When the real world gets a little too uneventful (or a little too much) we can always count on the power of a good book to whisk us away somewhere else. Whether it’s a gripping thriller novel or a compelling memoir, there’s something to be said for losing yourself in the pages of a book you simply can’t put down.
While book taste is undoubtedly a personal thing, there are several titles which are universally considered bingeable. From well-known authors to debut writers, there’s no telling what could be a hit, but when the world collectively decides to love something, you can’t deny its power.
Below, 14 books you won’t be able to put down once you start them.
Writers & Lovers by Lily King
31-year old Casey Peabody is having a crisis. After moving to Massachusetts by herself to pursue a career in writing, she finds herself falling for two very different men which only complicates matters further. As her life begins to fracture before her eyes, she has to navigate the end of one life chapter while embarking on the next.
Ghosts by Dolly Alderton
When Dolly Alderton writes, you have no choice but to be enthralled. Her first fiction novel follows the life of Nina Dean, a food writer in her 30s who believes she’s found the man of her dreams. That is until, he seemingly vanishes without a trace and leaves her questioning everything.
Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee
This gripping memoir draws you in from the first page as Bri Lee takes you on a journey through both sides of the legal system. The first, is her experiences as a judge’s associate, the second is as a complainant in a historical sexual assault case. It’s undoubtedly a compelling, empowering read that every young woman should have on their bookshelf.
Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
You’ve probably heard this book title before (especially as it’s currently being turned into a movie courtesy of Reese Witherspoon). Set in a quiet fishing village in the 1960s, Kya Clark (also known as the ‘marsh girl’) finds herself embroiled in the middle of a murder case as the prime suspect. After becoming involved with two young men, the unthinkable happens to one of them and all eyes are immediately on her, given her status as a societal outcast.
Is she a killer though? Or is she a misunderstood young woman desperate to belong?
Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid
Exploring themes of race and privilege, this book revolves around a young, black babysitter named Emira and her wealthy employer Alix Chamberlain (and all the complexities that bind them together). After Emira is accused of kidnapping the Chamberlains’ toddler in a supermarket, a video of the incident quickly turns viral. Unsurprisingly, it sets a chain of events in motion that neither of them can undo and unearths someone from Alix’s past that could change everything.
How To Murder Your Life by Cat Marnell
Cat Marnell has a truly addictive voice, and her memoir detailing her upbringing, addiction battles with drug and alcohol and high-paced job at Condé Naste will draw you in from the get-go. It’s an unflinching take on the way we can ruin our own lives if we allow them to spiral out of control. An absolute must-read.
Three Women by Lisa Taddeo
As the title suggests, this best-selling book follows the lives of three women — Sloane, Lina and Maggie. One is struggling in a loveless marriage and embarks on an affair with a man from her past. Another is in the middle of a criminal trial against her high-school teacher, whom she alleges she had an inappropriate relationship with. The last is married to a man who enjoys watching her have sex with other people. A raw look at female sexual desire in all its messiness, this book will have you gripped from start to finish.
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
A #1 New York Times best-seller for a reason, this book follows the Vignes twin sisters, separated by distance but bound forever by blood. After growing up together in a small community, their lives divert as adults until their daughters storylines intersect. Just how much does your past shape your future, and can you ever really outrun who you truly are?
Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder
This book is outrageously absurd in the most addictive way. Telling the story of a new mother who gradually transforms into a dog (yes, you read that correctly), you won’t be able to stop reading, even just to understand what exactly is going on.
Honeybee by Craig Silvey
Honeybee will shatter your heart and put it back together again. Sam Watson arrives at a bridge ready to take his own life. Before he jumps, he sees an older gentleman who looks like he’s about to do the same. Their meeting was nothing short of fate, and their friendship could be just the thing they both needed to make it through.
Normal People by Sally Rooney
If you’ve watched the television adaptation of this starring Paul Mescal and that infamous chain, then you need to read the book that started it all. Promising to infuriate and delight you in equal measure, this novel follows the complex relationship between Connell and Marianne — hopelessly in love, painfully unavailable and unbearably complex.
Heart Sick by Jessie Stephens
Heartbreak is a universal human experience, but so many of the stories we tell lack the personal element we truly crave. This book turns that on its head, weaving together three stories of love and heartbreak to remind us that we’re never alone in our experiences of emotional pain (and that you can always find a way to heal).
Emotional Female by Yumiko Kadota
Shows like Grey’s Anatomy can certainly glamorise the medical world, but this book is an honest re-telling of what the industry is like (particularly for women). Yumiko was a workaholic young, female surgeon with a desire to succeed, but after launching her career in the Australian hospital system, she found herself consistently denied a seat at the table. For anyone struggling with burnout, this is the book to read.
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
Crime lovers will find themselves obsessed with this enthralling read. Guests gather together on an island off the coast of Ireland to celebrate a wedding. It’s all fun and games until somebody dies, and suddenly everyone on the guest list is labelled as a suspect. The guests are trapped, left to deal with old grudges and twisted friendships. They may all have a motive, but who is the real killer?