15 literary novels that will have you compulsively turning the pages

15 literary novels that will have you compulsively turning the pages

Readers, today I’m sharing a long list of books in one of my favorite (and completely made-up) sub-genres: compulsively readable literary fiction.

Genre distinctions are tricky (or downright odious, to some authors), so let me explain what I mean. (Cue my high school German teacher, who began every explanation of European culture by saying, “This is a generalization, and all generalizations are false. However …”)

First, the literary. I love a good literary novel, the kind of “serious” novels that probe human nature (and especially human shortcomings), focus on the interior lives of their characters, and generally focus on meaning over entertainment.

This is the kind of work coming out of Iowa, especially, and Boston and New York. These are the titles bandied about by committees awarding Pulitzers, Man Booker Prizes, National Book Awards. Many of these are called “quiet” books. “Lighthearted” and “fun” are not words typically used to describe literary fiction, and they’re rarely called page-turners.

Second, compulsively readable. What can I say? I want what the literary crowd too often tells me I can’t have, not with their work: I want a page-turner. I mean a book that is strong not only on interior characterization but also on plot, one that tempts me to keep reading way past my bedtime, one that makes me want to know what happens next.

Today I’m sharing 15 titles that delivered on both counts: books that manage to be both literary, and compulsively readable. I hope you find something perfect for you on this list, and I can’t wait to hear your suggestions in comments.

Compulsively Readable Literary Fiction
Plainsong

Plainsong

Author:
I've been working my way through Kent Haruf's back catalog and enjoying it so much—if that's the right word. In this small-town Colorado story, Haruf weaves three families together in surprising ways. All are dealing with their own private tragedies, and everything is about to get worse, for all of them. This was a National Book Award finalist, and it's one of those books that begs to be discussed: it would be an excellent book club pick. (Heads up, readers: triggers abound.) More info →
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The Secret History

The Secret History

Author:
The joke in publishing is that it takes Tartt ten years to write her novels—and if you spend a decade writing something, it had better be good, right? This story begins with a murder, and the lonely, introspective narrator devotes the rest of the novel to telling the reader about his role in it, and how he seemingly got away with it. The setting is a small Vermont college, the characters members of an isolated, eccentric circle of classics majors, who murder one of their own. Strongly reminiscent of The Likeness in setting, Crime and Punishment in plot, and Brideshead Revisited in tone. More info →
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Little Bee

Little Bee

Author:
Cleave knows how to tell a good story, and in his sophomore novel, he weaves together the lives of his narrator Little Bee, an illegal Nigerian refugee who has renamed herself to evade pursuit by the Nigerian militia, and a recently widowed Londoner. (Though my favorite Cleave novel is Everyone Brave Is Forgiven.) More info →
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Station Eleven

Station Eleven

I love stories that bring together seemingly unrelated plot lines in interesting ways, and Mandel delivers with her post-apocalyptic tale of a global pandemic, a traveling Shakespeare troupe, and a graphic novel. Her spare writing and numerous strong moments heighten the story's impact. When I first picked this up, I was afraid it would be depressing, but I found it striking, sympathetic, and hopeful. A National Book Award finalist. More info →
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Homegoing

Homegoing

Author:
By exploring the stories of two sisters, who met different fates in Ghana more than 200 years ago, Gyasi traces subtle lines of cause and effect through the centuries, illuminating how the deeds of ages past still haunt all of us today. Her debut (named NPR's Debut Novel of the Year) follows the generations of one family over a period of 250 years, showing the devastating effects of racism from multiple perspectives, in multiple settings. For the first hundred pages I didn't quite grasp what the author was up to, but when it hit me it was powerful. A brilliant concept, beautifully executed. More info →
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Rules of Civility

Rules of Civility

Author:
I recently enjoyed reading this (for the third time), finding it every bit as good as I remembered. In his debut, Towles plunges you into the streets of the glittering streets of Manhattan, circa 1938, and into a circle of unlikely friends whose lives turn on one impulsive decision. I love the craft here: Towles sets his scenes so well, and the opening and closing scenes frame the story beautifully. This Gatsby-esque novel keeps surprises with shocking plot twists, including the unforgettable ending. More info →
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Stay with Me

