People Are Sharing The Books So Good That They Ignored Their Jobs, Bedtimes, And Lives In General In Order To Finish Them

We all want to read more, but between work and school and going to the dentist and watching The Last of Us and social media and calling your mom and doing the dishes and figuring out what to make for dinner when all you have in your fridge is half an onion and, you know, the rest of life itself, it can be difficult to find the time. One solution for this? Finding a book that is just so good you read it all in one sitting.

spongebob flipping through a book
spongebob flipping through a book

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Luckily for us, there were lots of responses when Redditor u/jollyflyingcactus asked the bibliophiles of r/books, "What's a book that was so good/enjoyable that you couldn't put it down?" Here are 19 books that'll break a reading slump (and maybe ruin your sleep schedule, but hey, it's for a good cause).

Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity. 

1."I’m currently reading The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon and I can’t put it down. I’m a big fan of multiple POVs in a story, and each character’s story throughout the book so far has been very interesting. I’m excited to see how they all come together in the end (I’m about halfway through). I also have not read many novels with LGBT representation, specifically WLW representation, and this is the reason why I sought this book out in the first place. Shannon does a very good job depicting a genuine sapphic romance. It’s over 800 pages and my girlfriend has to remind me to eat on the weekends because I’ve been obsessed, lol. I’m off to read it right now actually!"

book cover with a dragon on a tower


What's it about? In a fantasy world where dragons and peoples' differing beliefs about them play a key role, three women warriors from three distinct cultures work to prevent the return of an evil figure known as the Nameless One.

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2."Just finished reading Circe by Madeline Miller and I stayed up until 5 a.m. one night to finish it."

book cover with a face graphic


What's it about? A retelling of the life and times of the mythical figure Circe, a banished daughter of gods who becomes a powerful witch in her exile.

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3."The first time I read Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, I couldn't put it down. I was late for stuff."

dinosaur skeleton on the cover


What's it about? You know the story: reckless scientists, dinosaurs walking the Earth, etc.

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4."Most recently it was Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin. I really enjoyed the author's writing style."

illustrated waves on the cover


What's it about? Two friends create a successful video game together and face the sorts of trials and tribulations that plague the young and brilliant.

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5."I've read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath around 7 times. I think I recall reading it the first 3 times in about 2 days."

book cover


What's it about? A high-achieving college student experiences a steadily worsening mental health crisis that begins while she's interning at a woman's magazine in New York City in the 1950s.

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6."The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold. The ultimate, absolute package time travel novel. It contains every possible ramification of time travel: Every paradox, every twist, every last way time travel could be used or abused, all in one astonishing story. Despite being entertaining, it also serves as the ultimate treatise on every last thing anyone has ever, or will ever, do with the concept of time travel, all in one book. It is the most complete time travel story ever written. Or, that probably ever will be written."

men dressed from different eras on the cover


What's it about? When a man uses a time machine in an attempt to change the past, he comes up against the potential, and limits, of time travel.

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7."Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. One of the rare books that had me sobbing at times. It makes you question the world around you."

rope on the book cover


What's it about? Two young lovers, Ifemelu and Obinze, leave Nigeria and travel to the United States and London, respectively, not seeing one another until they come together once again in their home country, fifteen years after embarking on their separate journeys.

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8."This was years ago, but I read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins in one sitting, then immediately went to the library to get the other two and read those within a day."

book cover


What's it about? In the post-apocalyptic nation of Panem, a tyrannical Capitol demands that twelve surrounding Districts each send one boy and one girl to an elaborate gladiatorial competition known as the Hunger Games, from which only one will emerge as Victor. When Katniss Everdeen's younger sister Prim is chosen as a tribute, she volunteers to take her place and finds herself sucked into a fight for survival that is just as dangerous outside the arena as in it.

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9."I'll be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara. I read it after they found him, but her writing was still so good it sucked me in. I started it right before bed, planning to read a couple chapters, and ended up staying up to finish, then was too freaked out to fall asleep for a while. I ended up calling out sick to work."

aerial view of a neighborhood


What's it about? This nonfiction account follows McNamara's quest to identify the Golden State Killer and bring relief to the many victims he terrorized across California in the '70s and '80s.

