The Neapolitan Novels, by Elena Ferrante
An observation: People don’t seem to merely read Elena Ferrante’s novels. They devour them in all-night binges, coming to work bleary-eyed and strung out. What’s her secret? Is it that propulsive voice? The way she brings up thoughts you’d never dared to name-about friendships, sex, class? To read them is to remember that the best books are a little harrowing. Start with the Neapolitan Novels. They go down like a warm drink of crystal meth.