional medic and surgically implants a cuckoo-clock into his chest. Little Jack grows up different to other children: every day begins with a daily wind-up. At school he is bullied for his 'ticking', but Dr Madeleine reminds him he must resist strong emotion: anger is far too dangerous for his cuckoo-clock heart. So when the beautiful young street-singer, Miss Acacia, appears - pursued by Joe, the school bully - Jack is in danger of more than just falling in love... he is putting his life on the line.                                                     
  8. If Cats Disappeared From the World by Genki Kawamura (202 pages)                               The postman’s days are numbered. Estranged from his family, living alone with only his cat Cabbage to keep him company, he was unprepared for the doctor’s diagnosis that he has only months to live. But before he can tackle his bucket list, the Devil appears to make him an offer: In exchange for making one thing in the world disappear, our narrator will get one extra day of life. And so begins a very bizarre week…With each object that disappears the postman reflects on the life he’s lived, his joys and regrets, and the people he’s loved and lost.
  9. Through a Glass, Darkly by Jostein Gaarder (161 pages)                                                          It's almost Christmas. Cecilia lies sick in bed as her family bustle around her to make her last Christmas as special as possible. Cecilia has cancer. An angel steps through her window. So begins a spirited and engaging series of conversations between Cecelia and her angel. As the sick girl thinks about her life and prepares for her death, she changes subtly, in herself and in her relationships with her family. Jostein Gaarder is a profoundly optimistic writer, who writes about death with wisdom, compassion and an enquiring mind.       
  10. The Beauty by Aliya Whitely (112 pages)                                                                                   A dark and brutal vision of the future, this is not a tale for the faint of heart.To start: there will be love. The word was dead. Then it rose from under the earth, took form, came to us and demanded our attention. In the Valley of the Rocks, Nate is the storyteller, the voice and memory of the Group. Through the nights beyond women, William leads with youth and strength. Doctor Ben tends to their wounds in the dying days of man. Everyone has a role, even Uncle Ted, who spends so much time out in the woods. For what can man hope to achieve in a world without women? When the past is only grief how long should you hold on to it? What secrets can the forest offer to change it all?  
  11. Bridge of Sighs by Laura Morelli (17 pages)                                                                                  “My uncle the goldsmith died less than an hour ago but the Plague Doctor is already at our door…” After the bubonic plague takes his parents, ten-year-old Tonino is apprenticed to his uncle in a small goldsmith’s studio perched on a bridge. But as the Black Death reaches its hand into his uncle’s workshop, young Tonino is faced with making a choice to survive.  
  12. Twixt Firelight and Water by Juliet Marillier (71 pages)                                                            Long ago, the sorceress Lady Oonagh cast a curse over her own child. Now a druid, an ill-tempered raven and an adventurous young woman are drawn together as the time approaches for the evil magic to be undone. Fans of the Sevenwaters series will love this new episode, which fleshes out the history of druid Ciaran and his constant companion Fiacha.       
  13. Galatea by Madeline Miller (25 pages)                                                                                          In Ancient Greece, a skilled marble sculptor has been blessed by a goddess who has given his masterpiece – the most beautiful woman the town has ever seen – the gift of life. Now his wife, Galatea is expected to be obedience and humility personified, but it is not long before she learns to use her beauty as a form of manipulation. In a desperate bid by her obsessive husband to keep her under control, she is locked away under the constant supervision of doctors and nurses. But with a daughter to rescue, she is determined to break free, whatever the cost...
  14. The Restless Girls by Jessie Burton (160 pages)                                                                      For the twelve daughters of King Alberto, Queen Laurelia's death is a disaster beyond losing a mother. The king decides his daughters must be kept safe at all costs, and for the girls, those costs include their lessons, their possessions, and most importantly, their freedom. But the sisters, especially the eldest, Princess Frida, will not bend to this fate. She still has one possession her father cannot take: the power of her imagination. And so, with little but wits and ingenuity to rely on, Frida and her sisters begin their fight to be allowed to live on their own terms.The Restless Girls is a sparkling whirl of a fairy tale--one that doesn't need a prince to save the day, and instead is full of brave, resourceful, clever young women.   
  15. Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman (97 pages)                                                            The winter isn't ending. Nobody knows why. And Odd has run away from home, even though he can barely walk and has to use a crutch. Out in the forest he encounters a bear, a fox, and an eagle - three creatures with a strange story to tell. Now Odd is faced with a stranger journey than he had ever imagined. A journey to save Asgard, City of the Norse Gods, from the Frost Giants who have invaded it. It's going to take a very special kind of boy to defeat the most dangerous of all the Frost Giants and rescue the mighty Gods. Someone cheerful and infuriating and clever. Someone just like Odd...   
  16. The Great Divorce by CS Lewis (160 pages)                                                                              C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce is a classic Christian allegorical tale about a bus ride from hell to heaven. An extraordinary meditation upon good and evil, grace and judgment, Lewis’s revolutionary idea in the The Great Divorce is that the gates of Hell are locked from the inside. Using his extraordinary descriptive powers, Lewis’ The Great Divorce will change the way we think about good and evil.                                  

As I said, I'm now crowdfunding crowdfunding a second book, Asexual Myths & Tales, until 10th June 2020. Pledges start at just £1, so do follow the link if you'd like to support us.


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