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Book List: Our readers top single sitting reads

With the first anniversary of Read in a Single Sitting approaching, I thought it might be fun to compile a list of the books our readers have found impossible to put down. The result, which is impressively wide ranging, is below. If youre a reader, feel free to add your own single sitting reads in the comment, and Ill edit the post accordingly.

dash lilys book of dares levithan Book List: Our readers top single sitting reads

Dash & Lilys Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (recommended by @the1stdaughter)

Buy from Amazon |Book Depository UK | Book Depository US

Blurb: 'I've left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don't, put the book back on the shelf, please.'

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the New York Times bestselling authors of Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?'Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.


atonement mcewan Book List: Our readers top single sitting reads

Atonement by Ian McEwan'(recommended by'@readingjay)

Buy from'Amazon |Book Depository UK |'Book Depository US

Blurb: On'the hottest day of the summer of 1934, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching her is Robbie Turner, her childhood friend who, like Cecilia, has recently come down from Cambridge. By the end of that day, the lives of all three will have been changed for ever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had not even imagined at its start, and will have become victims of the younger girls imagination. Briony will have witnessed mysteries, and committed a crime for which she will spend the rest of her life trying to atone.


lying game sara shepard Book List: Our readers top single sitting reads

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard'(recommended by @bellareads)

Buy from'Amazon |Book Depository UK |'Book Depository US

Blurb: I had a life anyone would kill for.

Then someone did.

The worst part of being dead is that there's nothing left to live for. No more kisses. No more secrets. No more gossip. It's enough to kill a girl all over again. But I'm about to get something no one else does'an encore performance, thanks to Emma, the long-lost twin sister I never even got to meet. Now Emma's desperate to know what happened to me. And the only way to figure it out is to be me'to slip into my old life and piece it all together. But can she laugh at inside jokes with my best friends? Convince my boyfriend she's the girl he fell in love with? Pretend to be a happy, carefree daughter when she hugs my parents good night? And can she keep up the charade, even after she realizes my murderer is watching her every move? Let the lying game begin.


uncommon reader bennett Book List: Our readers top single sitting reads

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett (recommended by @BookwormViolet)

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Blurb: From one of Englands most celebrated writers, the author of the award-winning The History Boys, a funny and superbly observed novella about the Queen of England and the subversive power of reading.'When her corgis stray into a mobile library parked near Buckingham Palace, the Queen feels duty-bound to borrow a book. Discovering the joy of reading widely (from J. R. Ackerley, Jean Genet, and Ivy Compton-Burnett to the classics) and intelligently, she finds that her view of the world changes dramatically. Abetted in her newfound obsession by Norman, a young man from the royal kitchens, the Queen comes to question the prescribed order of the world and loses patience with the routines of her role as monarch. Her new passion for reading'initially alarms the palace staff and soon leads to surprising and very funny consequences for the country at large.


butterfly sonya hartnett1 Book List: Our readers top single sitting reads

Butterfly by Sonya Hartnett'(recommended by @BookwormViolet)

Buy from'Amazon |Book Depository UK |'Book Depository US

Awkward, alienated, angry teenager Plum looks in the mirror, and hates what she sees. No one appreciates her least of all herself. But when a beautiful, sophisticated neighbour invites Plum over, things change. Plum learns how to be different. But the new Plum confuses people. Her friends treat her differently. Her brothers and parents dont know what to make of her. And for Plum and her new mentor, the transformation has unforeseen consequences that neither will ever forget


tuck everlasting babbitt Book List: Our readers top single sitting reads

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt (recommended by Breanna W)

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Blurb: Imagine coming upon a fountain of youth in a forest. To live foreverisnt that everyones ideal? For the Tuck family, eternal life is a reality, but their reaction to their fate is surprising. Award winner Natalie Babbitt (Knee-Knock Rise,'The Search for Delicious) outdoes herself in this sensitive, moving adventure in which 10-year-old Winnie Foster is kidnapped, finds herself helping a murderer out of jail, and is eventually offered the ultimate giftbut doesnt know whether to accept it. Babbitt asks profound questions about the meaning of life and death, and leaves the reader with a greater appreciation for the perfect cycle of nature. Intense and powerful, exciting and poignant,'Tuck Everlasting will last foreverin the readers imagination. An ALA Notable Book.


room donoghue1 Book List: Our readers top single sitting reads

Room by Emma Donoghue (recommended by @hittheroadjacq)

