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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 Story of a Nutcracker
Alexandre Dumas
December 2015 Book of the Month. Adapted from a dark fairy-tale by E T A Hoffmann, Alexandre Dumas' romance of childhood imagination...
Format: Hardback - Released: 05/11/2015
Reader Reviewed The Marble Collector
Cecelia Ahern
December 2015 Book of the Month. Absolutely delightful! Cecelia Ahern always writes with stirring compassion and a delicious secretive quirk, so I was really looking forward to starting this, her twelfth novel....
Format: Hardback - Released: 05/11/2015
Reader Reviewed Carrying Albert Home The Somewhat True Story of a Man, His Wife and Her Alligator
Homer Hickam
December 2015 Book of the Month. A beautifully quirky, yet at the same time completely logical love story (well it is logical once you've realised that you too, have fallen in love...
Format: Hardback - Released: 19/11/2015
According to Yes
Dawn French
November 2015 Book of the Month. 21st century family life - love, death, grief, childhood, motherhood, parenthood - delivered head on by none other than comic genius Dawn French. Rosie, after a...
Format: Hardback - Released: 22/10/2015

Other Featured Books this Month

A Brief History of Seven Killings
Marlon James
Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2015. Set against the backdrop of 1970s reggae culture, disco, sex and excess comes this remarkable re-imagining of the attempted assassination of Bob Marley. Gripping and inventive, ambitious and mesmerising, A Brief History of...
Format: Paperback - Released: 04/06/2015
A Brief History of Seven Killings
Marlon James
A special hardback edition of the 2015 Man Booker Winner. Set against the backdrop of 1970s reggae culture, disco, sex and excess comes this remarkable re-imagining of the attempted assassination of Bob Marley. Gripping and inventive, ambitious and mesmerising, A...
Format: Hardback - Released: 19/11/2015
Reader Reviewed Spill Simmer Falter Wither
Sara Baume
November 2015 Debut of the Month. Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2015. Slow starting, slightly monotonous first-person monologue that builds into a...
Format: Paperback - Released: 08/10/2015
The Fox and the Star
Coralie Bickford-Smith
November 2015 Debut of the Month. Oh, this is such a charming and gloriously delightful short tale, about friendship, facing your fears and looking...
Format: Hardback - Released: 27/08/2015
Library of Souls The Third Novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children
Ransom Riggs
Maxim Jakubowski November 2015 Highly Recommended. The final volume in the gripping saga of MISS PEREGRINE'S PECULIAR CHILDREN both defies expectations and satisfies...
Format: Hardback - Released: 22/09/2015
The Danish Girl
David Ebershoff
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Eddie Redmayne and directed by Tom Hooper, The Danish Girl is a shockingly original novel about one of the most unusual and passionate love stories of the 20th century. Click below...
Format: Paperback - Released: 17/12/2015
The Revenant
Michael Punke
Based on a true story, The Revenant is an epic tale of revenge set in the Rocky Mountains and soon to be a major motion picture, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. A remarkable tale of obsession and the lengths that one man...
Format: Paperback - Released: 27/08/2015
Chance Developments
Alexander McCall Smith
Explore in ‘Chance Developments’ five charming and poignant short stories. I absolutely adore the premise for this little book and the stunning cover made me ooh with delight. Alexander McCall Smith has imagined a background tale to the five black...
Format: Hardback - Released: 04/11/2015
John Crow's Devil
Marlon James
An often uncomfortable, overwhelming, yet impressively compelling read. ‘John Crow’s Devil’ originally published in 2005, is the debut novel of Marlon James, Man Booker prize winner for ‘A Brief History of Seven Killings’. Apparently James’ debut was rejected 78...
Format: Paperback - Released: 10/09/2015
Slade House
David Mitchell
Slade House, Slade Alley. We enter it with different narrators from 1979 to the present in nine yearly intervals. Initially each section is like a separate short story with the mysterious house the link but it soon becomes clear that...
Format: Hardback - Released: 16/11/2015
Now is the Time
Melvyn Bragg
‘Now is the Time’ is a fascinating, substantial, yet surprisingly contained novel given the subject matter. Detailing the peoples rebellion of 1381, Melvyn Bragg imagines this time and breathes life into the foundations and advance of the rising. With an...
Format: Hardback - Released: 08/10/2015
Reader Reviewed The Sunrise
Victoria Hislop
Having told the harrowing tale of the leper colony of Spinalonga in The Island and the history of Thessalonika in The Thread, Victoria Hislop returns to a Mediterranean island, Cyprus. Sunrise was the name of Famagusta's most luxurious...
Format: Paperback - Released: 04/06/2015
Reader Reviewed The Boy Who Could See Death
Salley Vickers
From Salley Vickers, bestselling author of Miss Garnet's Angel, comes The Boy Who Could See Death, an enchanting and unsettling collection of short stories. Charming, sometimes funny, sometimes strange, always well written, these are little jewels from the...
