A new feature where I share my top five books by genre.
Literary Fiction is my favorite genre. These are the books that stay with me long after I have finished them. Books I found myself thinking about even when I am not reading them. These are books with complex characters and complex dynamics, quiet, slow, unassuming, but completely encompassing. This also doubles as a list of some of my favorite books of all time, so here we go:
An honorary mention goes to A Visit From the Goon Squad. I absolutely loved this book, it’s just that it’s a recent read so I need a bit more distance from it to actually put it on my Top 5 list. However, I think it was brilliant, and you can read more of my thoughts on it HERE .
5. We Are All Completely Besides Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
This book hit really close to home. It talks about family dynamics and it mixes in psychology and psychological experiments. It’s a character exploration, but in a very specific setting. It’s such an unique and different story, but it’s done masterfully. The writing is gorgeous and the topics explored are so different, yet they give you such an unique perspective. I loved it to pieces. It’s very intelligent and meticulously executed and it just blew me away. More of my thoughts here .
4. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
This is a controversial book that a lot of people hated, but I absolutely adored it. I never expected this to be anything like HP, in any shape of form, and it definitely isn’t. However, what this is a story about a small town, where everything goes to hell when a guy dies. The whole town unravels, secrets come out and stuff happens. I loved everything about it. I love how slow it was, I loved how every single character was messed up, yet so easy to sympathize with. I love how everyone was connected in a specific way and this book left such a huge impact on me. You can read more on it and books concentrated on small towns here.
3. We Need to About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
I have mentioned this book a million times, so I’ll keep it brief. I loved how messed up these characters were, I love how complex their relationships were, I loved the writing, the story and I think that this whole book is completely genius. I still to this day frequently think about it and how if I were to ever write a book, I would want my readers to feel like I felt when I finished this. Beyond amazing. More of my more coherent thoughts here. Oh and watch the movie, it’s great.
2. Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg
A stunning debut novel that left me completely shattered. This books is yet again one of those that explores complex relationships between characters (it’s my thing). We follow a multitude of characters, all connected in unexpected ways, and all centered around a terrible tragedy that happens to one woman’s family. It’s so quiet, unassuming and short and yet packs a huge punch. One of the best written endings in a book as well. Nothing explosive happens, no twist, but just the way it’s executed leaves you with shivers and goosebumps. Loved it so so much. More thoughts on it here.
1. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Does this come as a surprise to anyone? I talked about this non stop on this blog, but it’s just that good. I get why it has polarizing reviews and why some people don’t like it. I do. But I think it’s spectacular. These characters, their love for one another, the complexity and the metaphor behind our main character Jude is just genius. Do I think that some of the stuff that happens was too much? Yes. Do I think that it diminishes the whole experience of this book? No. This book destroyed me. I was emotionally exhausted from it months after I finished it. But to this day I haven’t read something that affected me as much as this book. I think that easily puts it on the top of this list. More thoughts on it here and everywhere on the blog.
There we go! Those are my Top 5 Literary Fiction books! You can check out my Top 5 Fantasy and SciFi and my Top 5 Romance as well. Have you read any of these? What are your thoughts on them? Tell me in the comments below!
*Above used Book Depository links are affiliate links which means I get a small commission if you buy a book through my link, which helps me out a lot!