Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read in One Sitting

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl


My grandparents have a homemade air conditioning unit called a swamp cooler that cools things down a bit but still leaves their house feeling warmer and more humid than many other places in the Midwestern United States. There were a few years there when I was growing up that my grandmother was dealing with some chronic, serious health issues, so mom would often bring us kids along on the visit. We might help out with the chores that were hard for grandma to do on her own or just sit around and shoot the breeze if she’d already gotten the help she needed that week. (Grandma recovered from that illness and is still doing well to this day).

In part due to this, I spent some blissful summer days reading entire novels or novellas in a single afternoon during these visits. It was the coolest and most enjoyable thing to do, especially when it grew very hot and humid in July and August.

Many of them were classics because I was a bookish kid who generally enjoyed those styles of writing quite a bit and because those were often the types of books my grandparents still have lying around on their many bookshelves.

I read many other genres and sorts of stories as well, of course, but these are the books that have stuck in my mind the best that fit this week’s prompt. Maybe it’s because I miss my grandparents?

1. Animal Farm by George Orwell

2. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

3. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

4. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

5. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

6. The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

7. Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin A. Abbott

8. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

9. The Giver (The Giver, #1) by Lois Lowry

10. Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy, #1) by Chinua Achebe


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68 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read in One Sitting

  1. Ah didn’t know they were called ‘swamp coolers’ – we use them in India especially in areas that have dry heat. We call them air coolers as against air conditioners! Honestly, though we have both, my husband and I prefer the cooler.
    How lovely that you still have your Grandmom around. I miss mine a lot.
    Thank you for this great list of books! The books that I associate with my grandparents home is a lot of Irish literature, courtesy my aunt, C S Lewis and Chesterton.

    • It’s awesome that you have them in India! What’s your term for them?

      It sounds like your grandparents had many great books in their home. I’m sending hugs (if you like them). It’s hard to miss a grandparent. I’m down to two of them and very grateful they’re still here.

  2. I completely forgot A Christmas Carol. It’s my Christmas reading MUST DO, and I found an awesome version narrated by Hugh Grant.

  3. I love all those books – some of my absolute favourites there! Things Fall Apart was so good!

  4. A great list! I think reading books like this is definitely a common experience.

  5. This would be a great list for anyone who wants to read some classics but doesn’t want to read lengthy books.

  6. I read so many of these for school and university! I think The Turn of the Screw was my favourite. 🙂

  7. Oooh I have read 4 of the books on your list. I just finished to Kill a Mockingbird and it was easy to read, I loved it.

  8. Such lovely memories for sure. I have read a few of the books on your list, but haven’t read any of them in one sitting. I can imagine the impact a book like To kill a Mockingbird can have on you if you finish it in one sitting.

    Thanks for sharing your memories!

    Elza Reads – Ten one sitting reads

  9. That sounds so wonderful. There’s something different and cozy about visiting grandparents during holidays and vacations. Very comforting.

    The few times I went camping, I definitely made sure to bring along some books 🙂

  10. I love A Christmas Carol! I have a fantastic audiobook read by Tom Baker who used to be Doctor Who back in the 80s!

  11. What a sweet background story for your list! I love the idea of reading classics at your grandparents’!

  12. I love To Kill A Mocking Bird.

  13. I love how you have such fond memories associated with these books!

  14. Oh swamp coolers! My best friend had one growing up, and that was where I spent most of my time in the summer. Her dad wouldn’t let us turn it off and we were always sticky and cold, lol!

    Sounds like your grandma had some solid classics around, I got my love of reading in part from my grandma as well, though her style was more Westerns and suspense/mystery stories. Still, there were a lot of lazy afternoons where I would pick up one and breeze through it with the ease of someone with no other obligations. Ah, the good ol’ days.

    • Wow, it sounds like your friend’s family had a very effective swamp cooler!

      it’s so cool that you got to read your grandmother’s books.

  15. Oh, I loved The Giver so much as a kid! And I read War of the Worlds as summer reading one year, but it took me almost the whole summer to finish it, as I recall (I think I mostly read a lot of chapter books like The Babysitters Club and then a couple of classics in the summer).

