Top Ten Books That Will Make You Read the Day Away

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Read In One Sitting Theme: ten of the shortest books I’ve read, top ten books I read in one sitting, ten books to read when you are short on time, top ten books that will make you read the whole day away, etc.  I had a total brain freeze and could only think of about 3 short books I had read, so I ended up going the ‘books that will make you read the day away’ route.  It was easy to think of books that were so good I completely lost track of time and ended up reading the entire day away.  I tend to get sucked in by World War II stories and by survival stories of any kind because I find them so riveting, and I feel the same way about suspenseful murder mysteries.  On the other hand, however, I’ve also been known to lose myself in emotionally driven stories and even in the rich language of poetry.  Here are just a few titles that once I got started on them, I got so caught up in the story that I read on and on, even beyond the point where my butt had fallen asleep from sitting for too long and my legs were so stiff that I could barely walk!

Top Ten Books That Will Make You Read The Day Away


1. THE NIGHTINGALE by Kristin Hannah

Goodreads Synopsis: Despite their differences, sisters Vianne and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Vianne finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her.

As the war progresses, the sisters’ relationship and strength are tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Vianne and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.  (Read more…)

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Goodreads Synopsis: Read the cult-favorite coming of age story that takes a sometimes heartbreaking, often hysterical, and always honest look at high school in all its glory. Now a major motion picture starring Logan Lerman and Emma Watson, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a funny, touching, and haunting modern classic.

The critically acclaimed debut novel from Stephen Chbosky, Perks follows observant “wallflower” Charlie as he charts a course through the strange world between adolescence and adulthood. First dates, family drama, and new friends. Sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Devastating loss, young love, and life on the fringes. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie must learn to navigate those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.  (Read more…)

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Goodreads Synopsis:  On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.   (Read more…)

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4. THE SURGEON by Tess Gerritsen

Goodreads Synopsis:  IN BOSTON, THERE’S A KILLER ON THE LOOSE…A killer who targets lone women, who breaks into their apartments and performs terrifying ritualistic acts of torture on them before finishing them off. His surgical skills lead police to suspect he is a physician – a physician who, instead of saving lives, takes them.

But as homicide detective Thomas Moore and his partner Jane Rizzoli begin their investigation, they make a startling discovery. Closely linked to these killings is Catherine Cordell, a beautiful doctor with a mysterious past. Two years ago she was subjected to a horrifying rape and shot her attacker dead.

Now the man she believes she killed seems to be stalking her once again, and this time he knows exactly where to find her…  (Read more…)

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5. THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir

Goodreads Synopsis: A mission to Mars.  A freak accident.  One man’s struggle to survive.

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.  Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars’ surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive. And even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, Mark won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark’s not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills—and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength–he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth.

As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive.  But Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet.   (Read more…)

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Goodsreads Synopsis:  Maya Angelou’s poetry – lyrical and dramatic, exuberant and playful – speaks of love, longings, partings; of Saturday night partying and the smells and sounds of Southern cities; of freedom and shattered dreams. Of her poetry, Kirkus Reviews has written, ‘It is just as much a part of her autobiography as I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Gather Together in My Name, Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas, and The Heart of a Woman’. (Read more…)

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7. MY SISTER’S KEEPER by Jodi Picoult

Goodreads Synopsis:  Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate — a life and a role that she has never challenged… until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister—and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.

A provocative novel that raises some important ethical issues, My Sister’s Keeper is the story of one family’s struggle for survival at all human costs and a stunning parable for all time.  (Read more…)

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Goodreads Synopsis:  Berlin, 1942 : When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move to a new house far, far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people in the distance.

But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different from his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences. (Read more…)

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9. THE COLOR PURPLE by Alice Walker

Goodreads Synopsis:  The Color Purple is a 1982 epistolary novel by American author Alice Walker which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. It was later adapted into a film and musical of the same name.

Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on the life of women of color in the southern United States in the 1930s, addressing numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture. The novel has been the frequent target of censors and appears on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2000-2009 at number seventeen because of the sometimes explicit content, particularly in terms of violence. (Read more…)

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10. AND THEN THERE WERE NONE by Agatha Christie

Goodreads Synopsis:  First, there were ten – a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they’re unwilling to reveal – and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. And only the dead are above suspicion.  (Read more…)

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Question:  What books have made you completely lose track of the time while reading?

24 replies
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      They really were. I remember with both of them, sitting down and thinking “Okay, I’m going to read for a few minutes and then go run some errands.” Next thing I knew the sun had gone down and it was pitch black outside. Now that’s the sign of a great story, haha!

  1. Angela
    Angela says:

    The Nightingale and The Martin were definitely hard to put down. I watched The Martian movie before I read the book, and I still couldn’t stop reading it! I haven’t read an Agatha Christie book in years, but I remember being sucked into those, too!

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      I haven’t read much Agatha Christie but I was impressed by how thoroughly I got drawn into And Then There Were None. I have Murder on the Orient Express sitting in my TBR pile so I’m curious to see if that one is equally hard to put down.

  2. Wendy @ Birdie Bookworm
    Wendy @ Birdie Bookworm says:

    Every time I see The Martian I doubt myself. I bought it in print but only got through a few chapters before I got intimidated by all the science and formula’s. That is one area where I’ll be left behind, never great at math or science growing up. I felt like I wasn’t really getting it and so I swapped it for something else. I have a feeling it’s going to haunt me until I go back to it.

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      I remember it took me a few chapters to get used to the writing style since it’s written as a space log, but once I acclimated to that and got drawn in by the personality of the main character, who is very much a space McGyver, I really got sucked into the story.

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      I’m always shocked by just how much I got sucked into the plot of The Martian. It’s not my typical read but I think there was just something about the main character’s personality that made me want to see if he could make it. He was very Space MacGyver, lol.

  3. Greg
    Greg says:

    A good murder mystery will keep me reading too. 🙂 And The Perks of Being a Wallflower looks pretty good actually. I’ve never paid much attention to it before, but after reading the synopsis I’m curious…

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Yeah, I ignored the Perks of Being a Wallflower for quite a while after it came out. Picked it up on sale at a book fair and ended up being pleasantly surprised by how much engrossed I became in the story.

  4. Lisa @ Captivated Reader
    Lisa @ Captivated Reader says:

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a comment on my TTT post this week.

    I love Maya Angelou’s poems and have her collected poems too. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie is a classic novel I’ve read a few times.

  5. Eve
    Eve says:

    The Martian and Perks are books I have considered picking up because I did enjoy their movies but have been undecided on it. I am glad to see you read them so quickly though so it gives me more reason to do so myself!

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Yeah, I was actually shocked at how quickly I read The Martian, considering it’s a pretty long book. I hadn’t watched the movie yet so I had no idea what to expect as far as the main character’s fate, which definitely made it an absorbing read.

  6. Lauren Becker
    Lauren Becker says:

    Oh, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is wonderful. That’s usually my answer for “what’s your favorite book” and that all things Harry Potter. hah Great answers!


  7. Chrystal
    Chrystal says:

    The only lyrics one on your list that I’ve read is The Perks of Being a Wallflower. But I have many of he others on my wishlist. Maya Angelou is an author I keep meaning to try.

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      I definitely recommend Maya Angelou’s poetry. Her autobiographical novels like I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings are pretty powerful reads as well.

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Oh yay, I hope you love it as much as I did! I was seriously glued to my reading chair all day long once I started that book, haha.

  8. Lori
    Lori says:

    I love your list! I definitely had a hard time putting The Perks of Being a Wallflower down. I also really loved Unbroken.

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