When I asked the MR community to help me compile a list of genuinely addicting books, I had no idea the request would be met with such gusto. As of right now, there are 771 comments, my heart is dangerously warm and my to-read list is overflowing. There are 563 books on our Goodreads “can’t put down” bookshelf, and counting.
First of all, THANK YOU. Second of all, if those numbers overwhelm you, below is a starter-pack of the ten most recommended books. According to our intern Margaret’s analytics (thanks Margaret!), these were the most prolific titles of the bunch. Below, I’ve included their genre, a no-spoiler synopsis courtesy of Amazon and — because I’m always curious — the number of reviews the book’s received.
Have one to add? Join the comments here, and remember: There’s a difference between a great book and one that disrupts your whole damn life. Help me find the latter!
Genre, per Amazon: Literary Fiction, Coming of Age, Family Saga
No-spoiler synopsis: “A Little Life follows four college classmates—broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition—as they move to New York in search of fame and fortune.”
# of Amazon reviews: 2,297
Genre: Literary Fiction, Cultural Heritage
No-spoiler synopsis: “Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time.”
# of reviews on Amazon: 3,597
Genre: Literary Fiction, Family Saga
No-spoiler synopsis: “To understand why Calliope is not like other girls, she has to uncover a guilty family secret and the astonishing genetic history that turns Callie into Cal.”
# of reviews on Amazon: 1,881
Genre: Literary Fiction, Coming of Age
No-spoiler synopsis: “Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend.”
# of reviews on Amazon: 25,375
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Coming of Age
No-spoiler synopsis: “Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon.”
# of reviews on Amazon: 1,639
Genre: Literary Fiction, Dystopian, Political
No-spoiler synopsis: “Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read.”
# of reviews on Amazon: 7,501
Genre: Family Life, Asian American
No-spoiler synopsis: “When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details.”
# of reviews on Amazon: 1,589
Genre: Literary Fiction, Psychological Thriller
No-spoiler synopsis: “Hapless veterans of World War II, Archie and Samad and their families become agents of England’s irrevocable transformation. A second marriage to Clara Bowden, a beautiful, albeit tooth-challenged Jamaican half his age, quite literally gives Archie a second lease on life, and produces Irie, a knowing child whose personality doesn’t quite match her name (Jamaican for ‘no problem’).”
# of reviews on Amazon: 563
Genre: Historical Fiction, Military, War
No-spoiler synopsis: “Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea.”
# of reviews on Amazon: 27,046
No-spoiler synopsis: “At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live.”
# of reviews on Amazon: 7,047
Which one are you going to read this weekend?
Photo by Louisiana Mei Gelpi.