There’s nothing like finding binge-worthy books that grab your attention and refuse to let go. The kind of book where you leave the outside world behind and stay up late into the night reading, even when you know you’ll be tired in the morning. It can make balancing work, family, and reading time challenging to say the least..
What makes books binge-worthy?
What makes a book binge-worthy? I like flawed, multi-dimensional characters that stay with me long after finishing the book. So I love it when I find myself rooting for the bad guy or referring to the character by name to a friend. Who doesn’t Remember Anastasia Steel and Christian Grey? Most book lovers do. I also love a good plot twist that makes me rethink everything I thought I knew about the book.
However, the atmosphere an author creates is also powerful. Done right, and I’m transported to a different time or world and hooked – I love when this happens. It’s probably why historical fiction is one of my favorite genres.
I also love strong women, witty banter, and stories about female bonding and best friends. But a good love story is also the perfect easy read. Love stories have always found their way into historical fiction – of course, the rules were different then, but lately, I’ve also started enjoying the new rom-com love stories.
Basically, the best book pulls me in and reminds me we are all connected. Or maybe it provides the backdrop to look at something in a different light. ( thought-provoking.)
With so many books, it’s hard to know where to start. That’s why I’ve put together a list of my favorite binge-worthy books – the kind you won’t want to put down until you’ve reached the very last page.
And, It doesn’t matter if you’re a die-hard bookworm or just looking for your next great read, these books are sure to keep you hooked from beginning to end – the perfect escape is an unputdownable book.
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
– Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Celebrity Book Club Picks
If you love and follow the books celebrities are sharing – you may want to binge on the following:
Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld (Reese Witherspoon’s book club pick)
This is a fast, easy read. It’s a witty, funny, modern romance with excellent dialogue between the characters, setting the scene for a predictable but enjoyable story. The reader also gets a behind-the-scenes look at how a weekly show is made – which is interesting and fun.
Dirty Laundry By Disha Bose (Good Morning America’s book club pick)
If you like psychological thrillers, this is a good one. The chapters are short, and the story has a good plot that is nicely paced – you will keep turning the pages. The themes are varied and compelling; envy, infidelity, obsessions, and greed. Many other issues are also addressed, such as friendships, parenting styles, and problems with social media.
Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano (Oprah’s book club pick)
The inspiration for this book is “Little Women,” so if you’re a fan- it’s a must-read. Anyone who loves family drama and character-driven books will love this engaging saga about love, loss, and dealing with the unexpected. The characters are easy to relate to, and the writing style is beautiful; it just flows.
Girl, Forgotten by Karin Slaughter
This thriller has a lot of action, tension, and good twists and turns. There are two times lines; Andrea, a new US Marshall, and her partner are assigned to protect a federal judge, and there is a cold case to solve; a pregnant high school girl was attacked and killed in 1982. As usual for Karin Slaughter, this book is well-written and nicely plotted. You will have a hard time putting it down.
Falling by T.J. Newman
Shortly after take-off, a pilot receives a phone call telling him to crash the plane or his family, kidnapped just before the flight, will be killed. This story pulls you in fast and keeps you reading as it follows the plane crew trying to keep everyone safe; definitely, not for those about to fly – save this one for a road trip. ( binge-worthy-book.)
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
A twisty tale with a few surprises that most will not see coming. Alicia shoots her husband 5 times, then never says another word – nothing – she simply stops speaking – she does not even talk at the mental hospital or her trial. It’s a clever and suspenseful psychological thriller about the why. It will keep you turning the pages as the truth is uncovered.
The Housemaid’s Secret by Freida McFadden
Frieda McFadden is fast becoming an auto-read author for me. This is a fabulous sequel to The Housemaid, which I also loved! The Housemaid’s Secret is an engaging tale of secrets and revenge with the same beautiful characters as The Housemaid. The plotting is excellent, and the chapters are short, so it’s impossible to put down. The story has everything a fantastic psychological thriller needs: it’s suspenseful, twisty, has good characters, it’s fast-paced, and has a final amazing reveal that I don’t think you will see coming.
Verity by Colleen Hoover
It’s hard to believe this is Colleen Hoover’s first thriller. It’s an addictive read and definitely binge-worthy. You are pulled into the story fast; after that, you do not want to stop reading. The characters are seriously flawed, but that’s ok – they are all amazing. This book is captivating from start to finish. It’s the third book I’ve read by this author, but not the last. This is hard to put down ( binge-worthy-book.)
It’s One of Us by J.T. Ellison
This is an excellent psychological thriller, but there are also many moral issues to consider. Ellison looks hard at marital secrets, infertility, mental illness, and the moral and ethical issues of the unregulated sperm donation industry. This book is binge-worthy if you love plot twists, surprises, and thought-provoking stories.
