Top Ten Books to Read in a Day

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


This week's Top Ten from The Broke and the Bookish asks for our top ten books to read in a day. This list idea is well-timed as the Dewey Read-a-Thon is coming up on April 21! For anyone participating (and you should!) it’s fun to pick shorter books so you don’t get burnt out on a single massive tome.

1) Graphic Novels: I think this format is particularly good when read all at once. They are easy to read, especially once you adjust to that format. A few good ones to start with: The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Maus and Watchmen.

2) Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – Pick up any of the books featuring Sherlock and you’re in for a treat. Even if you only have an hour or two, you can enjoy some of his cases and see his brilliant mind at work.

3) Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn – An epistolary novel that plays with language, too fun!

4) Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty – Jessica and Marcus’ banter is addictive and this is one book that’s even better when consumed in one sitting.

5) The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby – This unbelievable piece of nonfiction was written by Bauby after he had a stroke and become a paraplegic. Using a system of eye blinks, his work was transcribed by aides. It’s short and very moving.

6) Plays: This is another great format to read in one sitting. A few good possibilities: Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire, Death of a Salesmen by Arthur Miller, A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen or and anything by Shakespeare!

7) Hunger Games – Just try to put this one down. Once you get caught up in the intense competition, it’s hard to peel yourself away.

8) The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger – Every time I read this one, I mean to read just a little bit and I end up lost in the story until it’s done and I’m crying.

9) 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff – Short and sweet, this collection of letters is perfect for any book lover.

10) Half Magic by Edward Eager – I somehow missed this great book when I was a kid. I only read it recently, but it’s a treat.

Image from here.

24 comments:

Nymeth said...

Some excellent choices! One thing I'd add is poetry. I'm not always in the mood for it, but when I am it's fun to make it though a single volume in a couple of hours, and then go back and read my favourite poems again.

Sandy Nawrot said...

Awesome list! I am notorious for picking very bad books for the readathon. Like last time...The End of the Affair? Really? That was torturous. My problem with the readathon looming is that I have a nice large stack of books I MUST read because of commitments and dates and stuff. We'll see how it goes!

annieb said...

Funny this should be the Top Ten pick for this week. I recently read Tolstoy and the Purple Chair where Nina Sankovitch relates her year of reading one book per day. Fascinating! While I have no plan to do so for a year I decided to do it in April. By the way, I am retired. Sankovitch's rule is no book over 300 pages and my rule is that it had to be from my massive TBR pile. So far I have read 2 books (obviously) and it has not been as bad as one might think. I have a wide variety of books on my list, which helps me keep interested. Sankovitch did this challenge with a husband and 4 children to tend to and I only have 3 dogs, so it shouldn't be such a difficulty, right? I perform all necessary chores before noon, and then read for as long as it takes. So far so good. Oh, and then I have to write about each book in my book diary. I will let you know at the end of April about the fun factor.

swampofboredom.com said...

I loved Ella Minnow Pea!

More suggestions:

Anything by Agatha Christie. She's a quick read almost every time.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - I read this a couple of months ago. Great, though a bit unsettling (for this mother of pre-teens), account of being a teen.

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

The Thin Man, The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Maltese Falcon, or any 30s noir mystery - These hard boiled detective books are lots of fun to read, then you can follow it up with the classic movie!

fakesteph said...

Sloppy Firsts is one of my all time favorite novels. It's so good! And I'm really getting into graphic novels.

Kat @ NoPageLeftBehind said...

Oh yes! Graphic novels...why didn't I think of that? Also, I'm so excited you put Ella Minnow Pea on your list. I just got a copy from my library book sale and can't wait to read it!

Shannon (Giraffe Days) said...

I think this is the second or third list I've seen Sloppy Firsts on so I'm getting a copy - so many people seem to love it and I don't think I've even heard of it!

I thought of putting a graphic novel on my list but there wasn't room! I have The Diving Bell... but I still haven't read it, and now it's packed away in storage so it'll have to wait a bit longer.

I agree with you about the readathon - I always picked books I felt I could actually read in a day and was sometimes successful!

Here's my list.

