Literary Fiction

History of the Rain by Niall Williams

History of the Rain by Niall Williams
It rains in a lot in Ireland, so its people’s stories are steeped in water. In History of the Rain, the Swain family strives to live up to the ”Impossible Standard” set by their great-grandfather, but they are always falling short—oftentimes tragically, sometimes humorously.

Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin

Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin

In a country that is trying to piece itself back together after a terrible civil war, baking cakes might not seem to be such an important thing to do. But these are not just any cakes, and Angel Tungaraza is not just any baker. Her cakes are meant for joy and celebration. Angel’s kitchen is a place where secrets are shared and hearts often reconciled in Gaile Parkin’s novel, Baking Cakes in Kigali.

If you like The Beach House by Jane Green

If you like The Beach House by Jane Green

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids.  You can browse the book matches here.

The Beach House by Jane Green: "The long-widowed Nan enjoys her dotty solitude at her Nantucket home-until the money dips too low and she must advertise for paying summer guests, a move that brings her back into life's mainstream." (Library Journal) 

If you enjoyed The Beach House, here are some other books you may also like:

The House on Mermaid Point by Wendy Wax
Maddie, Avery, and Nikki first got to know one another--perhaps all too well--while desperately restoring a beachfront mansion to its former grandeur. Now they're putting that experience to professional use. But their latest project has presented some challenges they couldn't have dreamed up in their wildest fantasies--although the house does belong to a man who actually was Maddie's wildest fantasy once . . . Rock-and-roll legend "William the Wild" Hightower may be past his prime, estranged from his family, and creatively blocked, but he's still worshiped by fans--which is why he guards his privacy on his own island in the Florida Keys. 


Moon Shell Beach by Nancy Thayer
Lexi Laney and Clare Hart grew up together swimming in the surf, riding remote bike trails, and having wondrous adventures across picturesque Nantucket. And when it was time to share intimate secrets and let their girlish imaginations run free, they escaped to their magical private hideaway: Moon Shell Beach. 

 

If You Like The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

If You Like The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading  recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you.  Available for adults, teens, and kids.

The Life of Pi is the winner of the 2002 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. "Pi Patel is an unusual boy. The son of a zookeeper, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior, a fervent love of stories, and practices not only his native Hinduism, but also Christianity and Islam. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes. The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them "the truth." After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional-but is it more true?" (Book Description)

If you liked The Life of Pi, here are a few titles that you may find equally thought-provoking:

Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
Antonio Marez is six years old when Ultima comes to stay with his family in New Mexico. She is a curandera, one who cures with herbs and magic. Under her wise wing, Tony will test the bonds that tie him to his people, and discover himself in the pagan past, in his father's wisdom, and in his mother's Catholicism. And at each life turn there is Ultima, who delivered Tony into the world-and will nurture the birth of his soul.  (Catalog summary)

 

Death of Vishnu by Manil Suri
Visualizing a village, a hotel or an apartment building as a microcosm of society is not a new concept to writers, but few have invested their fiction with such luminous language, insight into character and grasp of cultural construct as Suri does in his debut. The inhabitants of a small apartment building in Bombay are motivated by concerns ranging from social status to spiritual transcendence while their alcoholic houseboy, Vishnu, lies dying on the staircase landing. During a span of 24 hours, Vishnu's body becomes the fulcrum for a series of crises, some tragic, some farcical, that reflect both the folly and nobility of human conduct....By turns charming and funny, searing and poignant, dramatic and farcical, this fluid novel is an irresistible blend of realism, mysticism and religious metaphor, a parable of the universal conditions of human life. (Nicole Aragi, Publishers Weekly)

 

The Dinner by Herman Koch

The Dinner by Herman Koch

The Dinner is Herman Koch’s sixth novel. Set in Amsterdam, it is a story of two couples meeting for dinner. At first the dinner appears to be an ordinary meeting of two brothers and their wives. Soon, however, the true reason for the meeting emerges. Each of the couple’s 15-year-old sons participated in an incident that resulted in a police investigation. The boys have not been identified as the perpetrators. The couples have met for dinner to discuss the incident and its potential effect on their sons’ future.

Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement

Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement

Jennifer Clement’s Prayers for the Stolen is a fractured fairy tale. The narrator is a fierce, funny, and clever girl named Ladydi Garcia Martinez who faces many tragedies in a coming-of-age story set in Mexico. Her mother named her not for Princess Diana’s beauty and fame but for her shame. “My mother said that Lady Diana lived the true Cinderella story: closets full of broken glass slippers, betrayal and death.”

The Sea Runners by Ivan Doig

The Sea Runners by Ivan Doig

It was Melander’s silver tongue that got the others to try to run, or rather paddle, 1200 miles to a new life. All four Swedes wanted the same—to be away from the boredom and poverty of their years-long indentures. Melander had been a sailor before being put to cut wood at New Archangel in Russian North America, and the icy waters beckoned to him.

The two others he wanted were a stolid woodsman and hunter named Karlsson and an uncommonly sweet-faced thief named Braaf. The fourth, well, he tumbled to the plan and what could the rest do? Obnoxious wind-bag though he was.

You're All Just Jealous of My Jetpack by Tom Gauld

You're All Just Jealous of My Jetpack by Tom Gauld

You're All Just Jealous of My Jetpack, by Tom Gauld, is to literature and history what Gary Larson's The Far Side is to biology and beehive hairdos. Gauld takes on Dickens and Shakespeare with whimsical glee. He muses on the creativity of artists and writers while conjuring ridiculous asides.

If you like A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

If you like A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids.  You can browse the book matches here.
 
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving: "Owen Meany, the only child of a New Hampshire granite quarrier, believes he is God's instrument. He is. This is John Irving's most comic novel; yet Owen Meany is Mr. Irving's most heartbreaking character." (Book description)
 
If you enjoyed this novel, here are some other titles you may enjoy:
 
The Brothers K by David James Duncan
Story of the Chance family living in the Pacific Northwest in the early '60s embattled over the ideals represented by baseball and religion. (worldcat.org)
 
 
 
 
Fifth Business by Robertson Davies
Ramsay is a man twice born, a man who has returned from the hell of the battle-grave at Passchendaele in World War I decorated with the Victoria Cross, and destined to be caught in a no-man's-land where memory, history, and myth collide. As Ramsay tells his story, it begins to seem that from boyhood he has exerted a perhaps mystical, perhaps pernicious influence on those around him. 
 

If you like The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

If you like The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids.  You can browse the book matches here.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein: Nearing the end of his life, Enzo, a dog with a philosopher's soul, tries to bring together the family, pulled apart by a three year custody battle between daughter Zoe's maternal grandparents and her father Denny, a race car driver.

If you enjoyed The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, you may enjoy these titles:

A Dog's Purpose by Bruce Cameron
This is the remarkable story of one endearing dog's search for his purpose over the course of several lives. More than just another charming dog story, A Dog's Purpose touches on the universal quest for an answer to life's most basic question: Why are we here? (catalog summary)

 


The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst
When his wife dies in a fall from a tree in their backyard, linguist Paul Iverson is wild with despair. In the days that follow, Paul becomes certain that Lexy's death was no accident. Strange clues have been left behind: unique, personal messages that only she could have left and that he is determined to decipher.