Format: Hardback - Released: 02/04/2015
Half of a Yellow Sun
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
In 2015 Half of a Yellow Sun was named the Baileys' ‘Best of the Best’,chosen fromthe pastdecade's winners of theBaileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. Nigeria in the 1960s and the birth of Biafra, a time of massacre, bloody conflict and...
Format: Paperback - Released: 15/01/2007
The Dressmaker
Rosalie Ham
An unforgettable novel of love, hate and haute couture. Packed with memorable characters, acid humour and luscious clothes, The Dressmaker is an irresistible gothic tale of small-town revenge. The film adaptation, starring Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth and Hugo Weaving is...
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/11/2015
The Snow Queen
Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen's magical tale of friendship and adventure is retold through the beautiful and intricate illustrations of Finnish illustrator Sanna Annukka. Cloth-bound in deep blue, with silver foil embellishments, The Snow Queen is a unique work of art. A...
Format: Hardback - Released: 22/10/2015
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman is one of my all-time favourite authors. His books are varied; comedy, supernatural thriller, children’s fable, graphic novel; but one thing is certain, the content will be beautiful, exciting and surprising. This latest takes the form of a...
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/11/2015
Numero Zero
Umberto Eco
Fuelled by media hoaxes, Mafiosi, love, gossip and murder, Numero Zero reverberates with the clash of forces that have shaped Italy since World War II. This gripping novel from the author of The Name of the Rose is told with...
Format: Hardback - Released: 05/11/2015
Colm Toibin
A great family drama about a young girl moving from Ireland to New Yok in search of work in the 1950's. Just as she feels life is going somewhere in Brooklyn she has to return to Ireland and the pleas...
Format: Paperback - Released: 01/10/2015
Jane Austen, Fiona Stafford
This Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition celebrates 200 years of Austen's beloved novel. With a beautiful cover designed by illustrator Dadu Shin and comprehensive notes sourced from the Jane Austen Collection, this is an edition to be treasured by students and...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/11/2015
The World According to Anna
Jostein Gaarder
On the 20th anniversary of SOPHIE'S WORLD, Jostein Gaarder returns with a spell-binding fable about a girl who begins to receive messages from another time... Haunting, gripping and magical, The World According to Anna is a fable for our time....
Format: Hardback - Released: 12/11/2015
Frankenstein Or, the Modern Prometheus
Mary Shelley
A terrifying vision of scientific progress without moral limits, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein leads the reader on an unsettling journey from the sublime beauty of the Swiss alps to the desolate waste of the arctic circle. This Penguin Classics edition is...
Format: Paperback - Released: 30/01/2003
The Penguin Book of the British Short Story: II From P.G. Wodehouse to Zadie Smith
Philip Hensher
The most famous authors are here, and many others, including some magnificent stories never republished since their first appearance in magazines and periodicals. The Penguin Book of the British Short Story has a permanent authority, and will be reached for...
Format: Hardback - Released: 05/11/2015
Helen Simpson
Offers a story collection dealing with ageing, ambition and the patterns of repetition and renewal found in long friendships and marriages. In this book, the stories range through hitch-hiking in Bohemian forest-land to cresting the waves of the Aegean to...
Format: Hardback - Released: 05/11/2015
City on Fire
Garth Risk Hallberg
It's New Year's Eve, 1976, and New York is a city on the edge. As midnight approaches, a blizzard sets in - and amidst the fireworks, an unmistakable sound rings out across Central Park. Gunshots. Two of them. The search...
Format: Hardback - Released: 22/10/2015
Naomi J. Williams
From the remote Alaskan bay where a dreadful tragedy unfolds, to the wild journey Barthelemy de Lessups undertakes from the far east of Russia to St Petersburg, the reader sees the emotional, physical and mental toll exacted by such an...
Format: Hardback - Released: 22/10/2015
I Refuse
Per Petterson
Estranged friends for 35 years meet accidentally on a bridge in Oslo. This extraordinary novel looks at the rest of that day set against their past friendship in the 60s and other points in their lives. Episodic, not in sequence,...
Format: Paperback - Released: 22/10/2015
Literary Lunch

A great book is like a feast. We love to concoct stories from food but what about making food from some of our favourite stories?This book answers this question.
Format: Paperback - Released: 29/10/2015

Last Month's Featured Books

Reader Reviewed The Spring of Kasper Meier
Ben Fergusson
Winner of the Historical Writers' Association 2015 Debut Crown Award For New Historical Fiction. Winner of the Betty Trask Award 2015. Shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the...