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

I like to savour a book and there is no way I would have been able to read The Time Traveller's Wife in a Day.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Nymeth - Poetry, of course! I'm so bad at making it a priority, but that's a great addition.

Sandy - I remember you picking that one. I had just read it and there's no way I could have done it for Dewey! I always look at the read-a-thon as my free day from all the books I have to read by a certain deadline. It makes it really fun, like I'm skipping school.

annieb - What a great idea! I'm jealous you get so much more time to read since you're retired. You should definitely do the Dewey read-a-thon. I can't imagine reading 365 books in a year while dealing with 3 kids! That woman is brave.

swampofboredom - I love your suggestions. I almost put And Then There Were None on the list, because I agree, Christie is a fast read. The Awakening is a great choice too. I read Perks in college and just loved it. I'm planning on rereading it this year before the movie comes out. It certainly packs an emotional punch.

fakesteph - I love it too! If you need graphic novel suggestions, let me know.

Kat - It's a fun one for people who love language!

Shannon - I read Sloppy Firsts when I was a senior in high school, the same age as the main character, and I think that had a lot to do with my loving it so much.

LindyLouMac - I didn't the first time, but I couldn't put it down when I reread it.

Vyki @ On The Shelf said...

The Hunger Games is on my list as well. I didn't want to have to stop reading it! I can't wait to read the next. Great TTT, Here’s mine!

Kayla said...

I've been starting to get into plays lately. I am in the middle of A Streetcar Named Desire and I'm loving it. I can't wait to read Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (one of my fave movies though I know the play is very different). I love the realistic dialogue that Williams uses. If you haven't read anything by him yet, I highly recommend that you do.

And I'm just about to reread A Midsummer Night's Dream, my favorite comedy by Shakespeare.

Jeanne said...

Half Magic is such a good book. If you like Eager, have you tried E. Nesbit?

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

That is a great list of books! AND thanks for the Dewey Read A Thon date - I want in!

LBC said...

Yay for Sloppy Firsts. I had a great time reading that one, and it was probably pretty quick, maybe a day.

Jenners said...

I love this list … I'm intrigued by so many of them. And I agree -- once you start TTTW you can't stop.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Vyki - Catching Fire is wonderful too!

Kayla - Streetcar is on my Dewey list for this year. I really loved Williams' Glass Menagerie. Midsummer is a great one, I think Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing are my favorite Shakespearean comedies.

Jeanne - Shockingly I haven't! I have a good friend who has recommended Nesbit and so he's high on my list.

Sheila - You should definitely join in! It's so much fun.

LBC - It is a quick one, but then you're hooked for the rest of the series.

Jenners - You really can't. I love Claire and Henry.

Carl V. said...

When I think of books to read in a day my mind always jumps to The Book of Flying by Keith Miller. Mostly because once I opened it I couldn't put it down. Spent a lovely day on my back porch devouring this interesting, somewhat melancholy novel. And it is one that has stuck with me for years.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Carl V. - I hadn't heard of that one, I may have to check it out!

Kristi said...

Perfect timing. During my lunch break the past few days I've been looking through my TBR list and browsing kindle books to find things for my trips this summer. I'm flying home twice and each of the four legs will be close to 20 hours! Yowza! Kind of like my own readathon in the air. :) So I've been looking for books that will keep my interest.

So funny that you mentioned the Jessica Darling book because the series was high on my list of good airplane reads but they don't have kindle versions! So bummed. I'm definitely going to check out some of the others you mentioned an hit up the main Top Ten Tuesday list.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Kristi - Long flights are the perfect time to read quick books! I keep getting bummed out when I find books I want to read that aren't available on my kindle.

Jerika said...

Sherlock Holmes stories are really good choices for one day readings. :)

Hunger Games was definitely a page turner.

I love that you put in graphic novels and plays in here. I don't read much of both but I agree that they are good for a day's read. :)

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Jerika - I love reading graphic novels when I'm in a reading rut. They always spark my interest and move quickly.

buddy2blogger said...

I too love the Sherlock Holmes canon.

I would recommend 'The House of Silk' by Anthony Horowitz. This pastiche captures the essence of the canon. Check out my review.

Cheers!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

buddy2blogger - I'll check it out!