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Animal Dreams is one of my favorite books. The politics are very Reagan/Thatcher era but maybe not *so* different from today.

The Paying Guests, Station Eleven, The Goldfinch, Life after Life, The Signature of all Things, The Good Lord Bird, and The Orphan Master's Son would, I guess, be considered literary fiction. I've enjoyed them all very much.


I really liked Animal Dreams, too. It's my favorite Barbara Kingsolver. With Anne Tyler, I either love or books, or don't like them very much. She's kind of hit or miss for me. Have you read The Shipping News by Annie Proulx? It won a Pulitzer; I enjoyed reading that one a lot.

Good luck with finding a good literary read!!

emma at Words And Peace

I'm going to give you the literary fiction titles I really enjoyed this year: the two latest novels by Rachel Joyce; The Dead Lake, by Hamid Ismailov; The Ravens, by Tomas Bannerhed; George's Grand Tour, by Caroline Vermalle; The Room, by Jonas Karlsson; The 6:41 to Paris, by Jean-Philippe Blondel (some call this a psychological thriller, I think it's more literary fiction). I have reviewed most of these books on my blo. Enjoy!


I've only read a small handful of Kingsolver's books but I have liked them all and I know she doesn't back down from difficult topics, which I like. I am looking forward to Animal Dreams now! I have read only Station Eleven and loved it--it still is pretty vivid in my mind, and I have Paying Guests and thought of reading The Goldfinch, but a few of those books are new to me, so will be checking them out now. These books are really appealing to me right now!


I am really looking forward to Animal Dreams now! I think of the few books by her I have read my favorite is The Poisonwood Bible. I have not read The Shipping News but I have owned a copy for a Very Long time! Maybe this is the gentle nudge I need to at least go and grab it from my shelves. Anne Tyler is going to be a definite as soon as her newest comes in the mail. For now, I think I am starting with Americanah. Impossible decisions!


Almost all those titles are new to me (Thanks for them!) so I am off to check them out. I think I have read about the Blondel and it might be perfect fall reading--I will go and check out your reviews. I've not done a very good job at reading books like this this year, so maybe I can begin to catch up now!


Anne Patchett's "Bel Canto".

I love anything by Barbara Kingsolver, but, at the moment my favorite is "Flight Behavior". My first read of hers was "Pigs in Heaven".

I did not finish "The Goldfinch", but, we had one of our BEST book discussions ever and we've been together for 28 years.


I tend to urge people to read the work of Tan Twang Eng....he was shortlisted for the Booker twice and in my opinion should have won. Maybe read the latest one: The Garden of Evening Mists....this is truly worthy of being called literary fiction but is at the same time a great story, well told...I think his writing is like a clear stream, feels like all is visible but yet there are things under the rocks.


May I suggest The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt? Not about a samurai or at least not exactly.


I love Barbara Kingsolver's books (my favorite is Prodigal Summer) and Ann Patchett's as well. I'm with you in that I don't really fully know what makes fiction "literary." I just finished The Divers Clothes Lie Empty and loved it--a different and interesting book, that might qualify. I'm guessing many of Joyce Carol Oates' and Margaret Atwood's books would be considered literary fiction? They are both amazing writers, I think.


Hilary Mantel for sure. Also Ali Smith. How to Be Both is amazing. Margaret Atwood too. Probably Rushdie and Eco too. If you are looking for authors who are doing exciting and interesting work, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by McBride is a must.

Pam J.

Oh what fun. The Rachel Joyce novels (Pilgrimage of Harold Fry & Love Song of Queenie Hennessy) are so wonderful; I simply can't imagine someone not liking them. I've enjoyed some of the "other" novels of George Orwell: Keep the Aspidistra Flying & Coming Up for Air. The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway is haunting, beautifully written. So many more but I'll stop there.


I did read Bel Canto for a book group and it was a wonderful book for starting a good discussion. The others are books I am familiar with but have not read. I am so curious about The Goldfinch as I have read lots of conflicting reviews--I only wish I had waited to buy it until it was in paper so it would be easier to lug around with me on my commutes and such. Or--better actually--since it is in cloth I could just concentrate on that one book and not have to worry about carrying around a hefty book and several others!


The name sounds familiar and we should have the book at the library if it was on the Booker list. I love the sort of story you describe--both good writing and a good story!


Had to go look that one up as the title is intriguing but not one I am familiar with. It does sound good and is not on my wishlist!


I've only read a couple of Kingsolver's novels, both of which I liked very much. She does not shy away from tackling hard subjects. Both writers you mention are the sort I would also characterize as literary fiction. I am caught in the middle between wanting to read more of it yet always picking up more comforting sorts of stories. I want to read Margaret Atwood's dystopian trilogy-eventually anyway!


I came so very close to picking up the Ali Smith, but I have it in hardcover and already have two hardcovers on the go and can't imagine lugging to many at once around with me. I really do want to read Wolf Hall but I feel like I need to be in the right mood. I'm not always very good when it comes to modern writing like that of McBride--I might pick it up eventually but I think I might start with some more straightforward works--but all your suggestions are great--thanks!


I haven't read the Joyce novels but they are both very appealing. So many good books and writers to explore! I have a nice long list to draw from now-thanks!


Oh I love Barbara Kingsolver's books. I've read several and have really loved them. How about Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie? I've read three of her books and feel like they would fall in a literary fiction category. All three have been really great and touching on many themes. Oh and what about Joyce Carol Oates? So many books to choose from!


It has been a really long time since I read any books by Barbara Kingsolver and I do hope to read something by her sooner than later. I also considered JCO--I have quite a few unread books by her. And as you know, I am reading Adichie now! :)Too many choices really can be a problem. I always want to read all of them!

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