Doesn’t it feel so good to finish reading a book? I love long and winding stories, but I also really, really like short and quick reads. I find they’re always a great option for palate cleanser books. It’s especially gratifying to read through an entire book on a lazy day when you can spend your whole day just reading.
Here are 11 really great books you can read in one (or maybe two) sittings.
Just a heads up, this post contains affiliate links—that means I get a small commission of any sales made from the links below, but the price is the same for you whether you purchase via my link or directly from Amazon 🙂
1. My Sister, the Serial Killer
AUTHOR: Oyinkan Braithwaite
GENRE: Contemporary Fiction | Psychological Thriller
SUMMARY: My Sister, the Serial Killer is told from the perspective of Korede whose sister Ayoola is, in fact, a serial killer.
Ayoola is gorgeous, vain, and lazy, yet Korede is fiercely loyal to her. When Ayoola calls her—rather, each time Ayoola calls her—announcing she accidentally killed him, Korede runs to the rescue, helping tiny Ayoola dispose of the body and scrub out the blood.
But everything changes when Ayoola sets her sites on the man Korede’s in love with. Forced to sit back and watch in utter fear as Ayoola sinks her claws into him, Korede is faced with an inner battle to save the man she loves or to protect her sister—her blood.
Driven by passion—and the fear that they might get caught any minute because, oops, Korede accidentally confessed everything they’ve done to a man in a coma who is now awake—Korede makes choices she never even imagined were possible.
2. I Remember Nothing
AUTHOR: Nora Ephron
GENRE: Nonfiction | Personal Narrative Essays
SUMMARY: I Remember Nothing is a collection of personal narrative essays by the writer of numerous books and screenplays, including I Feel Bad About My Neck, You’ve Got Mail, and When Harry Met Sally.
In this collection, Ephron recounts the hard lessons she learned during her time as a writer, a wife, a friend, and a daughter. She also shares her humorous musings on everyday happenings, such as the headache that is email and a great list of things she was never able to fully answer, like how do you ever know what’s really going on in a marriage, including your own? This is a quick read that’s as honest as it is funny.
3. Three Flames
AUTHOR: Alan Lightman
GENRE: Literary Fiction
SUMMARY: Three Flames is the story of a struggling Cambodian family, and the intertwining personal narratives of each of its members.
Beginning in 1973 right before the Cambodian Genocide and working its way through the years to 2015, Three Flames travels through the lives of a mother struggling with her father’s murder even decades after it happened, a daughter married too young to a violent and cheating husband, a brother determined to win the heart of the most beautiful girl in the village and escape the dreary farmer’s life he’s facing, a loyal daughter who takes an extremely harrowing job to pay off her father’s gambling debt, and a young girl determined to stand up to her father in order to fight for her education.
4. Things You Save in a Fire
AUTHOR: Katherine Center
GENRE: Contemporary Fiction | Romance
SUMMARY: Things You Save in a Fire is the story of Cassie, a female firefighter who prides herself on her ability to stay utterly calm in the face of catastrophe, thanks to her rough and unemotional demeanor. But when Cassie accidentally lets her feelings get the better of her, an uncharacteristic moment changes the trajectory of her entire career, aka, her entire life.
In a moment of duress, Cassie agrees to leave her beloved Austin, TX fire station—and home—to move to Boston to take care of her ailing, and semi-estranged, mother.
Cassie believes she’ll be just fine in her new male-dominated, non-progressive environment because of her ability to follow the rules. Thankfully, her old fire chief armed her with everything she needs to know about her new job—never let them see you cry, be stronger than everyone, and never, ever get involved with a fellow firefighter.
She’s got it in the bag—she’ll simple be her usually hardcore, rule-abiding self times a million. That is until she encounters The Rookie—another new recruit who stirs something in her she’s never experienced before. Before she’s even realize what happens, all her rules—and all her control—has gone right out the window.
5. The Grownup
AUTHOR: Gillian Flynn
GENRE: Psychological Thriller | Novella
SUMMARY: The Grownup is the story of a woman who has made a living cheating and deceiving people. The main character, who remains unnamed throughout the story, poses as a psychic, preying on people’s desperation.
When an affluent woman named Susan begs for her help, the main character thinks she’s got the ultimate sucker at her disposal. However, Susan’s problem is not as simple as the main character originally believed. As the main character explores Susan’s home for ghosts, she runs into Susan’s stepson, a boy who is even more deranged and creepy than Susan’s suspected ghosts. As the story goes on, it becomes clear that the main character is no longer the one calling the shots; the tables have turned and she is now the one being horrifyingly deceived.