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Blurb: To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; its where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.'Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows its not enoughnot for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young sons bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.'Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.


i came to say goodbye Book List: Our readers top single sitting reads

I Came to Say Goodbye by Caroline Overington'(recommended by'@hittheroadjacq)

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Blurb: It was four oclock in the morning. A young woman pushed through the hospital doors. Staff would later say they thought the woman was a new mother, returning to her child and in a way, she was. She walked into the nursery, where a baby girl lay sleeping. The infant didnt wake when the woman placed her gently in the shopping bag she had brought with her. There is CCTV footage of what happened next, and most Australians would have seen it, either on the internet or the news. The woman walked out to the car park, towards an old Corolla. For a moment, she held the child gently against her breast and, with her eyes closed, she smelled her. She then clipped the infant into the car, got in and drove off. That is where the footage ends. It isnt where the story ends, however. Its not even where the story starts.


harry potter deathly hallows Book List: Our readers top single sitting reads

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (recommended by Michelle M [and probably most of the world!])

Purchase from Amazon | Book Depository UK |'Book Depository US

Blurb: His hand closed automatically around the fake Horcrux, but in spite of everything, in spite of the dark and twisting path he saw stretching ahead for himself, in spite of the final meeting with Voldemort he knew must come, whether in a month, in a year, or in ten, he felt his heart lift at the thought that there was still one last golden day of peace left to enjoy with Ron and Hermione. With these words Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince draws to a close. And here, in this seventh and final book, Harry discovers what fate truly has in store for him as he inexorably makes his way to that final meeting with Voldemort. In this thrilling climax to the phenomenally bestselling series, J.K. Rowling will reveal all to her eagerly waiting readers.


vintners luck elizabeth knox Book List: Our readers top single sitting reads

The Vintners Luck by Elizabeth Knox (recommended by @CatherineHaines)

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Blurb: Its Burgundy, 1808. One night Sobran Jodeau, a young vintner, meets an angel in his vineyard: a physically gorgeous creature with huge wings that smell of snow, a sense of humour and an inquiring mind. They meet again every year on the midsummer anniversary of the date. Village life goes on, meanwhile, with its affairs and mysteries, marriages and murders, and the vintages keep improving though the horror of the Napoleonic wars and into the middle of the century, as science marches on, viticulture changes, and gliders fly like angels.


tricksters by margaret mahy Book List: Our readers top single sitting reads

The Tricksters by Margaret Mahy (recommended by'@CatherineHaines)

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Blurb: As the Hamiltons gather at their holiday beach house, Carnivals Hide, for their Christmas celebrations, the warm, chaotic familty atomosphere is chilled by the unexpected arrival of three sinister brothers. Who are they? Where are they from? Only 17- year-old Harry, the middle daughter, is close to seeing the truth. Are these brothers her own invention, or are they truly descendants of Teddy Carnival who drowned there many years earlier? As the brothers gradually reveal their purpose, long-hidden family secrets are also unfurled. No one emerges unscathed!


madigan mine Book List: Our readers top single sitting reads

Madigan Mine by Kirstyn McDermott'(recommended by'@awritingjourney)

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Blurb: Alex doesn't know what he wants to do, how to connect with people or what's good for him. He drifts his way through dead-end jobs and fumbled relationships, unable to find a way out of the rut his life has become. Then he runs into Madigan Sargood and everything changes.A ray of light shining from an almost-forgotten past, Madigan is beautiful and impulsive, enigmatic and passionate beyond measure. This is what it means to live, Alex realises, and to love. Never mind that she can be somewhat possessive. Never mind that his best friend thinks there's something wrong with her, something dangerous even. Never mind that the creepy band of misfits she attracts have all but taken over his home. Madigan fills Alex's life with significance; he will put up with anything to be with her.Until, without any warning, she kills herself.Now Alex can't seem to get her out of his head, and his world ' along with his sanity ' begins to disintegrate. Black outs and missing time, conversations he can't recall, people he can't remember. Is this the product of a diseased and lovesick mind, or can Madigan really be trying to communicate with him?When the past threatens to obliterate the future, Alex is forced to take action. To save himself and those he loves, he must discover the sinister reason why Madigan took her own life ' and why she won't lie still in her grave.


death most definite trent jamieson Book List: Our readers top single sitting reads

Death Most Definite by Trent Jamieson'(recommended by'@awritingjourney)

Purchase from'Amazon |'Book Depository UK |'Book Depository US

Blurb: Steven de Selby has a hangover. Bright lights, loud noise, and lots of exercise are the last thing he wants. But thats exactly what he gets when someone starts shooting at him.