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10."The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells. Rarely have I been so blown away when I had mediocre expectations. It's one of those sci-fi stories where the setting is used to its full potential."

ominous cyborg walking in the woods


What's it about? A cyborg SecUnit (Security Unit) gains sentience and free will, dubs itself 'Murderbot,' and protects the exasperating scientists in its care while learning from them and developing human-like qualities in the process.

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11."The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune. It's brilliant and like drinking hot chocolate under a blanket on a cold snow day."

house on a cliff on the book cover


What's it about? An employee of the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth is sent to observe a special orphanage for children whose magical powers are especially dangerous. There, he discovers a new family in both the residents and their caretaker.

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12."Recently, The Writing Retreat by Julia Bartz. It’s a supernatural thriller that morphs into something almost completely different, so the actual plot and pacing of the story kept me invested. But the main character, Alex, is also very fascinating. At the beginning of the book, she’s warped by guilt and shame, and it’s really interesting to see what lessons she takes from the things she’s forced to go through. Some of them are surprisingly amoral. I read it in about five hours."

—adwoafinewineWhat's it about? A young writer who considers herself a failure is drawn into a high-stakes novel writing competition at a retreat run by an esteemed horror author. However, the opportunity that seemed like a dream soon reveals itself to be a nightmare. 


What's it about? A young writer who considers herself a failure is drawn into a high-stakes novel writing competition at a retreat run by an esteemed horror author. However, the opportunity that seemed like a dream soon reveals itself to be a nightmare.

Atria/Emily Bestler Books / Via

13."The Silo series (Wool, Shift, and Dust) by Hugh Howey, and other books by this author. He is very descriptive and teaches the dystopian world through various primary characters: their history, current life, and perspectives. Apple TV is adapting Silo into a TV series, releasing in May. The author has been included in the production."

book cover


What's it about? After the apocalypse, the remnants of humanity fight for survival in a dystopian society housed in the Silo, a structure that stretches deep beneath the earth.

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14."Piranesi by Susanna Clarke. I loved the world, the descriptions, and Piranesi's view on the world. And I was satisfied with the ending, which doesn't happen often to me."

mythical creature playing a horn instrument on the book cover


What's it about? Piranesi lives in the supernaturally vast and perpetually flooded House, with only birds, skeletons, and a man known as the Other to keep him company. As he studies the House's mysteries in the hopes of helping the Other to discover some hidden power within it, Piranesi begins to piece together how, exactly, he ended up in such a place.

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15."Severance by Ling Ma. I’m not really into apocalyptic fiction but I couldn’t put this book down and I ended up finishing it in two days."

book cover


What's it about? Candace Chen, who emigrated to the United States with her parents from China when she was a child, faces first millennial malaise and then post-apocalyptic struggle as a strange disease known as Shen Fever slowly but surely infects the world, causing its victims to repeat mindless tasks over and over again.

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16."The Stand by Stephen King! I picked it up on a whim and it absolutely gripped me."

closeup of a face with a bullet held between the teeth and smoke coming out


What's it about? The forces of good and evil, as personified by the survivors of a devastating influenza pandemic, fight for dominance in a post-apocalyptic world.

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17."Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. I read myself to sleep every night. Not the night I started Fight Club. I was awake all night reading that one."

closeup of a chipped tooth


What's it about? Sorry, I can't talk about it.


It was right there, okay? Anyway, Fight Club follows an unnamed narrator who forms the titular organization with the mysterious and charismatic Tyler Durden.

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18."I read Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro in a day. I just sat in my garden for hours reading it. Still one of my favorite days in recent memory."

closeup of a child's face


What's it about? Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy become friends at Hailsham, a strange English boarding school that prioritizes the physical health and artistic output of its students. As the three grow up and struggle with their complicated relationships with one another, the reality of Hailsham's purpose, and that of its students, becomes inescapably clear.

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19.And finally: "The A Court Of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas. I inhaled these 400–600 page books in one-to-two days. Something is still missing from my soul after finishing the series and nothing else can fill the void!"

illustration of an arrow going through a beast


What's it about? A mortal hunter, Feyre, is captured by a faerie named Tamlin and dragged to his world after unknowingly killing one of his kind. Once there, she discovers that there's more to the fae — and Tamlin — than she first believed.

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