12 books to devour in one sitting

There are few things more satisfying than picking up a book and not putting it down again until you’ve finished it, especially on a Sunday afternoon. It’s complete bliss.

book hug agnes

But not every book is made for an afternoon binge. Here are a few that are perfect to read in one sitting.


Though there’s lots of 500-page fantasy novels one the YA shelves at the moment, but there are so many shorter contemporary gems out there that sometimes get a little forgotten.

YA binge books

‘The Boyfriend List’ by E Lockhart

With the series being republished in the UK this summer, we’re finally getting books 3 and 4 in Ruby Oliver’s adventures this side of the Atlantic. Ruby has had a horrible week: she lost her boyfriend, her best friend, had a panic attack and got herself a shrink. This series is quick, fun and utterly charming.

‘Paper Butterflies’ by Lisa Heathfield

Lisa Heathfield knows how to sucker punch in her writing and her books are so impossible to put down you’ll read them all in one go whether you want to or not! June’s life with her stepmother and stepsister is a dark secret. Then she meets Blister and has reason to hope again.

‘You Know Me Well’ by David Levithan and Nina LaCour

There’s nothing like David Levithan for a binge read – addictive, beautiful and characters to die for – and the same goes for Nina LaCour. ‘You Know Me Well’ was made for reading in one gulp at only 250 pages. Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. That is until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night.

Crossover Fiction

If you’re a YA reader then you’ll often find yourself penned into that section in the bookshop, but there’s more to reading than that. There are so many stories that relate to us in just the same way as our beloved YA novels.

Book binge

‘Treats’ by Lara Williams

This short story collection is, forgive the pun, a total treat. The stories in this collection look at growing up in the 21st Century. The scary presence of social media in our lives, leaving school, finding jobs in a tough economy and dating in a digital world are all talked about with humour and honesty. It’s a compete must and you won’t want to put it down.

‘Milk and Honey’ by Rupi Kaur

We’ve never really talked about poetry here on MP! but we have to make an exception for ‘Milk and Honey’. You’ve probably seen some of these poems on Instagram and Tumblr with the gorgeous illustrations, but you need the whole collection. ‘Milk and Honey’ is Feminism 101 – sex, friendship, relationships and the female body. So good you should read it even if you don’t like poetry.

‘We Have Always Lived in the Castle’ by Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson is the queen of American Gothic and this is the best of her six novels. Merricat lives in the family home with her sister Constance and her Uncle Julian. Constance has just been acquitted of murdering the rest of the family, but their town hasn’t forgiven the Blackwoods yet… Chilling, mysterious and addictive. Shirley Jackson is about to be your new fave.

Graphic Novels

Graphic novels and comic bind ups are the literary definition of instant gratification. Fun, easy to read and rarely taking more than an hour to devour a volume, they’re perfect when you’re lagging a little on that pesky Goodreads challenge…

Graphic novels binge books

‘Rat Queens’ by Kurtis J Wiebe & Roc Upchurch

This series is so much fun. The Rat Queens are a pack of foul-mouthed, violent, badass ladies  that are hired to kill. The art is bright, wacky and captivating; the Queens are total #friendshipgoals and the story is brimming with creatures. It’s like the perfect mash-up of the high fantasy of ‘Lord of the Rings’ and the butt-kicking of ‘Buffy’.

‘Nimona’ by Noelle Stevenson

Noelle Stevenson’s graphic novel is a whole pile of fun – dragons, magic and evil doings are afoot. Nimona has a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.

‘Giant Days’ by John Allison & Lissa Treiman

Now, we haven’t actually read ‘Giant Days’ yet, but it’s at the top of our graphic novel wishlist. Comics are rarely set in the real-world contemporary setting, especially about a group of friends at college so this just sounds perfect. Plus, we think the covers are adorable.


Don’t roll your eyes at us, there are definitely classics you can read in one gulp. They’re not all 600 pages long and riddled with impossible words, ya know.

Classics binge books

‘Ethan Frome’ by Edith Wharton

Only just hitting 100 pages and written just before the First World War, ‘Ethan Frome’ is a super accessible classic – it only took us 90 minutes to read! And it’s also super good. A tragic, doomed romance between a sad farmer trapped in a miserable marriage falls in love with his wife’s cousin when she comes to care for Ethan’s wife during her (constant) illnesses. The ending totally punched us in the gut – so sad!

‘A Study in Scarlet’ by Arthur Conan Doyle

So you love the BBC ‘Sherlock’, the Robert Downey Jr films and you’ve read all the fanfiction, you should probably read the originals. Sherlock and Watson’s first adventure is only around 120 pages long and it’s worth 2 hours of your life to see them officially meet for the first time and marvel at Sherlock with Watson as he makes ridiculous jumps and solves impossible cases.

Penguin Little Black Classics

From Sophocles to HG Wells, the Brothers Grimm to Jane Austen, this series showcases novellas, poems, short stories, letters and excerpts from the best literature has to offer. Each book is 80 pages long in the first set and 120 in the second, this series is a perfect way to start your love affair with classics if you’re intimidated by them or just don’t know where to start.

What are your favourite books to read in one sitting? Let us know at @maximumpopbooks

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Written by Sophie Waters

Sophie is the Head of Commercial at Maximum Pop! Having studied English Lit and Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, she came to MP! to satisfy her passion for books. Sophie is a diehard Hufflepuff and feminist. She's also a huge cat lover, and can often be found rocking her socks off at a gig.

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