Rachel Meier on Her Zero Tolerance Policy

A list of five fantastic books that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

When it comes to books, everyone has a hot-button issue for which they have no patience. For some people it’s books about animals. For other people it’s stories narrated by children.

For me, it’s books with suspense (and suspense can mean a lot of things – often it’s emotional tension). Only, it’s not that I don’t read them, it’s that I read ahead, a behavior which, I know, makes people burn with disbelief and rage.

But besides books that make noise, there is nothing that irritates me more than books where I’m too distracted by pesky plot points to pay attention to the writing, the structure, the sentences.

And so I read ahead. Not all the way ahead. Just ahead enough to release the pressure of whatever action in the story has me on the edge of my seat, thus allowing me to get back to pleasurable activity of reading, undistracted.

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So, for all you suspense lovers/haters out there, here’s a list of five fantastic books that made me – ahem – pick up the pace.

To the End of the Land by David Grossman

Room by Emma Donoghue

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Play it As it Lays by Joan Didion

Dirty Snow by Georges Simenon

What’s your hot-button topic when it comes to books?

Rachel Meier tries to tell as many people in as many places as possible what to read. These days, she is bossy about books at the Christian Science Monitor and on her blog.

About Kira Walton

Kira Walton

KIRA WALTON has been stalking books all her life as a college English teacher, bookseller, book club consultant, author, and editor.