Top 10 Best Books to Read in Literary Fiction - August 2021



Here are our top ten recommendations if you are looking for the best books to read in Literary Fiction. We have made sure our list is diverse to cater to the interests of different types of readers.

1. Shuggie Bain: A Novel (Booker Prize Winner)


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Literary Fiction - August 2021

WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD A stunning debut novel by a masterful writer telling the heartwrenching story of a young boy and his alcoholic mother, whose love is only matched by her pride. Shuggie Bain is the unforgettable story of young Hugh “Shuggie” Bain, a sweet and lonely boy who spends his 1980s childhood in run-down public housing in Glasgow, Scotland. Thatcher’s policies have put husbands and sons out of work, and the city’s notorious drugs epidemic is waiting in the wings. Shuggie’s mother Agnes walks a wayward path: she is Shuggie’s guiding light but a burden for him and his siblings. She dreams of a house with its own front door while she flicks through the pages of the Freemans catalogue, ordering a little happiness on credit, anything to brighten up her grey life. Married to a philandering taxi-driver husband, Agnes keeps her pride by looking good—her beehive, make-up, and pearly-white false teeth offer a glamorous image of a Glaswegian Elizabeth Taylor. But under the surface, Agnes finds increasing solace in drink, and she drains away the lion’s share of each week’s benefits—all the family has to live on—on cans of extra-strong lager hidden in handbags and poured into tea mugs. Agnes’s older children find their own ways to get a safe distance from their mother, abandoning Shuggie to care for her as she swings between alcoholic binges and sobriety. Shuggie is meanwhile struggling to somehow become the normal boy he desperately longs to be, but everyone has realized that he is “no right,” a boy with a secret that all but him can see. Agnes is supportive of her son, but her addiction has the power to eclipse everyone close to her—even her beloved Shuggie. A heartbreaking story of addiction, sexuality, and love, Shuggie Bain is an epic portrayal of a working-class family that is rarely seen in fiction. Recalling the work of Édouard Louis, Alan Hollinghurst, Frank McCourt, and Hanya Yanagihara, it is a blistering debut by a brilliant novelist who has a powerful and important story to tell.

  • Author: Douglas Stuart
  • Publisher: Grove Press (February 11, 2020)
  • Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction

                 

2. Cinnamon Roll Murder (Hannah Swensen series Book 15)


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Literary Fiction - August 2021

New York Times Bestseller: A baker in small-town Minnesota finds the heat is on after a musician is murdered…   When bakery owner Hannah Swensen hears that the Cinnamon Roll Six jazz band will be playing at Lake Eden, Minnesota’s Weekend Jazz Festival, she's more than happy to bake up a generous supply of their namesake confections to welcome them to town. Before the festival even begins, tragedy strikes when the tour bus overturns. Among those injured is Buddy Neiman, the band’s beloved keyboard player. His injuries appear minor, until his condition suddenly takes a turn for the worse—as in dead. Hannah’s no doctor, but she suspects that the surgical scissors someone plunged into Buddy’s chest may have something to do with it.   Fortunately, she’s on the case, because she knows from experience that nothing’s sweeter than bringing a killer to justice… Features cookie and dessert recipes from The Cookie Jar, including Peaches and Cream Cookies and Chocolate Caramel Bars! “Joanne Fluke is the doyenne of deadly desserts with her deliciously popular Hannah Swensen series.”— Publishers Weekly “Fans of this wildly popular series will not be disappointed. Fluke has kept this series strong for a long time, and there is still plenty to enjoy for foodie crime fans.”— Booklist

  • Author: Joanne Fluke
  • Publisher: Kensington Books; Reprint edition (March 1, 2012)
  • Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

                 

3. The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell: A Novel


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Literary Fiction - August 2021

Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestselling author Robert Dugoni’s coming-of-age story is, according to Booklist , “a novel that, if it doesn’t cross entirely over into John Irving territory, certainly nestles in close to the border.” Sam Hill always saw the world through different eyes. Born with red pupils, he was called “Devil Boy” or Sam “Hell” by his classmates; “God’s will” is what his mother called his ocular albinism. Her words were of little comfort, but Sam persevered, buoyed by his mother’s devout faith, his father’s practical wisdom, and his two other misfit friends. Sam believed it was God who sent Ernie Cantwell, the only African American kid in his class, to be the friend he so desperately needed. And that it was God’s idea for Mickie Kennedy to storm into Our Lady of Mercy like a tornado, uprooting every rule Sam had been taught about boys and girls. Forty years later, Sam, a small-town eye doctor, is no longer certain anything was by design—especially not the tragedy that caused him to turn his back on his friends, his hometown, and the life he’d always known. Running from the pain, eyes closed, served little purpose. Now, as he looks back on his life, Sam embarks on a journey that will take him halfway around the world. This time, his eyes are wide open—bringing into clear view what changed him, defined him, and made him so afraid, until he can finally see what truly matters. Winner of Suspense Magazine ’s Crimson Scribe Award.

