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Guest Post: Stef Thompsons Five Books to Read in a Single Sitting

up all night reading 300x229 Guest Post: Stef Thompsons Five Books to Read in a Single Sitting

Todays guest post is kindly provided by Stef Thompson of Dodging Commas

Delving into my mixed bag of 'Books I've Read', I wanted to select not just books I can read in a single sitting but books I think should be read in a single sitting. These are books that create worlds so absorbing that abandoning them mid-way may leave you feeling like a lost, wandering soul set upon this earth with no ability to communicate with anyone beyond the characters who still exist in your mind. Quite simply, these are books deserving of unerring attention.

My reading habits can probably be summarised with this very true story:

11pm. I go to bed, pick up a book, and intend to read two or three chapters until I drift off to sleep.

4am. I put down the book. I weep.

8am. I walk into the kitchen.

Dad (cheerful): Good morning.

Me (half-asleep): Morning.

Dad (unsurprised): You've been up reading again, haven't you.

Me (unashamed): Yes.

And this is the perfect entry point into my five favourite books to read in a single sitting because the book in this particular instance has made it to the list:

the book thief markus zusak Guest Post: Stef Thompsons Five Books to Read in a Single Sitting

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Set in Nazi Germany, The Book Thiefs'narrator is Death himself, adding an intriguing perspective to the lives he observes. The main character, Leisel, is a book thief ' the first book she ever stole was 'The Grave Digger's Handbook' at her brother's funeral. This is the beginning of her book-thieving career, which blossoms as she realises the power of words and the need for people to re-direct that power with their own stories. Death comes for everyone eventually, and you, too, will be left 'haunted by humans' at the end of the novel.

sunshine robin mckinley Guest Post: Stef Thompsons Five Books to Read in a Single Sitting

Sunshine by Robin McKinley

Think Vampires, but sinister ones who are hunted by the authorities. Think magic, but the kind that has contributed to the construction (and destruction) of society. Think baking. Seriously. Lots of baked goods. One of McKinley's many talents includes constructing unique worlds around seemingly insignificant every-day things (like honey in Chalice). Sunshine takes one female baker, one male vampire, and throws them into a world in which vampires are evil, tattoos are moving talismans, and magic simply is. As always with McKinley's novels, the novel possesses an excellently written world with beautiful, strong, flawed characters.

stardust neil gaiman Guest Post: Stef Thompsons Five Books to Read in a Single Sitting

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Set in the town of Wall, Stardust'sees'Tristran promising to retrieve a fallen star for the town beauty, Victoria. Crossing the wall that the town is named for, he enters the realm of faerie and discovers a strange land of magic and intrigue, where stars are not chunks of rock but beautiful and very vehement women. This was the first book I read by Gaiman and one of my first 'read in a single sitting' books that involved a terribly late night and having to go somewhere (school) the next morning. Whoops.

the little prince Guest Post: Stef Thompsons Five Books to Read in a Single Sitting

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

This is a book that never ceases to leave me breathless. It is an easy read ' a novella, not a novel ' and yet the ideas linger long after the final page has been turned. Following the story of the little prince and his experiences exploring the universe, it is deeply philosophical and thought-provoking, despite being ostensibly a children's book. You will never draw an elephant quite the same way again.

lovely bones alice sebold Guest Post: Stef Thompsons Five Books to Read in a Single Sitting

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

I read this book after the movie of the same name was released, inspired by the beautiful imagery depicted by Peter Jackson in the film. Raped and murdered, Susie Salmon tells the story from her place on the border of heaven ' she is not yet ready to relinquish her hold on life, and watches over her family as they grieve and investigate her death, living through them and yearning to be a part of the living world once more. It is through her observations that she lives, as best she can, until she is satisfied with the lives her family and friends have constructed in her absence. Tissues. You must have tissues before you open to the first page.

About the author:

Stef Thompson is from Australia and currently lives in Singapore. A lover of words in every form, Stef writes, reads and teaches. You can visit her blog; follow her on Twitter or Facebook.


  1. I do exactly the same thing, start a book at 1am with the intent of reading just a chapter or two only to be still reading at 4am then stagger out of bed at 7am to get my children ready for school. I probably do this about 3 days a week at least LOL.
    I loved The Book Thief, Lonely Bones and Sunshine great choices!

  2. Stephanie /

    There are worse addictions to have, I think! :) Ive read some crackers on holiday, and lets just say that Im making the most of the coffee here

    Have you read The Little Prince, Shelleyrae? Its one of my favourites, too :)

  3. Vintage RIASS post: Guest Post: Stef Thompsons Five Books to Read in a Single Sitting