Novels I re-read and thus, recommend

I posted a list like this once before, some years ago, and find that it is out of date. So here’s a more recent take on the type of fiction that is most likely to draw me in. 

Note: I’m not claiming these are the best novels ever written. I know for a fact that some of them will raise eyebrows; the point is, I felt enough resonance with that piece of storytelling that I go back for more now and then. There are also novels I truly admire, but could not bring myself to read again.  So you won’t find them here.

This list is not divided up by genre, so let me warn you: you’ll find pretty much everything here, from espionage and romance to very dark crime and sci-fi. And then there’s Austen and Dickens.

  • Richard Adams The Girl in a Swing 
  • Jane Austen Persuasion; Pride and Prejudice
  • Toni Cade Bambara  Gorilla, My Love
  • Amy Bloom Come to Me
  • James Lee Burke  In the Electric Mist With Confederate Dead; White Doves at Morning; A Morning for Flamingos
  • A.S. Byatt  Angels & Insects; Possession
  • Chelsea Cain Heartsick (Gretchen Lowell series)
  • Jetta Carleton The Moonflower Vine  
  • Michael Chabon The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
  • Loretta Chase  Lord Perfect; Lord of Scoundrels
  • Wilkie Collins The Woman in  White
  • Laurie Colwin A Big Storm Knocked It Over 
  • Jennifer Crusie Crazy for You; Faking It; Welcome to Temptation
  • Judy Cuevas  Dance; Bliss
  • Junot Díaz The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
  • Stephen Dobyns The Burn Palace 
  • Dorothy Dunnett Niccolo Rising  (House of Niccolo; 8 volumes)
  • Daphne Du Maurier  Rebecca
  • George Eliot  Adam Bede 
  • Ken Follett Eye of the Needle
  • Ariana Franklin City of Shadows; Mistress of the Art of Death
  • Charles Frazier Cold Mountain
  • Thomas Hardy Far from the Madding Crowd; The Mayor of  Casterbridge
  • Mo Hayder Poppet  (the Jack Caffery series)
  • John Fowles The French Lieutenant’s Woman
  • Mark Helprin  A Soldier of the Great War 
  • Judith Ivory  Beast 
  • Baine Kerr  Wrongful Death 
  • Stephen King  The Stand; Black House; Dolan’s Cadillac
  • Barbara Kingsolver Animal Dreams; The Poisonwood Bible
  • Lisa Kleypas  Smooth Talking Stranger; Blue-Eyed Devil
  • Stieg Larsson The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (and the next two)
  • Margaret Lawrence  Hearts and Bones (Hannah Trevor series; 4 volumes)
  • Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird 
  • Dennis Lehane Gone, Baby Gone; Darkness Take My Hand
  • Elmore Leonard Pagan Babies, Cuba Libre, Get Shorty
  • Gabriel Garcia Márquez A Hundred Years of Solitude
  • McCarry, Charles: The Bride of The Wilderness
  • Larry McMurtry  Lonesome Dove
  • Jacquelyn Mitchard  Second Nature; The Breakdown Lane
  • Toni Morrison Beloved, The Bluest Eye 
  • Jojo Moyes  The Girl You Left Behind 
  • Alice Munro  Friend of my Youth
  • Audrey Niffenegger  The Time Traveler’s Wife 
  • Tim O’Brian  The Things They Carried
  • Michael Ondaatje  The English Patient
  • Joseph O’Neill Netherland
  • Ann Patchett The Magician’s Assistant 
  • Susan Elizabeth Phillips Ain’t She Sweet 
  • Annie Proulx The Shipping News; Wyoming Stories
  • Mario Puzo The Fortunate Pilgrim
  • Mary Doria Russell A Thread of Grace 
  • Richard Russo   Straight Man; Empire Falls 
  • Karin Slaughter Will Trent series (8 volumes) 
  • Jane Smiley A Thousand Acres 
  • Scott Spencer Waking the Dead; Endless Love
  • Jessica Davis Stein Coyote Dream 
  • Kathryn Stockett  The Help 
  • William Styron  Sophie’s Choice 
  • Barry Unsworth Sacred Hunger
  • Gore Vidal  Burr; Lincoln
  • Kurt Vonnegut Slaughterhouse-Five
  • Edith Wharton  Ethan Frome
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder The Long Winter



all the novels. so far.


Publication Order of Wilderness Books

Into the Wilderness(1998)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dawn on a Distant Shore(2000)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lake in the Clouds(2002)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fire Along the Sky(2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Queen of Swords(2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Endless Forest(2009)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Gilded Hour Books

The Gilded Hour(2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Where the Light Enters(2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Homestead(1997)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Tied to the Tracks(2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Pajama Girls of Lambert Square(2008)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle