Sometimes you fancy a feast. Other times, it’s something short and sweet.

These are seven refreshing reads that will take you no longer to finish than brunch.



Theatre of the Unimpressed by Jordan Tannahill

A lot of plays are dull. And, like an underwhelming order of Gruyere Souffle, one poorly executed play can turn us off theatre for good. Rising playwright and theatre director Jordan Tannahill takes in the spectrum of English-language drama – from the flashiest of Broadway spectacles to productions mounted in scrappy storefront theatres – to consider where lifeless plays come from and why they persist.

The Laws of Medicine by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Did you know the organization behind TED talks publishes books? The Laws of Medicine is essential, required reading for doctors and patients alike: A Pulitzer Prize-winning author and one of the world’s premiere cancer researchers reveals an urgent philosophy on the little-known principles that govern medicine—and how understanding these principles can empower us all.

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Not a Drill: A Jack Reacher Short Story by Lee Child

In this eBook exclusive short story from Lee Child, Jack Reacher is again on the move. When a pleasant hike on a beautiful summer day turns into a walk on the wild side, and perhaps something far more sinister, Reacher is challenged like never before.

On Booze by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Grab a mimosa and strap in —this is “The Jazz Age” as F. Scott Fitzgerald experienced it. A collection of Fitzgerald’s funniest, most flamboyant drinking stories, it’s an excellent read for any boozy brunch-hour book club.



Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill

Much like a double pastrami on rye for brunch, short reads don’t need to be light to be good. Exceptionally lean and compact, Offill’s rumination on the mysteries of intimacy, trust and faith is meant to be devoured in a single sitting. However, its bracing emotional insights and piercing meditations on despair and love will linger long after the last page.

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Lady Susan by Jane Austen

This little-known gem, is perhaps Austin’s funniest (and bitchiest) book. Told through an exchange of letters, Lady Susan is the story of a brilliant, beautiful and morally reprehensible flirt who delights in making men fall in love with her, deceiving their wives into friendship and even tormenting her own daughter. Sweet and spicy like a well-made plate of huevos rancheros—and like any well-made plate of huevos rancheros, you’re liable to feel it in your gut hours later. 

Shopgirl by Steve Martin

Filled with witty, discerning observations on relationships and life, Shopgirl tells the story of Mirabelle, a young woman, beautiful in a wallflowerish kind of way, who works behind the glove counter at Neiman Marcus “selling things that nobody buys anymore." When she falls for a man nearly twice her age, the consequences are both comic and heartbreaking. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be finished before your second helping of Quiche Lorraine.

brunch books