25+ Fiction & Non-Fiction Books About Addiction To Read Now

Fiction and Non-Fiction Books about Addiction

Books about addiction can be a very difficult topic. I know that the topic of addiction can feel like a really heavy or overwhelming topic for some. In the middle of a pandemic, you might not be looking to be weighed down by a depressing read. We get that, but don’t rule out this topic because you are nervous. So many fantastic fiction and non-fiction books deal with addiction in a way that isn’t overwhelming.

*Post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you. Some books have been gifted. All opinions are our own.

Long Bright River and Other Books about Addiction

Best Books About Addiction

Long Bright River  and more of the best books of 2020

Long Bright River by Liz Moore

February 2020 GMA Book Club Pick

Long Bright River is phenomenal and I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN.⁣ The story takes place in Philly’s Kensington neighborhood which is known for having a huge opioid problem. 

You can’t live in my area and not know about the epidemic spreading through our city. It’s devastating and scary and this book deals with it head-on.⁣

The contemporary fiction story revolves around 2 sisters. One is a cop, one is an addict – both are being impacted by a string of murders in the area.⁣ This book dealt with many issues around drug addiction and it handles them without judging.

Transcendent Kingdom  and more of the best books of 2020

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

September 2020 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

Covering drug addiction, immigration, racism, and more, this story is as entertaining as it is stimulating. Its discussion of drug addiction’s impact on the larger family unit was reminiscent of Long Bright River.

I also kept having to remind myself that it was a contemporary fiction story and not a memoir because the emotion and knowledge expressed in the book were so believable.⁣ This is one of the books about grief that you must-read.

Jackie and Maria

Author: Gill Paul

Year: 2020

Genre: Historical Fiction

Age Range: 18+

Most people know about Jackie’s life during her White House years, but hearing the tale of what caused her to marry Aristotle Onassis was fascinating. I loved the dual narrators of Jackie and Onassis’s long-time lover, opera singer Maria Callas.⁣ It’s a perfect political novel about music!

Excuse me while I gush about Gill Paul‘s newest biographical fiction book, Jackie and Maria.⁣ Gill Paul is quickly becoming an auto-buy author for me. I loved Another Woman’s Husband and The Lost Daughter, about the Windsors and Romanovs respectively. Paul’s take on a new dynasty, The Kennedys, is equally compelling.⁣

Find this book in: Novels About Music / Biographical Fiction / Books About Women in Politics

More Books About Addiction

hillbilly elegy

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

While I usually am not an avid reader of non-fiction, this memoir is completely captivating from the very first page.  I had no idea about the Hillbilly culture so, everything in this book was completely foreign to me. 

The book reads like a novel which adds to the appeal for me.  A big reason we chose this book as the best of 2016 is how much we both loved this book despite the fact that it is outside of our preferred genre. It says so much about a book that has universal appeal.

Heroine and more books about women in sports

Heroine by Mindy McGinnis

I read this book as part of our 2021 Reading Challenge. The prompt this month was books about addiction. It was a study on how a person could go from an elite athlete to a heroin addict.

It was a heartbreaking, but thought-provoking read. It also induced so much anxiety in me as a parent thinking about the signs I need to be on alert for in my own children in the future. I’m glad I read this, even though it was difficult at times.

ASk Again, Yes and more family drama books

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

This is a beautifully written and poignant book about family, love, and how much we can forgive those that we love.  This book is the story of two families who live next door to one another and find their lives intertwined. 

This is such a realistic family drama book that deals with topics like mental illness and alcoholism.  At times, I found it hard to read this coming-of-age story because I could feel the characters’ pain.

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There, There by Tommy Orange

Oh boy, do you love full cast audiobooks? Well, this one is a tear-jerker. This one had me feeling all the feelings. I was angry, laughing, frustrated, crying, and happy at various points during this tremendous debut book.

I loved everything up until the point where it ended (it leaves you on a bit of an ambiguous ending.) No wonder it won so many awards!

the woman in the window

The Woman in the Window: A Novel by AJ Finn

If you love old movies, you will adore this book. It is a spin on Hitchcock’s Rear Window and features an agoraphobic narrator who is often unreliable.

Anna Fox lives alone in her house. She is agoraphobic and cannot leave, so she sits at her window and watches everyone in the neighborhood. 

When she sees something across the street, she is sure there has been a crime but, what is real and what is imagined? Amy Adams stars in the Netflix adaptation of this book.

Find this book in Unreliable Narrator Books / Psychological Thriller Books / Books About Mental Illness

the girl on the train

Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Rachel takes the same train every day and peers out the window watching people. She watched two people in particular as they led what appeared to be a perfect life until one day she saw something terrible while watching them. 

She reports it to the police but, can they trust a dysfunctional alcoholic? This is a domestic thriller story that will have you questioning who is telling the truth from the beginning until the end. Unreliable narrators like Rachel make the best page-turners! You’ll never know what to believe!

Find this book in Books with Stalkers / Domestic Thrillers / Unreliable Narrators / Psychological Thriller Books

Daisy Jones and the 6

Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid

Year: 2019

Genre: Historical Fiction

More info: March 2019 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

Spice Rating:💋

Age Range: 16+

The book is laid out like a VH1 Behind the Music style interview. It’s laid out in chronological order about the making of the band Daisy Jones & the Six, but the story is told in interview style from a dozen sources.

It’s a story about the music scene of the 1970s in Hollywood when the band The Six meets Daisy Jones and together they rocket to superstardom! Among the drama of touring, there is also a forbidden love story or two, and plenty of crazy parties!

It’s truly the perfect mix of historical fiction, romance, and rock ‘n’ roll.

This book needs to be listened to, not read. The audio version has a different narrator for each character and the performances are stupendous. I was overcome with emotion numerous times while I was listening.

This celebrity fiction story about the rise and fall of one of the hottest bands of the 70s was so utterly fabulous – it’s pure sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll in all the best ways.

Find this book in: Books Like Daisy Jones & The Six / Taylor Jenkins Reid Books in Order / Books Set in the 70s / Full Cast Audiobooks / Ultimate Beach Reads 2020

More Addiction Book Recommendations

Dick Van Dyke Memoir and other books about addiction

More Addiction Books We Recommend

The following books about addiction are ones that we’ve read over the years. If you need more options, you’ll find funny books like Fitness Junkie and Confessions of a Shopaholic, Celebrity Me) by Dick Van Dyke and others, and more fiction that deals with various forms of addiction.

Books About Addiction We Want to Read

We can’t read all the books out there, but we can keep track of them on our ever-growing to-read list! Below are the books we have on our radar that fit this month’s topic.

Did we miss any books about addiction that you would recommend? Which book will you be reading for this month’s prompt?

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