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Modern and Classic Literary Fiction Modern and Classic Literary Fiction

This is it. The place for the greatest writing: stories that transcend all other ‘genres’ and hit at the heart of the human condition.

Books of the Month

The Last Word
Hanif Kureishi
March 2015 Book of the Month. As one would expect from such a talented writer, this is an intelligent, amusing and intimate novel. Sometimes when you look forward to something too much,...
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/03/2015
     
Reader Reviewed A Perfect Heritage
Penny Vincenzi
March 2015 Book of the Month. An author renowned for big books has surpassed herself and written a huge, 939 page, tome. It is long, it is big, it is brilliant, perhaps...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/02/2015
     
Reader Reviewed The Buried Giant
Kazuo Ishiguro
March 2015 Book of the Month. Ishiguro's first novel in a decade is like nothing he's ever written before though many of the themes he likes to explore - memory, connections, how...
Format: Hardback - Released: 03/03/2015
     
Reader Reviewed The Mirror World of Melody Black
Gavin Extence
March 2015 Book of the Month. A surprisingly intimate and compelling read, and one that exposes an emotionally challenging and often hidden world....
Format: Hardback - Released: 12/03/2015
     
Reader Reviewed A Place Called Winter
Patrick Gale
A slight departure for this highly regarded author being an historical tale of Edwardian London and Canada based on a true story from his family history. Harry Case, a gentleman in suburban London, marries and has a daughter. Unexpectedly he...
Format: Hardback - Released: 24/03/2015
     

Other Featured Books this Month

Reader Reviewed The Pocket Wife
Susan Crawford
March 2015 Debut of the Month. The Pocket Wife is a domestic psychological thriller that makes the reader question everything, and it will stay...
Format: Paperback - Released: 19/03/2015
     
Reader Reviewed The Girl in the Red Coat
Kate Hamer
March 2015 Debut of the Month. A stunningly original debut that weaves a multitude of emotions throughout. Single parent Beth has a hard time...
Format: Hardback - Released: 26/02/2015
     
Reader Reviewed Our Endless Numbered Days
Claire Fuller
March 2015 Debut of the Month. Seventeen-year old Peggy has recently returned home, initially we know not from where. Her father is dead, her...
Format: Hardback - Released: 26/02/2015
     
Young Skins
Colin Barrett
Winner of the 2014 Guardian First Book Award. Winner of the 2014 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. This magnificent collection takes us to Glanbeigh, a small town in rural Ireland - a town in which the youth have the...
Format: Paperback - Released: 11/12/2014
     
The Facades
Eric Lundgren
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. Kafka meets the 21st century in this fascinating debut literary dystopia with not a hint of rebellious adolescents, romance or spectacular battles! The midwestern city of Trude...
Format: Paperback - Released: 29/01/2015
     
The Insect Farm
Stuart Prebble
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. A well-known scripwriter best known until now for his comedies and an authoritative book on the Falklands War, Prebble turns to psychological drama and displays an assured...
Format: Paperback - Released: 15/03/2015
     
Reader Reviewed The Enchanted
Rene Denfeld
One of the Top 10 books in the Lovereading Readers’ Choice Book of the Year 2014. One of our Books of the Year 2014. Once you start, you will find it difficult to put down this compelling and totally captivating...
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/03/2015
     
Reader Reviewed We Are Not Ourselves
Matthew Thomas
The life of Eileen Tumulty from 1951 to 2011, starting when she is 9 and from her point of view. In her mid-forties her son Connell becomes a teenager and we see how he feels too. Round the middle of...
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/03/2015
     
Barbarians
Tim Glencross
The Islington Labour Party set and a bunch of Oxbridge graduates in a delicious, slightly old-fashioned novel of “love, politics, art, money” but without much story. Gently satirical, clever and very well-written, this paints a fascinating portrait of a particular...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/03/2015
     
Reader Reviewed The Rosie Effect
Graeme Simsion
The simplicity of the writing here has a magical quality that carries you effortlessly from page to page. If you have not met Don Tillman, Professor of Genetics in The Rosie Project then you are in for a treat...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/02/2015
     
Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances
Neil Gaiman
It is almost impossible to talk about how good Neil Gaiman’s writing is in a short review like this; once started it is hard to stop. He is wonderful. Truly. Dark, mystical, poetic, surprising; one of the greatest living writers...
Format: Hardback - Released: 03/02/2015
     
