One of my favorite memories occurred last summer. I woke up early on a Saturday to get ready and walked about half a mile to the library. There weren’t very many books that hadn’t been checked out yet, but I grabbed Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins knowing my mom (a huge reader) loved it too. I walked back to my apartment, packed up my things, and walked to the beach. I immediately sunk into the book, basically forgetting everyone and everything going on around me. The next thing I remembered, it was 7pm, my skin had tanned about three shades, and I had finished the book. I walked home, ordered pizza, and vowed that I would do that more often: binge-read a book all in a day (or a couple).
There is something special about a day-long affair during which you read a really great book and basically nothing else. Just like a binge-watch session of a new Netflix series, snuggling up with a cup of your beverage of choice (mine usually goes from coffee to water to wine to tea as the hours go on), a blanket, and an A/C blasted on high (you know, to mimic a crisp, fall day)—and a book you can absolutely devour.
So, we made your weekend plans for you—and they include these 10 books.
The Girl on The Train
The book that started it all—OK, actually, that’s a lie, because the real first book I ever binge-read was Twilight. If you’ve never seen the movie, it does make this book a little better. I went in with very little knowledge of the plot, and that helped. But basically, it’s about a woman who uncovers the truth about a husband and wife, all from the window of her daily train into work. She gets entangled into their lives, all to discover the truth of what happened to a woman who’s turned up dead.
My Lovely Wife
The brief synopsis of this book tells you that the main characters in this book, a husband and wife, are murderers. So, when you first begin the book, you’re immediately sucked in, dying to know about this strange hobby these two seemingly normal people do in their spare time. Then, the twists and turns make it so you absolutely have to finish as soon as humanly possible. Yes, it’s about murder, but it’s not nearly as graphic as some others with the same topic, so don’t let this one scare you.
The Turn of the Key
Ruth Ware has become a cornerstone of suspense, so you can expect basically all of her novels to be page-turners. A woman becomes a live-in nanny for a family, and next thing she knows, a child is dead and she is in jail, awaiting a murder trial. This book has the makings of a great binge-read: it’s fast-paced, has a good narrator, and an ending you just have to read.
The Silent Patient
A new therapist thinks he can make Alicia, a famous painter who killed her husband and hasn’t spoken since, talk. This was named Goodreads’s Best Mystery/Thriller of 2019, so you can expect to get sucked in basically right away.
The Glass Hotel
You might have already seen this book on your Instagram feed, as it’s Emily St. Vincent Mandel’s much-awaited fifth novel. It follows a few different plot points that all slowly intersect. Vincent, a hotel bartender, meets an intriguing person at the bar, just before someone writes “Why don’t you swallow broken glass” on the wall. Meanwhile, another crime has been committed, and Vincent gets wrapped up in it. It’s a mystery you’ll be dying to know all the secrets behind. Tip: go in blind—the less you know about this book before reading, the better!
This just-released book is at the top of our to-read lists. Lena's grandmother dies and reveals some family debt, so Lena drops out of college and takes a job in a small town in Michigan. The job looks great on paper, but ends up being a secret medical program, researching a whole slew of strange things.
Red, White, and Royal Blue
This book became an instant best-seller, and multiple of our editors are dying to get our hands on it! The first female president in the U.S.'s son has a rivalry with the British prince—well, seemingly a rivalry, until they fall in love, of course. See! It sounds like a dream in a book! The second you get your hands on it, read it with fervor.
The Secrets We Kept
This historical fiction chronicles a group of female CIA spies who are trying to smuggle "Doctor Zhivago" by Boris Pasternak, a Russian love story that was banned by the Soviet Union but thrived in the U.S., behind the iron curtain to show the Soviet people the amazing book their government isn’t allowing them to read. The book also follows Pasternak as he’s trying to get his masterpiece published. The spy theme of the book makes it feel more like a mystery, but the book mainly focuses on the characters.
Open Book: A Memoir
There’s a reason this book is flying off the shelves (I recently checked on my library hold, and I won’t get my copy until November!). While I want to tell you that the best part of this book is absolutely all the tea that is spilled (y’all, it’s good), it’s also described by so many as a coffee chat with your best friend, and who doesn’t need that right now (or ever)? Once you start reading (or, listening—the audiobook is better!), you won’t put this down.
The Glass Castle
This has been a best-seller for a long time, making it a necessary read for anyone who … well, basically anyone. This memoir follows the childhood of writer Jeanette Walls, with an alcoholic father and absent mother and siblings that had to learn to take care of themselves. It’s a story of resilience and family and love. The story is captivating and great to read in an afternoon (with a box of tissues nearby).
We Should All Be Feminists
This is a great one to read in a day because it is VERY short! However, that doesn't mean it isn't impactful. I consider this a must-read for basically any human, but especially those identifying as women. Its renowned writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, discusses intersectional feminism in, basically, a push to show readers why everyone should identify as a feminist.
Glennon Doyle's newest memoir (a Hello Sunshine Book Pick!) explores discontentment, letting go of expectations, and being the person you want to be. Her voice will inspire and empower you to say "f*ck it" way more often.
Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness
Another heartbreaking-but-inspiring memoir, “Brain on Fire” follows a 24-year-old woman whose life was going seemingly normal until she wakes up strapped to a hospital bed, unsure of how she got there. It’s about a life-changing diagnosis that saves her life, all while telling the tale of faith, hope, and perseverance within herself and her family.
Her Body and Other Parties: Stories
A book of short stories is very bingeable, and this is one of my favorites. It's not necessarily the most feel-good title on this list, but it is bound to make you think. It's about the female body amidst violence, sex, beauty, and more.