Books That Take Place In 24 Hours Or Less


Someone mentioned to me the other day that they enjoy books that take place in just one day. I had never thought of that as a thing, but then I decided I loved it. A google search, plus a look at my own TBR gave me this list of solid 24 hour books.

Any titles to add?

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The 20 oldest books on my TBR

I started using Library Thing in 2014 to track the books I've read, and to track the books I want to read. This makes me sound like Angela from The Office, but I find Goodreads to be a bit too flashy for my tastes.

Today I was shuffling through my TBR and realized I had books on there that dated from the inception of my account in 2014. That inspired a new reading challenge. If I don't read these 20 books by the end of 2016 I'm taking them off my list.

I'm going to post the covers here. If you want the description click on the cover.

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I think this is the best Books on the Nightstand Summer BINGO card I've ever gotten. There isn't a single square that I'm not excited about filling in. As of right now, here's what I'm leaning towards as far as my BINGO reading list.

A mental health memoir: Girl, Interrupted

A dark, upsetting, or sad book: We Need To Talk About Kevin

Written by an author you've met: 168 Hours

Cozy Mystery: All Shall Be Well

Published before 1900: Wuthering Heights

An audiobook: The Knockoff

From the Harvard Classics 5 foot shelf: Pride and Prejudice

That you loved as a child: Baby-Sitter's Club (one of the new graphic novels.)

Set in Australia: Wildflower Hill

With a happy ending: The Little Beach Street Bakery (I'm assuming from the cover. It has a picture of a cupcake with the beach in the background.)

A Newberry or Caldecott winner: The War That Saved My Life

Horror: The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

Travel writing: My American Revolution

Published in 2016: Eligible

Set at (or near) the North or South Pole: Letters from Father Christmas

Shortest book on your TBR: O Pioneers!

Mentioned on the Gilmore Girls: Ella Minnow Pea

Currently on the nonfiction bestseller list: Rise of the Rocket Girls

That spans multiple generations: The Baker's Daughter

Set in Africa: O, Africa! (I'm disapointed in the selection for this one. Why has no one written a multi-generational historical novel about Africa?)

A retelling of a classic: Northanger Abbey

Nonfiction: Grandma Gatewood's Walk

With a day of the week in the title: The Wednesday Wars

Nonfiction about your hometown or state: Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter

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My summer reading list

My son is so wrapped up in sports that we don't even recognize months in this house any more. We just have soccer season, baseball season, basketball season, etc. Reading is my sport, and summer is undoubtedly my sport's season. I spent way more time than is normal this week coming up with my summer reading list.

(Need inspiration for your own list? Try Modern Mrs. Darcy's Summer Reading Guide and Summer Reading BINGO from Books on the Nightstand.)

To read's description of these books click on any of the images.

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Halftime Reading Goals Progress

Can you believe it? 2016 is half over. Any resolutions I made to improve myself in January have been long abandoned, except for the ones related to reading. I'm still trying to meet my 2016 reading goals for non-fiction, reading out loud, and classics.

Goal #1:

Read 50 non-fiction books, at least 40 from a list I curated from my TBR.

Progress: I have read 28 non-fiction books so far this year, but only ten are from my list. I'm in the middle of a huge book from my list now, so progress will be made this summer.

Goal #2:

Read the 5 chapter books on this list out loud to my kids.

Progress: I have read three chapter books out loud to my kids (plus numerous story books), but none were from my list. Not to fear, we have started two books from the list, so this shouldn't be a total shut out.

Goal #3:

Read these 8 classics in 2016.

I've read 3/8, almost half of my list. I would have read Grapes of Wrath too, but for some reason I've been waiting for weeks for my library hold.

Reading Challenges:

Modern Mrs. Darcy's reading challenge:

I only have 2 books left for this one -- "A book chosen by your sibling, spouse, child, or BFF", and "A book that was banned at some point".

BookRiot's Read Harder Challenge:

I've read 10/24 books for this challenge. Time to step it up! I'm starting with my selection for 500+ pages - City on Fire.