The Death House
Sarah Pinborough
British author Pinborough has a strong record in the horror and SF field, and is also an upcoming scriptwriter but this novel represents a stunning breakthrough, following her recent compelling and clever trio of gently twisted fairy tale retellings,
Format: Hardback - Released: 26/02/2015
     
Family Life
Akhil Sharma
Winner of the Folio Prize 2015. Darkly comic, Family Life is a story of a boy torn between duty and survival amid the ruins of everything he once knew.
Format: Paperback - Released: 07/05/2015
     
Fourth of July Creek
Smith Henderson
Rural Montana in the 80s. Pete Smith is a young social worker with huge problems of his own. In attempting to return a near-feral lad to his family he becomes obsessed with the reclusive mountain people fearing the end of...
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/02/2015
     
The Cartographer of No Man's Land
P. S. Duffy
Moving, convincing and superbly written, The Cartographer of No Man’s Land is a novel you feel privileged to have read. From the stormy turbulent ocean off of Nova Scotia, to the tormented seas of mud that make up No...
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/03/2015
     
The Museum of Extraordinary Things
Alice Hoffman
A wonderful American author who writes across a diverse array of areas, often touching gently on the fey. This is unusual for her for, as with The Dovekeepers, it is historical. Concerning a museum of freaks and the owner’s...
Format: Paperback - Released: 12/03/2015
     
Gone are the Leaves
Anne Donovan
A big, lush, historical novel with an unusual concept at its core, that of a boy’s decision to become a castrato or not. He falls for a girl and wishes to feel like a man at least once before he...
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/03/2015
     
Chop Chop
Simon Wroe
A fabulous and surprising read about an English lit graduate taking a lowly job in the kitchen of a Camden restaurant but mostly it’s about the local gangster, the Fat Man, and his culinary demands. We are introduced to the...
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/03/2015
     
Breaking Light
Karin Altenberg
A sad, bittersweet tale written out of sequence that slowly reveals an idyllic childhood shattered by the callous deeds of kids. Years of rebuilding, searching, guilt and pain are slowly eroded and Gabriel Askew is eventually able to take up...
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/03/2015
     
Welcome to Braggsville
T. Geronimo Johnson
A strangely original and wonderfully thought provoking novel. By no means a simple read, the author writes in such a way as to make you think and consider. The lack of quotation marks and obvious introductions to show who is...
Format: Hardback - Released: 26/02/2015
     
Redeployment
Phil Klay
An utterly compelling read giving an insight into the wars in Iraq, written with a frank, decisive and convincing hand. Once you start reading, you quite simply don't want to stop, it’s an often uncomfortable read but there is a...
Format: Paperback - Released: 08/01/2015
     
The Unwitting
Ellen Feldman
A relationship tale with a difference; original, clever and set during the Cold War. The story spans a fascinating period in USA history, when the country was rocked by racial hatred, the Army-McCarthy hearings, the assassinations of JFK and Dr...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/02/2015
     
Some Luck
Jane Smiley
The first in a trilogy, a family saga following the Langdons over one hundred years, beginning in 1920. This volume goes through to 1953. They are a farming family of hardworking, stoical parents and five children. On the whole it...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/02/2015
     
Mischief Fay Weldon Selects Her Best Short Stories
Fay Weldon
One of Britian's best loved writers chooses her best short stories from her career at the forefront of contemporary fiction.
Format: Hardback - Released: 12/02/2015
     
The Dandelion Years
Erica James
A meatier read than is the author’s norm with a lot of research into the World War II years at Bletchley Park for our present day protagonist, Saska, discovers a hidden love affair while valuing an estate’s library with her...
Format: Hardback - Released: 26/02/2015
     

Last Month's Featured Books

Reader Reviewed The Rosie Project
Graeme Simsion
One of our Books of the Year 2014. A thoroughly charming book from this witty and intelligent Australian writer. Don leads a very ordered life. He does not consider himself...
 
 
Reader Reviewed Alice and the Fly
James Rice
February 2015 Debut of the Month. Greg is a schizophrenic teenager who also suffers...
 
 
Reader Reviewed The Book of Lost and Found
Lucy Foley
February 2015 Debut of the Month. One of those involved family dramas of uncertain...
 
 
The Room
Jonas Karlsson
What price genius or madness, how close the tie? This little Swedish, Kafka-esque fable asks some pretty big questions as Björn, working for the Authority, finds a secret room between...
 
 
Reader Reviewed Etta and Otto and Russell and James
Emma Hooper
February 2015 MEGA Debut of the Month. Etta, after being married to Otto for...
 
