11. The Mist by Stephen King. It’s a short story and he’s a helluva storyteller.
12. My Side of the Mountain.
I read it as a kid and loved it. Everything about the adventure was thrilling.
13. The Harry Potter series is a given.
14. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A Corey, Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, and Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames.
15. Percy Jackson and the Olympians – The Lightning Theif. While the series is mainly for younger readers I find them engaging and fun and I didn’t start reading them until a few years ago (22ish). It’s like Harry Potter except Percy kills stuff.
16. Start with an audiobook of Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy.
Gritty ass western novel that makes No Country For Old Men look like the Teletubbies.
17. I’d actually suggest you try out some comics.
There are a lot of quality comics out there that are just as “grown up” and challenging reads as standard text-only books. People often find the art element makes the story/text more compelling and adds incentive to read.
Depending on your interests, I’d suggest anything from Maus to Full Metal Alchemist.
18. I couldn’t put Enders Game down.
19. The Body by Stephen King. It’s a novella, so it’s relatively short, and it’s the story that the movie Stand By Me is based on.
Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption is in the same anthology and is the story upon which the movie The Shawshank Redemption is based.
20. You have to read the Mistborn Saga. I am not a big fan of fantasy but those books are so good. Anything made by Sanderson is often good.
21. Snow Crash.
I remember picking it up randomly at a bookstore, taking a look at the first page and the next thing I knew an hour had passed as I couldn’t stop reading. The story has the pace of a roller coaster ride and I loved every minute of it.
22. “Lamb” by Christopher Moore A story of Jesus Christ told by his best friend Biff.
23. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut.
A satirical tale of a WWII veteran that gets kidnapped by 4th-dimensional aliens. The storytelling is witty and comical. It’s a fun and short read.
24. I would recommend The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. Milo has to get out of the Doldrums.
25. Sherlock Holmes cases – entertaining and fairly short per case.