Books to Read in One Sitting

Go Tell It on the Mountain

James Baldwin

With lyrical precision, psychological directness, resonating symbolic power, and a rage that is at once unrelenting and compassionate, Baldwin chronicles a fourteen-year-old boy's discovery of the terms of his identity as the stepson of the minister of a Pentecostal storefront church in Harlem.

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1984

George Orwell

In 1984, London is a grim city in the totalitarian state of Oceania where Big Brother is always watching you. Winston Smith is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. Drawn into a forbidden love affair, Winston finds the courage to join a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be.

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The Picture of Dorian Gray

Oscar Wilde

Basil Hallward paints the portrait of young, handsome Dorian Gray, who falls prey to his own dazzling beauty. Afraid that his youth and looks will waste away, Dorian expresses a wish that his portrait, and not he, will age and fade over time. His wish is granted, and over the ensuing years, Dorian indulges in every kind of vice and pleasure, never aging nor disfiguring.

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Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Victor Frankenstein, a scientist, discovers the secret of reanimating the dead. After he rejects his hideous creation, not even the farthest poles of the earth will keep his bitter monster from seeking an inhuman revenge. Inspired by a uniquely Romantic view of science’s possibilities, Shelley’s masterpiece ultimately wrestles with the hidden shadows of the human mind.

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The Bluest Eye

Toni Morrison

Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for normalcy, for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in.Yet as her dream grows more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife. A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity.

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The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald

It's the Roaring Twenties, and New York City is the place to be. Everything can be purchased, everyone can be bought. But, can you make money erase your past?

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Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury

A book burner in a future fascist state finds out books are a vital part of a culture he never knew. He clandestinely pursues reading, until he is betrayed.

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Of Mice and Men

John Steinbeck

The tragic story of the friendship between two migrant workers, George and Lenny, and their dream of owning a farm.

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Old Man and the Sea

Ernest Hemingway

The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway’s most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordeal—a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream.

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The Girl from Venice

Martin Cruz Smith

Venice, 1945. The war may be waning, but the city known as La Serenissima is still occupied and the people of Italy fear the power of the Third Reich. One night, under a canopy of stars, a fisherman named Cenzo comes across a young woman’s body floating in the lagoon and soon discovers that she is still alive and in trouble.

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The Wonder

Emma Donoghue

Tourists flock to the cabin of eleven-year-old Anna O'Donnell, who believes herself to be living off manna from heaven, and a journalist is sent to cover the sensation. Lib Wright, a veteran of Florence Nightingale's Crimean campaign, is hired to keep watch over the girl. This is a tale of two strangers who transform each other's lives, a powerful psychological thriller, and a story of love pitted against evil.

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The Stars Are Fire

Anita Shreve

In October 1947, after a summer long drought, fires break out all along the Maine coast and are soon racing out of control from town to village. Five months pregnant, Grace Holland is left alone to protect her two toddlers when her husband, Gene, joins the volunteer firefighters. Grace watches helplessly as their houses burn to the ground, the flames finally forcing them all into the ocean as a last resort. The women spend the night frantically protecting their children, and in the morning find their lives forever changed.

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The Underground Railroad

Colson Whitehead

Cora is a young slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. An outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is on the cusp of womanhood—where greater pain awaits. And so when Caesar, a slave who has recently arrived from Virginia, urges her to join him on the Underground Railroad, she seizes the opportunity and escapes with him.

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The Other Einstein

Marie Benedict

Mitza Maric has always been a little different from other girls. Most twenty-year-olds are wives by now, not studying physics at an elite Zurich university with only male students trying to outdo her clever calculations. But Mitza is smart enough to know that, for her, math is an easier path than marriage. And then fellow student Albert Einstein takes an interest in her, and the world turns sideways. Theirs becomes a partnership of the mind and of the heart, but there might not be room for more than one genius in a marriage.

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Hello, Sunshine

Laura Dave

Sunshine Mackenzie is living the dream. And then she gets hacked. When Sunshine's secrets are revealed, her fall from grace is catastrophic: she loses the husband, her show, the fans, and her apartment. She's forced to return to the childhood home--and the estranged sister--she's tried hard to forget. But what Sunshine does amid the ashes of her own destruction may well save her life.

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Today Will Be Different

Maria Semple

Eleanor knows she's a mess. But today, she will tackle the little things. She will shower and get dressed. She will have her poetry and yoga lessons after dropping off her son, Timby. She won't swear. But before she can put her modest plan into action-life happens. Today, it turns out, is the day Timby has decided to fake sick to weasel his way into his mother's company. It's also the day Joe has chosen to tell his office-but not Eleanor-that he's on vacation. Just when it seems like things can't go more awry, an encounter with a former colleague produces a graphic memoir whose dramatic tale threatens to reveal a buried family secret.

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Winter Storms

Elin Hilderbrand

Some of the stormy weather of the past few seasons seems to have finally lifted for the Quinns. That doesn't mean there aren't a few dark clouds on the horizon. However, if there's one holiday that brings the Quinn family together to give thanks for the good times, it's Christmas.

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Faithful

Alice Hoffman

Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl growing up on Long Island until one night a terrible road accident brings her life to a halt. While her best friend Helene suffers life-changing injuries, Shelby becomes overwhelmed with guilt and is suddenly unable to see the possibility of a future she’d once taken for granted. What happens when a life is turned inside out? When you lose all hope and sense of worth?

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The Mothers

Brit Bennett

It's the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother's recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor's son. Luke Sheppard is twenty-one, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner. They are young; it's not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance - and the subsequent cover-up - will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth.

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The Roanoke Girls

Amy Engel

After her mother's suicide, fifteen year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra. Lane knew little of her mother's mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran...fast and far away. Eleven years later, her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run too? Or something worse?

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Truly Madly Guilty

Liane Moriarty

Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One small dog. It’s just a normal weekend. What could possibly go wrong? In Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty turns her unique, razor-sharp eye towards three seemingly happy families.

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Behind Closed Doors

B. A. Paris

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You’d like to get to know Grace better. But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.

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The Woman in Cabin 10

Ruth Ware

Lo Blacklock, a journalist, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise. Then, Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something has gone terribly, terribly wrong..

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Dark Matter

Blake Crouch

A mind-bending, relentlessly paced science-fiction thriller, in which an ordinary man is kidnapped, knocked unconscious--and awakens in a world inexplicably different from the reality he thought he knew.

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A Simple Favor

Darcey Bell

When her best friend, Emily, asks Stephanie to pick up her son Nicky after school, she happily says yes. But Emily doesn’t come back. She doesn’t answer calls or return texts. Stephanie knows something is terribly wrong—Emily would never leave Nicky, no matter what the police say.

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The Sleepwalker

Chris Bohjalian

When Annalee Ahlberg goes missing her children fear the worst. Annalee is a sleepwalker whose affliction manifests in ways both bizarre and devastating. Once, she merely destroyed the hydrangeas in front of her Vermont home. More terrifying was the night her older daughter, Lianna, pulled her back from the precipice of the Gale River bridge. When the police discover a small swatch of fabric, a nightshirt, ripped and hanging from a tree branch, it seems certain Annalee is dead.

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A Stranger in the House

Shari Lapena

One day, there's a knock on the door—the police are there to take Tom to the hospital where his wife has been admitted. She had a car accident. The accident has left Karen with a concussion and a few scrapes. Still, she’s mostly okay—except that she can’t remember what she was doing or where she was when she crashed.

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The Store

James Patterson

When Jacob and Megan Brandeis plan to expose a secretive and evil corporation, the fallout threatens to destroy them.

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Full Wolf Moon

Lincoln Child

Legends, no matter how outlandish, are often grounded in reality. This has been the guiding principle behind the exhilarating career of Jeremy Logan, the "enigmalogist"—an investigator who specializes in analyzing phenomena that have no obvious explanation. Logan has often found himself in situations where keeping an open mind could mean the difference between life and death, and that has never been more true than now.

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The Child

Fiona Barton

As an old house is demolished in a gentrifying section of London, a workman discovers a tiny skeleton, buried for years. For journalist Kate Waters, it’s a story that deserves attention. She cobbles together a piece for her newspaper, but at a loss for answers, she can only pose a question: Who is the Building Site Baby?

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Camino Island

John Grisham

A gang of thieves stage a daring heist from a vault deep below Princeton University's Firestone Library. Their loot is priceless, impossible to resist. Bruce Cable owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. He makes his real money, though, as a prominent dealer in rare books.

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