Every once in a while, we come across a book so engaging that we find ourselves lost in its world. Despite our best efforts, we end up foregoing precious hours of sleep and shunning company, conscious only of our need to finish the book. A book such as this truly defines the word ‘unputdownable’. Here is a list of 10 novels guaranteed to make you stay up all night.


Such A Long Journey

Rohinton Mistry

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, this book is set in 1971 Mumbai during a time of political unrest and revolves around Gustad Noble, a hard-working bank clerk who is struggling to keep his family out of poverty. His youngest daughter, Roshan is always sick and his oldest son Sohrab wins a scholarship to IIT but chooses not to enrol and, instead, leaves home to pursue art. An unexpected request from an old friend changes his life and takes him on a strange journey full of loss as well as hope. Such a Long Journey is the gripping tale of a family man amidst war and political turmoil and how they impact a man’s life. Mistry’s layered writing will keep you hooked as you stay up all night to finish the book. Interestingly, Shiv Sena took objection to how it was portrayed in the book and successfully campaigned to have it banned from the Mumbai University syllabus, creating a controversy and subsequent discussion around free speech.

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Sacred Games

Vikram Chandra

A critically acclaimed book, and winner of the Vodafone Crossword Book Award, Sacred Games is a complex cops-and-robbers thriller set in Mumbai. When Sartaj Singh, a police inspector with poor career prospects receives an anonymous tip with the location of the secret hideout of India’s most wanted gangster, Ganesh Gaitonde, he rushes to seize the opportunity. With layered characters and exquisite language, Sacred Games is guaranteed to keep you reading for hours.

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The Eye Of The World

Robert Jordan

Reminiscent of The Lord of The Rings, this is the first of 14 books in the A Wheel Of Time series. This book introduces the key characters- Rand al’Thor and his friends, Martim Cauthon and Perrin Aybara as they flee their home after being attacked by Trollocs. They are accompanied by an Aes Sedai, Moiraine, and her Warder Lan. This page-turner will keep you hooked as you follow Rand and his seven companions as they go on an epic quest for answers, make friends along the way, dodge enemies and eventually uncover their destinies. A suggestion: buy at least the first two books in the series because you’ll want to read the second as soon as the first is done.

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The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus is a phantasmagorical fairy tale centred around a peculiar magical circus with no fixed location that could arrive anywhere, without any announcement. Open only from sunset to sunrise, Le Cirque des Rêves (the Circus of Dreams), boasts of wonders like a garden made of ice and stunning displays of magic. In the midst of the circus are the young magicians, Celia and Marco who have been groomed from childhood to be each other’s rivals in a contest of magic, where the punishment for losing is death. Unexpectedly, they find themselves falling in love and have to find a way out from the night circus. The Night Circus is a delightful and mesmerising read which will make you want to stay up all night.

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Sharp Objects

Gillian Flynn

Sharp Objects follows Camille Preaker, a former patient at a psychiatric hospital for multiple cases of self-harm, and now a journalist for a small newspaper in Chicago. When she is asked to return to her hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri to report the brutal murder of a pre-teen girl, she reconnects with her mother, Adora, and half-sister, Amma. After another dead body of a missing preteen girl is found in a town alley, Preaker finds herself embroiled in the investigation. With its twists and turns, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat as mysteries unravel and Preaker finally discovers the truth.

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Going Postal

Terry Pratchett

Set in the Discworld universe, Going Postal is Terry Pratchett at his best as he satirises how the modern-day postal system came about. The story takes place in the fantasy city-state of Ankh-Morpork, and introduces us to Moist von Lipwig, a swindler soon to be hanged for his crimes. After Lord Vetinari fakes von Lipwig’s death, he “accepts” the job of a Postmaster at the post office which hasn’t been used since the introduction of the clacks system. He revolutionises the postal system by introducing postage stamps and hiring golems to deliver the mail and soon finds himself in a competition with the clacks system. You’ll find yourself laughing out loud as you follow von Lipwig on his adventures as he struggles to manage the post office.

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Fragile Things

Neil Gaiman

Once again, Gaiman displays his versatility in Fragile Things, a collection of short stories, oddities, retellings, poems and other creations. There is ‘A Study in Emerald’ inspired by Conan Doyle’s ‘A Study in Scarlet’ and combined with Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. ‘The Flints of Memory Lane’ and ‘Other People’ will give you the creeps, ‘Feeders and Eaters’ is just plain weird and, if you are a fan of The Chronicles of Narnia, don’t miss out on ‘The Problem of Susan’. Then there is  ‘October in the Chair’, where the calendar months listen while October shares a story or the poem ‘Instructions’ which tells you what to do when you find yourself in a fairy tale. As you stay up all night reading it, you’ll find yourself on a roller coaster of emotions as this remarkable compilation has the ability to haunt you, dazzle you, and pierce your soul.

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The Pillars Of The Earth

Ken Follett

The Pillars of the Earth is Ken Follett’s tour de force, a historical novel in sharp contrast to his previous works. This book tells the tales of  Philip, a monk in the 12th Century, driven by his goal to build the greatest Gothic cathedral in the world, of Tom, a mason who became an architect, and of Lady Aliena who has a shameful secret. The overall theme of the book is that of the struggle between good and evil. Follett’s masterful storytelling has managed to recreate 12th Century England in vivid detail as the monasteries and castles of Kingsbridge come to life before us. This is a complex tale of love, betrayal, and revenge set in motion by the public hanging of an innocent man. You’ll find yourself unable to put the book down.

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The Calcutta Chromosome

Amitav Ghosh

Set partly in 1990s Calcutta and partly in New York City in the future, The Calcutta Chromosome is a medical thriller which won Ghosh the Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1997. An Egyptian- American computer scientist, Antar, finds himself stuck in a mundane job performing mindless tasks until he finds a damaged ID card belonging to an old missing acquaintance of his, Murugan. This sets the stage for a trip into the past when Murugan went to India to find out more about Ronald Ross’ discovery of how malaria is transmitted. As you jump between the past and the present, you’ll find yourself in a world filled with conspiracies, and one where transmigration is a possibility. Ghosh employs a completely different writing style here vis-à-vis the flowy descriptive style he uses in his other fictional works, so whether or not you are a Ghosh fan, this is one book you should not miss out on.

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Wolf Of The Plains

Conn Iggulden

The first in the Conqueror series, Wolf Of The Plains is based on the life of Genghis Khan. Born Temujin, the son of a khan, his childhood was shaped by betrayal and cruelty. As Temujin struggled to survive, he was determined to never find himself in this position again. Even as he made a name for himself, each success also brought its own challenges with it. Temujin then sets his sight on uniting all the tribes of Mongolia under his banner and proclaims himself khan while taking on the name of Genghis. This book is an example of historical fiction at its best, combining fact with captivating writing, likely to draw you in as you find yourself foregoing sleep to read it in one sitting.

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Devanshi has been reading ever since she can remember. What started off as an obsession with Enid Blyton, slowly morphed into a love for mystery and fantasy. Even her choice of career as a lawyer was heavily influenced by the works of Erle Stanley Gardner and John Grisham. After quitting law, and while backpacking around India, she read books on entrepreneurship, taught herself web design and delved into social media marketing. She doesn’t go anywhere without a book.

She is the founding editor of The Curious Reader. Read her articles here.