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15 Short Books You Can Finish on Your Next Flight

Time flies with a great book! Here are great reads to match the length of your flight whether you're taking a puddle-jumper or flying around the world.

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One hour: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Fall into curious delight with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s intriguing story about a man who ages backward. (You may remember the film adaptation starring Brad Pitt from 2008 about an infant who appears to be 70 years old.) The original story captivates with emotion, nostalgia, and touches of sweetness. It’s the perfect read when you have just an hour. Here are the 50 best books to read by the time you’re 50.

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One hour: Brokeback Mountain

Considered a masterpiece of short fiction form, Annie Proulx’s award-winning story will capture your heart with its haunting beauty. Two cowboys, Ennis and Jack, fall for each other one summer while working as herders. Follow their unexpected and moving relationship in this quick read. Here are 12 brilliant books you can read in one weekend.

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One hour: The Art of War

It was written thousands of years ago, but that didn’t stop this ancient strategy manual from becoming a modern-day bestseller. Attributed to Sun Tzu, a Chinese military expert, modern readers have found advice they can apply to business or any situation requiring careful consideration. It’s a quick, easy read that gives you a lot to think about. Check out these 9 books you can read in one day.

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Two hours: Of Mice and Men

John Steinbeck’s masterpiece will keep you captivated until the very last page. Follow along with George and Lennie as they try to make do during the Great Depression. Steinbeck captures your heart, along with the local flavor of America during the time period. Filled with tension, you’ll keep turning pages and understand why this haunting short novel remains a classic.

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Two hours: The Little Prince

This enthralling story captures the depths of the human condition—its aspirations and its capacity for both love and loneliness. A pilot crashes in the desert and meets a young prince from another planet. Thus begins a friendship for the ages. Check out the special joy of reading a children’s book through your grown-up eyes.

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Two hours: Ethan Frome

This literary classic is still an emotional and captivating page-turner about romance, marriage, and the hidden difficulties within both. Edith Wharton’s short masterpiece tells the story through the eyes of a traveling stranger who enters Frome’s life and slowly gets clues about his history and the tragedy no one talks about. You’ll enjoy this literary psychological study that’s still relatable.

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Three hours: Tuck Everlasting

Imagine getting to live forever. That’s the premise in the readable classic about the Tuck family and their secret to never growing older. But is their lot a curse or something wonderful? That’s a question you can ponder as you keep turning pages. Check out the best books that will inspire you to travel the world.

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Three hours: Our Souls at Night

Travel to small-town Colorado in Kent Haruf’s bestselling story about a widow and widower who’ve lived just blocks apart for over 40 years. You’ll find yourself moved and captivated by the tender relationship that develops after one neighbor invites the other to spend the night.

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Three hours: Dept. of Speculation

This original novel is composed of short blasts of facts, musings, and intrigue that seem like journal entries. You’ll fall in love with the voice and style as author Jenny Offill takes you on a journey through a marriage. It’s the perfect read for a few hours of contemplation on the human condition, parenthood, and romance told in beautiful and engaging language.

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Four hours: Another Brooklyn

You’ll experience taut, gorgeous language in Jacqueline Woodson’s bestselling novel about returning to childhood memories that still have a palpable immediacy and impact. The moving novel tells the powerful story of August and her three best friends as they confront the perils of growing up in 1970s Brooklyn.

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Four hours: The Outsiders

Stay golden, Ponyboy. S.E. Hinton wrote her teen angst masterpiece when she was only 16 years old. It became a bestseller because it captures the drama of being a teenager in America when it feels like everything is going wrong and no one understands you except your brothers and your friends. You’ll stay entranced through the whole read as you root for the “greasers” who are up against the vicious popular kids.

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Four hours: The Sense of an Ending

Delve into Julian Barnes intriguing prose style in this novel about a man who must return to his past after receiving a mysterious bequeathment of “blood money.” The late middle-aged narrator is forced to reconsider the friendships and tragedies of his youth. You’ll find yourself compelled as he revisits stories and events time and time again.

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Five hours: A Man Called Ove

This one will make you laugh and cry as you keep turning pages. It’s the bestselling and beloved story of the mean old man next door and the family who moves in and unexpectedly befriend him. You’ll end up sympathizing with the curmudgeon as his past gets revealed. Don’t miss the best audiobooks to listen to right now.

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Five hours: The Wife

Alafair Burke’s page-turner about the perfect marriage keeps you hooked as everything starts to unravel. A woman marries a brilliant prof and has the chance to start anew after her tragic past. But now women are coming forward with disturbing allegations against her seemingly great husband. Get ready for intrigue and twisty thrills.

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Five hours: Everything I Never Told You

This award-winning bestseller will take hold of you from the very first pages. You’ll follow the story of a Chinese-American family in small-town Ohio who must face the tragic loss of their daughter. What killed her and why? You’ll be hooked right up to the end of this heart wrenching and beautifully told mystery. Don’t miss the most iconic book set in every state.

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