The best fiction books of 2024, and all time

From gripping sequels to debuts by fresh new voices, discover the best new fiction books of 2024. We also look back at the best fiction books of 2023 and share our edit of some of the best novels of all time.

Albert Camus once said that ‘fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth’, and with these eight words he perfectly encapsulated the immense power of the novel. The best fiction teaches us history that the curriculum never did, sees us break in a new pair of shoes in a new city, breaks our heart and mends it –⁠ sometimes in the same chapter. It lets us breathe in a past era, step into fantasy worlds and even offers glimpses into dystopian futures. As 2024 marks another exciting year of new books, we've also collected the best fiction of 2023, and of all time. 

Long Island

by Colm Tóibín

When a man knocks on Eilis Fiorello’s door and introduces himself with a lilting, familiar Irish accent, for the first time in decades she begins to doubt her safe, happy life on Long Island. Married to Tony for twenty years, with two children and a home they’ve built together, the arrival of this stranger and his shocking revelation sees Eilis drawn back to her native Ireland and the life and family she left behind all those years ago. The sequel to Colm Tóibín's masterful, award-winning novel Brooklyn, Long Island is one of the must-read books of 2024. 


by Percival Everett

Faced with the prospect of being sold to a new owner in New Orleans, and being separated from his wife and child, enslaved Jim hides on Jackson’s Island to plot his escape. Meeting Huck who is hiding from his volatile father, the pair team up and embark on a dangerous journey along the Mississippi River in search of freedom. From Booker Prize-shortlisted Percival Everett comes JAMES, a poignant and funny novel which finally gives a voice to one of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn's most marginalised characters. 

I'll Look for You, Everywhere

by Cameron Capello

If you’re looking for a romantic read to take on your summer holiday this year, look no further. Set in idyllic Italy, I'll Look for You, Everywhere follows former neighbours and childhood friends Theo and Magdalen as they return to the sleepy village they grew up in for a family wedding. Forced to address the romantic tension between them, will the pair be able to unravel the secrets of their shared past and finally admit how they feel about each other?

The Maiden

by Kate Foster

Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2024

Edinburgh, October 1679. Lady Christian is arrested and charged with the murder of her lover, James Forrester. News of her imprisonment and subsequent trial is splashed across the broadsides, with headlines that leave little room for doubt: Adulteress. Whore. Murderess. Only a year before, Lady Christian was newly married, leading a life of privilege and respectability. What led her to risk everything for an affair? And does that make her guilty of murder? Inspired by a real-life case, this is a remarkable story with a feminist revisionist twist, giving a voice to women otherwise silenced by history.

Western Lane

by Chetna Maroo

Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2024

Exploring themes of grief and sisterhood, this debut coming-of-age story packs all the feels into just 176 pages. Eleven-year-old Gopi has been playing squash for as long as she can remember. When her mother dies, her father enlists her in a brutal training regimen. Soon, the game has become her entire world, causing a rift between Gopi and her sisters. But on the court, governed by the rhythms of the sport, she feels alive. This novel beautifully captures the ordinary and annihilates it with beauty as we follow a young athlete's struggle to transcend herself. 

The King’s Witches

by Kate Foster

As Princess Anne of Denmark waits to prove herself worthy to wed King James VI of Scotland, her lady-in-waiting has her own reasons to ensure the marriage takes place without a hitch. Meanwhile, Jura, a young apothecary, travels to Edinburgh to escape the accusations made against her in her hometown and finds herself embroiled in the witch hunt that is gripping the city. Based on real historical events, in The King’s Witches Kate Foster paints a compelling portrait of three women at the heart of the sixteenth-century Scottish witch trials. 

The Burial Plot

by Elizabeth Macneal

Elizabeth Macneal is back with The Burial Plot, a taut Gothic thriller packed with murder, mystery and intrigue. Trying to get by in London in 1839, a city obsessed with the macabre and with its cemeteries packed to the rafters, Crawford and Bonnie rely on ill-gotten gains and tricks to make ends meet. But, when their fortunes take a turn for the worse, Bonnie takes a job as a lady’s maid for the eccentric Mr Moncrieff. As she learns the ways of the strange Moncrieff family, Bonnie begins to doubt everything she has ever known, and the person she trusts with her life. 


by Nathan Hill

Six years on from his debut The Nix, Nathan Hill is back with another razor-sharp novel, which focuses its lens on a modern marriage, and the absurdity of our tech and health-obsessed culture. A gripping love story told over two decades, from first love and the excitement of youth to the quietness and introspection that comes with middle age, Wellness will make you look at your own life in a new way thanks to Hill’s ironic and insightful prose. 

Anyone's Ghost

by August Thompson

When fifteen-year-old Theron David Alden meets Jake, his lonely, grey life suddenly turns technicolour. Cooler, older, and with a confidence Theron would kill for, the pair bond over their reckless natures and their love for music and drugs. Over the next two decades, the friends drift in and out of each other's lives, and Theron spends his days longing to be, and longing for, his best friend. A modern love story, Anyone’s Ghost is a novel that will stay with you long after you’ve read its heartbreaking final pages.


by Anita Desai

Arriving in San Miguel, Mexico from her native India to learn Spanish for the summer, student Bonita relishes the chance to be whoever she wants to be. When she spies a woman watching her, who later tells her that she knew her mother as a young artist in the town, everything Bonita thinks she knows about the woman who raised her and their shared history is thrown into question. A novel about grief, memory, and identity from three-time Booker-shortlisted author Anita Desai, Rosarita shines a light on the ebb and flow of one mother-daughter relationship.

