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Adult literary fiction

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I've been hankering for a good recent adult novel to read. I generally like literary fiction, but I also like some genre fiction, especially sci-fi. Any titles pop into mind that you've especially liked lately?
#1 - April 21, 2017, 08:43 PM
Twitter: @MelissaKoosmann

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The Underground Railroad was very good.
#2 - April 22, 2017, 07:34 AM
Kirsten W. Larson

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WOOD, WIRE, WINGS (Calkins Creek, 2020)
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Authors and illustrators ... join me at SubItClub.com!

Ohh, I love when we talk good adult books--I'm always on the look out! And Underground Railroad has been on my list for a while now!

Have you tried Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice? It's the first book of a really intriguing, unique sci-fi series. It takes some work to get used to the narrator and figure out what's going on, but it really does pay serious dividends, especially if you like sci-fi.

I recently read Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. I didn't love it (the main female character was a little cardboard), but I did quite enjoy it. It's the kind of fiction I love: rich details and a unique setting (Indians in Ethiopia), the kind of story you can get lost in.
#3 - April 22, 2017, 05:00 PM
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If you haven't read Anthony Doerr's ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE yet, I'd start there.

I've heard good things about NEWS OF THE WORLD, too (Paulette Jiles), but haven't read yet.
#4 - April 22, 2017, 07:45 PM
Learning to Swear in America (Bloomsbury, July 2016)
What Goes Up (Bloomsbury, 2017)
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I just finished Liane Moriarty's TRULY MADLY GUILTY. Family drama in non-linear format with good suspense.

I second ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE.

People at my library are raving about THE GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW.

And Lisa See has a new book!
#5 - April 23, 2017, 06:09 AM
BLACKOUT -- available now
DESERTED -- available now
SISTERS DON'T TELL -- available now
www.deenalipomi.com

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Thanks so much for the recommendations. I'll add one that I loved recently: MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON by Elizabeth Strout.
#6 - April 24, 2017, 11:43 AM
Twitter: @MelissaKoosmann

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If your genre fiction tastes tend toward horror, I absolutely loved both SLADE HOUSE (David Mitchell) and THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS (M. R. Carey). Both were beautifully written and both crawled right under my skin and stayed there for a few days.

Also, if you haven't read STATION ELEVEN (Emily St. John Mandel), it's beautiful. It's like if THE STAND were a poetic meditation on mortality rather than a thriller, and it's one of the few books to actually make me cry.
#7 - April 25, 2017, 06:45 AM

Melissa
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Great recs! I've been reading more adult fiction lately. Just finished NEWS OF THE WORLD and loved it. I'm halfway through ALL THE UGLY AND WONDERFUL THINGS by Bryn Greenwood. The story is a little disturbing (deals with child abuse), so it may not be for everyone, but the writing is excellent and I'm totally hooked.
#8 - April 25, 2017, 07:07 AM
2018:
Start Your Babysitting Business (Capstone)
Deadly Bites (Saddleback)
Hip-Hop Bios: Future (ABDO)
Twitter: @mg_higgins

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Oh, I loved STATION ELEVEN too!
#9 - April 25, 2017, 08:25 AM
Twitter: @MelissaKoosmann

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My kids have taken ALL THE LIGHT ... so I'm waiting for them to finish, but in the meantime I picked up another gorgeous book: HENNA HOUSE by Nomi Eve. Beautiful and evocative and I learned a lot about the Jewish people in Yemen circa 1900.

Anything by Geraldine Brooks is really good too.

Happy reading and writing, Melissa.
#10 - April 25, 2017, 10:37 AM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
www.vijayabodach.blogspot.com
Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces

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I'm reading Paul Auster's latest, titled 4321. It is long (900 pages) but engaging and beautifully written. Auster has written some other great novels, but I still love best his early work, the New York Trilogy.
#11 - April 25, 2017, 10:55 AM
DUCKWORTH: THE DIFFICULT CHILD (Atheneum, 2019)
INCOGNOLIO (Janx Press, 2017)
CRASHING EDEN  (Solstice, 2012)
OTTO GROWS DOWN (Sterling, 2009)

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Agreed that ALL THE LIGHT is fantastic. I also just started THE TWELVE LIVE OF SAMUEL HAWLEY, which is quite good and have GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW and LINCOLN IN THE BARDO on hold too. I am in one of those really bad situations when all my book holds at the library have come in at once. Yikes!
#12 - April 25, 2017, 04:07 PM
Kirsten W. Larson

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WOOD, WIRE, WINGS (Calkins Creek, 2020)
http://kirsten-w-larson.com
Authors and illustrators ... join me at SubItClub.com!