Steven is no stranger to death-Mr. Ds his boss after all-but when a dead girl saves him from sharing her fate, he finds himself on the wrong end of the barrel. His job is to guide the restless dead to the underworld but now his clients are his own colleagues, friends, and family.

Mr. Ds gone missing and with no one in charge, the dead start to rise, the living are hunted, and the whole city teeters on the brink of a regional apocalypse-unless Steven can shake his hangover, not fall for the dead girl, and find out what happened to his boss- that is, Death himself.


in the meantime paul tremblay Book List: Our readers top single sitting reads

In the Meantime by Paul Tremblay (recommended by @charlesatan)

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A history teacher begins his unorthodox senior course with clips from an ominous surveillance video, causing a students home life to deteriorate along with the lessons. A girl with a second head that changes into different historical and fictional identities tries to find her father while figuring out how to handle Mom and the book club. A blog documents societys slow, unexplained, but inexorable end, or is it only a collection of pixel-sized paranoia? A once-awkward teen holes up in a kiddie-themed amusement park after the end of the world, and schemes to take Cinderellas Castle by force. This collection by Paul G. Tremblay (author of The Little Sleep and No Sleep Till Wonderland) features fifteen stories of fear and paranoia, stories of apocalypses both societal and personal, and stories of longing and coping.


nevermore Book List: Our readers top single sitting reads

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh'(recommended by @bibliophilicboo)

Purchase from'Amazon |'Book Depository UK |'Book Depository US

Blurb: Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due'so unfair'on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he'd rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can't help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.

Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.

As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.

His life depends on it.


breakfast at tiffanys Book List: Our readers top single sitting reads

Breakfast at Tiffanys by Truman Capote (recommended by @HardieGrant)

Purchase from'Amazon |'Book Depository UK |'Book Depository US

Blurb: With her tousled blond hair and upturned nose, dark glasses and chic black dresses, Holly Golightly is top notch in style and a sensation wherever she goes. Her brownstone apartment vibrates with martini-soaked parties as she plays hostess to millionaires and gangsters alike. Yet Holly never loses sight of her ultimate goal to find a real life place like Tiffanys that makes her feel at home. Immortalized in a film starring Audrey Hepburn, Truman Capotes Breakfast at Tiffanys is full of sharp wit and in its exuberant cast of characters vividly captures the restless, slightly madcap era of early 1940s New York.


of mice and men steinbeck Book List: Our readers top single sitting reads

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck'(recommended by'@HardieGrant)

Purchase from'Amazon |'Book Depository UK |'Book Depository US

Blurb: Streetwise George and his big, childlike friend Lennie are drifters, searching for work in the fields and valleys of California. They have nothing except the clothes on their back, and a hope that one day theyll find a place of their own and live the American dream. But dreams come at a price. Gentle giant Lennie doesnt know his own strength, and when they find work at a ranch he gets into trouble with the bosss daughter-in-law. Trouble so bad that even his protector George may not be able to save him.



  1. Great list! I like the collaborative angle. Ive only read Dash & Lily and Harry Potter, but a couple of others are on my list. Glad to hear they deserve their places amongst my TBRs!

  2. Stephanie /

    Thanks for visiting, Erin! Ive only read a few of these, but there are plenty on the list that Ive been meaning to get to, so its good to know that they come so highly recommended!

  3. Oh dear. All these books look like incredible reads.

    Im the Michelle M from facebook who mentioned Harry Potter and I read it in a single sitting because I *had to* my husband was in line to read the book after me, and I didnt want to go to work on the Monday after it came out and overhear someone on the train talking about how it ended! Gah!

    Interestingly enough, on the train to work that Monday, the carriage was full of bleary-eyed people reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I think if Id said a single word about the ending, Id have been lynched (c:

    • Stephanie /

      Ah, I shall update the post so that it points to your Twitter account. :) I read most of the Harry Potters in a single sitting, but struggled with The Deathly Hallows (I had to make two separate attempts at reading it in the end). JK Rowling is a tremendous story-teller, though. She has such an excellent feel for the school story style writing I used to love when I was younger.

      Yes, to avoid those pesky spoilers, one has to read quickly!

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