Stay with Me

Author:
Adebayo's debut is a powerful, emotional story about love, family, and fidelity set against the backdrop of the turbulent political climate of 1985-2008 Nigeria. The story begins with Yejide’s mother-in-law arrives at her door with a guest in tow: her husband’s second wife, that she didn’t know he’d married. Named one of the 10 best books of the year by the New York Public Library. More info →
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Home Fire

Home Fire

Author:
This modern retelling of Antigone was long-listed for the 2017 Man Booker Prize and powerfully probes themes of love, political allegiance, and terrorism. I’m not sure I would have realized this was rooted in the Greek myth if I hadn’t been told: Shamsie’s story feels modern, timely, and incredibly relevant to current events. (First line: “Isma was going to miss her flight.“) More info →
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Silver Sparrow

Silver Sparrow

Author:
Opening line: "My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist." In Jones's third novel set in Atlanta (which is now followed by a fourth, and it's a good one), Jones writes about the link between two African-American half sisters, one legitimate and one secret, only one of whom knows the other exists. That is, until the secret of their father's second marriage starts to force its way into the open. More info →
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The Mothers

The Mothers

Author:
Bennett's debut isn't an easy read, but it's so good—and one that I still think about even though I read it many moons ago. This coming-of-age story depicts how grief predictably consumes a 17-year old girl growing up in a tight-knit African-American community in Southern California, and how two friends get pulled into the tangled aftermath. More info →
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Exit West

Exit West

Author:
In Hamid's latest novel, a finalist for the 2017 Man Booker Prize, two young people meet and find love during a time of great political unrest in an unnamed Middle Eastern country. As violence simmers and then explodes into war, they survey their options and make the difficult decision to flee the city, perhaps taking advantage of the rumored doors that open almost magically into other lands, like Syria or San Francisco. An evocative story improved by the restrained element of magical realism, and strongly reminiscent of The Underground Railroad. More info →
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We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

This is the story of a family in middle America, two parents and three kids, completely normal—with one major exception. Daughter Rosemary is our narrator, who insists on page 1 that she needs to skip the beginning of this story and start in the middle instead. We soon learn that when Rosemary's sister left, everyone else fell apart, and they're still picking up the pieces. Don't read the description, just start reading. (Before a Modern Mrs Darcy team member gave this Man Booker Prize finalist to her sister, she removed the jacket so she wouldn't be tempted.) More info →
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Let the Great World Spin

Let the Great World Spin

Author:
In 1974 New York City, Phillipe Petit walked a high wire strung between the Twin Towers. This true event is the backdrop to McCann's National Book Award-winning fictional response to 9/11, in which he tells the interlocking stories of three New Yorkers struggling with their own personal tragedies. More info →
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Americanah

Americanah

The story centers around a smart, strong-willed Nigerian woman named Ifemelu. After university, she travels to America for postgraduate work, where she endures several years of near-destitution, and a horrific event that upends her world. The novel grapples with difficult issues without becoming overwrought. I would not have read this based on the flap copy, but I was hooked from page one. Terrific on audio. More info →
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Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere

Author:
Ng's second novel opens with a house on fire, literally. It belongs to a suburban family, and it wasn't an accident: as one character reports, “The firemen said there were little fires everywhere." But who did it, and why? That's the setup for this literary thriller, which explores what happens when an itinerant artist and her daughter move into a seemingly perfect Ohio community, and thoroughly disrupt the lives of its residents. More info →
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Which of these titles have you loved (or not)? What are your favorite books that fit this category—what would YOU add to the list?

P.S. For more page-turners, check out this list of unputdownable books I read in 24 hours or less because they were just that good.

15 literary novels that will have you compulsively turning the pages

83 comments | Comment

83 comments

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  1. Mary Kate says:

    Absolutely adored Station Eleven and Let the Great World Spin. The latter has some of the most beautiful prose I’ve ever read.

    I picked up The Secret History awhile back because The Likeness is one of my favorite books of all time, but surprisingly, I didn’t really like it! I think it was the characters — I just didn’t like them as people. I need at least one character in a book to empathize with to really connect to the story, and in the The Secret History, I couldn’t find that. Whereas in The Likeness, I was in love with everybody. I know I’m clearly in the minority here, haha.

    Will have to check all these others out!

