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This is it. The place for the greatest writing: stories that transcend all other ‘genres’. Literary fiction goes above and beyond any specific genre in order to deliver stories that strike at the heart of what it means to be human.
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2008 A tale of two families living in Sheffield from the 1970's through to the 90's. A great saga of a book, do not be put off by the length (738 pages) as it's compelling stuff.
As the summer ends the autumn mist begins to roll off the water towards Simone’s home, a chilling metaphor for the turn of events which are about to engulf her life. This is a story about relationships and blackmail, past and present lives, intertwined in a haunting, intense thriller. Do not expect the fast pace of a “whodunit” though, this is a novel which slowly and eerily unravels almost as if we are watching in slow motion as each moment effects the next.
This is a brilliant book: disturbing, amusing, thought-provoking, playful, real, unreal. All the usual Faulks intelligence and enjoyment of language is here. Yet Engleby is different from his other books. This time, you get the feeling Faulks has let you into his own life: school, university, Notting Hill, journalism (the interviews with Jeffrey Archer and Ken Livingstone just can’t have been made up). There is a catharsis here – and, despite the disturbances in Mike Engleby’s brain, you can feel Faulks really enjoying his writing, making this book perhaps more approachable than some of his other subjects.Time is one of the themes running through Engleby. Make sure you take time to read it.
I cannot recommend this author highly enough. She always tackles nutty social issues, high emotional topics but refrains from being overly sentimental. She lets the power of the plot speak for itself. This involves the kidnapping of a daughter from her mother by her father 28 years previously. The police have just caught up with him. The story unfolds in sections with each having a chapter from the view point of a different character. The result is remarkable.Similar this month: Elizabeth Berg, Rachel Hore.Comparison: Anita Shreve, Jane Hamilton.
Before Bernie Madoff and his pyramid scheme brought the wealthiest in the world to their knees, there was another scandal with Lloyds of London, it’s ‘Names’, and the asbestos reinsurance crisis that would ruin many. It’s not, perhaps, the most obvious choice for a novel but it gives Vincenzi the opportunity to indulge in a great deal of gloriously unpleasant members of the 80s upper class and nouveau riche. Not vintage Vincenzi but still an enjoyable romp.
This story is told through various characters on the wedding day of April and Caleb. As we follow the wedding party throughout the day we listen to various stories about marriage and the character’s hopes and fears. An insightful look in to love and marriage with a host of highly enjoyable characters.
February 2012 Guest Editor Joanna Trollope on Anthony Trollope... The real Trollope. Of all the Victorians, Anthony Trollope is the most profoundly psychological of novelists – and he was writing long before Freud!. His women are particularly good, especially when you think that marriage was the only career option for millions of them. If you haven’t been able to face one of his novels – they can be a bit enormous – try “Miss Mackenzie”, the story of an old maid (at 34!) who inherits some money… March 2010 Good Housekeeping selection. On My Bookshelf by Joanna Trollope... No writer of his time was better at people than, as my family refer to him, The Real Trollope – Anthony of the small specs and the huge beard. Miss Mackenzie is an affectionate and accurate portrait of the eternal female psyche – a small gem.
This is a powerful tale of a livery-stable family trying to make ends meet. Steeped in emotional trauma, equestrian detail, family love and commitment, small town prejudice and bags of incident, it’s a big story on a small canvas. One of those deep American, heart-rending tales that just keeps throwing drama at you in an understated quiet way which ends up hitting you in the stomach. I loved it.Comparison: Nicholas Evans, Thomas Eidson, Leif Enger.
Another beautifully written book from this author, set against a New Hampshire seaside backdrop which she seems to love and indeed you want to be curled up on a veranda looking out to sea when reading this tale of a young woman torn between two brothers. Although not her best novel it certainly deserves a read and her characterisation and sense of mood are as strong as ever.
Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2008.Costa Book Awards 2008 Judges' comment: "An elegant love story about the lies we tell ourselves and why we have to."
July 2010 Good Housekeeping selection. On My Bookshelf by Lynda La Plante... Little Women by Louisa May Alcott inspired me when I was very young. Years later I watched the film starring Katherine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor, and was taken aback at how the characters were transported to the screen.
Appeared on “Hay-on-Sky” 24 May. Once one of our most respected authors but her work has tailed off over the last few years. Well now she is back on form with a group of high-powered women discussing their lives while soaking up the luxury in an expensive health spa. Lots of time to talk and share secrets.Comparison: Beryl Bainbridge, Wendy Perriam, Emma Tennant.
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: