Life gets pretty hectic sometimes. There isn’t always time to dedicate to our hobbies or to relaxation. According to studies, reading can reduce stress up to 68%! That’s why events such as the Australian Reading Hour are so important; to remind us to take a step back from our busy schedules and indulge in some well-earned reading time.

I’ve compiled a list of books you can read in one sitting; to add to your reading hour TBR! They might take you longer than an hour but, I promise, you won’t be able to put them down once you start.

  1. My Father’s Shadow, Jannali Jones

This young adult thriller follows Kaya as she becomes caught up in her father’s criminal history and is an important witness in his court case. Forced into hiding by the dangers of her father’s past, she must come to terms with what is happening and also work through her PTSD. It is full of twists and turns that keep you guessing until the very last page!

Underground Writer’s editor Jess Gately raved about this book in a recent review. This is what she had to say about it:

“The blurb for My Father’s Shadow doesn’t give much away so I will endeavour not to as well—forever the battle of reviewing mystery books is wanting to gush over the twists and turns but being unable to. Especially with a book that is so fast paced and so gripping that I couldn’t help but finish it in a single afternoon.”

  1. On the Sunday, She Created God, Gerii Pleitez

While I am yet to read this title, it is one of my most anticipated reads of 2019. Described as “an angry and intelligent punch” by one Goodreads reviewer, and likened to On the Road with a feminist edge, this novella is perfect for reading in one sitting. It is the first title from new independent press Kara Sevda Press, which champions authors of colour, and I have seen nothing but great reviews!

It follows Wren and Babel, who decide to take a road trip out of Sydney in an attempt to flee the city. When they run into old romantic flame, Teddy, their plans change and reality sets in. It is a visceral, transgressive take on the coming-of-age story, intertwining themes of feminism, tragedy and love into one short novella. For a full review, check out Jaclyn from Six Minutes for Me’s video.

  1. How to be Held, Maddie Godfrey

How to be Held is the debut poetry collection from Perth poet, Maddie Godfrey. Insanely talented and with an extensive list of awards and achievements to her name, Maddie is a force to be reckoned with. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing her perform some of the poems in this book live, and it was enthralling to watch. If you’re like me, and feel a bit intimidated by poetry, definitely pick up this collection. It’s accessible yet stunningly written, and my copy has been read and devoured on more than one occasion! What I love about this collection is the way it is described as an “ode to resilience, vulnerability and tenderness”, and touches on a range of subjects that I think a lot of readers can relate to.

Underground Writer’s chief editor, Jemimah, reviewed this title for our website, which you can check out here.

  1. Blue in the Red House, Sarah Madden

Underground Writer’s alumni Sarah Madden has constructed a whimsical, stunning portrayal of life after being diagnosed with autism. Her diagnosis didn’t come until she was 34 years old and the confusion of the diagnosis and its symptoms are presented in such a unique and magical way. In my review for this novella, I likened the prose to Alice in Wonderland, and I certainly stand by that comparison! It is an interesting hybrid of magical realism and memoir that I have never come across in literature before. If you enjoyed the fantastical elements of Carrol’s writing, I would highly recommend this book. At only 98 pages, this is something you could read in one sitting.

  1. Small Spaces, Sarah Epstein

This young adult thriller had me on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading it. The compelling plot and mystery element enthralled me, and I honestly couldn’t put this book down. I devoured it in one afternoon, determined to solve the identity of Tash’s ‘imaginary friend’, Sparrow. At first you think the story is going to be somewhat paranormal in nature but then it descends into something even more depraved and horrifically realistic.

As memories of Tash’s traumatic childhood begin to resurface, she revisits the event that started it all; the disappearance of her friend, Mallory, at the hands of Sparrow. Now a teenager, we join Tash as she tries to understand what happened all those years ago. No one believes that Sparrow is real, and we are also left questioning whether he is a figment of Tash’s imagination. Did Sparrow abduct Mallory, or did Tash create him to psychologically adapt to what she actually saw?

Editors Jemimah and Jess Rae also read and enjoyed this book! Read Jess’ review here.

Don’t forget to check out the official Australian Reading Hour website as they have actual events running across the country!

Australian Reading Hour takes place on 19th September from 6:30-7:30pm.

Underground Team

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