Literary Fiction

List of trending literary fiction books.

Olive, Again (Oprah’s Book Club): A Novel

Prickly, wry, resistant to change yet ruthlessly honest and deeply empathetic, Olive Kitteridge is “a compelling life force” (San Francisco Chronicle). The New Yorker has said that Elizabeth Strout “animates the ordinary with an astonishing force,” and she has never done so more clearly than in these pages, where the iconic Olive struggles to understand not only herself and her own life but the lives of those around her in the town of Crosby, Maine. Whether with a teenager coming to terms with the loss of her father, a young woman about to give birth during a hilariously inopportune moment, a nurse who confesses a secret high school crush, or a lawyer who struggles with an inheritance she does not want to accept, the unforgettable Olive will continue to startle us, to move us, and to inspire us—in Strout’s words—“to bear the burden of the mystery with as much grace as we can.”

Praise for Olive, Again

“Olive is a brilliant creation not only because of her eternal cantankerousness but because she’s as brutally candid with herself about her shortcomings as she is with others. Her honesty makes people strangely willing to confide in her, and the raw power of Ms. Strout’s writing comes from these unvarnished exchanges, in which characters reveal themselves in all of their sadness and badness and confusion. . . . The great, terrible mess of living is spilled out across the pages of this moving book. Ms. Strout may not have any answers for it, but she isn’t afraid of it either.”—T

Strange Planet

Strange Planet covers a full life cycle of the planet’s inhabitants, including milestones such as:

The Emergence Day
Being Gains a Sibling
The Being Family Attains a Beast
The Formal Education of a Being
Celebration of Special Days
Being Begins a Vocation
The Beings at Home
Health Status of a Being
The Hobbies of a Being
The Extended Family of the Being
The Being Reflects on Life While Watching the Planet Rotate

With dozens of never-before-seen illustrations in addition to old favorites, this book offers a sweet and hilarious look at a distant world not all that unlike our own.

The Dutch House: A Novel

At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves.

The story is told by Cyril’s son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another. It is this unshakeable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures.

Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. Despite every outward sign of success, Danny and Maeve are only truly comfortable when they’re together. Throughout their lives they return to the well-worn story of what they’ve lost with humor and rage. But when at last they’re forced to confront the people who left them behind, the relationship between an indulged brother and his ever-protective sister is finally tested.

Endless Incarnation Sorrows

Three surgeries resulted in three resuscitations for author Lucia Mann. After the last one, she began to perceive and recognize a succession of intimate memories packed with people and places from long ago. The vivid flashbacks took on a life of their own, arriving and departing on an otherworldly schedule. Although paralyzed with fear from echoes and visions of the past, Lucia recognized uncanny connections to her current life.

In Endless Incarnation Sorrows (You live and die and repeat)Lucia Mann’s spellbinding memorials to past times are linking clearly themes from her present life to moments and images from her past, all the way back to her first imprint on Earth. Could her physical marks be symbolic of ancient unsanctioned deeds?

This book invites you to contemplate the concept of reincarnation and to consider how it may be affecting your own Earthy journey.

Blue Moon: A Jack Reacher Novel

“This is a random universe,” Reacher says. “Once in a blue moon things turn out just right.”

This isn’t one of those times.

Reacher is on a Greyhound bus, minding his own business, with no particular place to go, and all the time in the world to get there. Then he steps off the bus to help an old man who is obviously just a victim waiting to happen. But you know what they say about good deeds. Now Reacher wants to make it right.

An elderly couple have made a few well-meaning mistakes, and now they owe big money to some very bad people. One brazen move leads to another, and suddenly Reacher finds himself a wanted man in the middle of a brutal turf war between rival Ukrainian and Albanian gangs.

Reacher has to stay one step ahead of the loan sharks, the thugs, and the assassins. He teams up with a fed-up waitress who knows a little more than she’s letting on, and sets out to take down the powerful and make the greedy pay. It’s a long shot. The odds are against him. But Reacher believes in a certain kind of justice . . . the kind that comes along once in a blue moon.

She Smiled

My heroine is a beautiful young lady, Chloe Blankson. The novel opens with her severe illness on her first birthday in a lonely and secluded part of town. Growing up, Chloe realised the slight deformity that will define her future. However, an encounter with the Saviour redefined her. As Chloe tried to relate with the growing lady she was becoming; she got convinced that finding true love was as complicated as her childhood insecurity. Chloe became increasingly disturbed with the aspects of her life that summon up her dark and undefined past. Despite her faith and career hopes, Chloe was unfulfilled and unhappy with the shallowness of life and struggled with her relationships. Finally, she realised that she was foolish to give up easily with her choices. Chloe is keen to redefine what love means to her with everyone that walked the shores of her world. Was she able to do so correctly? Did she find true love?

