Literary Fiction

List of trending literary fiction books.

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.

City of Girls: A Novel

Beloved author Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction with a unique love story set in the New York City theater world during the 1940s. Told from the perspective of an older woman as she looks back on her youth with both pleasure and regret (but mostly pleasure), City of Girls explores themes of female sexuality and promiscuity, as well as the idiosyncrasies of true love.

In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College, owing to her lackluster freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters, from the fun-chasing showgirls to a sexy male actor, a grand-dame actress, a lady-killer writer, and no-nonsense stage manager. But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand. Ultimately, though, it leads her to a new understanding of the kind of life she craves – and the kind of freedom it takes to pursue it. It will also lead to the love of her life, a love that stands out from all the rest.

Now eighty-nine years old and telling her story at last, Vivian recalls how the events of those years altered the course of her life – and the gusto and autonomy with which she approached it. “At some point in a woman’s life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time,” she muses. “After that, she is free to become whoever she truly is.” Written with a powerful wisdom about human desire and connection, City of Girls is a love story like no other.

Have You Seen Luis Velez?

From New York Times bestselling author Catherine Ryan Hyde comes a moving novel about two strangers who find that kindness is a powerful antidote to fear.

Raymond Jaffe feels like he doesn’t belong. Not with his mother’s new family. Not as a weekend guest with his father and his father’s wife. Not at school, where he’s an outcast. After his best friend moves away, Raymond has only two real connections: to the feral cat he’s tamed and to a blind ninety-two-year-old woman in his building who’s introduced herself with a curious question: Have you seen Luis Velez?

Mildred Gutermann, a German Jew who narrowly escaped the Holocaust, has been alone since her caretaker disappeared. She turns to Raymond for help, and as he tries to track Luis down, a deep and unexpected friendship blossoms between the two.

Despondent at the loss of Luis, Mildred isolates herself further from a neighborhood devolving into bigotry and fear. Determined not to let her give up, Raymond helps her see that for every terrible act the world delivers, there is a mirror image of deep kindness, and Mildred helps Raymond see that there’s hope if you have someone to hold on to.

The Ballot Farm

Mangaparua was one of the last areas in New Zealand to be opened up.

George Malder and his new bride, Catherine, take up a newly surveyed bush section in the back blocks between Raetihi and the Wanganui River. As a returned World War I soldier George won the right to create a farm with a government grant and the promise of further assistance. They endeavour to establish a home and turn the virgin bush into a productive sheep farm.

They are joined by other discharged soldiers, all of whom battle demons. The community bonds quickly, these friends made for life, accepting each person’s oddities.
Already damaged by the war George struggles to be the man society expects of him. He is stoic in the face of the adversity he experiences daily and he is optimistic in the extreme.
Catherine, bewildered by the isolation, finds strength in her faith in George. Of special consolation to her is Iris, Catherine’s sister-in-law and best friend.
Gender roles are firmly established when the first babies arrive; the men farm and the women keep the home fires burning. There are no options.

The isolation of the fledging settlement challenges them in ways they never expect as tragedy after tragedy unfolds. Omnipotent behind the personal stories is the struggle to turn the land into the farms that the government expect.

George wrestles with feelings of despair as he realises the inadequacy of his efforts. But George is reluctant to sever the ties he’s made with this land.
The book draws on events surrounding the ballot farm scheme in this beautiful back country. Nowhere, in the whole of New Zealand, could it have been so difficult to make a farm.

A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel

The mega-bestseller with more than 1.5 million readers that is soon to be a major television series

One of five Summer 2019 reading picks by Bill Gates

“The novel buzzes with the energy of numerous adventures, love affairs, [and] twists of fate.” —The Wall Street Journal

He can’t leave his hotel. You won’t want to.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Civility—a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel.

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery.

Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count’s endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.

Not My Daughter: An absolutely heartbreaking pageturner

My darling girl, you lie so still, lashes fanning your cheeks, golden hair spread across your pillow. You’re so beautiful my heart aches. Your breath is so soft I can barely hear it, but at least I can see the steady rise and fall of your chest, every breath a promise. You’re still here. I’ve still got you. For now.

Milly has always dreamed of being a mother. Adopted, she longs for a powerful connection with a child of her own. So, when she and her husband Matt are told they can’t have children, she’s heartbroken.

Milly can barely believe it when her best friend and Matt’s brother offer be donors. With everyone accepting and open, Milly believes nothing could go wrong.

But none of the four are prepared for their feelings when Milly gives birth to beautiful baby Alice.

Then, when Alice is still a little girl, she receives a devastating diagnosis. Milly’s whole world falls apart, and each of them is forced to face what it means to be a parent, and make impossible choices… for themselves, and for Alice.

An unputdownable, heart-breaking, but ultimately uplifting story about the power of love and the true meaning of family. Fans of Jodi Picoult, Diane Chamberlain, and Gracie’s Secret will never forget Not My Daughter.

Goodbye, Marlene

In 1963 Albert Langley emigrated with his family from England to Australia. Almost immediately, he was captivated by his new environs, and over the ensuing years he would find himself falling in love repeatedly, and feeling energised and legitimised as a consequence. But his sense of fulfilment would be fleeting.

The Odyssey (AmazonClassics Edition)

After enduring the Trojan War, Odysseus begins the treacherous journey home to Ithaca. On the way, he faces ravenous monsters and vengeful gods. But the real battle awaits, as his kingdom is under siege by unruly suitors vying for his wife’s hand—and his son’s head. To reclaim his throne and save his family, Odysseus must rely on his wits…and help from the unpredictable gods.

Homer’s The Odyssey was composed around 700 BC. It is one of the earliest epics in existence and remains one of the most influential works of literature today.

Revised edition: Previously published as The Odyssey, this edition of The Odyssey (AmazonClassics Edition) includes editorial revisions.

Conversations With Hitler

How well do we know Hitler? Is he mad? If so, is he still criminally culpable for his crimes? Assuming one accepts the existence of evil, is he evil?

If Hitler is a criminal, what about the acts of other leaders? Is Churchill equal to Hitler, when we note he starved three million Bengalis in 1943? Why is Churchill not also an immoral man for being the first leader to use chemical weapons post-1918? The French ultimately killed one million Algerians whose crime was to seek independence. The Americans dropped more bombs on Laos than all bombs dropped throughout World War Two. Is that not a crime too? But who thinks of LBJ and Nixon as mass murderers, on par with Hitler? Bush the father and son, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown ensure over half a million Iraqis starved to death, thanks to the sanctions they imposed. Are they not mass murderers? If not, why is that?

If Hitler is mad, what about the significant number of Germans who fanatically followed him? Were they too mad? Can an entire nation be mad?

Why did the Allies conspicuously avoid disrupting Hitler’s Holocaust?

What about Hitler’s disciples – how do they explain their deeds?

This novel is an interrogation of the mind not only of Hitler, but of his fanatic disciples who carried out mass murders on a daily basis and who were on the surface ‘normal’ men and women.