Here is my Top Ten list for the first half of this year in Literary and Historical Fiction. I gave most of these 5 stars on Goodreads.
The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez
I listened to the audio version and loved the different voices of the six narrators.
A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson
I read Life After Life first, but you don't necessarily need to. They are companion books, with Life after Life following the life of Ursula Todd through the last century, and A God in Ruins following the life of Ursula's beloved brother, Teddy. Both are wonderful!
Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova
Once again, Genova, a Harvard trained Neuroscientist, extensively researches a difficult subject to give us a heart-wrenching story about a tight-knit Boston family. Genova does a fantastic job of capturing the resilience of the human spirit.
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Not a little novel at 720 pages, but so worth it! Deeply moving, disturbing, and uncomfortable to read at times, the novel follows the lives of four college friends as they tackle adulthood in New York City after graduation. The author did such a superb job of bringing these four friends to life, I forgot I was reading fiction at times. Longlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
I loved that there were two very different sisters who were the focus of this novel. It
follows them through WWII in war-torn France. If you liked All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, you'll love The Nightingale.
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Beautifully written short stories centered around Olive, a retired school teacher. Realistic and at times quite sad, I did chuckle sometimes too. A Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winner in 2009.
Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
Set in small-town Minnesota in the summer of 1961, this coming of age story is told from the perspective of 13 year old Frank. An Edgar Award winner for Best Novel in 2014.
Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
Haruf's last novel before his death is gentle, sweet, endearing, and unique.
The Secret Wisdom of the Earth by Christopher Scotton
This is Scotton's debut novel. A coming of age mystery/thriller set in Appalachia, an adult Kevin narrates as he looks back on one particular summer that was life-changing. I can't say enough about this exciting new author!
A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
The author takes us on a journey through three generations of the Whitshank family. If you've read any of Tyler's other books, you know her novels are delightfully effortless to devour. Longlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize.
Hampton Park Library