    • Oh, I’m with you 🙂 I could appreciate The Secret History as being very well written, and I kept reading to find out the outcome, but I can’t say I really _enjoyed_ it because I actively disliked most of the characters and what they got up to. Most books I at least plan to reread one day, but not that one.

  2. Sarah R says:

    I had such high expectations for Station Eleven, and that book completely surpassed those. I constantly think about it. It’s really saying a lot because I generally like my novels completely rooted in reality, and I am not a fan of any sort of science fiction.

    I would suggest “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” and Meg Wolitzer’s “The Wife.”

    I also liked “The Nest” but know that’s a divisive opinion!

  3. Gina says:

    Loved the books that I’ve read on this list – Station Eleven, Rules of Civility – so naturally my TBR list has just grown!! Thanks for sharing this! Good stuff!

  4. Courtney says:

    I’m reading The Goldfinch right now for the first time (I know – a little (or a lot) late to the party – and I never want to put it down, which says a lot for a book over 700 pages. I’m looking forward to reading The Secret History once I’m finished. I also loved Station Eleven. I didn’t find The Mothers compulsively readable, and didn’t love it, but did really like her writing.

    • Brandyn says:

      I’m so torn over The Goldfinch. I agree that it’s compulsively readable. I was always engaged and wanted to know what was going to happen. It just took so long for the MC to quit digging himself deeper. He was a completely understandable character, I never found his decisions unbelievable I just wanted something to happen to turn him around sooner.

    • Dawn Mole says:

      I thought The Mothers was the most anticlimactic book I’d ever read. It didn’t hold my attention and that made me sad because, from the first time I heard Anne mention it, I was dying to get ahold of it!! I still need to read Station Eleven.

      • Brandyn says:

        About a year ago one of my friends was sort of raging about The Mothers. She offered it to me if I’d read it so she’d have someone to talk to about it. Neither of us were big fans, but for different reasons. It made her mad – I agree with you. I found it anticlimactic.

  5. Adrienne Hudson says:

    This is a very interesting list! “Home Fire”, “Silver Sparrow”, and “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” are very appealing to me. I have a copy of “Station Eleven”, but sent it off to my mom to read before I read it, and it will be a while before I get it back. I thought “Little Fires Everywhere” was fabulous, but enjoyed her debut novel more.

  6. Lindsay says:

    Meg Wolitzer’s brand new one “The Female Persuasion”. I couldn’t believe it was over 400 pages. I breezed through it & it was Such a pleasure to read.
    It read like a Jennifer Weiner novel but is also very serious in its messaging. I wish I could find more books like this!

    Another one like this for me was Jami Attendberg’s “all grown up”.

  7. Suzanne says:

    I loved Little Bee and Little Fires Everywhere, but many of these weren’t on my radar (now they are safely added to my Goodreads list!).

    Like another reader above, I would add The Goldfinch to this list. And, as devastating as it was, A Little Life. Both books I could not put down.

  8. Mary says:

    The Secret History is one of my favorite books. I loved Tarrt’s writing, describing everything these flawed characters ate, drank and did. Little Fires Everywhere was excellent. I enjoyed it even more than Ng’s first novel. Home Fire was very good, but Stay With Me was emotionally exhausting. So well written, so exhausting.

  9. Bridget says:

    This list is exactly what I need! Any literary fiction I have tried to read has become a DNF due to me not being able to deal with there not being much of a plot to the novel. I’m very much a story-appeal reader. I’ll have to give one of these 15 books a try, since I know it’s not the emphasis on characters that bothers me with literary fiction but rather the lack of plot. I think this is true because I love the character development in the Maisie Dobbs mystery series.

    • Pam says:

      I’m with you! The plot has to keep me engaged, or I just don’t care for the book. I’ve read Station Eleven on the above list, and it is one of my all time favourite books. Shakespeare and dystopian sci fi; what’s not to like. I haven’t read Rules of Civility yet, but I did read A Gentleman in Moscow by the same author, and really enjoyed it. One of my favourite reads of that year. Exit West was okay; I wouldn’t call it a page turner, but it had an interesting premise. I can see it as a book club book – relatively short, with Big Ideas for discussion.

