25+ Fiction & Non-Fiction Books About Addiction To Read Now
This month’s reading challenge guest blogger, Jules Buono, has done an amazing job compiling a list of books about addiction for the prompt. 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, and Jules is here to guide you.
But first, let’s get to know Jules and her blog The Literary Lifestyle by Jules Buono. It’s
The tagline of her blog is “where books meet lifestyle.” One of her favorite things about books is how they can inspire your lifestyle, from such things as travel to cuisine. She focuses primarily on posting “book pairings” of a book along with something inspired by that book.
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Books About Addiction Jules Recommends
Long Bright River by Liz Moore
When I first read Good Morning America book club pick Long Bright River, I knew it was good. What I didn’t expect was how often I would think about nearly a year later. This book has probably stayed with me the most of all 2020 books. Set in my own city of Philadelphia, it’s what I call a thriller with a social conscience. Mickey is a cop in the drug-ridden Kensington neighborhood on the hunt for her missing sister, an opioid addict. You will compulsively turn the pages, yet be left with a lot to think about afterward.
This made Jules’s Best of 2020 List and it made our Best of 2020 List too!
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
Gifty is a candidate for a Ph.D. in neuroscience at Stanford University, studying reward-seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother had been a talented high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after an injury rendered him addicted to OxyContin.
Gifty seeks to discover the scientific basis for the suffering around her. But as she turns to sciences for answers, she grapples with her faith. It is the powerful story of this immigrant family, suffering from depression, addiction, and grief. I really enjoyed it.
Jackie and Maria by Gill Paul
You know Jackie O. But do you know Maria Callas? While so much is known about Jackie when she was a Kennedy, there’s an incredibly juicy story behind her later marriage to Aristotle
Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
Hillbilly Elegy is a memoir I absolutely devoured and still think about to this day. It’s a #1 New York Times bestseller and now a film on Netflix. It’s the story of a man who grew up in poor Appalachia to become a Yale-educated lawyer, but what’s really nuanced about this book is its
Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden
One of the best books about Native Americans, this is a page-turning suspense novel about tracking down the source of drug addiction on a South Dakotan Native American reservation, while also making commentary about the modern Native American experience.
Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
Ask Again, Yes is the perfect fictional family drama about two families whose histories are forever entwined. Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope are two rookie cops in the NYPD, and they live next door to each other, with their respective families, outside the city. The families’ lives become altered in negative and positive ways by one explosive event for decades to come.
It is about mental health, addiction, forgiveness, growth, and love. It is told from numerous perspectives, and these perspectives also often intersect in unique ways.
There There by Tommy Orange
There There is easily one of the best books about Native Americans. It’s fiction that uniquely tells the plight of modern, urban Native Americans, particularly in Oakland, California, through the lens of over a dozen characters dealing with issues like identity, addiction, and grief. Their lives all interconnect and ultimately converge in a stunning and powerful finale at a pow-wow.
It’s about the lost identities of a group of people who suffered violence and injustices that were not fully appreciated in the eyes of history.
The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
This book has an unreliable narrator — an agoraphobic, alcoholic woman, who believes she witnesses her neighbor being stabbed. Then, the woman appears totally fine.
As the aftermath unravels, we learn the truth about the narrator’s past, and she risks it all in one truly suspenseful ending, trying to figure out what happened the night she believes she witnessed a crime.
The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins
Unreliable main character Rachel rides the commuter train past a perfect suburban homes every day and watches the same happy couple breakfasting on their deck. One day, she seeks something shocking. She tells the police and becomes intimately involved in what happens next. I recommend this book if you are looking for a real page-turner!
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
It’s about the rise and fall of a 1970s rock band, which reminded me of Fleetwood Mac. It’s told in
More Addiction Book Recommendations from Jules
Addiction Books We Recommend
The following books about addiction are ones that we’ve read over the years that weren’t including on Jules’s list. 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.
SUCH an amazing post! I am absolutely giddy with excitement. So many of these books are SO powerful. I hope we inspired others to pick them up!