10 most addictive books of all time

December 26, 2019

Every reader loves a book that they struggle to put down. but they can be hard to come by. Here are 10 of the most addictive books of all time (according to Goodreads) that I've read and would recommend:

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

"Marriage can be a real killer.

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. 

Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?"

It goes without saying that this disturbing and wonderful book is one of the most addictive books of all time - it's an absolute whirlwind of a read, and much more complex than the film portrays, so I would definitely recommend it. 

The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins

"Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar. Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train... "

I love a good British thriller/crime, and The Girl on the Train is no exception. 

This book was also done a massive disservice by the film adaptation (why they set it in America I will never know), so if you've been living under a rock and haven't read this one yet, I wholeheartedly recommend. It's also relatively short, and easily readable in an afternoon. 

The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

"Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir's choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.

The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies."

This book was one of the rare gems I was assigned as school reading when I was around 17, and it's still one of my favourites now. It's a little different to the others on this list - it's not a typical thriller or crime novel. But the story is so engrossing and heartbreaking all at once that you will not be able to put it down until you find out what happens to all of the characters. 

And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie

"First, there were ten—a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they're unwilling to reveal—and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. And only the dead are above suspicion."

I'm a huge fan of Agatha Christie in general, but And Then There Were None is undoubtedly one of her best - the Queen of Crime will have you guessing right up until the last second with this one, and you will not believe that ending!

Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell

"Margaret Mitchell's monumental epic of the South won a Pulitzer Prize, gave rise to the most popular motion picture of our time, and inspired a sequel that became the fastest selling novel of the century. It is one of the most popular books ever written: more than 28 million copies of the book have been sold in more than 37 countries. Today, more than 60 years after its initial publication, its achievements are unparalleled, and it remains the most revered American saga and the most beloved work by an American writer... "

If you've seen the size of this book, you might be raising your eyebrows at the suggestion it's one of the most addictive books out there - surely you must get bored at some point over 1000 pages? But no - it's not a mistake - this book feels a lot shorter than its humongous length because the character relationships and dynamics are so complex and ever-changing. I read this when I was a lot younger and found it very easy to get through - definitely due a reread soon!

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - J.K. Rowling

"Harry Potter's life is miserable. His parents are dead and he's stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he's a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.

Though Harry's first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it's his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined."

I don't feature nearly enough Harry Potter on my blog for how much I love it - and the whole series belongs on this list, really. I don't know a single reader who doesn't get fully engrossed in these books every time they pick them up. The world is just so rich it's impossible not to fall right in and lose yourself there!

The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

"Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before - and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love."

I loved The Hunger Games when I first read it, and flew through it in a few sittings. I knew at the time that it was something special because I am definitely NOT a fan of dystopian fiction and even I was hooked. Unfortunately, the other 2 books in the trilogy were a disappointment for me, but if you haven't yet read The Hunger Games I'd say it's worth a go...

The DaVinci Code - Dan Brown

"While in Paris, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is awakened by a phone call in the dead of the night. The elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum, his body covered in baffling symbols. As Langdon and gifted French cryptologist Sophie Neveu sort through the bizarre riddles, they are stunned to discover a trail of clues hidden in the works of Leonardo da Vinci—clues visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.

Even more startling, the late curator was involved in the Priory of Sion—a secret society whose members included Sir Isaac Newton, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci—and he guarded a breathtaking historical secret. Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine puzzle—while avoiding the faceless adversary who shadows their every move—the explosive, ancient truth will be lost forever."

Another one that I'd have to agree is a real pageturner is the DaVinci Code. It's much more fast paced, engaging and action-packed than I expected it to be - I actually read this when I was very young as well and really enjoyed it then. I'd probably enjoy it even more now!

The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

"It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.

By her brother's graveside, Liesel's life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger's Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel's foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel's world is both opened up, and closed down."

I'd say this one is gripping in the same way that The Kite Runner is - it's so emotionally absorbing that you simply have to keep reading to find out what happens to the characters you've fallen in love with.

To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

"The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic."

This was another great piece of school reading I was obliged to do, and I loved it so much. The trial running throughout the book is paced perfectly, so that you're always hooked on finding out what the next development is going to be. 

Those are the top 10 most addictive books of all time...have you read any of these? Do you agree? 


  1. Gone Girl is the worst book I ever suffer through. Might make good fire wood. The rest of the list is very good. Several favorites

  2. As an avid reader I have read The Hunger Games, The Kite Runner, Gone With The Wind, Harry Potter And The Philosophers Stone, The Da Vinci Code, The Book Thief and To Kill A Mockingbird.
    I still need to read The Girl On The Train And Gone Girl.
    Another book I could not put down was The Secret Of Crickley Hollow by James Herbert.

  3. Going to start The book thief is it worthy

  4. I just read The Silent Patient. That was addictive!

  5. All of thes books are so commonplace and are not considered literature but just writing. Amuse yourselves to death people!!

  6. Moby Dick is without question the Great American Novel, and it is addictive.

    The Lord of the Rings remains as compelling the sixth time you read it as the first.


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