I recently read a couple of short books. One was Very Good Lives by J.K. Rowling. It was a commencement speech, so it was definitely short! The speech was 80 pages long, but it had drawings/illustrations included. I felt the speech was well-organized. Since it was a speech, it was automatically a non-fiction text, but it was also a motivational/inspirational read. For the most part, I enjoyed reading this. There wasn't much new information as far as an inspirational text is concerned, but what she was stating seems appropriate for the occasion. I would probably recommend this to those recently graduated from high school and/or college.
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"There is nothing as powerful as a mother’s love, and nothing as healing as a child’s soul." – Unknown
I tend to avoid short stories, simply because I prefer to dive in rather than get my feet wet. It is, I've discovered, much harder to write a short story. It needs to be very carefully plotted - catchy start, enough exposition to establish who and what, a confrontation of some kind, resolution. I do read novellas and short stories by authors I like, usually those that link or expand on sub-plots in novels I enjoyed. Recently I've been rereading some of Andre Norton's fantasy short stories, and she was a master, establishing a gripping scenario very quickly. She could easily have expanded some of them into full-length novels. In fact, you get quite annoyed at leaving the characters in limbo. I think it takes more skill than rambling over a trilogy.
I read The Watchmaker's Doctor and I believe it was under 100 pages. It was a sci-fi story with time travel in it. It was well organized, but it did have a lot of potential to expand. I enjoyed it and would recommend it.