Books on the Nightstand Summer Reading BINGO:

I am super excited for my BINGO card - this is my 3rd year doing this, and I think it's my best yet.  I usually try to read the whole square, and I usually get pretty close.


I started the year with 400 books on my TBR, and am down to 383. Not bad, since I feel like I've added about a thousand books since summer reading lists started coming out.

Happy reading!

Books I'm actually going to buy

I'm a heavy library user - both out of cheapness, and out of a strong desire not to have my house collapse under the weight of all the books I would own if I had to buy everything I read. That said, there are two books I've decided to pre-order this summer, because I just can't wait for the library.

Just like every other Muggle around I'll be reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child this summer. I'm sure there will be spoilers galore, and I want to binge on this one before I read all about it on Twitter.
I LOVED The Fifth Season when I read it last week, and NEED to read the next installment, The Obelisk Gate, when it comes out in August. It comes out two days after my birthday, so this won't be hard to justify!

Do you still read actual books (not in electronic format?) Are there any you're planning on adding to your shelves this summer?

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April 2016 Quick Lit

Each month I link with Modern Mrs. Darcy's Quick Lit as a way to talk about the books I liked, but didn't review.

I read Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan because someone told me that if I went to a liberal arts school I would relate to it. I think whoever made that recommendation confused liberal arts colleges with all women's colleges (not the same thing btw.) I still liked the book, but the ending was a bit abrupt.

When I was searching my library for Commencement I ran across Maine also by J. Courtney Sullivan. I checked it out right away because I'm going to Maine later this year. I feel like that's a pretty good rule of thumb - if you run across a book about a place you're visiting, check it out. I liked this book. It's told by three narrators. Each one seems sympathetic when you read their chapters, but unbearable when you read about them in other chapters. Of the three books I've read by Sullivan, this was my favorite (I read The Engagements a year or two ago, and thought it was OK.)

I was a little frustrated with The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson. This 14 hour audio book mostly seemed to be about how Britain is so much better than America, and how everyone who isn't him is stupid. However there were descriptions of walking through random places that appealed to my wanderlust enough to keep me listening.

My son and I read Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein together and loved it. This is my son who "hates reading", barely tolerated me reading him Harry Potter, and thought THE MOVIES WERE BETTER. He begged me each night to read until my voice gave out, and when we finished he demanded we buy the next one immediately. If you have a reluctant reader who strengths lie more in the field of puzzles and math, give this book a try. (I was so relieved that Captain Underpants isn't the only solution when kids hate reading. I get that suggestion all the time, and while I have nothing against potty humor, I just can't read it out loud night after night.)

Since I've been in kind of a reading slump, I've been catching up on my back issues of One Story. My favorite was When in Dordogne by Lily King. I liked the uplifting coming of age story. This is a journal worth subscribing to if you like short stories. The stories are good, and the issues are great for tucking in your purse when you run into reading emergencies.

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2016 Reading Goals Progress

Spring is officially here, meaning it's a whole new season of reading! I set some pretty ambitious goals at the beginning of the year in hopes of getting my TBR down. Here's how I did.

The Good: Classics


I made a list of 8 classics I want to read this year, and during the winter I read two of them. I just need to keep up that pace, and I'll nail this. 

The Bad: Non-fiction

I read 16 out of the 50 non-fiction books I want to read this year, but only 7 of them were from my list of 40 assigned books. I need to pick it up if I want to read all 40 in 2016.

The Ugly: Read Out Louds

I assigned myself 5 chapter books to read out loud to the kids, and I didn't read any! (We did read two chapter books out loud, but none from the list.) I would say that we'll make up for it in spring, but we just discovered Mr. Lemoncello!


I made all of these lists at the beginning of the year as a way to really make an effort to read down my TBR. I started with 400 books, and am up to 401. So, I appear to add books at the same rate I read them.  I guess I can be happy with that.

Reading Challenges

I love reading challenges! I'm doing two so far in 2016.