A Place for Us: A Novel

As an Indian wedding gathers a family back together, parents Rafiq and Layla must reckon with the choices their children have made. There is Hadia: their headstrong, eldest daughter, whose marriage is a match of love and not tradition. Huda, the middle child, determined to follow in her sister’s footsteps. And lastly, their estranged son, Amar, who returns to the family fold for the first time in three years to take his place as brother of the bride. What secrets and betrayals have caused this close-knit family to fracture? Can Amar find his way back to the people who know and love him best?

A Place for Us takes us back to the beginning of this family’s life: from the bonds that bring them together, to the differences that pull them apart. All the joy and struggle of family life is here, from Rafiq and Layla’s own arrival in America from India, to the years in which their children—each in their own way—tread between two cultures, seeking to find their place in the world, as well as a path home.

A Place for Us is a book for our times: an astonishingly tender-hearted novel of identity and belonging, and a resonant portrait of what it means to be an American family today. It announces Fatima Farheen Mirza as a major new literary talent.

Of Virtue and Damnation

The story of one man trying to do the right thing no matter what the consequences. Abbé Jérôme Dubois, a Xianic priest in his early twenties, finds a job at a chateau where he is to give help and support to the dying Marchioness.He meets a sweet servant girl, Charlotte, and he worries for her safety. Nothing is the same again after he meets the Marchioness’ husband, Lucien Beaumont, a handsome but cruel man. The young priest is determined to protect Charlotte even if it means risking his own safety! But can he manage the impossible and outwit his employer? Lucien has a hold over the priest and as hard as he tries, he just can’t seem to escape.

Forbidden to leave and haunted even in dreams the ghosts of his past catch up…

Two Girls, Two Dogs and a Campervan

This debut book inspired by real life follows Mia and J, two struggling tech co-founders, as they hit the road with J’s disabled and aging dogs for a California road trip. Narrated by Mia, an avid outdoorsy-type, the story follows two very different women as they travel through Yosemite, Napa Valley and Big Sur. During the women’s journey together, they not only experience a variety of entertaining and heart-warming ups and downs, they also have moments of self-discovery (and bonding with the dogs, too).

Seaton’s War

Seaton’s War is a story of love, secrets and lies set in a sleepy New Zealand town in the latter half of WWII. When a Japanese submarine beaches the residents are shocked that the Pacific War has come to them. To some the event brings opportunity for personal gain or for genuine war work. For Kitty Williams it is a chance to prove she can do more for the war effort than knit socks for Red Cross parcels.

Taking a stand against the establishment Kitty teaches the POWs English with the intention of learning enough Japanese to be able to intercept their radio transmissions.

When Kitty makes an unusual find she confides in physicist Dr. Robert Anderson, who operates a direction finder, tracking movements of ships and submarines in the Pacific. But all is not as it seems with the shy academic and Kitty begins to question where his sympathies lie. Too late she realises she has fallen in love with him.

As Kitty immerses herself in her work, her landlady Rowena struggles with the fact that her husband John is incarcerated in German occupied Poland. Rowena’s unorthodox method of dealing with her situation is a source of tension between her and Kitty.

Woven through the book is Kitty’s relationship with her best friend Maybelle who has left Seaton to work for Navy Communications. She provides Kitty with a different slant on the events in Seaton through newspaper clippings and letters, and she regales Kitty about life in the city now the Americans have arrived.

The Pacific War, secret liaisons, the spy game and the quest for liberation in Europe weave seamlessly through Seaton’s War. As Kitty battles for personal recognition she puts her life on the line for love, honour and above all, integrity.

The Things We Cannot Say

In 1942, Europe remains in the relentless grip of war. Just beyond the tents of the Russian refugee camp she calls home, a young woman speaks her wedding vows. It’s a decision that will alter her destiny…and it’s a lie that will remain buried until the next century.

Since she was nine years old, Alina Dziak knew she would marry her best friend, Tomasz. Now fifteen and engaged, Alina is unconcerned by reports of Nazi soldiers at the Polish border, believing her neighbors that they pose no real threat, and dreams instead of the day Tomasz returns from college in Warsaw so they can be married. But little by little, injustice by brutal injustice, the Nazi occupation takes hold, and Alina’s tiny rural village, its families, are divided by fear and hate.

