11 August 2017
If you're looking for brand new fiction to lose yourself in, look no further. This list features some of the best novels of the year so far, including sensational short stories, heart-pounding adventures and riveting romances. See below for the top 10 fiction books of 2017 - so far...
This richly moving novel takes readers on an intimate journey across the Indian subcontinent, from the cramped neighbourhoods of Old Delhi to the snowy mountains and valleys of Kashmir. The story follows two characters: Anjum, a transgender woman who comes into her own only to find herself struck down by tragedy, and Tilo, an architect who travels to Kashmir to revive her turbulent love affair with Musa, a freedom fighter. Immerse yourself in this poignant and powerful account of people who have been broken by the world and then rescued, healed by hope and love.
Across seven stirring tales, Haruki Murakami explores the lives of men who, for one reason or another, have found themselves alone. Here you'll find vanishing cats and smoky bars, lonely hearts and mysterious women, baseball and the Beatles, woven together to tell stories that speak to us all. Infused with the author's trademark wry humour, this novel is a contemporary classic and a must-read.
This enthralling Viking fantasy follows Bera, a young woman who is struggling to control her invisible twin spirit and develop her inherited gift of Sight. On a dark winter's night, Bera is left to defend her village alone, and loses her childhood friend, Bjorn, to the ensuing battle. Soon after, her father weds her to the chieftain of a rival clan, and Bera realises the unthinkable: his second-in-command is responsible for Bjorn's death. As she learns to be a wife and stepmother in her brutal new clan, Bera resolves to hone her gifts and get revenge. But her visions of looming disaster grow more and more distressing. Will she choose revenge, or lead her people to safety before it's too late?
Delve into the lives of an unforgettable cast of characters and the ways they cope with love and loss in this stunning novel. It explores the whole spectrum of human emotion through intimate dramas and the stories of people struggling to understand themselves and others. Travel to the dusty, rural Amgash, Illinois, the hometown of Lucy Barton, a successful writer who finally returns to this tiny town to visit the siblings she left behind. Reverberating with the deep bonds of family and the hope that comes with reconciliation, this rich novel is sure to captivate you.
In this eye-opening novel, Viet Thanh Nguyen gives a voice to those whose lives lead them between two worlds. It features a selection of moving short stories and compelling characters, from a young Vietnamese refugee who suffers profound culture shock when he goes to live with two gay men in San Francisco, to a woman whose husband is suffering from dementia and starts to confuse her for a former lover, to a girl living in Ho Chi Minh City whose half-sister returns from America, having accomplished everything she never will. Discover the lives, dreams and hardships of those whose stories are all too often lost in the chaos.
Journey from the Middle East to London and beyond in this extraordinary story of love, hope and war. Nadia and Saeed are two ordinary young people, attempting to do an extraordinary thing: fall in love in a world turned upside-down. Civil war has come to the city that they call home. Before long, they will have to leave their motherland behind and join the great exodus of people fleeing a crumbling city, looking for their place in a shattered world.
This gripping novel follows a mother's desperate search for a lost boy. Anna Winger can know people better than they know themselves just by looking at their handwriting. Hired by companies wanting to land trustworthy employees and by the lovelorn looking for happiness, Anna likes to keep other people's issues at arm's length, on paper. But when she is asked to examine a note left behind at a murder scene, the crime rips open Anna's cloistered life for all to see. To save her son - and herself - she will need to face her every fear and the past she thought she'd rewritten...
Selin - a tall, highly-strung, Turkish-American from New Jersey - arrives at Harvard and quickly finds herself overwhelmed by the challenges and possibilities of adulthood. She studies linguistics and literature, teaches ESL and ponders what languages can and cannot do. Along the way, she befriends Svetlana, a cosmopolitan Serb, and obsesses over Ivan, a mathematician from Hungary. Their hilarious relationship culminates with Selin heading to a Hungarian village to teach English for the summer, and enduring a series of surprising excursions. Throughout her adventures, Selin questions how culture and language shape who we are - and how baffling love is. Clever and clueless, Batuman's heroine shows us with perfect humour and soulful curiosity just how messy it can be to forge an identity.
Single and childless, 39-year-old Andrea must attempt to navigate family, friendships, sexuality and a career she never wanted whilst battling with desires few people would want to confront. With powerfully honest language that shimmers with frustration and intimacy, All Grown Up poses such questions as: what if I don't want to hold your baby? Can I date you without hearing about your divorce? What can I demand of my mother now that I'm an adult? At what point does drinking become a drinking problem? And why does everyone keep asking me why I'm not married? With wicked wit and intelligence, this brilliant book delves into the psyche of a captivating modern character.
Lose yourself in this short yet intensely moving debut novel about race, identity, sex and death. Thandi is a black woman, but often mistaken for Hispanic or Asian. She is American, but doesn't feel as American as some of her friends. She is South African, but doesn't belong in South Africa either. And her mother is dying...
Need more inspiring modern stories? Check out our full range of the best contemporary novels.