Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Read in a Day

This topic could go a lot of different ways. Daisy over at The Broke and the Bookish interpreted it to mean books that demanded finishing the same day they were begun. Others have listed books they themselves read in a single day. I'm going to be different.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Do come join the fun...

You have a single day to lay in the hammock and read. All you want is something that'll take you from page one through happy ending by sunset. Not something so long that if you take your time and enjoy it, you risk not finishing, but something relaxing and pleasant and dependable. Here are a variety of suggestions:

1) Any of The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. They're short enough that you might manage a couple of them, actually. If it were my hammock and my sunny day, I'd probably pick The Horse and His Boy.

2) Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. Lay back and laugh.

3) Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. It's surprisingly short, so don't hurry through the humor—take time to pay attention to the many hilarious weirdnesses. You'll sympathize with the dolphins.

4) Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. Most of Austen's works are fairly long and not meant to be read in a single sitting; this one is a quick read, though, light and spoofy and sweet.

5) The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Especially likely to be powerful if your hammock is near some good flower-beds.

6) A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle—or, if you’ve read that, A Wind in the Door or A Swiftly Tilting Planet. Actually, I'd expect most of L'Engle's novels to be good single-day relaxing reads, though they're not all as reliably simple and cheerful as her famous Time books.

7) If You Love Me by Patricia St. John (also published as Nothing Else Matters, but I like the title my edition uses). This one is a bit rougher than most of the other stories on this list, but it's a short, powerful tale of love and forgiveness amid war, and it has a beautiful ending.

8) The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho. Mystical and quiet and lovely, this is a great read for a single day.

9) A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks. Not that Sparks books are happy-endingish, mind. But if you like your endings cry-worthy in a good way, this is the summer-day read for you.

10) The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy. A little longer than some of the others but still possible to finish easily, it's an adventurous and (in the old sense) romantic delight of a book.

What books would you choose to read in a single day?


  1. Fantastic list! Jane Austen made my Top Ten too with Persuasion. I love reading Nicholas Sparks. Here's my Top Ten. Would love for you to stop by.

  2. Love your interpretation of today's list. And you list so many great books. Love Horse and his Boy! Love The Scarlet Pimpernel! And I'm going to have to add If You Love Me/Nothing Else Matters to my TBR list. St. John is a great story teller. I also took a different take on today's list - if it were possible to read this in one day I would. http://rinasreading.blogspot.com/2012/04/top-ten-books-to-read-in-day.html

  3. The Secret Garden is amazing!

    The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie can be read in a day. It's one of the meanest books ever written, and face-punchingly brilliant. Maybe "face-punchingly" isn't the most appealing adjective to use in this space. But it is accurate.

    Pnin, by Nabokov, is a slender book about a Russian emigre teaching at a tiny New England college. It's an easy, delicious read, all the gorgeous funny writing of Lolita with 0% of the pedophilia.

    Also delicious, non-face-punching, and easy to read in a day: The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery.

    And when considering easy books to read in a day, don't neglect poetry, short stories, or plays! Plays are especially easy to read in a short period of time.

    1. "all the gorgeous funny writing of Lolita with 0% of the pedophilia"

      HAHA! I may have to read that someday.

      Just read The Blue Castle and loved it to death... review coming in a couple of weeks. :D


All comments are currently moderated. Friendly comments are welcomed with fairy music, magic wishes, and possible unicorn sightings. Troll comments will be Transfigured into decent-looking rocks or Vanished. Spam comments will be shot down with blasters.