Then, as the fabric of their lives is slowly picked apart, Tomasz disappears. Where Alina used to measure time between visits from her beloved, now she measures the spaces between hope and despair, waiting for word from Tomasz and avoiding the attentions of the soldiers who patrol her parents’ farm. But for now, even deafening silence is preferable to grief.

Slipping between Nazi-occupied Poland and the frenetic pace of modern life, Kelly Rimmer creates an emotional and finely wrought narrative. The Things We Cannot Say is an unshakable reminder of the devastation when truth is silenced…and how it can take a lifetime to find our voice before we learn to trust it.

The Other Wife

Childhood sweethearts William and Mary have been married for sixty years. William is a celebrated surgeon, Mary a devoted wife. Both have a strong sense of right and wrong.

This is what their son, Joe O’Loughlin, has always believed. But when Joe is summoned to the hospital with news that his father has been brutally attacked, his world is turned upside down. Who is the strange woman crying at William’s bedside, covered in his blood – a friend, a mistress, a fantasist or a killer?

Against the advice of the police, Joe launches his own investigation. As he learns more, he discovers sides to his father he never knew – and is forcibly reminded that the truth comes at a price.

A mesmerising psychological thriller from one of the greatest crime writers of today, Michael Robotham, the internationally bestselling author of THE SECRETS SHE KEEPS.

Praise for Michael Robotham’s writing:

‘Will have you turning the pages compulsively’ The Times

‘Robotham doesn’t just make me scared for his characters, he makes my heart ache for them’ Linwood Barclay

‘Superbly exciting … a terrific read’ Guardian

‘A nerve-shredding thriller with the heart and soul so often missing from lesser crime and suspense novels. I couldn’t stop reading, yet I didn’t want Audie’s story to end. Robotham is an absolute master’ Stephen King on Life or Death

The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel (P.S.)

In The Golem and the Jinni, a chance meeting between mythical beings takes readers on a dazzling journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century New York.

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life to by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic and dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Chava is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in 1899.

Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask, and released in New York City, though still not entirely free

Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends and soul mates with a mystical connection. Marvelous and compulsively readable, Helene Wecker’s debut novel The Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of Yiddish and Middle Eastern literature, historical fiction and magical fable, into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.

Mrs. Everything: A Novel

Do we change or does the world change us?

Jo and Bethie Kaufman were born into a world full of promise.

Growing up in 1950s Detroit, they live in a perfect “Dick and Jane” house, where their roles in the family are clearly defined. Jo is the tomboy, the bookish rebel with a passion to make the world more fair; Bethie is the pretty, feminine good girl, a would-be star who enjoys the power her beauty confers and dreams of a traditional life.

But the truth ends up looking different from what the girls imagined. Jo and Bethie survive traumas and tragedies. As their lives unfold against the background of free love and Vietnam, Woodstock and women’s lib, Bethie becomes an adventure-loving wild child who dives headlong into the counterculture and is up for anything (except settling down). Meanwhile, Jo becomes a proper young mother in Connecticut, a witness to the changing world instead of a participant. Neither woman inhabits the world she dreams of, nor has a life that feels authentic or brings her joy. Is it too late for the women to finally stake a claim on happily ever after?

In her most ambitious novel yet, Jennifer Weiner tells a story of two sisters who, with their different dreams and different paths, offer answers to the question: How should a woman be in the world?

When a Stranger Comes…

Author Alexa Wainwright vows to do whatever it takes to attain the heady ego-stroking success of her debut. But is she really? Witnessing an out-of-the-blue lightning bolt whose giant tendrils spread over the blue sky and city streets below her loft window, Alexa doesn’t realize just how this vow will be tested as she’s magically transported to an alternate reality. In this universe, the characters from her books are given the breath of life and she meets publisher, King Blakemore, who just might be the Devil himself. At first, she shrugs off her doubts about this peculiar publisher and very lucrative book deal offer because the temptation of riches and refound fame is too strong.

But all too soon, Alexa realizes she’s trapped in an underworld of evil from which she desperately wants to escape. Immediately, she finds herself in an iron-clad book contract that changes its wording whenever she thinks of a loophole. Desperate to get her life back, she devises schemes to untether herself from this hellish existence. She’s also aided by the forces for good who attempt to remove King’s hold on her.

However, King Blakemore is cleverer and more powerful than she or her guardian angels can begin to understand. Playfully, King decides to give Alexa a second chance to save herself from eternity with him and to be free. He offers her the prospect of a rewrite, as most authors do as part of the writing process. Given this chance, will Alexa make the same choices and the same mistakes again?