For The Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge I've read:

A book published this year: Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

A book you can finish in a day: The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs

A book you've been meaning to read: 10% Happier

A book you own but have never read: Left For Dead

A book that intimidates you: The Green Road

For The Book Riot Read Harder Challenge I've Read:

Read a book out loud to someone else: Love From Paddington

Read a dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel: An Ember in the Ashes

Read a book of historical fiction set before 1900: The Mapmaker's Children

Read a book that was adapted into a movie, then watch the movie: A Walk in the Woods

Read a food memoir: Plenty

Read a play: The Importance of being Earnest

How is your reading year going?

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Quick Lit March 2016

Love to be reading outside again!

Love to be reading outside again!

Each month I link with Modern Mrs. Darcy's Quick Lit as a way to talk about the books I liked, but didn't review.

I had a sick day a few weeks ago, and reading A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie in bed was just the right medicine. I read this all in one day, and immediately reserved a few more in the series. I needed a good distraction while I waited for Career of Evil to finally come up on my library holds list.

I picked up Train Like a Mother by Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell as inspiration for my summer hiking training. I liked the advice on time management, nutrition, coming back from an injury, and play lists even it was focused on training for a running race. Still useful even though I run a mile at best each week.

If I were to play the game where I had to match Cormoran Strike characters to Harry Potter characters Matthew the fiancé would be Umbridge. I was really hoping he would turn out to be the killer so we could be done with him. (That's not a spoiler: he was never a suspect.) Still a good book though; I can't wait for the next one.

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton was the first book in recent memory that I could guess the ending to before it happened. That doesn't make it a bad book. I liked the characters, and I'm glad I read it.

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Quick Lit February 2016

Each month I link with Modern Mrs. Darcy's Quick Lit as a way to talk about the books I liked, but didn't review.

The Japanese Lover is about love, growing old, expectations, and loss. It is mostly a love story between a Jewish refuge and a Japanese man during World War Two in San Francisco, but there are current day issues as well. There's too much going on in this book to make it great, but it was perfect when we were snowed in.

When Books Went to War was a super interesting account of books, and their role in World War II. Reading! It's patriotic.

Hissing Cousins is a complete account of the rivalry between everyone's hero Eleanor Roosevelt, and the original mean girl Alice Longworth. I listened to this while I was shoveling us out from the blizzard, and I barely noticed what I was doing.

An Ember in the Ashes has all the elements of good dystopian YA. Love triangles (well, love squares really), battles between teenagers, conversations interrupted just when you're about to find out what's going on...

Read this one if you liked Divergent.

Maybe it's just because I'm such a super James A. Garfield fan girl, but I didn't get into Lafayette in the Somewhat United States as much as Assassination Vacation. Still it was completely worth it for the section on the political implications of playing a French Revolutionary War hero at Colonial Williamsburg during the Bush administration.

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Books that make me want to read other books

Everything I've read about Mary Karr's The Art of Memoir has been positive, but I've put off reading it because someone said it would cause me to add dozens more books to my TBR. Since my list usually hovers around 400 books, I'm a little scared to read a book that will add to it. So, I'm putting that one off until I can get my list down to 375 or so.

It wouldn't be the first time a book forced me to add to my TBR. It was Kelly Corrigan's Glitter and Glue that got me to try My Antonia, and Katherine Reay's books always have me tempted to spend my whole paycheck on Barnes & Noble Classics. So, it's not a bad thing that a book will cause me to read other books. I just need to put it off for a while. For the sake of my family. And my future employment prospects.

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Quick Lit January 2016

Each month I link with Modern Mrs. Darcy's Quick Lit as a way to talk about the books I liked, but didn't review.

3/4 through The Nightingale I would have said it was good, but not great. But the ending, wow. I am talking a miss your kid's school bus level of gripping. Great feminist message at the end too.

The Bassoon King is surprisingly deep. Not just another celebrity memoir. Give it a try if you've been holding off.

Two of the books I read last month were in an effort to find new Christmas stories. Both A Christmas Escape and A Christmas Blizzard gave me what I was looking for: short, entertaining novels with an uncomplicated story. (Disclosure: I got A Christmas Escape from the Library Thing Early Reviewers Program.)

Kitchens of The Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal was my first read of 2016. I've been on the library holds list for this one since the summer, and it was worth the wait. It's hard to describe. It's hopeful and heartbreaking at the same time, and has you cheering for bad decisions. Plus, it includes recipes.

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New gardening books to beat the winter blues

Every day this week my mailbox has been stuffed with gardening catalogues. Winter just started and already I'm dreaming of spring. Before I start my seeds, I'm going to see what's new in the gardening section of my library. Here's a few that I'm hoping I'll find.

A Wilder Life by Celestine Maddy

The Urban Farmer by Curtis Stone

The Herbal Apothecary by JJ Pursell

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Forty Non-Fiction Books I Want To Read in 2016

My goal in 2016 is to read 50 non-fiction books, with 40 of them being "pre-assigned". This is in an effort to read more substantial non-fiction. These are in no particular order, and selected from my TBR list, my library holds list, and from books I already have at home.

You can click on any of the images above to see a description on

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My 2016 reading goals

I read a lot of books in 2015. All together I read 37 non fiction books, 5 classics, 5 read out loud chapter books, and 78 other works of fiction. So, when I tell people I want to set some reading goals for 2016 they might think I'm a little crazy. I know my bookworm friends will understand my intention to read with more purpose though. Assuming that I will keep up about the same total, I'd like to bring my non-fiction numbers up to 50 and replace a lot of the cookbooks and celebrity memoirs with books about brain science, presidential biographies, books on goal setting, and books that will help at work. I would also like to keep on reading more of the classic books that I either missed or didn't appreciate in high school. Finally, now that my kids are older and can better appreciate reading chapter books out loud, I'd like to increase that number to eight.

Because I read like it's my job, and not because it is my actual job, I want to leave some room for whimsy in my reading life. If someone gives me the title of a book that they think I need to read RIGHT AWAY I'm not going to tell them no because I have 50 works of non-fiction to read first. Plus fiction will always be a large part of my reading life. For that reason, I'm going to "assign" myself 40 non-fiction books, 5 read out louds, and 8 classics to read in the year 2016. To read my assigned reading lists, click on the links below:




Quick Lit December 2015

My reading this month has been pretty diverse - from cookbooks to drug dealers I've read it all. Most of the year I stick pretty closely to my reading lists, and spend a fair amount of time reading ARCs. This time of year though I just read what I want. It's kind of like my attitude towards desserts this time of year. If I see it, and I want it, I go for it!

All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner isn't a fluffy chick lit novel. It takes on the serious topic of addiction. The main character makes many, many mistakes, and is a somewhat unreliable narrator. However she was likable, and I found myself rooting for her. 

I really liked Cooked by Jeff Henderson. I found it at the library when I was looking for something else, and read it on a whim. If you missed this book when it came out, I suggest you give it a try. It really gives an inside look at the life of a drug dealer, and what it takes to come back from a prison sentence.

Until we read The Adventures of a South Pole Pig by Chris Kurtz out loud, I didn't know a pig could be so inspiring. This kept my 7 year old boy and my 4 year old girl interested, and it made a great next read after Charlotte's Web.

Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center wasn't the best book I've read all year, but it had some good spots. It worked as an audiobook.

I listened to All The Wrong Questions - Shouldn't You Be In School by Lemony Snicket in my car while I was driving to get groceries or running my kids around. I usually find these in the kid's section of the library, but I think a lot of it goes over my kids' heads. At least I know there's not going to be any swearing so they're car safe.

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The Best of The Best Books Lists of 2015

I love this time of year for many reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is because of all of the best books lists come out. I spend hours scouring them all, and adding books to my TBR. Here are some of the ones I found to be the most fruitful this year:

Publisher's Weekly

The Guardian Part One and Part Two

The Washington Post

School Library Journal

Goodreads (even the voting led me to add to my TBR)

Do you love these lists too? What was your favorite book of 2015?