Thursday, July 21, 2011

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 17

Continuing on the size theme...

Day 17: The Shortest Book You've Read


The Laramie Project

101 pages. Although this is a play, it counts because I say so. I remember the murder of Matthew Shepard very clearly and can say it still shocks me. This slim book is the culmination and dramatization of over 200 interviews in the town of Laramie following his brutal murder. I wanted to excerpt just a short section of Dennis Shepard reading a statement to the court after Aaron McKinney was found guilty of murdering Matthew. He is talking about his son being left alone to die:

You Mr. McKinney, with your friend Mr. Henderson left him out there by himself, but he wasn't alone. There were his lifelong friends with him, friends that he had grown up with. First he had the beautiful night sky and the same stars and moon that we used to see through a telescope. Then he had the daylight and the sun to shine on him. And through it all he was breathing in the scent of pine trees from the snowy range. He heard the wind, the ever-present Wyoming wind, for the last time. He had one more friend with him, he had God. And I feel better knowing he wasn't alone.

Dennis Shepard goes on to grant McKinney mercy by not asking for the death penalty.


First Love by Joyce Carol Oates, illustrated by Barry Moser

This lovely little book measures only 6 inches tall.  Normally I don't like short things (see: LaMorte, Gianna), but I do like both Oates and Moser, so I made an exception and added First Love to my collection.  It sort of gets lost on the shelf though, sandwiched between Faithless and Foxfire in the Joyce Carol Oates section of my bookshelves.  Like Gianna in a crowd...of nine year olds.


  1. Why do you constantly make me cry, Gianna? Liz makes me smile, why can't you?

  2. Have neither of you ever read a childrens' book? Were none of them less than 101 pages long?

    Granted, Gianna's first chapter book was James Patterson, so her parents clearly raised her weird.

  3. ahhh kester... we were thinking adult. plus i really don't remember many children's books (honest)

    and "mitchum" not true!

  4. Why would I read a children's book? I'm 35 years old.

  5. I was going to counter with, "yes, but you weren't BORN 35 years old," and then considered the very real possibility that you were.

    Shortest adult book I ever read has to be that David Foster Wallace speech that they published as a book.