 
Reader Reviewed Now That I've Found You
Ciara Geraghty
A brilliant tale written from the point of view of a single dad of two bruised kids, especially the boy, for their mum, Paula, suffering from bipolar disease, walked out....
 
 
Reader Reviewed Sisters of Treason
Elizabeth Fremantle
February 2015 Book of the Month. This is indeed a novel for obviously all the conversations are imagined but it is so...
 
 
American Psycho
Bret Easton Ellis
Bret Easton Ellis’ masterpiece is without doubt a modern classic, a story of corruption, greed and depravity focused on Patrick Bateman, an 80’s Wall Street yuppie. Not to be read...
 
 
The Anchoress
Robyn Cadwallader
February 2015 Debut of the Month. A quietly, deep and fascinating debut novel proving...
 
 
Memory of Water
Emmi Itaranta
Imagine a world where water is its most precious commodity. It is rare and rationed. This is, of course, the future and this is a coming-of-age tale where Noria, tea...
 
 
The Illuminations
Andrew O'Hagan
February 2015 Book of the Month. A beautifully told story of war and dementia. Luke is serving in Afghanistan. His grandmother Anne...
 
 
The Awakening of Miss Prim
Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera
A slow moving, eccentric and charming story centred on a small Spanish community which thrives on literature and philosophy. Miss Prim is taken on at the ‘big house’ to reorganise...
 
 
The Boy in the Book
Nathan Penlington
Remember that must have series of books from the 1980’s, The Choose Your Own Adventure series? Nathan Penlington was scanning Ebay and noticed a set of the first 106 books...
 
 
The Chimes
Anna Smaill
A book of contrasts: charming and disturbing; exciting and slow building; post-apocalyptic and brand new. With no real memories, just the day-to-day habits of life and work, how do people...
 
 
Corpus Christi
Bret Anthony Johnston
'A GORGEOUS, ACCOMPLISHED DEBUT' DAVID MITCHELL (Independent Books of the Year) Short stories by Bret Anthony Johnston, award-winning author of Remember Me Like This. An intensely moving collection set in...
 
 
Everland
Rebecca Hunt
1913: Dinners, Millet-Bass, and Napps - three men bound not by friendship, but by an intense dependence founded on survival - will be immortalised by their decision to volunteer to...
 
 
Not Forgetting the Whale
John Ironmonger
A charming and startlingly different account of a city banker whose discovery so distresses him that he flees the high life for isolated Cornwall. The villagers embrace him and we...
 
 
Remember Me Like This
Bret Anthony Johnston
Bret Anthony Johnson is the Director of Creative Writing at Harvard, so an exquisitely written book, impressively plotted is practically guaranteed. Exploring the aftermath of a child’s return to his...
 
 
Who is Tom Ditto?
Danny Wallace
Tom meets Hayley, falls in love and they move to London. He finds work as an early morning newsreader on local radio, she in a dress shop. Life is good...
 
 
Will You Remember Me?
Amanda Prowse
This is an extremely moving book which deals with the difficult issue of coping with impending death for the sick person and for their family and friends. Poppy is only...
 
 
Holy Cow
David Duchovny
Yes, it is that David Duchnovny, best known as Mulder from the X-Files. Here he has presented a wonderfully silly little novel narrated by a cow. Discontented with life in...
 
 
The Tusk That Did the Damage
Tania James
When a young elephant is brutally orphaned by poachers, it is only a matter of time before he begins terrorising the countryside, earning his malevolent name from the humans he...
 
 
Shifting Colours
Fiona Sussman
February 2015 Book of the Month. Beautifully simple yet holding a complicated truth, this...
 
 
The Temporary Gentleman
Sebastian Barry
February 2015 Book of the Month. Like Roddy Doyle, Sebastian Barry is one of those great Irish writers whose characters get under...
 
 
Reader Reviewed Galina Petrovna's Three-Legged Dog Story
Andrea Bennett
February 2015 Debut of the Month. A quite slow-moving tale of some old folk...
 
 
The Secret of Magic
Deborah Johnson
This story is amazing as indeed is its lyrical writing. From the Southern American dialect to Mr Willie Willie’s made up words to wonderful descriptions of the country, forest and...
 
 
Herring Girl
Debbie Taylor
A surprising and hauntingly insightful story, that takes you gently by the hand on an intimate journey; emotionally, reflectively and in time. The author has the ability to weave the...
 