Fourth of July Creek
Smith Henderson
Winner of the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award 2015. Rural Montana in the 80s. Pete Smith is a young social worker with huge problems of his own. In attempting...

A Little Life
Hanya Yanagihara
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015. A tragic and transcendent hymn to brotherly love, a masterful depiction of heartbreak, and a dark examination of the tyranny of memory and...

A Spool of Blue Thread
Anne Tyler
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015. A beautiful, long tale of three generations of the Whitshank family and the house they have built and live in. Nothing really happens...

Reader Reviewed The Drowning Lesson
Jane Shemilt
October 2015 Book of the Month. A well-observed domestic drama turns half way through the book into a compulsive, emotional...

Satin Island
Tom McCarthy
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015. Meet U. - a talented and uneasy figure currently pimping his skills to an elite consultancy in contemporary London. As U. oscillates between...

The Year of the Runaways
Sunjeev Sahota
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015. Shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award 2015. Sweeping between India and England, and between childhood and the present...

The Fishermen
Chigozie Obioma, Jon Gray
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015. In this dazzling debut novel, four young brothers in a small Nigerian town encounter a madman, whose prophecy of violence threatens the core...

Reader Reviewed After You
Jojo Moyes
Jojo admits that this follow-up to Me Before You came as a result of popular demand. Fans wanted to know what happened to Lou after Will died. However if...

Reader Reviewed Penelope's Web
Christopher Rush
Startling, assertive and intense, this is a distinctive and original take on the myth of Odysseus, focusing on reality, creative reality and fabrication. Reading ‘Penelope’s Web’, you quickly realise that...

Desert Songs of the Night 1500 Years of Arabic Literature
Suheil Bushrui and James M. Malarkey
With 1500 years of poetry and prose included in this anthology, there is a hugely diverse range of thoughts and feelings on display. In the introduction, the editors Suheil Bushrui...

We British The Poetry of a People
Andrew Marr
‘We British’ is a remarkable book, full to the brim with some extraordinary poetry that will encourage you to open your heart and mind. Andrew Marr looks beyond the obvious,...

Reader Reviewed Rawblood
Catriona Ward
October 2015 Debut of the Month. A ghostly, achingly sad, yet excruciatingly beautiful debut....

John Lanchester
The lives of a disparate group of characters based on a street in London - Pepys Road. We dart quickly between their stories, building up portraits of each and leading...

Ben Lyle
October 2015 Debut of the Month. Terms is a surprisingly powerful little book, it...

The New World
Sir Andrew Motion
On to the shores of Texas a raging sea coughs up two castaways: Jim and Natty, shipwrecked on their way home from Treasure Island. The Nightingale sunk, their silver gone,...

Reader Reviewed What She Left
T. R. Richmond
October 2015 Debut of the Month. An intriguing and successful experiment in presenting a...

Sworn Virgin
Elvira Dones
A provocative, engaging and absolutely fascinating novel about one woman’s decision to move from a struggling post communist Albania, to the complexity of America, after she has spent years living...

The Heart Goes Last
Margaret Atwood
A sinister, wickedly funny novel about a near-future in which the lawful are locked up and the lawless roam free, The Heart Goes Last is Margaret Atwood at her heart-stopping...

Sweet Caress The Many Lives of Amory Clay
William Boyd
In this enthralling story of a life fully lived, William Boyd has created a sweeping panorama of some of the most defining moments of modern history, told through the camera...

Quartet for the End of Time
Johanna Skibsrud
A complicated, confusing book that demands close attention if you are to gather its points. Set in America and Europe between the 1930s and the 1940s, it charts the lives...

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 Golden Age
Jane Smiley
After a hundred years of change and US history, filled with words unsaid and moments lost, this dazzling final instalment in the acclaimed Last Hundred Years trilogy sees the final...

