LoveReading is thrilled to announce the launch of The Very Short Story Award 2019! If you think you have a story we'll love, click here to find out more and how to enter:Find out more
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.
Sanna Annukka is familiar to many from her collaborations with Marimekko and her artwork for Keane's album, Under the Iron Sea. For her second book project, she illustrates Hans Christian Andersen's classic fairy tale, The Snow Queen.
New York. 1977. Be There When It Explodes. 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 for the shooter will bring together a rich cast of New Yorkers. From the reluctant heirs to one of the city's greatest fortunes, to a couple of Long Island kids drawn to the punk scene downtown. From the newly arrived and enchanted, to those so sick of the city they want to burn it to the ground.
An epic voyage, undertaken with the grandest of ambitions. When Laperouse leaves France in the Spring of 1785 with two ships under his command, he knows that he sails with the full backing of the French government. This is to be a voyage of scientific and geographical discovery - but every person on board has their own hopes, ambitions and dreams. As the ships move across vast distances in their journey of nearly four years, the different characters step forward and invite us into their world.
From the author of the international bestseller Out Stealing Horses I refuse to compromise. I refuse to forgive. I refuse to forget. Tommy's mother has gone. She walked out into the snow one night, leaving him and his sisters with their violent father. Without his best friend Jim, Tommy would be in trouble. But Jim has challenges of his own which will disrupt their precious friendship. It is a TLS and Guardian Book of the Year.
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 sad occurrence in Cornwall, takes herself off to New York to work as a nanny to 8-year old twin boys who are currently living with their grandparents, Thomas and matriarchal Glenn Wilder-Bingham, as the twins father, Kemble, is divorcing their French mother and the grandmother is determined that Kemble gets custody so that she can supervise their upbringing and education. The twins also have an 18-year old brother and they all live together in a huge apartment, complete with Polish servant. Glenn is strict and formal so Rosie enters the twins’ lives like a breath of fresh air, everyone loves Rosie except, of course, Glenn. Generous in body and soul Rosie becomes pregnant, father unknown, splitting the whole family asunder. How things work out is brilliantly portrayed in a great, comic, poignant, insightful read. Thoroughly recommended. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
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 us through the dramas of their mostly separate lives. It's easy to read, well researched, long and full of recognisable characters, some coming over as stereotypes, not "The Great London Novel" but certainly fun. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
Winner of the 2016 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2016. Slow starting first-person monologue that builds into a hypnotic tale which becomes utterly compulsive. It is a novel of companionship, loss and fear. Our narrator, a frightened, dysfunctional, 57-year old man, talks to an equally dysfunctional rescue dog who has a tendency to viciously attack other dogs. Half way through the book our frightened narrator, who has always hid in his home, becomes too frightened to even stay there and the two set off round Ireland’s tiny villages, sleeping in his clapped out old car in gateways and such. Lots of detail, lots of nature observations and lots of early memories make this an interestingly different and poignant read. Stay with it, it will grab you. ~ Sarah Broadhurst Costa Judges' comment: “A tough but tender, brilliant read full of fresh wonder. One to cherish.” One of our Books of the Year 2015. November 2015 Debut of the Month. Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2015. Click here to read an article by Sara Baume on how she came to write this book.
The third novel in the dazzling Last Hundred Years trilogy from the winner of the Pulitzer Prize. 1987. A visit from a long-lost relative brings the Langdons together again on the family farm; a place almost unrecognisable from the remote Iowan farmland Walter and Rosanna once owned. The family have spread across the US, and whilst some have stayed reliably unchanged, others have evolved with the times. The eldest Langdon, Frank - always cold and distant - finally starts to break down the wall he built between himself and his wife, but can a loving relationship be grasped in their twilight years? Their son, Richie, finally out from under his brother Michael's shadow, finds himself running for congress almost unintentionally, and completely underprepared. And Michael, on the brink of self-destruction, seems to make the biggest change of all, but could it be too good to be true? New life blooms; close-calls threaten to take away; and other lives come to unforeseen ends.
One of our Books of the Year 2015. October 2015 Debut of the Month. An intriguing and successful experiment in presenting a crime thriller from a different angle, Richmond's accomplished debut encourages the reader to become the sleuth. Alice Salmon dies in what initially appears a tragic case of drowning. An academic tries to assemble the pieces together and get to the bottom of the mystery and we follow his attempts through the traces of herself Alice scattered in her wake, online and elsewhere: tweets, newspaper cuttings, blogs, diaries, letters, emails. An ever-shifting perspective blurs before the reader's eyes until the whole begins to coalesce and unpeels layers and layers of deceipt and secrets. Another variation on the currently thriving unreliable female narrator bandwagon but one that makes it work in a unique manner. Will give you a lot of second thoughts about what you leave behind in your own day to day life! Genuinely chilling. ~ Maxim Jakubowski The Lovereading view... This is likely to be one of 2015's most haunting and unforgettable debuts. Accident, murder or suicide? The whole mystery of Alice Salmon’s death is revealed in a series of letters from Professor Jeremy Cooke to an old friend which he never sends (why?) and Alice’s diaries, tweets, blogs, Facebook entries, emails, newspaper articles and the like. This adds a huge amount of suspense to the tale. Alice is fairly unstable, self-harming in her teens. She uses her diary for release, like blood-letting, but how reliable is her narrative? She was a young journalist (25) when she died. Jeremy Cooke had a long ago affair with her mother and knew Alice at university. He wants to write about her final days/hours, hence his research. The police are completely baffled! This shocking story of love, loss and obsession where everyone - including himself - has something to hide. It is a great read.
‘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, even when including some of our most famous poets and he also firmly links poetry with British history through the ages giving you a sense as you read, of capturing a slice in time. If you are British, this is a book to encourage questions, a thirst for more knowledge and a feeling of accessibility to our poetry and history. There are many famous poets mentioned or quoted, plus some I had not heard of, and that really is one of the joys of this book. I loved re-reading old favourites, such as Tennyson’s ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ and Chaucer’s ‘The Miller’s Tale’ and often found myself reading out loud, sighing, weeping or laughing as the words, the rhythm connected inside me. I was also introduced to some new poetry, poetry that perhaps I should have known, such as ‘Last Post’ by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy. With the intriguing yet entirely appropriate mix of poetry and history, ‘We British’ is not only the 'poetry of a people', but also the essence, structure and, a wonderful chronicle of the lands that make up Great Britain. ~ Liz Robinson
One of our Books of the Year 2015. ‘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 unpopular poll tax, corruption rife and the plague decimating swathes of the country, the uprising still surprises the court of the King. Bragg focuses on the alliances of the main characters, 14 year old Richard II and his mother, the priest John Ball and former soldier Walter Tyler. Find yourself carried along at the front of the rebellion where reason and control is somehow maintained, while the rioting rolling mass of people to the rear, almost become a backdrop rather than being the heart of the story. Personally, I found the relationship between Richard and his mother the most fully realised and therefore intriguing and compelling. It feels as you read, as though this could have been a truth, even the truth… as though you are reading history in the making. ~ Liz Robinson October 2015 Book of the Month.
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.
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A selection of authors who will feature in this Lovereading category include: