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12 Incredibly Lovely Reads

Posted 3 months ago by April S

Welcome to our appeal series.

In this blog post, you'll find a variety of reading recommendations. You'll also find story elements or appeal (like genre, tone, writing style and so on). The idea is to help you (the reader) quickly decide if a particular book is right for you. We hope this series helps our readers find a good book to read.

The recommendations below are lyrical and stylistically complex (writing styles).

What does that mean?

Check out these definitions from Novelist:

Lyrical

Elegant, beautiful, often with a rhythmic or poetic quality.

Stylistically Complex

Due to sophisticated language and narrative structure, these stories can often be read on a number of levels.

Beautifully Written / Poetic Reads

The volunteer / Salvatore Scibona

1. The Volunteer by Salvatore Scibona

The abandonment of a child at an international airport is tied to the Vietnam War experiences of a restless recruit into a clandestine branch of the U.S. government.

Appeal
  • Genre: Literary Fiction
  • Storyline: Character-Driven and Unconventional
  • Tone: Moving

Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi

2. Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi

Draws on the classic fairy-tale element of gingerbread in the story of a British family whose surprising legacy and secret past are tied to a favorite recipe.

Appeal
  • Genre: Literary Fiction and Magical Realism
  • Character: Complex
  • Storyline: Character-Driven

The heavens / a novel [by] Sandra Newman

3. The Heavens by Sandra Newman

A work of rare literary brilliance and emotional power, "The Heavens" is a mesmerizing novel of love and dreams that moves between a reimagined New York City and Elizabethan England and asks how our world comes to be.

Appeal
  • Genre: Literary Fiction and Psychological Fiction
  • Character: Culturally Diverse
  • Storyline: Character-Driven
  • Tone: Dramatic and Moving
  • Theme: Time Slip

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James

4. Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James

Series: Dark star trilogy (Marlon James), book 1

Hired to find a mysterious boy who disappeared three years before, Tracker joins a search party that is quickly targeted by deadly creatures, in the first novel of a trilogy from the author of "A Brief History of Seven Killings."

Appeal
  • Genre: Epic Fantasy and Literary Fiction
  • Character: Culturally Diverse
  • Storyline: Intricately Plotted and World Building
  • Tone: Violent

The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo

5. The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo

A vivacious dance-hall girl in 1930s colonial Malaysia is drawn into unexpected danger by the discovery of a severed finger that is being sought by a young houseboy in order to protect his late master's soul.

Appeal
  • Genre: Historical Fantasy
  • Character: Culturally Divers
  • Tone: Atmospheric and Dramatic

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

6. Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

When the seemingly dead body of a child reanimates hours after arriving at an ancient inn on the Thames, three families try to claim her.

Appeal
  • Genre: Historical/Lyrical/Suspense Fiction and Magical Realism
  • Character: Complex
  • Pace: Leisurely Paced
  • Storyline: Character-Driven and Intricately Plotted
  • Tone: Atmospheric, Haunting and Mystical

One part woman / Perumal Murugan ; translated from the Tamil by Aniruddhan Vasudevan

7. One Part Woman by Perumal Murugan

A charming and touching story of a South Indian couple who cannot conceive, and the extraordinary lengths they go to please their family and try to have a baby.

Appeal
  • Genre: Historical / Literary Fiction
  • Character: Culturally Divers
  • Storyline: Character-Driven
  • Tone: Moving and Strong Sense of Place

Melmoth by Sarah Perry

8. Melmoth by Sarah Perry

A follow-up to "The Essex Serpent" finds Helen, an English translator working in Prague, disregarding an obscure local monster legend before a friend's disappearance reveals that Helen is being watched.

Appeal
  • Genre: Gothic / Literary Fiction
  • Character: Complex
  • Pace: Leisurely Paced
  • Storyline: Character-Driven
  • Tone: Atmospheric and Creepy

Golden Child by Claire Adam

9. Golden Child by Claire Adam

A family tries to survive in rural Trinidad, when one thirteen year old twin boy walks into the bush one evening and does not come home. Clyde, the father, is forced to go looking and when he learns his son's fate, his world is shattered.

Appeal
  • Genre: Literary / Psychological Fiction and Thrillers
  • Character: Complex
  • Storyline: Character-Driven
  • Tone: Atmospheric, Heartwrenching and Suspenseful

The Night Swimmers by Peter Rock

10. The Night Swimmers by Peter Rock

"Twenty years after a young widow's disappearance, a man who went for mysterious but cathartic night swims with her on Lake Michigan in the 1990s revisits his memories of that summer and uncovers clues to her fate." ~ Novelist

Appeal
  • Genre: Autobiographical / Literary Fiction
  • Character: Introspective
  • Storyline: Character-Driven
  • Tone: Haunting and Melancholy

Lila by Marilynne Robinson

11. Lila by Marilynne Robinson

Triggering a romance and debate by seeking shelter in a church and becoming a minister's wife, homeless Lila reflects on her hardscrabble life on the run with a canny young drifter and her efforts to reconcile her painful past with her husband's gentle Christian worldview.

Appeal
  • Genre: Gentle Reads and Literary Fiction
  • Character: Complex
  • Pace: Leisurely Paced
  • Storyline: Character-Driven
  • Tone: Moving, Reflective and Thought-Provoking

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

12. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Genre: Literary Fiction and Science Fiction
Descriptors: Haunting, Moving, Compelling and Suspenseful

An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

Appeal
  • Genre: Literary Fiction and Science Fiction
  • Character: Complex, Flawed and Sympathetic
  • Storyline: Nonlinear
  • Tone: Haunting, Moving and Suspenseful

Photo of girl browsing books in a library. Image by klimkin from Pixabay.

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Featured Image Credit: Image by Pexels from Pixabay.

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