  • Author: Robert Dugoni
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (April 24, 2018)
  • Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction

                 

4. The Girl in His Shadow: A Novel


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Literary Fiction - August 2021

"With its strong woman protagonist and authentic period detail, this is the best kind of historical fiction."— Library Journal "An exquisitely detailed journey through the harrowing field of medicine in mid-19th century London."—Tracey Enerson Wood, USA Today bestselling author of The Engineer's Wife and The War Nurse An unforgettable historical fiction novel about one woman who believed in scientific medicine before the world believed in her. London, 1845: Raised by the eccentric surgeon Dr. Horace Croft after losing her parents to a deadly pandemic, the orphan Nora Beady knows little about conventional life. While other young ladies were raised to busy themselves with needlework and watercolors, Nora was trained to perfect her suturing and anatomical illustrations of dissections. Women face dire consequences if caught practicing medicine, but in Croft's private clinic Nora is his most trusted—and secret—assistant. That is until the new surgical resident Dr. Daniel Gibson arrives. Dr. Gibson has no idea that Horace's bright and quiet young ward is a surgeon more qualified and ingenuitive than even himself. In order to protect Dr. Croft and his practice from scandal and collapse Nora must learn to play a new and uncomfortable role—that of a proper young lady. But pretense has its limits. Nora cannot turn away and ignore the suffering of patients, even if it means giving Gibson the power to ruin everything she's worked for. And when she makes a discovery that could change the field forever, Nora faces an impossible choice. Remain invisible and let the men around her take credit for her work, or step into the light—even if it means being destroyed by her own legacy. Fans of The Other Einstein and The Paris Library will relish this riveting and empowering story about one woman's fight to follow her dreams and build a life—and legacy—beyond what is expected of her. Praise for The Girl in His Shadow : "A suspenseful story of a courageous young woman determined to become a surgeon in repressive Victorian England. Fluidly written, impeccably researched, The Girl in His Shadow is a memorable literary gift to be read, reread, and treasured."—Gloria Goldreich, author of The Paris Children Other Bestselling Historical Fiction from Sourcebooks Landmark: The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris

  • Author: Audrey Blake
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark; Illustrated edition (May 4, 2021)
  • Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction

                 

5. The Paper Palace: A Novel


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Literary Fiction - August 2021

REESE'S BOOK CLUB PICK INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER THE PAPER PALACE IS: “Filled with secrets, love, lies and a summer beach house. What more could you ask?”— Parade “A deeply emotional love story…the unraveling of secrets, lies and a very complex love triangle.” — Reese Witherspoon (Reese’s Book Club July ’21 Pick) "Nail-biting." — Town & Country “A magnificent page-turner.” —Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, New York Times bestselling author "Beguiling."— Vogue, The Best Books to Read This Summer A story of summer, secrets, love, and lies: in the course of a singular day on Cape Cod, one woman must make a life-changing decision that has been brewing for decades. “This house, this place, knows all my secrets.” It is a perfect July morning, and Elle, a fifty-year-old happily married mother of three, awakens at “The Paper Palace”—the family summer place which she has visited every summer of her life. But this morning is different: last night Elle and her oldest friend Jonas crept out the back door into the darkness and had sex with each other for the first time, all while their spouses chatted away inside. Now, over the next twenty-four hours, Elle will have to decide between the life she has made with her genuinely beloved husband, Peter, and the life she always imagined she would have had with her childhood love, Jonas, if a tragic event hadn’t forever changed the course of their lives. As Heller colors in the experiences that have led Elle to this day, we arrive at her ultimate decision with all its complexity. Tender yet devastating, The Paper Palace considers the tensions between desire and dignity, the legacies of abuse, and the crimes and misdemeanors of families.

  • Author: Miranda Cowley Heller
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books (July 6, 2021)
  • Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction

                 



6. The Magic of Found Objects: A Novel


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Literary Fiction - August 2021

From the bestselling author of Matchmaking for Beginners comes a feel-good story about becoming who you were meant to be all along. Phronsie Linnelle was conceived at Woodstock in a serendipitous liaison between a free-spirited hippie and a farmer’s son and was born with magical wonder flickering in her DNA and rationality knit into her bones. All her life she’s been torn between the two. But now that she’s been betrayed by both love and the mother she once idolized, her rational side is winning. So when her best friend from childhood proposes that they give up on romance and marry each other, Phronsie agrees. Who better to spend your life with than your best friend? Maybe the connection they already have is love. Maybe there’s no falling to be done. But immediately after they announce their engagement, she encounters someone who makes a very charming and compelling argument for revisiting romance. While her even-keeled stepmother argues for the safety that comes with her new engagement and her mother relays messages from the universe to hold out for true love, Phronsie must look to her own heart to find the answers that have been there all along.

