I love a good literary novel, especially if there's a bit of a mystery in it. Sometimes a bit of romance, travel, or intrigue. Always, compelling characters and a delectable plot. Here are some of my absolute favorites to recommend from the past several years and even in some cases, past decades. By the way, I also read a lot of detective novels, crime suspense, and mystery series, and there is a separate browsing page for those.
Best Book of 2020
New York Times |NPR | New York Post
"This hushed suspense tale about thwarted dreams of escape may be her best one yet . . . Its own kind of masterpiece." --Maureen Corrigan, The Washington Post
A dramatic story of WWII espionage, betrayal, and loyalty, by the #1 bestselling author of Life After Life
$16.99ISBN: 9781501173271Availability: On Our Shelves Now! When you order, we'll contact you to confirm when we have it reserved for you.Published: Washington Square Press - May 8th, 2018
A New York Times bestseller
From Graham Norton—the BAFTA Award–winning and hugely popular BBC America television host—comes a charming debut novel set in an idyllic Irish village where a bumbling investigator has to sort through decades of gossip and secrets to solve a mysterious crime.$16.95ISBN: 9781101973486Availability: Normally we can get this book to the store for you in a day or two. During the seasonal rush, this might not be possible.Published: Vintage - January 2nd, 2018
Esquire Best Books of 2017
Minnesota Public Radio Best of 2017
The Morning News 2018 Tournament of Books Pick
New York Times bestselling author of The Dog Stars
“[A] gorgeously wrought story.” —Entertainment Weekly$15.99ISBN: 9780062409935Availability: On Our Shelves Now! When you order, we'll contact you to confirm when we have it reserved for you.Published: Ecco - May 16th, 2017
“Love, war, desire, and art—it’s all here.” —Elle
A picture hides a thousand words . . .$17.99ISBN: 9780062204097Availability: On Our Shelves Now! When you order, we'll contact you to confirm when we have it reserved for you.Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - April 3rd, 2012
“A remarkable novel. . . . A Prayer for Owen Meany is a rare creation in the somehow exhausted world of late twentieth-century fiction—it is an amazingly brave piece of work . . . so extraordinary, so original, and so enriching. . . .$16.99ISBN: 9780061928178Published: Harper Perennial - April 2nd, 2013
The #1 New York Times bestseller, now available in paperback—Jess Walter’s “absolute masterpiece” (Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author): the story of an almost-love affair that begins on the Italian coast in 1962 and resurfaces fifty years later in contemporary Hollywood.$16.00ISBN: 9781594633881Published: Riverhead Books - June 2nd, 2015
"Delicious . . . richly riveting . . . The Vacationers offers all the delights of a fluffy, read-it-with-sunglasses-on-the-beach read, made substantial by the exceptional wit, insight, intelligence and talents of its author.”—People (four stars)$17.00ISBN: 9780385341004Availability: Normally we can get this book to the store for you in a day or two. During the seasonal rush, this might not be possible.Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback - May 5th, 2009
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A NETFLIX FILM • A remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German Occupation, and of a society as extraordinary as its name.
“Treat yourself to this book, please—I can’t recommend it highly enough.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love$17.99ISBN: 9780312316167Published: St. Martin's Griffin - April 1st, 2003
One of the 20th Century's most beloved novels is still winning hearts!$16.99ISBN: 9780062666383Published: Custom House - April 24th, 2018
SOON TO BE A TELEVISION ADAPTATION STARRING CLAIRE DANES
A Kirkus Review Best Book of 2017 * A Washington Post Notable Work of Fiction * Winner of the British Book Awards Fiction Book of the Year and overall Book of the Year * Waterstones Book of the Year * Costa Book Award Finalist$19.00ISBN: 9780553378498Availability: Normally we can get this book to the store for you in a day or two. During the seasonal rush, this might not be possible.Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback - June 1st, 1996
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK
$16.99ISBN: 9780316243926Published: Back Bay Books - April 1st, 2014Set against Iceland's stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.
$16.99ISBN: 9780316242837Published: Back Bay Books - August 29th, 2017An atmospheric, transporting tale of adventure, love, and survival from the bestselling author of The Snow Child, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.$16.95ISBN: 9780345803450Published: Anchor - July 2nd, 2013
A New York Times Notable Book
One of the Best Books of the Year: San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times$15.99ISBN: 9780358305620Published: Mariner Books - July 7th, 2020
National Book Award finalist Howard Norman delivers another “provocative . . . haunting”* novel, this time set in a Vermont village and featuring a missing child, a newly married private detective, and a highly relatable ghost.
*Janet Maslin, New York Times
Simon Inescort is no longer bodily present in his marriage.$16.95ISBN: 9780345806970Published: Vintage - June 17th, 2014
A New York Times Book Review Notable Book, a Seattle Times Best Title, a Christian Science Monitor Best Fiction Book, a Miami Herald Favorite Book, and a Kirkus Best Book of the Year$17.00ISBN: 9781609455064Published: Europa Editions - October 2nd, 2018
Now an HBO series: the first volume in the New York Times-bestselling "enduring masterpiece" about a lifelong friendship between two women from Naples (The Atlantic).$27.00ISBN: 9781419743184Published: The Overlook Press - September 29th, 2020
The engrossing epic novel—a #1 bestseller in Norway—of a young woman whose fate plays out against her village’s mystical church bells
As long as people could remember, the stave church’s bells had rung over the isolated village of Butangen, Norway. Cast in memory of conjoined twins, the bells are said to ring on their own in times of danger.$17.00ISBN: 9780735224315Published: Penguin Books - May 7th, 2019
The #1 New York Times bestseller!
Now a Hulu original series starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.
“I read Little Fires Everywhere in a single, breathless sitting.” —Jodi Picoult