Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish, and being new to the book blogosphere, one of the main things I wanted to do on my blog was to join a meme! I love making lists (thanks to my mild OCD), so this meme sounded perfect for me!
The theme this week is all about books I have read in one sitting. This includes short and quick reads, books that taught me a lifetime of lessons in just a few hours, and books that were so damn good I couldn’t help but read the entire day away! Click on their covers to see their Goodreads page. (I should also note that some of these are not novels, but plays and comics as well.)
1) Waiting for Godot – Samuel Beckett
Call me a nerd, but Samuel Beckett’s absurdist play published in 1952 is one of my favourite pieces of literature of all time. It tells the story of Vladimir and Estragon who wait for the arrival of someone named Godot, who never arrives. It’s strange, it’s funny, it’s so utterly pointless, but it is one of the deepest and most meaningful stories I have ever read. And it only takes a couple of hours to read!
2) The Penelopiad – Margaret Atwood
This one makes the list because I read it just yesterday in about three hours and it was so damn entertaining. It is basically a retelling of Homer’s The Odyssey from the perspective of Odysseus’ wife, Penelope, and the maids. The writing style is simple and flowing, making it easy to read, and it is always fun to read about women outsmarting men and mocking the patriarchy (which, let’s be real, Atwood is a master at.)
3) Harley Quinn, The New 52 Series
I have bunched the entire series of comics together because each of them is generally the same length and take no more than an hour to read. I know comic book snobs dislike the direction The New 52 took the DC characters, but I freaking loved it. Harley Quinn’s New 52 story presented her as an absolute badass who has broken free from her abusive relationship with the joker, and seriously, everyone should read these comics just for some pure, quick fun!
4) Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli
THIS. WAS. AN. ADORABLE. BOOK! I had been in a massive reading slump, starting many books and struggling to make it past the first couple chapters, and so I decided to just go for something light and LGBT (my go-to pick-me-up genre) and downloaded this book on my kindle. For those who don’t know, it’s a coming of age novel about a not-so-openly-gay teenage boy who finds himself blackmailed after an email ends up in the wrong hands. I finished it within a day, simply because it was just so cute and happy and funny, I wanted to live in that world all day.
5) History Is All You Left Me – Adam Silvera
THIS. WAS. AN. ADORABLE. BUT. SAD. BOOK! I read this under the same conditions as when I read Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda… Only a year later. I tend to avoid contemporaries that involve death or serious illnesses because I have bad anxiety and start to convince myself that by reading about these things, they will now happen to my or someone I love (I know, I’m a little messed). But this book, about a teenage boy learning to survive the aftermath of the death of his first love and ex-boyfriend, had me crying more tears of happiness than of sadness, and it sucked me in so deep I read it in two days (which is a record for me reading really emotional books – I always need to take breaks.)
6) Carry On – Rainbow Rowell
When I think of happiness, one of the things I see in my mind are Baz and Simon’s yellow and blue heads on the cover of this book, looking longingly at each other like they’re in a cheesy romantic comedy. This book took me a while to read the first time because I never wanted it to end, but the second read through only took a day (granted, I did skip some things.) This book is definitely no piece of literature… It is basically a retelling of Harry Potter with LGBT protagonists and a lot more humour. But reading this book feels like bathing in sunshine. It makes you feel warm. I couldn’t help but devour it.
7) The Lord of the Flies – William Golding
This was one of the first books that I had to read for school where I actually thought, ‘holy shit, I AM LOVING THIS!’ It’s about young schoolboys being stranded on an island after a plane crash, and I am a sucker for survival stories, for stories where it really shows how absolutely horrible human beings (and even more specifically in this case, spoiled boys) can be (and if you’re one of those people who believes that humanity is inherently good and don’t buy the events of this book, then let me argue with you.) It is a relatively short novel that would take no longer than a day to read, and yet, like it or not, it will stick with you for the rest of your life.
8) Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger
I remember sitting on a plastic red stool in the kitchen thinking, ‘right. I’ve got to read this entire book before tomorrow morning’s English Extension class.’ And somehow, I did. I’m not going to lie, the stream of consciousness writing style is a little laborious and the whole story involves a private school boy spending a night in New York after getting expelled, so it did, at times, get a little boring. But nothing captures teenage angst better than this book, and it was the heart-wrenchingly relatable portrayal of loneliness and the fear of growing up that kept me rooted to my little, plastic red stool.
9) I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You – Ally Carter
This was the first Young Adult book I had ever read. I was thirteen. My mum brought the book home and was worried about the content inside because it sounded like a contemporary romance. But it was really about a badass spy school for girls, and about the importance of friendships with girls, and the importance of lifting other girls up. I read this book like I was reading the secrets of the universe, and by the next day, I was asking my mum for the sequel.
10) The Retribution of Mara Dyer – Michelle Hodkin
This book, the third and final in the Mara Dyer series about a girl who discovers horrific powers and is haunted by her dead friends after surviving a freak accident that killed her said friends, makes this list simply because I read it in exactly ten and a half hours on the flight back from Honolulu to Sydney in January, 2015. I had been anticipating this book for a year, and didn’t even care that I had to read about my OTP having sex for the first time while sitting in between my parents, because I was determined to use this time to immerse myself in Mara’s creepy world, goddammit!
So, that reaches the end of the list. Thanks for reading, and tune in for another Top Ten next Tuesday!