I was once told by an English teacher that long books are strong books. It kind of smacked of bullshit, It tastes like a mouthful of it now.
Don't get me wrong: there's nothing wrong with a good, long read. I needed to pack a month's worth of provisions to climb to the top of Alan Moore's Jerusalem or just about any book written by James Ellroy. The payoff, for me, is almost always worth the amount of time I've sunk into a book. That said, when something I'm reading doesn't quite scratch the itch in my brain that I'm looking for, I tend to know it, early on. There's no shame in putting down a thick book that isn't doing it for you.
Much of what I enjoy reading is short and sweet: typically under 400 pages. Pulp crime novels, chief among them. So, when I saw that Crime Reads had put together a list of 25 classic crime novels that most folks can devour in an afternoon, I couldn't click the link to find out what they were recommending fast enough.
I already owned a number of the books on the list. The Postman Always Rings Twice, Playback, The Getaway and The Friends of Eddie Coyle have all been in my collection, for years. But man, there's a ton of great reads in here that I've either never heard of before or had completely forgotten about. I just finished Fuminori Nakamura's The Thief and will be moving on to Cotton Comes to Harlem, just as soon as I finish reading a couple of books for work.
Check it out: Maybe there's something on Crime Read's list that you'll enjoy as well.