  10. Alison says:

    This is my favorite list ever! Or like, in the last month. Ha. But I have read Little Bee, Little Fires Everywhere, The Mothers, Stay with Me, Homegoing, and Station Eleven (all of which received a 4-5 star rating from me). The only one on this list that I didn’t love was Exit West. The rest of the list has been on my TBR for a while; I’ll have to move them up!

  11. I loved so many of these books, specifically Little Fires Everywhere and The Secret History. Even months after reading them, I still can’t stop talking about them. The same goes for Station Eleven. I have recommended it to everyone I know!

    • Joanna says:

      Would you please start including a link to a printable list with the author & title and the name of each list? We have several patrons who like to borrow the books from our library whenever possible. They (or we) either have to print out pages and pages of paper to get each list, or write down all the authors & titles. If there were printable lists, they could just mark the ones they’re specifically interested in reading & also keep track of the ones they’ve finished.

  12. Sophie says:

    I loved Rules of Civility, and Station Eleven. Read both on your recommendation.
    I’m wondering if Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner would fall into this category, or Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry. I also had a tough time putting down Homecoming, though sometimes I was irritated not to hear more of each generation’s story.

  13. Lori says:

    Goodness, so many books to read, eh? I really enjoyed “Rules of Civility” (as well as “A Gentleman in Moscow”).

    “Plainsong” is on hold for me at the library right now, thanks to you. I’m a newbie to Mr. Haruf’s work, so am looking forward to it. Also, I recently finished “Everything I Never Told You,” and since a reader friend I trust recommended “Little Fires Everywhere,” it’s on my TBR list now.

    “Little Bee” somehow hadn’t hit my radar yet, but since I fell in love with Chris Cleave’s way with words in “Everyone Brave,” I’ll have to check that out too. “Station Eleven” has been on my maybe list for quite a while…don’t know what my hesitation is there.

    When I come up with a way to stretch 24 hours in the day to more like 30 AND figure out how to up my reading speed, I’ll let you know!

  14. Allison says:

    Great list! I’ve read (and loved) ten of these. I would add anything by Ann Patchett, and I second the recommendation for A Little Life–that one is completely devastating and not for every reader (triggers abound), but it definitely falls into the hard-to-put-down category.

  15. Renee says:

    Little Bee is one of my favorites, I also loved Homegoing and Rules of Civility. My college freshman son told me I would like We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves and he was right! I don’t think I would have picked it up otherwise.

    I would suggest Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger, The Rope Walk by Carrie Brown, Ashes of Fiery Weather, Mudbound, and Leopard at the Door. All very memorable.

  16. BarbN says:

    Thanks for all the new additions to my TBR pile, love the idea of this “subgenre.” Some of these have been on my radar for a long time, I will bump them up the list. I’ve only read three of them– Secret History, which I read years ago and loved; Station Eleven, which I loved; and Little Fires Everywhere, and I think I am the only person on the planet that hated it. I loved her first book, but this one was definitely not for me– plot twists felt predictable, characters were cliche’s, the whole thing felt manipulative to me, like the author stacked the deck. I am clearly in the minority.

  17. Monica says:

    What a fun list! I just picked up Homegoing based on a different episode of the podcast. I haven’t gotten going on it yet, but look forward to it.

    Let the Great World Spin is an all time favorite! I haven’t read it in awhile, but this was a favorite of my book club as well.

    Americanah is another one I need to get going on…I just heard on a recent podcast that this is an excellent one to listen to on audiobook, so may go that route. I do love a good audiobook!

    Enjoyed several other books on this list…Little Bee, Little Fires Everywhere,and Station Eleven. What a great list! Will be adding to my TBR list!

    Just listened to An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. Very good, but it just seemed so sad in so many ways for me. I also finished The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah and LOVED it. I have a thing for Alaska, and this just played in to it! So good.

    • Sarah says:

      Try To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey (or her first novel, The Snow Child, if you haven’t yet!) for another Alaskan adventure. I’m (im)patiently waiting for it from the library. 😬 I also loved The Great Alone, if mostly for the glimpse into a world so foreign from my own!

  18. Sherry says:

    I think Kent Haruf’s writing is just lyrical, just so lovely. “Plain Song” is just beautifully written, and “Our Souls at Night” was excellent also. I didn’t care for “Americanah,” but to each her own. I will add “Station Eleven to my TBR. Thanks for the suggestions.