The Gap of Time The Winter's Tale Retold
Jeanette Winterson
A black man finds a white baby abandoned in the night. He gathers her up - light as a star - and decides to take her home. London. England. After...

Don't Try This at Home
Angela Readman
WINNER of the 2015 Rubery Book Award - A girl who repeatedly halves her boyfriend; a chip-shop waitress who turns into Elvis; a family of conceptual artists who...

The Month Before's Featured Books

Jonathan Franzen
The long awaited new novel from Jonathan Franzen is a masterpiece, being heralded as the return of the Great American Novel and so it should be. The story revolves around...

Reader Reviewed Asking for it
Louise O'Neill
September 2015 Book of the Month. A courageous, unflinching and emotionally challenging novel, focusing on sexual consent and the issues surrounding social...

David Cronenberg
There are fascinating arguments about whether the pinnacle of art can be reached best through collaboration or solo work. From Renaissance artists’ studios to Warhol’s Factory to the Writers Rooms...

Reader Reviewed Seeing Other People
Mike Gayle
September 2015 Book of the Month. Clever and touching, this is a book about love, trust and the...

Reader Reviewed Galina Petrovna's Three-Legged Dog Story
Andrea Bennett
A quite slow-moving tale of some old folk in Russia which may not be action-packed but it is certainly observation packed. Set about twenty years ago it is frequently damning...

Fates and Furies
Lauren Groff
September 2015 Book of the Month. Bold and surprising in character and style,Fates and Furies is a fascinating novel that delights in...

Reader Reviewed Lost & Found
Brooke Davis
September 2015 MEGA Book of the Month. A book to completely lose yourself in, this is a wonderful quirky little gem. Set...

Animal Farm
George Orwell
2015 is the 70th anniversary of Animal Farm. To commemorate this important anniversary, Penguin Classics is republishing the classic illustrated Animal Farm by Joy Batchelor and John Halas.Orwell's chilling 'fairy...

Reader Reviewed The Crossing
Andrew Miller
September 2015 eBook of the Month. Prepare a space in time for ‘The Crossing’, float on the surface of awareness before taking...

Beneath the Earth
John Boyne
In this collection of twelve dark, unerring and surprising short stories, John Boyne explores the extremities of the human condition in all its brilliance and brutality. Drawing on a host...

The Fires of Autumn
Irene Nemirovsky
The prequel to Suite Française, written two years before the author died in Auschwitz and published posthumously in France in 1957. It is the tale of an innocent who proudly...

Lauren Oliver
A fast-moving mystery with each character telling their side of the story per chapter. Some may well be unreliable narrators! We even get the ghost’s perspective which is enlightening but...

Reader Reviewed The Loney
Andrew Michael Hurley
September 2015 Debut of the Month. Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2015....

The Serpent Papers
Jessica Cornwell
September 2015 Debut of the Month. Talent runs in the blood as the granddaughter...

Jonathan Franzen
September 2015 Book of the Month. One of the year's major new literary offerings, Jonathan Franzen's PURITY doesn't disappoint, if alone by...

The Seasoning
Manon Steffan Ros
A novel to tease your senses and surprise your soul, this is a beautifully bittersweet read. Peggy’s son asks her to write her story, so she writes a recipe and...

Did You Ever Have a Family
Bill Clegg
Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015. Lit by the clarity of understanding that true sadness brings, Did You Ever Have a Family is an elegant, unforgettable story that reveals...

Reader Reviewed The Death's Head Chess Club
John Donoghue
A captivating, moving and skilfully expressive novel, set between 1935 and 1962, focusing on guilt, forgiveness and the linked lives of three men. Although this is a fictional story, it...

Reader Reviewed Noonday
Pat Barker
September 2015 Book of the Month. An atmospheric, touching and compassionate story based in London during the Second World War, where living...

Reader Reviewed Alice and the Fly
James Rice
September 2015 Debut of the Month. Greg is a schizophrenic teenager who also suffers...

The Boy Who Belonged to the Sea
Denis Theriault
A beautifully crafted and heartbreaking novel about friendship, love and loss from an award winning author. This was originally published in Canada in 2001 as L’iguane and was Denis Theriault’s...

The Lost Child
Caryl Phillips
This is a beautifully articulate and poignant novel, at times it maintains a discreet solitary distance from its own moving story, ensuring that as moments of realisation steal into your...

Reader Reviewed A Place Called Winter
Patrick Gale
Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2015. A slight departure for this highly regarded author being an historical tale of Edwardian London and Canada based on a true story from...