Anything by Haruki Murikami. Lush gorgeous writing, excellent English translations.

The Elena Ferrante Neopolitan novels  (now being made into a mini-series)
#13 - April 26, 2017, 10:49 AM
THESE THINGS COUNT! award-winning nature series Albert Whitman
TWIGS (YA)  Merit Press
www.alisonashleyformento.com

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Recent reads I really enjoyed:
THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS by M.R. Carey.
READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline.

A few chapters in and liking:
THE NAME OF THE WIND by Patrick Rothfuss.

One I read a few months ago that won't let go:
STATE OF WONDER by Ann Patchett
#14 - May 02, 2017, 01:09 PM
Jennifer Mckissack:
SANCTUARY, Scholastic Press
 
Jenny Moss:
TAKING OFF, Bloomsbury
SHADOW, Scholastic Press
WINNIE'S WAR, Bloomsbury

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I LOVED The Name of the Wind! The sequel isn't quite as good, but it's still well worth reading.
#15 - May 02, 2017, 03:59 PM

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Rachel, my librarian sister recommended it to me. She never steers me wrong.
#16 - May 02, 2017, 04:58 PM
Jennifer Mckissack:
SANCTUARY, Scholastic Press
 
Jenny Moss:
TAKING OFF, Bloomsbury
SHADOW, Scholastic Press
WINNIE'S WAR, Bloomsbury

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Two novels by Chris Bohjalian:  Skeletons at the Feast and  The Light in the Ruins
#17 - May 08, 2017, 05:26 PM

I read ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE in 2014 and I still remember many parts of it. It's excellent.

Currently enjoying THE THIRTEENTH TALE by Diane Setterfield.

I love literary fiction, too, and will check out the recommendations here.
#18 - May 08, 2017, 07:41 PM
« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 12:11 AM by Claudine Gueh »
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My Clearest Me
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Well I need recommendations. With one caveat. Keep in mind I have really really bad ADD, so it makes it difficult to concentrate on things for very long. Among other issues. So mainly not something like Infinite Jest. If there is a any good story collections?

Infinite Jest is good, don't get me wrong. But I'm somewhat recovering from a recent panic attack (long story, to much to go into here).

I recently found a copy of Dona Flor And Her Two Sisters. (Magic Realism fan.)
#19 - May 09, 2017, 02:08 AM

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I enjoyed THE INVENTION OF WINGS by Sue Monk Kidd.
#20 - May 09, 2017, 06:11 AM
Laura Boldin-Fournier
lauraboldin.com
AN ORANGUTAN'S NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS Pelican 2016

The sequel to Silence of the Lambs, Thomas Harris' Hannibal, is quite stylish but violent.

Another intense read is Missing Me, a thriller by Harlan Coben.

Gatz
#21 - May 11, 2017, 03:56 PM
SurfYourOwnMind.com, children's creativity blog currently in development.

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Melissa mentioned Elizabeth Strout's My Name is Lucy Barton, and I highly recommend its brand new sequel/companion book, Anything is Possible. It's a set of loosely linked stories, so Sarah, maybe it would work for you. Although Lucy Barton is a common thread (the stories are about people from her hometown), you don't have to have read that novel to appreciate this lovely book.
#22 - May 13, 2017, 04:21 PM

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This thread is a year old, but I'm still looking for great literary fiction.
 
Any newer suggestions?  I'm not interested in a series or in fantasy. Like others on this thread I loved ALL THE LIGHT ... and A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW. 

More recently, I liked EDUCATED (which isn't a novel but reads like one).
#23 - May 03, 2018, 12:07 PM
« Last Edit: May 03, 2018, 12:11 PM by Betsy »
www.ellenjackson.net
PICKY EATERS
OCTOPUSES ONE TO TEN
THE MYSTERIOUS UNIVERSE
THE BALLAD OF BOOSTER BOGG
BEASTLY BABIES
TOOLING AROUND

I read A PIECE OF THE WORLD by Christina Baker Kline last year. It's based on the true story behind an Andrew Wyeth painting, about a woman named Christina, born with an illness that weakened her legs, who lived in her family farmhouse for her entire lifetime.

My review on Goodreads:

"For me, Christina isn't a heroine who was easy to like. Her pride and obstinance drove people away, making many cautious around her cold tempers. Yet there is an admirable force of determination in her - fueled by that pride, nonetheless, not to give in to her disease, and not to use a wheelchair as that was a symbol of defeat, of surrender, of self-pity. She'd rather crawl around the house and the fields using her elbows to drag her along, scraping her knees and tearing her dresses. I do love her for this.

This story blows through a woman's life like an observing breeze. It binds carefully together the people who matter much to Christina, her pain, loss, fear of loneliness, preference for solitude or quiet company, her different loves, struggles, and self-examination. At a deliberate pace. Nothing shocking but evenly capturing. "
#24 - May 04, 2018, 12:13 AM
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My Clearest Me
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I just finished Meg Wolitzer's new novel, THE FEMALE PERSUASION, which features a college-age (and then into her 20s) feminist, and her icon/mentor, a 70-year-old feminist. Like Wolitzer's previous book, THE INTERESTINGS, this one seems like it would appeal to older YA readers, given the questions it raises about idealism and compromise. It is also incredibly timely, although Wolitzer couldn't have known that when she started writing.

Another one that I am still thinking about even though I read it a year ago is Allegra Goodman's Kaaterskill Falls, a sweeping novel about a Hassidic community. I love all of Goodman's novels, but this one I found utterly enveloping, and I loved the way she could flit easily from a teenager's perspective to an elderly rabbi's to that of a middle-aged housewife who yearns to start her own business. I love the way Goodman writes about religion, in all its varieties, and people's attitudes toward religion (their own and that of others). Mostly, I love her characters.
#25 - May 04, 2018, 07:33 PM

Fantasy: CITY OF BRASS.  A really interesting world and a plot with so many tangles I can’t wait to see what comes of it as a series.
#26 - May 05, 2018, 11:21 AM

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I'm impressed (and grateful) regarding how all three of you answered my question.  It's so nice to see some specifics about the books you've been reading.  Thank you!  Those all helped a lot.

I forgot to mention CIRCE by Madeline Miller. Beautifully written and fast-moving. Fantasy isn't usually my favorite genre, but this one is exceptional.

The goddess Circe is banished to a deserted island where she hones her magical abilities, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with some of the famous figures in mythology, including Odysseus. The author uses some little known myths about Circe to round out her character and make her three-dimensional.
#27 - May 05, 2018, 01:47 PM
« Last Edit: May 06, 2018, 09:13 AM by Betsy »
www.ellenjackson.net
PICKY EATERS
OCTOPUSES ONE TO TEN
THE MYSTERIOUS UNIVERSE
THE BALLAD OF BOOSTER BOGG
BEASTLY BABIES
TOOLING AROUND

Excellent! More books for me to check out, too. I love literary fiction.
#28 - May 09, 2018, 01:03 AM
Writing & Illustrating Quietly Bold Kidlit

https://carryusoffbooks.com/
My Clearest Me
Little Orchid's Sea Monster Trouble

A marvelous recent historical novel:

Euphoria, by Lily King

A tale about three anthropologists in New Guinea in the first half of the twentieth century. One of the anthro's is modeled after Margaret Mead.

This novel has some of the best atmospheric description I've ever read.

Gatz
#29 - May 18, 2018, 10:17 PM
SurfYourOwnMind.com, children's creativity blog currently in development.

The Light Between Oceans and I'll second the Invention of Wings.  Happy Reading!
#30 - May 23, 2018, 04:51 PM

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