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.
“Greenwood” by Michael Christie – Tracing the Tangled Roots of a Family
Michael Christie began his career as an author in promising fashion, being nominated for awards left and right. In his second published novel, Greenwood, he attempts to make full use of his talents to tell the complicated story of a family across multiple generations.
Taking us on a trip through time from 1908 to 2038, we meet the four pivotal members who through their actions, both purposeful and unwitting, dictated their family’s history.
“The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett – Opposite Ends of Life
Brit Bennett is a relatively new author on the scene, but both her novels have already turned into bestsellers, and perhaps more importantly, her second novel titled The Vanishing Half, has opened many peoples’ eyes to her insightful worldview.
Taking place across many years and all over the United States, the story follows the fates of two sisters who escape their hometown but end up living in polar opposite worlds years down the line.
“The Winter Soldier” by Daniel Mason – The Healer’s Sacrifice
Daniel Mason enjoys taking his readers on grand trips through time and around the world, doing so once again in his novel The Winter Soldier.
Taking us to Vienna in 1914, the story follows a young medical student, Lucius, who dreams of becoming a battlefield surgeon. Instead, he finds himself sent to a remote mountain outpost ravaged by typhus, with only a single nurse remaining.
Facing an hour darker and more desperate than he could have ever expected, Lucius is forced to make decisions bound to change the lives of all those touched by his presence.
“The Tenth Muse” by Catherine Chung – The Battle for Personal Validation
Catherine Chung has surprised many people with the publication of her popular first novel, Forgotten Country, and with her second novel, The Tenth Muse, she returns with another rather unique premise.
The novel follows a woman by the name of Katherine, who attempts to carve a space for herself in the man-dominated academic world of mathematics, while also searching for her real parents, and ultimately, what secrets her family might hold from her.
“Normal People” by Sally Rooney – To Save a Soul
Sally Rooney has taken little time in becoming a distinguished figure in the realm of books with her debut novel in 2017, and only a year later she came back with another brilliant story titled Normal People.
To put it simply, it follows two young students as they walk parallel paths over the years and learn the hard way about the complexities of friendship, love, family, and life as a whole in general.
“The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell” by Robert Dugoni – The Devil Boy’s Agony
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.
“For Whom the Bell Tolls” by Ernest Hemingway – The Last Stand of Love
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.
“A Terrible Country” by Keith Gessen – Ode to a Home for a Soul
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 Immortalists” by Chloe Benjamin – The Fates of Dreamers
Chloe Benjamin has erupted onto the literary scene with her first novel, The Anatomy of Dreams, and has decided to delve further into the realms of unique and thought-provoking literature in her second book, The Immortalists.
In it, we are introduced to four children who are all given a prophecy by a travelling mystic who could allegedly reveal to people the day they would die. As the years go on we witness them growing up and living out the strange and curious fates they were all assigned.
“Manhattan Beach” by Jennifer Egan – American Glory on the Docks of Brooklyn
Jennifer Egan certainly did her research when she decided to take us into a very specific time and place in her novel Manhattan Beach: the Brooklyn docks during the Second World War.
It serves as the setting for a far-reaching story as the first female diver on the squad finds herself linked to an intricate mystery brewing for years between her now-vanished father and his friend, Dexter Styles.
In a world of mobsters and weathered sailors, the three undertake their personal yet undeniably-connected odysseys that will push them together towards lessons they wouldn’t have ever dreamt of.