  19. Deborah Larson says:

    Little Fires Everywhere and Rules of Civility were wonderfully engaging reads. I listened to LFE on audiobook…even better!
    I’m currently listening to Eleanor Olliphant is Completely Fine on audiobook and would DEFINITELY add it to the above list!

  20. Terry says:

    See, and now I feel weird because I did NOT like Station Eleven at all. (And most of my reading friends ADORED it.) I guess it just shows that any book is not for everybody! I have added some of these to my TBR, but I have to be careful with some literary fiction stuff because it can easily turn my reading list into the “Queue of Doom” (what my family calls an unremittingly serious/sad/troubling list of books or movies). My reading time is a precious relief from the world, sometimes, and too many heartrending books makes me ever more pessimistic.

  21. Janean says:

    My favorite list! This is my wheelhouse. I don’t mind if a book is more heavily weighted toward character at the expense of a gripping plot, but if a book can deliver the literary and keep those pages flying, for me, it’s the sweet spot. Most of these are either favorites or anxiously sitting on my TBR. I’d add Beartown by Fredrik Backman.

    • Karen Wehman says:

      Frederik Backman is on my list as well. I have read four of his novels in the last year. Beartown coming soon. The only reason I have not read it yet is because I was bing reading his titles and felt I needed to give some other authors a try.

  22. Nicole says:

    Pachinko should be on this list! I finished it yesterday, and it was just really good. I was reluctant to read it but I’m glad I did!

  23. Guest says:

    Is Rules of Civility as good as A Gentleman in Moscow? I avoided it for awhile because several friends said it was their favorite book in years so naturally, seemed overhyped to me. Then I read it. My goodness, they’re right! It makes me sort of avoid his other books though because they can’t possibly be as good. Can they??

    • Laura says:

      I think Rules of Civility is more broadly appealing than A Gentleman in Moscow and definitely more plot-driven. Try it!

    • Cheryl says:

      The only reason I haven’t read Rules of Civility yet is that I deeply loved Gentleman in Moscow. As in, finished it and turned right back to page one and reread it. I have never done that! I think I will see when I have a luxurious stretch this summer and read Rules. I just don’t want to mess up how I feel about the Gentleman!

  24. Tina says:

    Ohh i love this list! I did really like Stay With Me. One that could be added to this (I think?) is The Heart’s Invisible Furies- so wonderful.

  25. Bethley says:

    I thought Pachinko would be at the top! I have read seven of these and look forward to reading the rest. I would add some Ann Patchett and Barbara Kingsolver and Jhumpa Lahiri to this list.

  26. Sarah says:

    Technically he’s in the mystery/thriller genre BUT his writing is top-notch without feeling pretentious, so worth a mention! Dennis Lehane! I discovered his Kenzie and Gennaro series and devoured 5/6 of the books. Highly recommend for those who want smart page-turners without all the drama.

  27. Kristin says:

    The last literary page-turner that I read and adored was Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward. Id totally add it to this list.

    • Karen Wehman says:

      I am still a fan of Salvage the Bones. I grew up in Mississippi and Louisiana and this book had me there. Her writing took me back via all of my senses.

  28. Karen Wehman says:

    I recently read Rules of Civility for my book club and I agree with this selection. It was well written, characters and story line felt believable. It was poignant, and yes, a page turner. I wanted to know how the story would play out. Plan to add A Gentleman in Moscow now.

    I have not read any of the others. Little Fires Everywhere is on my list for later this year. I read Everything I Never Told You last year and that instantly put this writer on my go list.

  29. Karen Wehman says:

    One last comment. I would add Richard Russo. Empire Falls and Bridge of Sighs. It’s been several years and I still think about these books from time to time.

  30. Jane says:

    Brilliant list, thanks Anne! I’ve read 8 of these, loved them all especially Plainsong and Little Fires Everywhere. I’d add Fates and Furies to this list (I was late for work because I had to finish it) and anything by Elizabeth Strout. Ooh and Marilynne Robinson.