 
A Mother's Story
Amanda Prowse
I am a big fan of this author. She tackles gritty, sensitive issues in a thrilling manner. This one is about post-natal depression which it displays in its worst form....
 
 
Reader Reviewed Afternoon Raag
Amit Chaudhuri
Skilfull and delicate writing where the commonplace is described in such a way, you feel as though you are seeing it for the first time. Chaudhuri takes a peek at...
 
 
Dear Committee Members
Julie Schumacher
Clever, perceptive and amusing writing disclosing a treasure chest of surprising gems. Discover a collection of letters of recommendation covering a period of 11 months, written by a creative writing...
 
 
Reader Reviewed The Immortals
Amit Chaudhuri
Float and wander through a story where an everyday beginning, middle and end, becomes a world transformed. The author sets you adrift, starts to bring your attention to an occasion...
 
 
Reader Reviewed Odysseus Abroad
Amit Chaudhuri
Simply clever, lightly understated writing highlighting life decisions, journeys and discoveries. Step into Ananda’s world, where you feel as though you are...
 
 
The People in the Trees
Hanya Yanagihara
The story of the life of Norton from his childhood in Indiana to his eventual acceptance of the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1974, through to his arrest for sexual...
 
 
The First Bad Man
Miranda July
Cheryl (40-ish) works for a small family concern, Open Palm, which produces fitness programmes based on self-defence. She suffers from ‘globus hystericus’ with her throat becoming very tight when under...
 
 
Terms & Conditions
Robert Glancy
First and foremost I think you should know that this is littered with asterisked footnotes in small print, sometimes very small, so very difficult to read as an e-book. As...
 
 

The Month Before's Featured Books

Night of the Water Spirits
Barbara Bisco
An intriguing, involving and at times surprising family saga of two cousins over many turbulent years. Set mostly in Thailand and taking in the dreadful Boxing Day tsunami, I personally...
 
 
The Shock of the Fall
Nathan Filer
Winner of the Writers’ Guild Award for Best First Novel 2014. Winner of the Specsavers Popular Fiction Book of the of the Year at the Specsavers National Book Awards...
 
 
Winter
Christopher Nicholson
An exquisite retelling of Thomas Hardy’s latter life with his patient and loving second wife Florence. Into their sphere comes Gertrude Bugler, the beautiful woman who is to play Tess...
 
 
Waterland Picador Classic
Graham Swift
First published in 1983, this is as much a taut thriller as it is a literary masterpiece. Tom Crick is a history teacher in the Fens whose life is falling...
 
 
Inflicted
Ria Frances
An intelligent and wisely written novel that deals with several difficult topics with sensitivity and understanding. Set in the year 2010 and proving that friendship can cross many boundaries including...
 
 
High Crime Area Tales of Darkness and Dread
Joyce Carol Oates
Eight surprisingly different and somewhat disturbing short stories are packed together, (perhaps sometimes a little too close for comfort) in this arresting and striking book. Your thoughts often want to...
 
 
After the Storm
Jane Lythell
Relationships shift and suppressed secrets are stirred up when two young couples spend ten days at sea.
 
 
Reader Reviewed Black Dog Summer
Miranda Sherry
Black thugs break into a South African animal sanctuary/farm and senselessly massacre the whites. This is present day. A 16-year old girl is down by the river at the time...
 
 
Dead Girl Walking
Christopher Brookmyre
Jack Parlabane is an investigative journalist not averse to breaking the rules to get to the truth and expose corruption in high places. He’s a familiar character has now served...
 
 
The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe
Romain Puertolas
A truly crazy scenario, a modern fairy tale with a conman, a very clever illusionist, our ‘hero’. Armed with a 100 euro note (printed on one side only) Fakir...
 
 
Reader Reviewed The Girl in the Photograph
Kate Riordan
The suppression of women dominates this sad, dual-time tale. Alice, a disgraced pregnant girl, is sent to the country by her mother in 1933. She is fascinated by the history...
 
 
Mobile Library
David Whitehouse
A misleading title to my mind for this is not a tale of literature and reading but of dysfunctional people with sad back stories. The library is a nice literary...
 
 
Her
Harriet Lane
A psychological thriller that builds slowly as two women, in alternating chapters, tell of their lives. They overlap now and did years ago but one long forgotten. This is a...
 
 
The Line of Beauty
Alan Hollinghurst
A Booker winner which was first published in 2005, it tells of Nick Guest’s life as a lodger with a privileged tory London family of which Nick was at Oxford...
 
