Top 20 Fiction Books of 2016 (so far)
Leila Moore, our Friend of the Week, and Gina Pell our resident bookworm and Content Chief have combined their top ten lists to create the Top 20 Fiction Books of 2016 (so far). And if you’re wondering how in the world you’re going to find time to read all these books try GPs method called Volumetric Reading.
LEILA MOORE’S TEN FICTION PICKS
ANATOMY OF A SOLDIER by Harry Parker
If you liked The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. An amazing tale of a British soldier as told by each object that he touches. Like nothing you’ve ever read before, and worth it.
THE GIRL WHO SLEPT WITH GOD by Val Brelinski
If you liked Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Rifka Brunt. Set in the 1970s, a young girl and her devout family struggle to come to terms with the pregnancy of her elder sister, who claims an immaculate conception.
MR. SPLITFOOT BY Samantha Hunt
If you liked Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson. A group of misfit teenagers find their way in the world through friendship, experimentation, and communicating with the dead. Thrilling and unusual.
THE PORTABLE VEBLEN by Elizabeth McKenzie
If you liked The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank. A story about a quirky nonconformist trying to come to terms with adulthood by taking advice from a neighborhood squirrel.
THE SUNLIGHT PILGRIMS by Jenni Fagan
If you liked Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. Set in the near future, three misfits living in northern Scotland at what may be the start of a new ice age find beauty, love, and the virtues of homemade gin.
TO THE BRIGHT EDGE OF THE WORLD by Eowyn Ivey
If you liked Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner. An incredibly evocative tale of a young man exploring the Alaskan frontier told through letters between his new wife and himself.
A FINE BALANCE by Rohinton Mistry
Favorite Book Ever. A story with the scope of a great Hardy or Dostoevsky novel, set in modern-day India. Achingly gorgeous writing about characters both charmed and doomed. It quite literally ruined all subsequent books for me, for several years.
GINA PELL’S TEN FICTION PICKS
THE NIX by Nathan Hill
It’s rare I find a book that everyone agrees is fantastic. Well, The Nix is that book. If you enjoyed the camaraderie of 80s kids in Stranger Things, Alan Ginsburg in the 60s, and Nordic superstition this should be your next read.
BRIGHT, PRECIOUS DAYS by Jay McInerney
From the author of Bright Lights, Big City, a novel about the coke-fueled club and art scene of Manhattan in the 80s comes Bright, Precious Days. This time around his characters are having a hard time accepting their inevitable fifties and struggling with the torpor of marriage, bougie dinner parties, extra marital affairs, and (yet again) cocaine.
HEROES OF THE FRONTIERS by Dave Eggers
If you liked the film Captain Fantastic, you’ll love this new novel from Dave Eggers which follows the trials and tribulations of a single mom with her children through the Alaskan wilderness. Comical, poignant, quintessential Eggers.
ZERO K by Don Delillo
If you liked the movie Ex Machina or the book Cloud Atlas, chances are you’ll like Zero K, which explores the idea of cryogenic immortality and what it means to be human. Some complained about the lack of character development but I found this book more of a quiet philosophical read rather than a riveting story about people.
UNDERGROUND AIRLINES by Ben Winters
A chilling imagining of present-day America if the Civil War never occurred and slavery was legal in four states. The ending is tidier than I would have liked but it’s a book I haven’t stopped thinking about, especially in light of America’s near future.
COMMONWEALTH by Ann Patchett
A novel that follows the blending of two families after a divorce in the 60s then the lives of six siblings and their parents over 50 years. Interesting exploration of memory and perception in a family where the parenting style was the polar opposite of helicoptering.
MULTIPLE CHOICE by Alejandro Zambra
A most unusual, delightful book written by the celebrated Chilean writer, Alejandro Zambra, who totally breaks the form of a novel by crafting his “story” as a multiple choice test. The first chapter might leave you scratching your head but as you go deeper, you’ll start to understand.
DARK MATTER by Blake Crouch
If you’ve ever read physics books on the multiverse and want a fun, fast read try Dark Matter. The science is not exactly solid but it’s heart-pounding sci-fi that’s a little like Jason Bourne meets Sliding Doors.