  • Author: Maddie Dawson
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (August 1, 2021)
  • Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction

                 

7. Where the Crawdads Sing


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Literary Fiction - August 2021

Number One New York Times Best-Selling Phenomenon More than seven million copies sold worldwide A Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick A Business Insider Defining Book of the Decade "I can't even express how much I love this book! I didn't want this story to end!" (Reese Witherspoon) "Painfully beautiful." ( The New York Times Book Review ) For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life - until the unthinkable happens. Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

  • Author: Delia Owens
  • Genre: Audible Books & Originals, Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction, Coming of Age

                 

8. Agency (The Jackpot Trilogy Book 2)


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Literary Fiction - August 2021

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “ONE OF THE MOST VISIONARY, ORIGINAL, AND QUIETLY INFLUENTIAL WRITERS CURRENTLY WORKING”* returns with a sharply imagined follow-up to the New York Times bestselling  The Peripheral .   William Gibson has trained his eye on the future for decades, ever since coining the term “cyberspace” and then popularizing it in his classic speculative novel Neuromancer in the early 1980s. Cory Doctorow raved that The Peripheral is “spectacular, a piece of trenchant, far-future speculation that features all the eyeball kicks of Neuromancer .” Now Gibson is back with Agency —a science fiction thriller heavily influenced by our most current events.   Verity Jane, gifted app whisperer, takes a job as the beta tester for a new product: a digital assistant, accessed through a pair of ordinary-looking glasses. “Eunice,” the disarmingly human AI in the glasses, manifests a face, a fragmentary past, and a canny grasp of combat strategy. Realizing that her cryptic new employers don’t yet know how powerful and valuable Eunice is, Verity instinctively decides that it’s best they don’t.   Meanwhile, a century ahead in London, in a different time line entirely, Wilf Netherton works amid plutocrats and plunderers, survivors of the slow and steady apocalypse known as the jackpot. His boss, the enigmatic Ainsley Lowbeer, can look into alternate pasts and nudge their ultimate directions. Verity and Eunice are her current project. Wilf can see what Verity and Eunice can’t: their own version of the jackpot, just around the corner, and the roles they both may play in it.   * The Boston Globe

  • Author: William Gibson
  • Publisher: Berkley (January 21, 2020)
  • Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers & Suspense

                 

9. Malibu Rising: A Novel


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Literary Fiction - August 2021

New York Times Best Seller Read with Jenna Book Club Pick as Featured on Today From the author of Daisy Jones & The Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo .... Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of the summer. But over the course of 24 hours, their lives will change forever.   “One of the most anticipated books of the year - and rightfully so...It’s a must-read.”( Parade ) Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over - especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva. The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud - because it is long past time for him to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth. Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there. And Kit has a couple secrets of her own - including a guest she invited without consulting anyone. By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come rising to the surface. Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them...and what they will leave behind.

  • Author: Julia Whelan
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction, Family Saga

                 

10. What's Left Unsaid: A Novel


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Literary Fiction - August 2021

An enthralling novel of secrets, second chances, and confronting the past by the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of When I’m Gone . After a series of devastating losses, Chicago journalist Hannah Williamson has landed in Senatobia, Mississippi, to care for her bedridden grandmother and endure grunt work at a small newspaper. But in cleaning out its archives, Hannah discovers a compelling distraction from her life: a series of rejected articles from the 1930s that illuminate a long-hidden mystery. The articles, penned by a young woman named Evelyn, are haunting accounts of first love, trauma, and surviving a mysterious shooting that left Evelyn paralyzed at the age of fourteen. The articles stir up more questions than answers, and Hannah becomes consumed by what’s left unsaid. Encouraged by Guy Franklin, a local middle school teacher, Hannah’s investigation into Evelyn’s past becomes more personal with each new reveal. For Hannah, as both a journalist and a woman bearing her own emotional wounds, this is a chance to move forward and bring closure to the story of the girl whose secrets are buried in Senatobia. What Hannah’s about to discover next is that, even after nearly a century, the truth she’s been looking for still has the power to change lives. Especially her own.

  • Author: Emily Bleeker
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (July 27, 2021)
  • Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction