WW: What Book Kept You Up All Night to Finish?

Wickeds, I suspect we all have a long list of these books, so let us know about the most memorable ones. Is there a certain genre that keeps you up reading? Or do you get to a certain point and decide to finish it?

Jessie: I love this question, Julie! I had a torrid affair with A Prayer for Owen Meany. My first child was still quite small and I have to confess that I was not the most attentive mother in the couple of days I devoted to reading that gem! More recently, I stayed up all night to read the final Harry Potter. I went to an event the night before the release with my son who loved those books with all his heart. It was held at a music hall and the local bookstore owner read the first chapter of the novel beginning at 1:45 pm. At midnight we all were handed a copy of the book which had been part of the ticket price. My son read aloud while we drove home to continue the story. I stayed up all night to keep reading. We were both haggard ( not Hagrid), but happy, in the morning!

Sherry: I just finished an ARC of Death at Greenway by Lori Rader Day. It’s set during World War II at Agatha Christie’s home. There was more than one morning when I woke up late with dark circles under my eyes. She also got me with her book Under a Dark Sky when it came out. I was in Massachusetts for a Kensington event and stayed up until 3 am reading. The event was fun, but I was tired!

Edith: Lori definitely has the chops to keep anyone up late reading! I will stay up past my bedtime with any of Ann Cleeves’ books in any of her series. Lately I’m binge-reading Jaqueline Winspear, except I started with The Consequences of Fear, her latest Maisie Dobbs. I definitely lost sleep over that one – and it was totally worth it.

Liz: I finally got around to reading Before the Fall by Noah Hawley, which has been on my list for a while. It was so good I stayed up late two nights in a row to finish it.

Barb: I often stay up way too late finishing books. One I particularly remember is Hallie Ephron’s Come and Find Me. I remember because I wrote her a note complaining about my lack of sleep!

Julie: When I get to a certain point in a book, I have to finish. My most recent “sit up in bed so you don’t fall asleep” book was Mrs. Pollifax Unveiled. I’m not sure what took me so long to meet Mrs. Pollifax (that’s how my mother and I talk about protagonists, like they’re real and you meet them by reading the book), but I listened to the Mrs. Pollifax series this spring. I’d never read them. The last book wasn’t recorded (!), so I read it on my Kindle. A quick read, but it still kept me up way too late.

Readers, what’s the last book that kept you up late?

43 Thoughts

  1. Jess Lourey’s Unspeakable Things kept me up way too late and I only put it down because I was nearing the end and the creepy factor was ratcheting up. I didn’t want to have nightmares during the few hours left. Of course, I finished it first thing the next morning!

    Barb, I sent the same kind of note to Lisa Scottoline once, before our first meeting about a month later. I mentioned the note and she remembered! Now we’re good friends!

    As a writer, it makes my heart smile anytime someone complains to me about one of my books making them sleep-deprived. Sorry. Not sorry!

    1. OMG, Annette, Unspeakable Things was SO creepy in all the right ways!

      1. It WAS, Jim! Over a week later, I’m still haunted by those characters!

  2. One of the many books that kept me up all night was Lisey’s Story by Stephen King. Beyond the expected horror and thrills, King told a story that seemed to reflect great love for his wife!

  3. The last book that kept me up so late was THE NIGHT AGENT by Matthew Quirk. I said to myself, “just one more chapter” and then I’ll go to bed. And yet I kept reading. I didn’t finish reading the book that night (technically into the next morning) but it wasn’t for lack of trying. I ended up passing out asleep at long last and had to finish it when I woke up.

    It was just such a fantastic and involving thriller that I wanted to see what was coming next.

      1. Sherry, I got to review his next book HOUR OF THE ASSASSIN and though it had different characters it was also outstanding.

  4. How timely! Just last night, I stayed up way too late to finish The Winter Sister by Megan Collins. It was the third night in a row for that. So worth the sleep deprivation!

  5. I just finished Linwood Barclay’s latest, Find You First. It’s a terrific standalone suspense with a very clever premise. I could not put it down.

  6. James Rollins’ Sigma Force series – The Last Odyssey was the latest one I read. He combines scientific facts with fiction, some humor, love, and lots of action in this series. Gets me hooked!

  7. The last book I stayed up reading was Absence of Alice by Sherry Harris. I just had to know who did those horrible acts. Who was responsible. My husband wanted me to come go to bed. He and the three dogs left and we’re in the bedroom and I didn’t even realize the had gone. As soon as I found out who did it, I looked up and was all alone! I finished the final chapter the next morning. Man that book was good.

  8. The last book I just could not put down was The Hiding Place by Paula Munier. Mercy and Elvis are two of my favorite book characters. And, I do feel like I know the book characters that I read. Book characters were my friends growing up and remain so to this day.

  9. The Danger Cove series! I have learnt NOT to start one just before sleep because I will keep turning the (kindle) pages to see what happens next 😀

  10. Paul Doiron’s One Last Lie kept me turning pages until the end. What a wonderful book. Now I need to go back and pick up the earlier books in the series.

  11. If I’m finding a book interesting and compelling, I keep reading until I fall asleep – usually around 4AM. I’m in my “only cozies” phase (with a few notable non-fiction exceptions). I love the books by the Wickeds, and I find I’m rereading some of the older cozies by authors who are not longer with us. The two books that stand out for me are Rebecca, and House on the Strand.

  12. The last Mrs. Pollifax book was never recorded? I wonder why! (And I’m so glad you met Mrs. Pollifax, Julie.)

    It’s funny you mention Mrs. Pollifax, Julie. The book that springs to mind for me is the first Mrs. Pollifax book. I was going to read a chapter of The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax before I went to bed. An hour and a half later, I had finished the book. There was nowhere where the characters in safe! I couldn’t leave them in that peril!

    Here’s my dirty little secret. Reading relaxes me. On nights when I have insomnia, I turn on the light and read, and that puts me to sleep. I usually read, nap, read on my lunch hour. So even if I wanted to stay up all night reading, I’d doze off at some point, usually earlier than I would really like.

  13. Julie has reminded me of how sad I was when I got to the last Mrs. Pollifax book. I discovered her soon after I retired, and wished for such adventures. <3
    I know certain authors' books require a clear calendar, and some (yes, Edith, you're one) will steal sleep. I can't stay up all night, though, so as my eyes start to close against my will, I try to read everyone to a safe spot, and if they are happily eating, or sleeping, I can go to bed, to resume first thing in the morning. It's rather fun to sleep on the problems and see if I can dream up solutions. 😉

  14. Well, this is a delightful post—thank you so much, Wickeds!! Sorry, Sherry! I’ve been reading a lot of nonfiction lately, true crime, fact crime, and I have to say that Kate Summerscale books can keep me up long past bedtime. The Haunting of Alma Fielding: A True Ghost Story is SO GOOD. If you’re into fact crime like I am, I highly recommend it.

  15. Hi, I usually just stop myself from reading after a little while, I might read one more chapter, but that is about it, as good as a book is, I stop myself from staying up all night to finish a book. I actually tend to read a very good book slower especially when the book is about to end, because I don’t want it to end.

  16. Anything Stephen King does it for me. Sometimes I don’t plan to finish it in one day, but somehow I still do.

  17. Murder At The Mansion by Sheila Connolly. I have read all of the other series and just found out about this one.

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