6. Confessions of a Shopaholic
AUTHOR: Sophie Kinsella
GENRE: Contemporary Fiction | Chick Lit
SUMMARY: Confessions of a Shopaholic is a hilarious and lighthearted read about Becky, a girl so addicted to shopping, it controls every inch of her life.
Although told in a funny and humorous way, Confessions of a Shopaholic takes a light-hearted look at what being a shopaholic can do to you and the ways that more things can actually make you lose it all.
7. Cold Tangerines
AUTHOR: Shauna Niequist
GENRE: Nonfiction | Personal Narrative Essays | Christian Nonfiction
SUMMARY: Cold Tangerines is a collection of personal narrative essays that focus on the joy and beauty of life, even in the ugly moments. Written and narrated by the author, this is an audiobook that will force you to take a step back and revel in the glory of the seemingly mundane.
Told through humor, insight, and a bit of defiance, Cold Tangerines is a book that will not only delight you, but make you a better person. Through taking moments to celebrate the taste of a cold tangerine, the electric red of leaves in the fall, or the sight of a new baby sleeping soundly, it’s the everyday moments that give us proof God is among us.
8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
AUTHOR: Stephen Chbosky
GENRE: Young Adult Fiction
SUMMARY: The Perks of Being a Wallflower is told through letters Charlie writes to an anonymous receiver. In the letters, he is raw and honest about the trials and joys of high school and the confusion of growing up.
Used to always hiding away, he’s made some new friends that are challenging him to experience life from the center, rather than from the fringes.
Although Charlie wants nothing more than to be normal, he’s not. And trying to keep up with his friends leads to opening that gap more than he’d been prepared for.
Charlie is shy and caring, but he’s also holding on to a lot of guilt. Charlie’s personal story is heartbreaking, but getting to know him is something every reader should experience.
9. The New Me
AUTHOR: Halle Butler
GENRE: Contemporary Fiction
SUMMARY: The New Me is the story of aimless Millie and the lackluster life she’s fallen into.
Barely able to hold down her temp jobs, unable to survive without the dull noise of crime show reruns, and bored to death of her “best friend”, Millie’s life seems pointless. But when the chance at a full-time job surfaces, she realizes what she’s been missing.
As Millie begins to dream about her life once she is employed full-time, with a full-time income and more importantly, a full-time purpose, everything begins to makes sense.
She gets a brief taste of her new life, with new clothes, expensive and fresh food, and a best friend who relishes her company.
But when that opportunity leaves as quickly as it came, all her high hopes die, along with her motivation to work towards being a better her.
10. Normal People
AUTHOR: Sally Rooney
GENRE: Contemporary Fiction
SUMMARY: In Normal People, Marianne and Connell are in different circles—Connell is popular and well-liked, while Marianne is ridiculed and ignored.
But despite their differences, a friendship blossoms between them, quickly growing into something more.
However, Connell is embarrassed to admit his association with her, and Marianne lacks the self-confidence to make him acknowledge her publicly.
As the two graduate and move on to college, their paths seem to separate, until they’re suddenly entwined again. But now, the tables have turned—Marianne is the one who’s well-liked and flourishing while Connell is the one who is lost and floundering.
Their story continues like this for years, growing apart and then suddenly finding themselves tangled together again. As they go through the normal rights of passage as well as things far outside the range of normal, they find themselves always back in front of one another, even when they thought their connection had been severed for good.
11. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
AUTHOR: Jenny Han
GENRE: Young Adult Fiction | Romance
SUMMARY: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean and the love she’s kept buried deep in a hatbox.
Each time Lara Jeans falls in love, instead of confessing her feelings to the boy at the other end, she writes a heartfelt letter. She pours her soul onto the page, and then tucks the letter safely away, knowing it will never to be seen again. Except, somehow, all of her letters find their way to their never-intended recipients.
While mortifying, the public reveal of her feelings wouldn’t be that bad, except that her sister’s newly ex-boyfriend Josh received one.
To save face and try to restore some of her dignity, Lara Jean makes a deal with Peter K., the school’s resident heartthrob.
As Lara Jean and Peter go about their fake relationship, she starts to realize maybe she doesn’t have the feelings for Josh she thought she had. And Peter isn’t at all like she thought he was.
12. Something Borrowed
AUTHOR: Emily Giffin
GENRE: Contemporary Fiction | Chick Lit
SUMMARY: In Something Borrowed, good girl Rachel has always done everything by the book—until she sleeps with her best friend’s fiancé. Somehow finding herself in the middle of a sordid love triangle, Rachel has to decide between friendship or true love. But first, she has to find out, are the friendship or the love even worth such a loss?
What books have you knocked out in one sitting? Share them in the comments below!