  16. Great list of books! I read Animal Farm for school, so it was spread out over many days. As for The Christmas Carol, I never knew it was such fun. I remember being terrified of the movie (the old black and white version), so I was intimidated to read the book. Imagine my surprise when I started laughing while reading it.

    Thanks for visiting my post earlier.

  17. I remember having to read Animal Farm and Of Mice and Men for school and plowing through them in a sitting. Totally forgot about those! But how cool to have those memories with your grandma. Glad to hear she’s doing well!

  18. The story about your grandparents is lovely. I’m so glad she’s doing well now.

    The Turn of the Screw has been on my TBR forever. I really need to just go for it if it’s such a page turner.

  19. I’ve taught so many of these and I’m going yo read ‘The Giver’ with my Year 8s (12/13 year olds) for the first time this year.

  20. TKAM in one go is impressive! It’s not a huge novel, sure, but it’s not exactly short, either. I googled my site for “one sitting” and it was mostly Star Trek novels…

    • Thank you! I’m a fast reader. 🙂

      How many Star Trek novels have you read?

      • Oh, lord. O_O On my blog, I’ve listed 135 different tiles — but that’s not counting those I read before the blog, of which there were many. I wouldn’t think I’ve read more than 500 in toto, but it would be in the area of 300-400. My main experience of Star Trek before 2005 or so was reading the novels, because I was only rarely able to watch the shows — I only saw DS9’s latter seasons as they aired. Everything else was done as rerurns, or VHS/DVD.

  21. Denise @ Life With No Plot

    I can’t remember if I read Animal Farm in one sitting or not. I may have. If not, then I read it in two sittings. 🙂 And A Christmas Carol is definitely a classic holiday tradition around our house. We read it every year.

    Thanks for sharing your list! Great books as always!

  22. Lots of swamp coolers here in Arizona! But, most of us now have AC. I should have added To Kill a Mockingbird to my list as I read it all in one sitting and it’s my favorite of the classics. Great list!

  23. What a lovely memory, and those are some great books! I read #1 and #2 in one sitting, as well.
    Here’s my Top Ten Tuesday list!

  24. Ooh,that is a great list of books!

  25. I tried to read Flatland last year but couldn’t get into it, but last year was a bad year for my reading and I want to try it again.

  26. Swamp coolers! Ahaha okay that’s slightly hilarious 😂 we probably has thoses in canada but ??? Right now i don’t think i’ve personally seen any- you either get thoses AC/termopumps or a simple fans..

    thank you to have shared that memory ❤️ Man, I kinda wished I had a childhood like that, or atleast a bit of travelling abroad to see relatives.. alas- nope 😬 just our smoll little family, was going to camp most years growing up rofl

    While I know them as classics, the only one I recognized is animal farm… which was a mandatory read in school- and I skipped it 😅 guessing my way through, as it was for english class and I didn’t understood anything…

    • Heh, swamp coolers are a very old-fashioned thing so far as I know. My grandparents have probably had theirs for 50+ years. (Well, maybe not the exact same machinery. But the same sort of system).

      Your childhood sounds interesting, too!

      Were there any classics you did like?

  27. Nice list! TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is my favorite book of all time, but I actually didn’t read it until I was an adult. I wish I had found it earlier. I also adore A CHRISTMAS CAROL, which I re-read every Christmas. THE GREAT DIVORCE is one of my husband’s favorite books. I still need to read it.

    Happy TTT (on a Wednesday)!


  28. Nice list of books there, Lydia. I doubt I could have read any of them in one sitting but I have read a few of them.

    My TTT.

  29. Great list!! I loved Animal Farm and Of Mice and Men.

  30. I haven’t read any of these! Looks like quite a list.

  31. The only one I’ve read is To Kill A Mockingbird, but I’ve seen the movies for The Giver and Christmas Carol. 🙂

  32. I’ve always wanted to read War of the Worlds!

  33. I see lots of my favorite classics on your list. Can’t remember if I read them in one sitting or not but I loved them.

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