Ten Books to Read in One Sitting

The Top Ten Tuesday topic for this week is “Read In One Sitting Theme”. I’ve filed my choices into three categories: stories that drag you along, begging to be read all at once; stories whose length and format suit them to comprehensive reading; and stories suited to periods of interrupted reading time.

Gripping Stories

Rats-of-NIMH-51q9wWLOq4L._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, by Robert C. O’Brian

We used this as our bedtime story once. Mr. O’Brian puts his chapter breaks in exactly the right places – in a way. While we didn’t quite finish it in one read-through, the story pulled us along from chapter to chapter, long past when Dad had first said, “Well, just one more.”

War in the Wasteland, by Douglas BondWar-in-the-Wasteland

I haven’t read this myself, but when I got it for my brother for Christmas, he finished it in one or two sittings. I’m sure a long car-ride helped, but he said he enjoyed it.


Love Among the Walnuts, by Jean FerrisLove-Among-Walnuts

Again, I didn’t exactly read this book in one sitting, but it is a gripping read. I first discovered it when we visited friends of my parents, and – not yet being interested in adult conversation – I was offered this book to occupy myself. When it came time to leave, I was still absorbed in the story, and so our hosts let me borrow it.

Years later, I tracked the book down and got a copy for myself. If you like sparkling wit, colorful and memorable characters, and a quick-moving story, this is an excellent choice for those long, quiet, rainy days when you feel the need to burn through a book.

Short Stories

Runaway-BunnyThe Runaway Bunny, by Margaret Wise Brown

Granted, you’re supposed to finish this story in one sitting. But that doesn’t diminish the mastery of the illustrations or the emotional impact of the simple words – especially for mothers.

I guarantee you won’t read it just once.



Bartholomew-Oobleck-511ss0JlOqLBartholomew and the Oobleck, by Dr. Seuss

This book is such a part of our family culture that Mom used to make oobleck (welsh rarebit colored green) for lunch. While it is a children’s book, designed to be a quick, fun read, the moral resonance of the story makes it one with staying power and worthy of revisiting.

The Frances Treasury, by Russell Hoban

Books intended for children that gain added resonance for adults deserve extra recognition (especially when it’s not in a Dreamworks-potty-joke manner). While I enjoyed them back when my dad recorded his voice reading them on cassette tapes for me, they gain additional value when you understand more about life, parenting, and the way children think.

Memory-LightsThe Memory Lights, by K.M. Weiland

This story of amnesia and crime set in Victorian London can be read in one or two sittings.

While the mystery seems fairly simple, I thought the clues were hindered by the narrative voice and characterizations.

The story’s strength is its visceral and evocative descriptions.

Sporadic Stories

I tend to read on my half-hour break – formerly on my Nook, now (since AT&T got me a smart-phone) typically on my smart-phone. Thus, I value books that can be picked up and put down and picked up again with the greatest ease.Lord-Peter-stories


Lord Peter: The Complete Lord Peter Wimsey Stories, by Dorothy L. Sayers

This will probably appeal more to the mystery lovers, but each story in this collection can be read in one or two sittings (with a few longer exceptions). While you’re in the midst of it, each story grabs and pulls you on, but at each conclusion, there’s a little release of tension, replaced by anticipation of the next adventure…


Supervillain of the Day, by Katie Lynn Daniels

This suggestion comes from my brother, as well. Apparently it contains a series of short stories, making it suitable for situations where extended reading is impractical.



Superheroes Aliens Robots Zombies, by Mark Boss

I haven’t finished this book yet, so I can’t pass judgement on the overall plot, but its constant action and clear scene changes have made it a good book for interrupted reading sessions.

Kimia Wood has been writing stories since she was little. If told the world would end tomorrow, Martin Luther would plant a tree…while Kimia just might write another story.

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3 thoughts on “Ten Books to Read in One Sitting

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