The Most Binge-Worthy Authors of All Time
There's nothing better than a book you can't put down—except the next one in the series! Better yet, if you can binge-read the author's whole catalog. Check out these prolific writers of bestselling page-turners (and be prepared to cancel your plans).
There are true crime books that will make your spine tingle, but then there are thrillers by Sue Grafton. Sue Grafton’s “alphabet series” starts with A is for Alibi (published in 1982) and continues to Y is for Yesterday (which came out this year.) The bestselling mysteries follow detective Kinsey Millhone as she examines the dark corners of society in her search for truth and justice. The twists and turns are riveting, and Grafton is a true master of the crime genre. Start with the letter A and you’ll still long for more by the time to you get to the last page of Y! At least there’s a letter Z! Grafton has penned 30 books so far.
Stephen King is the it-guy (no pun!) when it comes to thrillers that you just can’t put down. He’s published over 50 international bestsellers, around 56 novels and a few hundred short stories in total, so you probably won’t run out of pages to turn if you start to go through his oeuvre. Start with Carrie (about the fear of teenage girls and the rage that causes) and carry through to masterpieces like The Stand, Misery, Salem’s Lot, The Dark Tower series, and yes, It—about a bad clown and dark town. Lock the doors and snuggle in for intrigue that’s horrifying, addictive and never-ending. Don’t miss the real reason people are so scared of clowns.
Danielle Steel’s riveting and adventurous romances, there’s at least 140 of them, have sold over 800 million copies. Readers can’t get enough of her popular books and have made the prolific writer the best-selling author alive. So what can you expect if you open up one of her super beloved books? You’ll usually find an attractive heroine hob-knobbing with the rich and famous in a glamorous society set in an array of historical periods. Glitzy settings and epic plots make Steel’s books a staple of the women’s fiction genre. You’ll be immersed in a captivating world and hang on until the last page, when you reach for another as soon as you close the cover.
John Grisham was a lawyer himself before he became a bestselling novelist. He’s written at least one book per year for the last several decades. His famous books are mostly set in courtrooms, jail cells, and wood-paneled law offices where his southern characters clash in their search for law and order. His bestsellers are often made into major motion pictures, like The Firm with Tom Cruise, and A Time to Kill with Sandra Bullock and Matthew McConaughey. Grisham’s legal page-turners continue to pack a punch. He has a young adult series and continues to publish bestselling thrillers that will keep you reading long past bedtime.
Judy Blume is the author that makes reading a habit for young readers. Once you finish Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Superfudge and make it to Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret and Tiger Eyes, you’re hooked on her books for life. She written around 25 so far. So make sure to work your way through all of Blume’s heartfelt dramas about teen life and the aches and pains of growing up. All of her books are just as entrancing and beloved, including her novels for grown-ups. Blume’s prose hook you in and keep you mesmerized until the last page.
Jodi Picoult’s 23 novels land on The New York Times bestseller list because you simply can’t put one down once you get started. Picoult’s novels usually create a story around a moral quandary, so the reader gets pulled on these ethical shoots along with the characters. My Sister’s Keeper focused on medical issues as one sister chose whether or not to contribute to her sister’s treatment—at her own peril. Picoult’s novels also focus on euthanasia, the death penalty, and gay rights, among other hot button issues. But the stories pull you into family situations and relatable scenarios. Get ready to turn some pages and shed some tears. Don’t miss these other novels that will make you sob your heart out.
The Harry Potter series riveted the whole world, kids and grown-ups and muggles and wizards too. No one can start the series without staying up late for weeks and months to rip through the Hogwarts adventures with their constant plot twists and story reversals. Rowling’s series hooks you in and won’t let you let go. Good thing she’s continued to write. You can go for Fantastic Beasts or her adult detective novels written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.
James Patterson’s super-popular bestsellers—he’s written 114—keep readers turning pages and buying books. His Alex Cross detective novels are especially engaging to audiences who helped make him one of the bestselling authors of all time. His breakout novel, Along Came a Spider (also made into a film), features violence, police investigations, and a generous helping of plot twists. Readers love the formula and keep coming back for more—even as Patterson keeps trying out new genres, including young adult novels and teaming up with co-authors.
Terry McMillan’s popular novels are all about relatable black women who go through ups and downs in career, family life, and matters of the heart. You’ll be mesmerized by bestsellers like How Stella Got Her Groove Back about a 40-something professional woman who finds love with a 20-something Jamaican hottie while on vacation. Waiting to Exhale follows friends through triumphs and heartaches as they lose love and get it back in new ways. Fans love McMillan’s meaningful stories, so if you pick up one of her bestsellers, prepare to make your way through the whole bunch.
Nora Roberts is the charismatic author of nearly 200 New York Times bestsellers. Her novels are known for taking readers into worlds that are rich with description and intrigue. Add a little sex, romance, and healthy doses of twists and turns and you’re all set to keep reading through the night. Robert’s romantic fiction novels are considered masterpieces of the genre. You’re guaranteed a page-turner if you pick up one of her many fabulous books.
Agatha Christie is the bestselling novelist of all time, to the tune of a few billion books sold—and for good reason! Christie’s detective novels have been fascinating and enthralling readers since the 1920s. She wrote around 80 in total. And there’s a new movie version of Murder on the Orient Express on the way. Christie was an early adopter of the “ripped from the headlines” plot line, providing scintillating mysteries with unexpected twists. Her famous character, detective Hercule Poirot, hypnotized readers with his descent into the dark secrets of unlikely murderers and victims. Christie’s known for flawless structure and plot construction that will keep you on the edge of your seat till the final page.
Harlan Coben’s addictive crime novels—he has around 27 out so far—keep readers on the edge of their seat. Get ready for twists, turns, reversals, and you’d-never-guess-it plot twists. His thrillers are virtuoso mysteries that expose the dark side of familiar settings. Prepare yourself for relatable characters, crackling prose, and shocking endings. Coben’s popular Myron Bolitar series follows a sports agent into deadly worlds and dark places in the high-stakes, pro-sports milieu.