Novels I Love

I’m not claiming these are the best novels ever written. The point is, I felt enough resonance with that particular piece of storytelling that I am compelled to read it again. Some novels I have read many, many times. There are also novels I truly admire, novels that are rightly called classics, that aren’t here because I  could not bring myself to read  that novel again.

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

  • Richard Adams The Girl in a Swing
  • Jane Austen Persuasion; Pride and Prejudice…
  • Toni Cade Bambara Gorilla, My Love
  • Amy Bloom Come to Me
  • Heinrich Böll Die Verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum
  • James Lee Burke In the Electric Mist With Confederate Dead; White Doves at Morning; A Morning for Flamingos
  • A.S. Byatt Angels & Insects; Possession
  • Jetta Carleton The Moonflower Vine
  • 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, Beast (as Judith Ivory)
  • 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
  • John Fowles The French Lieutenant’s Woman
  • Ariana Franklin City of Shadows; Mistress of the Art of Death
  • Charles Frazier Cold Mountain
  • Günter Grass Die Blechtrommel
  • 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
  • Ruth Hogan The Keeper of Lost Things: A Novel 
  • Irene Hunt Up a Road Slowly
  • Baine Kerr Wrongful Death
  • Stephen King The Stand; Black House; Dolan’s Cadillac
  • Barbara Kingsolver Animal Dreams; The Poisonwood Bible
  • 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
  • Charles McCarry 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
  • George Orwell Down and Out in Paris and London
  • Ann Patchett The Magician’s Assistant
  • 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
  • Bernhard Schlink  Der Vorleser (The Reader)
  • Karin Slaughter Will Trent series
  • Jane Smiley A Thousand Acres
  • Scott Spencer Waking the Dead; Endless Love
  • Mary Ann Shaffer The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society 
  • Kathryn Stockett The Help
  • William Styron Sophie’s Choice
  • Barry Unsworth Sacred Hunger
  • John Updike The Witches of Eastwick
  • Gore Vidal Burr; Lincoln
  • Kurt Vonnegut Slaughterhouse-Five
  • Alice Walker The Color Purple
  • Edith Wharton Ethan Frome
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder The Long Winter

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