The Lost English Girl by Julia Kelly
An emotional story about pregnancy out of wedlock and being a single parent in the 1930s and 40s. The story follows a young Catholic girl who marries a Jewish boy when she becomes pregnant. The author shows the consequences of becoming pregnant out of wedlock and the complications of an inter-faith marriage. It also covers the evacuation of school-age children to the country when Britain entered WWI and the hardship of parents and children being separated.
The Nurse’s Secret by Amanda Skenandore
The story takes place in 1880s NYC, and the events depicted seem authentic to this era. The author tackles several moral and social issues in this book. She also does a great job of pulling you into this era, showing you the class discrimination between the wealthy and the underprivileged.
Goodnight From Paris by Jane Healey
The main character in this book is based on a real-life actress – my favorite kind of historical fiction. I was pulled in emotionally, and I loved watching Drue’s transformation from a Hollywood star to a resistance fighter. Despite the danger, she was committed to the cause and made many sacrifices – when she could have watched the war play out safely from the sidelines. I always wonder what drives a person to risk everything for a cause and what I would do under similar circumstances.
The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory
Philippa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl was the first historical fiction book I read. I love her take on history and her presentation. It’s always well-researched and written in an engaging style. Before this, I picked most of my books from the New York Times best-seller list. To this day, historical fiction is my favorite genre. The Red Queen is about Margaret Beaufort and follows her from childhood to her reign as Queen. It’s sad that as a young girl, she dreamed of entering the convent, but as history shows, she was forced into an entirely different role.
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
The Other Boleyn Girl will always be one of my historical fiction favorites. I loved it from beginning to end, all 600+ pages. It’s a great depiction of the time. How women were treated – how no one could be trusted, and it was also my introduction to Henry VIII – a despicable person.
Both are binge-worthy books.
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Most people have heard of this book; because it’s a movie and a TV series. So, as you probably know, The Time Traveler’s Wife is a beautiful love story about Henry and Clare. Henry has a genetic disorder that causes him to travel time (usually unpredictably), and Clare makes many sacrifices to accommodate this disorder. The idea of time travel is fun and fascinating to read about; the romance between the two is like no other.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
There is so much going on in this dystopian story that I don’t know where to start. Margaret Atwood creates an unforgettable, haunting, thought-provoking, and emotional atmosphere. And, hard as I tried, I couldn’t wrap my head around the role of the handmaids – their sole purpose in life is to provide offspring for their masters.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This is one of my all-time favorite binge-worthy books. Maybe because I did not know what to expect, and I don’t usually read this type of book. The author tackles many issues: love, divorce, living with fame, and simply being female. But this book stands out because of the writing style, the complex characters, and the thought-provoking social issues sprinkled throughout the story.
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
This story centers on three moms whose children attend the same school. When one of the children is accused of bullying – there is intense turmoil between the parent – and one of the parents ends up dead. All the characters are realistic and imperfect, and unraveling the murder mystery and shining a light on the parents’ problems makes for an intense and engaging story.
Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult, Jennifer Boylan
This book is thought-provoking, with a complex plot and nuanced, relatable characters. The author also covers essential themes like identity, self-acceptance, abusive relationships, and trust. And anyone with children will definitely relate to fighting for your child’s happiness and future. Jodi Picoult books are always binge-worthy!
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
This historical fiction book is a gem, even though it originally came out in 2011. It’s a love story between Ernest Hemingway and his wife, Hadley. Reading it will stir up many emotions and show Ernest Hemmingway in a new light. (hint: he’s a cad).
Whisper Network by Chandler Baker
Another Reese Witherspoon book club pick, this story is entertaining and thought-provoking. It follows the stories of four women who had different relationships with their CEO and now have to deal with the unexpected news of his death. What follows is a flood of gossip about his treatment of females. Considering all the current events surrounding the MeToo movement, this is a timely topic.
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Seeing the world through the eyes of Eleanor, a quirky and endearing young woman, makes for a fantastic, fun, and engaging story. You will not want the book to end. In addition, Eleanor’s social awkwardness and struggle to pick up on everyday social cues make her unforgettable – she will steal your heart. Another binge-worthy book. I could not stop reading it.
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
Kristin Hannah is skilled at writing compelling stories; nowhere is this more evident than in The Great Alone. The story is set in Alaska’s majestic but often dangerous landscape. And while this vivid setting sets the stage, characters like Ernt and his family truly capture your attention and heart. They face many challenges as they learn to make new friends and survive in Alaska. Still, they also learn some valuable life lessons.
You may also enjoy:
More Binge-Worthy Books:
(if you liked Circe by Madeline Miller)
Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes
(If you like twisty Thrillers)
(If you like Contemporary Fiction)
(If you like book lists)