The Blue Guitar
John Banville
From John Banville, one of the world's greatest writers, comes The Blue Guitar, a story of theft and the betrayal of friendship...

The Revolving Door of Life A 44 Scotland Street Novel
Alexander McCall Smith
Welcome back to 44 Scotland Street and to the lives of the much loved (well, in most cases) inhabitants. ‘The Revolving Door of Life’ is the tenth novel in the...

Early Warning
Jane Smiley
The second volume of her Last Hundred Years trilogy which begins with Walter’s funeral so we move into the next generation. You must read the first volume, Some Luck,...

The Age of Magic
Ben Okri
We haven’t had a new Ben Okri for some five years so this is something of a celebration. Sadly it is not quite magical enough, not in the same league...

Children of the Master
Andrew Marr
In his second novel, Andrew Marr draws on his unrivalled inside knowledge of British politics to expose the foibles, duplicities and absurdities of those we elect to govern us. Against...

Dear Thief
Samantha Harvey
The book begins in 2001 when an unnamed woman starts to write to an estranged friend. She reminisces back to 1976 and takes some months writing it with nowhere to...

Grief is the Thing with Feathers
Max Porter
In this extraordinary debut - part novella, part polyphonic fable, part essay on grief - Max Porter's compassion and bravura style combine to dazzling effect. Full of unexpected humour and...

David Arnold
A story of the difficulties we face and the strength we find to overcome them. For those who loved Little Miss Sunshine, All the Bright Places, The Fault in Our...

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...

The Silent History
Eli Horowitz, Matthew Derby, Kevin Moffett
A Silent History that is in itself an interesting history, a high-tech story with an old-fashioned feel. Told in short chapters from numerous points of view, it has apparently had...

Michel Houellebecq
The new novel by the enfant terrible of European writing proves as controversial as its much-debated predecessors and will have readers and critics arguing for ages yet again. The as-ever-Houellebecq-like...

Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights
Salman Rushdie
From Salman Rushdie, one of the great writers of our time, comes a spellbinding work of fiction that blends history, mythology, and a timeless love story. A lush, richly layered...

We Never Asked for Wings
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
How far would you go for your children? Would you lie for them? Flee with them? Let someone else mother them if you thought they would do a better job?...

Where My Heart Used to Beat
Sebastian Faulks
The recurring themes of Sebastian Faulks's fiction are here brought together with a new stylistic brilliance as the novel casts a long, baleful light over the century we have left...

The First Thing You See
Gregoire Delacourt
The First Thing You See is a warm, witty novel about two fragile souls learning to look beyond the surface - for the first thing you see isn't always what...

Reader Reviewed Etta and Otto and Russell and James
Emma Hooper
Etta, after being married to Otto for many years, decides, aged 82, that she wants to see the sea before she dies so she sets off from their farm in...

The Novel Cure An A to Z of Literary Remedies
Ella Berthoud, Susan Elderkin
I’d like to think there’ll be a copy of this book in every Doctors / Psychiatrists office and when we want to give up smoking, need painkillers for PMT or...

The Other Side of the World
Stephanie Bishop
In the tradition of Rachel Cusk's A Life's Work or Maggie O'Farrell's The Hand That First Held Mine comes a complex, tender and gorgeously written novel of parenthood,...

Jonathan Galassi
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. A witty tale of the book world, writers, muses and the vagaries of the intellectual mind, this...

The Paris Architect
Charles Belfoure
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. Published alongside the author's second novel HOUSE OF THIEVES, an equally accomplished thriller set in New...

Little Black Classics Box Set

Showcasing the many wonderful and varied writers, the Little Black Classics Box Set assortment of books will transport readers back in time to the furthest corners of the globe. It...
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Insightful, International, Thought-provoking

Literary fiction is a bit of a “catch-all” phrase. Some call it “Serious Fiction” but we prefer to think of it as all of the greatest stories ever told, all in one place. This is where you will find literary classics from literary masters past and present.

Why not have a look at our monthly featured titles for inspiration? Revisit old friends? Discover new ones? Or finally read that book that your friends have been banging on about for ages? Whatever your reasons, settle down with your favourite tipple, unwind and open your mind with the home-spun brilliance of authors like Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie, David Nicholls and Zadie Smith; or those from further afield: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Haruki Murakami, Ben Okri, Jostein Gaarder and so many more. There are obviously so many to choose from, you could get lost in the Sea of Choices.


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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