Alexa’s pact with the Devil is an allegory for the evil lurking in our midst. The social decay of modern society with its excessive greed, the ignorance of our political leaders, and our indifference toward the survival of all species from the effects of climate change, among other environmental pressures, are perhaps brought forth by the darkest forces of human nature.

A Man Called Ove: The life-affirming bestseller that will brighten your day

At first sight, Ove is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet. He thinks himself surrounded by idiots – neighbours who can’t reverse a trailer properly, joggers, shop assistants who talk in code, and the perpetrators of the vicious coup d’etat that ousted him as Chairman of the Residents’ Association. He will persist in making his daily inspection rounds of the local streets.

But isn’t it rare, these days, to find such old-fashioned clarity of belief and deed? Such unswerving conviction about what the world should be, and a lifelong dedication to making it just so?

In the end, you will see, there is something about Ove that is quite irresistible . . .

Fire in the Mountain

Set against the backdrop of an erupting volcano in New Zealand’s North Island, Lana wrestles with her recent grief, for survival on the mountain and her future with a man whose past she was once part of. Woven through her narrative is Alfred’s story and the theft of war medals, and which Lana finds herself enmeshed in, further threatening her life. Follow Lana as she tries to extricate herself from not only the mountain but her past.

Lana returned to New Zealand after the tragic death of her husband, Yuri. Both were musicians. Too painful to continue without him, she finds solace in her old school friend, Sarah, who inspires her to stay and take up geology. She settles into her new life and new love until she unexpectedly reunites with Paul, her first love. With that she is thrown into turmoil as she tries to reconcile the girl she once was with the woman she became.

Paul travelled the world studying volcanoes, devoting little time to his marriage, but he came home to study Mt Ruapehu’s lahar. His love for Lana never died and when he learns of her whereabouts he engineers himself back into her life.

Every day of his life Alfred tried not to think of his years spent in prison camps. Then some medals are stolen and he is inextricably thrown back to Monte Cassino. But as he follows the search for the medals he is pleased to add some excitement to his sedate retirement years until it comes at a cost, first to Lana and Paul, and then himself.

26 Absurdities of Tragic Proportions

An utterly fascinating collection of short tales inspired by Edward Gorey’s alphabetical illustrations in ‘The Gashlycrumb Tinies. These tales capture the essence of dark humor and satire with one tale for each child depicted in Gorey’s most famous illustrations. These tales are all about human behavior, characteristics, chance and choice, and life and death.
From Mystery to SciFi, from Drama to Fairy Tale and from Adventure to Gothic, this book has something for everyone.

Miss V

`You are my sister now,’ Victoria said, quietly and solemnly. `Never forget it. I love you like a sister, and you are my only friend in all the world.’ Miss V. Conroy is good at keeping secrets. She likes to sit as quiet as a mouse, neat and discreet. But when her father sends her to Kensington Palace to become the companion to Princess Victoria, Miss V soon finds that she can no longer remain in the shadows. Miss V’s father has devised a strict set of rules for the young princess, which he calls the Kensington System. It governs her behaviour and keeps her locked away from the world. He says it is for the princess’s safety, but Victoria herself is convinced that it is to keep her lonely, and unhappy. Torn between loyalty to her father and her growing friendship with the wilful and passionate Victoria, Miss V has a decision to make: to continue in silence, or to speak out. By turns thrilling, dramatic and touching, this is the story of Queen Victoria’s childhood as you’ve never heard it before.

Strange Practice (A Dr. Greta Helsing Novel Book 1)

In this delightfully witty fantasy adventure, Dr. Greta Helsing, doctor to the undead, must defend London from both supernatural ailments and a bloodthirsty cult.

Greta Helsing inherited her family’s highly specialized and highly peculiar medical practice. In her consulting rooms, Dr. Helsing treats the undead for a host of ills – vocal strain in banshees, arthritis in barrow-wights, and entropy in mummies. Although she barely makes ends meet, this is just the quiet, supernatural-adjacent life Greta’s been groomed for since childhood.

Until a sect of murderous monks emerges, killing human and undead Londoners alike. As terror takes hold of the city, Greta must use her unusual skills to stop the cult if she hopes to save her practice, and her life.

Strange Practice is the first novel in Shaw’s debut series, the Dr. Greta Helsing Novels – perfect for fans of Neverwhere and V. E. Schwab.