Ever before we could even write or read, fiction had already become an important part of the human experience, something we can deduce from the many stories passed down through oral tradition which made it to this day.
With the help of fiction we not only entertain ourselves and others, but more importantly, we can push ourselves to think far beyond the limits we would have known otherwise. As far as I know, the vast majority of great ideas in human history came from great thinkers who sought to pierce the limits of the known and imaginable.
I feel like there are definitely too many literary genres for me to name, but even so, we always have books coming along which don’t seem to fit in any one specific category, essentially defying classification through content which transcends the idea of genres.
In this here category you’ll mostly find these types of books, the ones without any kind of particular home and very much worth reading. In most cases, these types of books tend to have a slower, more profound and methodical to storytelling, and if given the chance, they can teach us quite a bit about the world, the people in it, and ourselves.
Richard Bach is without the shadow of a doubt one of the most original and inspiring authors of the twentieth century, somewhat ironic considering his self-professed disdain for writing. In Illusions and Illusions II he tells a tale starring himself, one where he meets Donald Shimoda, a self-professed messiah capable of elevating Richard’s world to new and unseen heights.
Richard Bach is one of the few authors whose works continue to stand the test of time, with his classic Jonathan Livingston Seagull still being as current as back when it was written. A tale of inspiration, it follows the titular seagull as he learns the art of flight and finds his own way through life, despite his peers’ lack of approval.
Yaa Gyasi has stunned the world more than once since her recent arrival on the literary scene, and Transcendent Kingdom is her latest effort to draw on her unique life experiences to write a novel. The story follows Gifty, a sixth-year PhD candidate in neuroscience whose brother passed from a heroin overdose and whose suicidal mother basically lives in her bed. Struggling to find answers in both science and faith, Gifty sees there are no easy paths open to her.
Beth Duke has found two years ago the kind of breakthrough any budding author could wish for, when her novel, It All Comes Back to You, became a celebrated bestseller. In it, we are told the story of Ronni, a practical nurse and aspiring writer, whose old patient, Violet, recently passed away. In the process, she left Ronni with a challenge: she must publish Violet’s life in a book within a year, standing to inherit a grand fortune.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982, is a figure who needs little introduction among book lovers. His works have always been distinguished by their profound and meaningful nature, and One Hundred Years of Solitude represents those qualities like none other. Telling of the rise and fall of a mythical town called Macondo, the story follows the lives of multiple generations belonging to the Buendia family.
Adam O’Fallon Price may not have begun his literary career a long time ago, but he is certainly setting some high standards for his future works with his latest publication, The Hotel Neversink. This saga traces the lives of the Sikorsky family members through their ownership of the titular hotel. As generations go by we witness the building of a legacy, as well as the decades-long search for the culprit behind a young boy’s disappearance.
Robert Dugoni is without a doubt one of the modern giants of literature, his novels earning him fame around the globe. Though he is generally accustomed to writing thrillers, he went in a different direction with The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell, presenting us with a profound drama. The story is centred on the titular Sam, a boy who had the misfortune of being born with ocular albinism, branding him as an outcast from his earlier years. Now a few decades later, Sam looks back upon his life, uncertain of anything anymore, armed only with the will to make sense of the path he had to walk.
Ernest Hemingway has always had a real talent for portraying complex characters in equally complicated situations, made even more impressive with his concise vocabulary. For Whom the Bell Tolls might be one of his more popular stories, following a young American, Robert Jordan, as he fights through the Spanish Civil War as a member of the International Brigades, attached to an antifascist guerrilla unit in the mountains.
Keith Gessen is in a better position than most to truly ponder on the relation between home and country, having grown up in the United States since the age of six after his family emigrated there from the Soviet Union. In A Terrible Country, he presents us with a man in his mid-30s by the name of Andrei who went through the exact same path, with a small difference: he chooses to come back to the country he left behind so many years ago. With few prospects to dream about in the U.S., he hopes to find in Moscow the topic for an article to propel his career… unsuspecting of an infinitely greater prize to his journey: profound insights into the human soul.
The question whether or not to have children is one that’s becoming more and more prominent in people’s minds, for long gone are the days when we needed to have as many children as possible to put them to work and have someone to take care of us.
There are many who decide against it, and in her debut novel, The Resurrection of Joan Ashby, Cherise Wolas explores just such a woman. Having married a man who shared her desire not to have children, Joan sees her world turned upside down as she becomes unexpectedly pregnant, and against her instincts, decides to keep the child and nevertheless build the family she never really wanted.
Though Stanislaw Kapuscinski (pen name Stan I.S. Law) only truly began his writing efforts after retirement, he has already established himself as a philosophical powerhouse in the science-fiction genre. Though he did publish many books in this short period of time, it could be argued that what really catapulted him to new literary heights was the Avatar trilogy.
Containing all the trademarks of his unique and off-beat style, the first book in the series, titled The Avatar Syndrome, follows the life of Anne as she grows from a baby into a fully-fledged adult, all while having contend with some curiously unusual challenges and harbouring some extraordinary talents.