So, books are officially the coolest thing since cool came to Cool Town, right? Can we all agree on that? Good. Now, there are books, and there are books. Some books are mind-bogglingly amazing, while others just grab your attention and don't let go. It's like cheating, they end each chapter like a Flash Gordon remake ("Oh look! He just fell into the bottomless pit! And he's surrounded by an army of awkward looking aliens! And he is completely paralyzed from the waist down! And he was shot by a poison dart! How will Flash Gordon get out of this one? Tune in next time!"), only not usually quite as cheesy. (Disclaimer: Flash Gordon is freaking awesome.) Anyway, a book like War and Peace might be a great book, but to be completely honest, it isn't exactly the easiest thing in the world to focus on the page while your body is busy going into post-traumatic shock from a lack of sleep. And don't you dare tell me that isn't possible. Are you a doctor? Needless to say, since we are focusing on reading books into the wee hours of the morning, War and Peace is out (Sorry Leo).
A sci-fi book about a boy being trained up to save the world from the Buggers (a nasty alien race that has already sent two invasions to earth to destroy it). I just spent the last three nights staying up reading this book, so I can say right off the bat, it has the ability to keep you up.
Pride and Prejudice
Or really anything by Jane Austen. This one might not hold too much appeal for you if you are a guy, but don't let that stop you. Don't try to tell me that real men don't have a romantic side to them. They totally do.
Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy
A hilarious parody of humanity as told by the last survivor of our tiny planet, which has been demolished by the galactic bureaucrats to make way for a hyperspace bypass.
"This planet [Earth] has — or rather had — a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy."
This book is not so much a novel as a series of short stories. Except most all the stories have the same characters. It has the feel of a mystery. Stuff happens to robots, and people have to try to figure out why. But it waits 'til the end to tell the reader the answer. And because it is in small chunks, it is really easy to decide to read the next one instead of going to bed! ("I'll read another one, what's five more minutes?")
The Martian Chronicles
Again with the short stories (and again with the sci-fi! I promise this isn't all I read). Ray Bradbury has this natural ability to draw you into his world. I would almost classify his stories as more magical, or fantasy, than sci-fi.
This book is just short enough that, if you are a fast reader, you could finish it in a single night. It has so many undertones that you will walk away fascinated. The story follows a group of animals that drive the cruel farmers out of the farm and take over themselves. It is a great social commentary that, in my opinion, is just as relevant today as it was fifty years ago.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
For my defense of the awesomeness of short mysteries, read what I said about I, Robotagain. If you are seriously not totally taken in by these stories, then I have nothing more to say to you. Not that short mysteries in and of themselves are amazing. But Sir Arthur Conan Doyle certainly is.