  31. Anne At Home says:

    Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood – an oldie but a goodie, I couldn’t put it down and have re-read it twice. And anything by Tim Winton (Australian author) but particularly Cloudstreet, possibly my number one book of all time. Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck (literary fiction or Classic with a capital C??) was riveting with one of the most moving final scenes I’ve ever read. Great list, I’m following these comments with interest

  32. I’m with you on wanting literary gravitas AND page-turniness (that’s not a word, but whatever) in my reading. I’ve read a number of books from this list and need to read Plainsong (loved Our Souls at Night) and the Tayari Jones (loved An American Marriage).

  33. I’m actually reading Homegoing right now and it’s amazing. I’m not familiar with any of the other titles, so I’ll be pinning this post for future reference. Thanks for the recommendations!

  34. Such a great list! I have HOMECOMING on mine as well. May I suggest THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM(Sky Pony Press, 2016). It’s historical fiction about a young girl’s life in Hiroshima during WWII. It is based on events in my Mother’s life. It is through her 12-year-old eyes that readers witness the horror of that day.

  35. Michelle says:

    I would add The Literary and Potato Peel Pie society to that list. Historical fiction that I wished would never end!!

  36. Kailey says:

    Thank you so much for this post! After spending a few years stuck in a rut of mysteries and chick lit, I have been trying to get back to books that felt like they had a bit more heft. Finding a balance between something weightier in terms of subject matter but that doesn’t feel like a struggle (sorry Rohinton Mistry, but I’m just too tired these days for that much emotional strain) has been a real challenge, so this post has come at the perfect time! Off to the library I go!

  37. Rebecca says:

    Really enjoyed a few of these I have read – Little Fires Everywhere, Let the Great World Spin, and Little Bees. Also loved Goldfinch and just finished All the Ugly and Wonderful Things and it was, as the title suggests, a combination of the worst and the best, but with excellent writing. Eager to try some of the others on this new list!

  38. Missy G. says:

    I’ve read 5 from the list already (Rules of Civility, Homegoing, Stay with Me, The Mothers, and Station Eleven) and I LOVED every one of them. Rules of Civility is my #1 recommendation for an audiobook. Many of the others listed are already on my TBR, but the rest are now being added and prioritized. What a great list!

  39. Katie says:

    Oh this is the BEST list! I’ve read some of them and they’re all books that were in my favorites for that year! I can’t wait to check out the others.

  40. Tina says:

    I saw this list, then we went to the library yesterday. I checked out Station Eleven and could NOT put it down. I admit to reading it during one of my boys soccer game today. It was amazing, and I got so wrapped up in it, I was sad it was done, I want to read more of what happens to those characters.

    • Anne says:

      Happy to hear it! I’m so excited that Emily St John Mandel has a new book coming out early next year—although it feels like a long time to wait!

  41. Sheree says:

    As soon as I saw the phrase “compulsively readable literary fiction”, the first book that sprung to mind was We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves – I’m *so* glad to see it got a mention! That book is criminally underrated, in my humble opinion, and it’s one of the first I name when people ask me for book recommendations. Great list!

    • Ann Bower says:

      Me toooooo on hating on the Goldfinch: Hide the painting. Angst. Repeat. I thought I was the only one!
      I was giddy to see Plainsong on this list. I am evangelical about singing the praises of this book…Loved it so hard.

  42. Crystal says:

    I loved Plainsong and Little Fires Everywhere.
    I don’t know what it is about Haruf’s writing, but he draws me into the story and just won’t let me go! I have read the 2/3 of the Plainsong series and even looked into Mark Spragg due to their similarities (I was not disappointed).
    I devoured Ng’s first book, Everything I Never Told You, and suggested it to multiple friends. When I saw Little Fires Everywhere was released, I approached the librarian at the school in which I am employed and asked her if she would buy it for the library so I could borrow it. She did and I also devoured it. 😀 Ng has such a great voice. I hope she continues writing!

  43. Jennifer Polizzi says:

    Thank you for this list! I will look for some of these titles when I need a good book.

    I have recently discovered Paulette Jiles; News of the World was a book discussion group selection at my local library branch. I just finished Enemy Women. Her writing is beautiful and poetic, the characters are engaging, and the stories are truly page turners.

  44. Rachel says:

    This “sub-genre” is definitely one of my favorites! I’ve read and loved many of these on the list. I’d like to add Castle of Water by Dane Hucklebridge. An amazing combo of “serious and literary” but I absolutely could not put it down!

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