 
In the Light of Morning
Tim Pears
Tim Pears, a chronicler of our land, who has given us beautiful prose reminiscent of Thomas Hardy, now turns his attention to the Slovenian partisans of the Second World War....
 
 
The Miniaturist
Jessie Burton
A superlative debut novel that combines the complexity and atmosphere of the best historical tales with a touching meditation on the nature of art and its organic relationship with the...
 
 
The Restoration of Otto Laird
Nigel Packer
Famed architect returns to London to save his 1960’s building from demolition. In doing so he reflects on the past and invests in the future. This is about reconciliation, about...
 
 
The Age of Miracles
Karen Thompson Walker
This stunning debut has a fascinating premise that 'the earth is slowing down' and it provides a unique framework for this memorable, haunting and bittersweet coming of age novel. It...
 
 
Tigerman
Nick Harkaway
Harkaway’s first novel The Gone Away World rather blew my mind and remains one of my favourites of all time. That was a work of fantasy. Tigerman is perhaps even...
 
 
Skin
Tobias Hill
First published in 1998 this is a collection of short stories by an impressive storyteller, most famous for his complex literary novels. Moving effortlessly between cultures and ages Hill focuses...
 
 
Reader Reviewed The Spring of Kasper Meier
Ben Fergusson
A highly descriptive literary thriller of post-war Berlin which brilliantly illustrates the terrible aftermath of war. People live hand-to-mouth like rats scavenging for food and essentials in a constant state...
 
 
Summertime
Vanessa LaFaye
In 1935 one of the most ferocious hurricanes ever hit the Florida coast. This dramatic tale features that hurricane but in essence it is a tale of race, prejudice, small-town...
 
 
The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes
Anna McPartlin
A poignant book about the final days of cancer, of how family and friends react and how the 40-year old Mia (Rabbit), copes. The book begins with her cancer blog...
 
 
The Lightning Tree
Emily Woof
A wonderful book about two people whose paths cross throughout their lives and whereas we know they should be together, they do not. Beautifully written and lightly philosophical, it is...
 
 
A Taste for Green Tangerines
Barbara Bisco
Disillusioned with her London Life, anthropologist Bethany Parker accepts an offer to work with an international team of environmentalists on an eco-tourism project in the Indonesian rainforest. Thrust into a...
 
 
The Way Inn
Will Wiles
Neil Double lives up to his name, he goes to conferences so others don’t need to, in other words he acts as their double. That’s what he does, goes to...
 
 
Vigilante
Shelley Harris
Jenny is a bored mum and charity bookshop manager. One day, in a superhero fancy dress costume, she accidentally gets caught up in an attempted mugging and saves the day....
 
 
The Wind is Not a River
Brian Payton
A tragic World War II love story told in alternating chapters, his and hers. He, John, mourning the death of his brother, flies to Alaska to expose a Japanese invasion...
 
 
Someone Else's Conflict
Alison Layland
January 2015 Debut of the Month. A surprisingly sensitive and compassionate thriller where the...
 
 
The City
Dean Koontz
A gripping read combining the thriller element and the excitement of a chase alongside social history and the popular music of the late 60s, with a good smattering of supernatural...
 
 
Inherent Vice
Thomas Pynchon
In this lively yarn, Thomas Pynchon, working in an unaccustomed genre, provides a classic illustration of the principle that if you can remember the sixties, you weren't there...or...if you were...
 
 
10:04
Ben Lerner
From the author of the acclaimed debut Leaving the Atocha Station, here is a dazzling new novel of contemporary New York that will draw you into its tentacle-like embrace and...
 
 
Tiger with a Human Soul
Barbara Bisco
A dual-time feast for the senses from the author of A Taste of Green Tangerines. It begins in Java 1200 years ago and at the end even peeks into...
 
 
The Sense of an Elephant
Marco Missiroli
A well-observed and beautifully written tale of Pietro who becomes concierge of a block of ten flats in a quiet Italian town. We get his interactions with the inhabitants and...
 
 
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A selection of authors who will feature in this Lovereading category include:

Roddy Doyle 
Kate Atkinson 
Kazuo Ishiguro 
Anita Shreve 
Patrick Neate 
Joanne Harris 
Jonathan Coe 
Maggie O'Farrell 
Nick Hornby 
Anne Tyler 
Joseph O'Connor 
Alice Hoffman 
Louis de Bernieres 
Toni Morrison 
J.M Coetzee