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.
His novels are very much in the same vein as his famous A Year in Provence, gentle, atmospheric, steeped in the love of France, here as an ailing vineyard needs resurrecting. It is all very addictively charming with a fun story thrown in, a lovely, comfortable read.Comparisons: Christobel Kent, John Mortimer.Similar this month: Alexander McCall Smith, Julian Fellowes.
A dual-time tale of Chaucer’s Knight and a modern family linked by a medieval tower where some strange old traditions are still honoured. It’s a mesmerising tale of reconciliation, loyalty and rediscovering the past, a beautiful novel from a fine, lyric writer. The Painter is his previous work (about Rembrandt, highly recommended) but he also writes as James Long and his best work is another historical tale of love across the ages, Ferney, one of my all time favourite books but sadly out of print!Comparisons: Tracy Chevalier, Audrey Niffenegger, Robert Goddard.Similar this month: Sylvian Hamilton, Jojo Moyes.
Told almost entirely in one-sided emails, a tale of sibling love and support when cancer looms and of juggling a career when the big break comes at the same time. The format, making it a fast, easy read, never allows time for depth of emotion, but it did bring a tear to my eye.Comparisons: Cecelia Ahern, Jane Moore.Similar this month: Jessica Adams, Alison Bond.
From one of the world's best-loved storytellers comes a magical novel of adventure and discovery. This is the final instalment of Isabel Allende's celebrated inspirational trilogy of the journeys in Africa of Alexander and his grandmother Kate, along with their animal spirits Jaguar and Eagle. The novel soars with radiant settings and spirits, corruption and slavery amongst a clan of pygmies, and ultimately, an extraordinary friendship. Between them all, they launch a spectacular and precarious struggle to restore freedom and return leadership to its rightful hands. Although Allendeâ€™s legion of fans will enjoy this trilogy it is very different from her usual novels. Teenagers, however, will absolutely devour it. Comparisons: Wolf Brother, Shadowmancer
I am sure you will probably remember the epic love story, The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCulloughâ€™s memorable early novel set in Australia. Angel is a novel of excitement, adventure, laughter, passion and more than a little magic and it is definitely Colleen McCullough at her vintage best. It draws on her own experiences of living in Sydney in the 1960s and writing of a world that has long gone. Most of all, it is a tale of a woman's love for a child, and what she is prepared to endure to ensure her survival. Comparisons: Santa Montefiore, Jojo Moyes
This is a remarkable, powerful book, by of a master of the uncertainties of our time. Comparisons: Robert Edric, William Riviere
This is Katie’s tenth novel, I think she is wonderful. Good, old-fashioned storytelling, warm-hearted, addictive and very satisfying. She started writing when that awful phrase ‘aga saga’ became prevalent and in many ways got tainted by being lumped with a lot of uninspiring novels that tackled bored middleclass women trying to find some purpose in their lives. Joanna Trollope was swept into the same bracket for a time although Katie is slightly lighter than Joanna, they both tackle serious contemporary issues. I recommend her wholeheartedly. ~ Sarah Broadhurst Comparisons: Joanna Trollope, Elizabeth Buchan, Isla Dewar.Similar this month: Alexander McCall Smith, Daisy Waugh, Jessica Adams.
C was for cars which he'd nicked and crashed, R was for robbery, armed and fast, A was for arson, fire and theft, Z was for the cuts his switchblade left, E was for drugs, the Whizz and Horse, which just left murder, the hardest, of course. She was found on the tracks: burned up, tongue cut out, a finger removed. Who was she? 24 hours earlier Shazia Ahmed was leaving Manchester, but a chance meeting and a phone call and she finds herself in the underworld where life is cheap and usually very short. Jamie Farrell already knows this truth: that the drugs and crime will tip over into murder. His father's in Strangeways and he'll be joining him. But he can't give up the deadly game that is The Craze. Dru Round thought his big day had come: no more cheap drag acts and furtive sex in the backs of cars. A new dawn of TV fame beckoned. But he just needed that extra score to make things work for him-Three lives - one crime - the Craze.
Picture the Italian Alps in summer and a mixed group of canoeists going white water rafting for the first time on a glacier fed river. Parks brilliantly portrays the disparate individuals and the river in its most dangerous poise brings out qualities and failings in the most urgent fashion, provokes sudden conflicts and unexpected shifts of alliance. An ideal love affair breaks down and an apparently impossible one timidly buds. A banal disagreement turns violent. Rapids is alive with the drama of the water and the fragility of the people it bears along. Comparisons: Brian Moore, Ian McEwan, Justin Cartwright
An Emmy-nominated comedy script writer â€“ so what? â€“ But the author also happens to be Al Goreâ€™s daughter and to our surprise she can write and itâ€™s entertaining to boot. Balancing seventy-hour working weeks on Capitol Hill as an aide to a Senator, an exciting love affair and an over-active imagination fuelled by coffee and cosmopolitans would keep anyone busy. But Sammy's also trying to run a national political campaign whilst battling against journalists, treachery and a tendency to sabotage herself... Says Newsweek, â€˜Sammyâ€™s Hill is a laugh-out-loud literary debut, certain to draw comparisons to Bridget Jonesâ€™s Diaryâ€™ and we rather agree. Comparisons: Helen Fielding
This is startling, stomach-punching stuff. Intelligent, beautifully written, raw and candid. Basically an eminent Italian father waits for his daughter to wake from an operation on head injuries sustained when knocked off her scooter. This is the start. You imagine her life or death will be your emotional path through this book, wrong. It is the father’s duplicity, guilt and strange passion that he pours out in a confessional story that completely takes over the tragedy we are witnessing. Wow. It won prizes in Italy. Comparison: Bernhard Schlink, Colum McCann, William Nicholson (adult).Similar this month: Glen Duncan, Andrew Greig.
If you want something a little bit different, a little bit zany, dark, comic and absurd, then this is for you. At its core is the search for Misha the penguin, sadly abandoned in Death and the Penguin and although completely different, this has a feel of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels about it, only it’s the Russian mafia that our hero must confront. Comparisons: Carl Hiaasen, Charles Higson, Christopher Brookmyre. Similar this month: Gerald Seymour, Joseph Finder.
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: