The following 5 short titles all share a certain quirkiness of plot or characterization. They are "quick reads," perfect for a snowy day and busy holiday season when you don't want to get bogged down in a huge tome.
Swim to Me by Betsy Carter: 17 year old becomes a mermaid performer at the swimming show at Weeki Wachee Springs, FL.
Paper Wings by Marly Swick: growing up in the early 1960's in Madison, Wisconsin.
Local Girls by Alice Hoffman: connected short stories.
The Lady Who Liked Clean Restrooms by J.P. Donleavy: embroiders the urban legend about the stranger who signs a funeral guest book only to find out she inherits the deceased's estate.
Apex Hides the Hurt by Colson Whitehead: in this satire of marketing excesses, a small town hires a name consultant to reshape its image.
The first three books could be described as coming-of-age stories, the last two have a dark, satiric tone.