The Women

by Kristin Hannah

Start your reading year with the compelling new novel from bestselling author Kristin Hannah. When her brother enlists in the Army at the start of the Vietnam War, young nursing student Frances “Frankie” McGrath’s life changes in ways she could have never imagined. Following her brother to Asia to serve in the Army Nursing Corps, Frances soon realises that women can be heroes too. Charting a young woman's experience of the power of female friendship and the bittersweet experience of first love, The Women is truly unputdownable. 

Maude Horton’s Glorious Revenge

by Lizzie Pook

A historical thriller set in the heart of Victorian London’s seedy underbelly, this is must read for fans of all things gothic crime. When young Constance Horton disappears without a trace, her older sister Maude vows to find her. As she devours the the journal her sister left behind, Maude soon realises that a sinister secret is being hidden by dangerous forces and by some of the city’s most powerful men. Will she find Constance before it’s too late? This deliciously dark story is the perfect way to wile away cosy winter nights. 


by Kaveh Akbar

Cyrus Shams’ life so far has been defined by one moment, his mother’s death. Shot down in a passenger plane over the Persian Gulf, Cyrus never got the chance to know her and has spent his adult life running away from her ghost. Newly sober and determined to carve out a different life for himself, Cyrus meets a dying artist who shows him where to discover the truth about his past. Witty, original and incredibly poignant, Martyr! is one of the most hotly anticipated debuts of 2024. 

Where There Was Fire

by John Manuel Arias

Teresa Cepeda Valverde is a woman on a mission. Almost three decades after a massive fire on the Costa Rican banana plantation on which she lived and worked killed her family, she is still seeking answers about what happened that fateful night. As she and her daughter Lyra seek to find out what caused the fire, another family is doing their utmost to hide their generations of corruption. A redemption story about love, heritage and the forces of nature, Where There Was Fire is an atmospheric and beautiful novel which will whisk you away to another world this winter. 

How I Won A Nobel Prize

by Julius Taranto

Helen is one of the best minds of her generation. But when her irreplaceable advisor’s student sex scandal is exposed, she must choose whether to give up on her work or accompany him to RIP, a research institute which grants safe harbour to the disgraced and the deplorable. As Helen settles into life at the institute alongside her partner Hew, she develops a crush on an older novelist, while he is drawn to an increasingly violent protest movement. As the rift between them deepens, they both face major – and potentially world-altering – choices.


by Kate Morton

A gripping mystery set between Australia and London, Homecoming, by Kate Morton is soon to be available in paperback. When 89-year-old Nora's health takes an unexpected turn for the worse, Jess boards the first plane out of London, her home of twenty years, to be by her grandmother's bedside in Sydney. Soon, she discovers that the usually stoic Nora has been hiding a family secret and vows to get to the heart of the mystery of what happened on a fateful Christmas Eve sixty years before. 


by Danielle Steel

Darcy Gray leads a charmed life. A wildly successful blogger and influencer, she has spent twenty happy years with her husband, Charlie Gray. But when a shocking betrayal leaves Darcy reeling, she flees to Paris. As she struggles to rebuild herself, rumours of a dangerous new virus begin to circulate, forcing Darcy to take refuge at the home of retired actress, Sybille Carton, along with a fellow lodger, the enigmatic Bill Thompson. As the world enters global lockdown, the Gray family must find ways to cope in the toughest of circumstances, letting go of old dreams and working towards new, unexpected futures.

Song of the Huntress

by Lucy Holland

Threatened by the prospect of the Romans defeating her lover and the land she loves so much, Herla makes a deadly pact with the Otherworld King, who transforms her into the Lord of the Hunt. Over the next centuries she rides, stealing souls, until she meets a woman who will change her forever. A lyrical, otherworldly novel based on the folklore behind the Wild Hunt, set over centuries of British history, Song of the Huntress is a must-read for fans of Madeline Miller and Natalie Haynes. 

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by Hernan Diaz

Winner of the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Trust is undoubtedly one of the novels of the year. Everyone in 1920s New York knows of Benjamin and Helen Rask, the Wall Street tycoon and the daughter of bohemian aristocrats. They live in a sphere of untold wealth, but what is the true cost of their fortune? This mystery sits at the heart of a bestselling novel that all of New York has read. But, like all stories, there are different perspectives. Hernan Diaz tracks these narratives across a century and documents the truth-bending power of money, with provocative revelations at each turn.

Everything's Fine

by Cecilia Rabess

This stunning debut is a whip-smart exploration of an age-old question: what have you got to lose when you fall in love? When Jess first meets Josh at their Ivy League college she dislikes him immediately: an entitled guy in chinos, ready to take over the world. Meanwhile, Jess is almost always the only Black woman in their class. And Josh can’t accept that life might be easier for him because he’s white. But when they end up working for the same investment bank, their tempestuous friendship soon turns into an electrifying romance, forcing Jess to question who she is and what she's willing to compromise for love. 

The book of the moment . . It’s so good — funny, sexy, unafraid, brilliantly nuanced, completely unputdownable.
The Times on Everything's Fine

Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt

by Lucinda Riley

Paris, 1928. A boy is found, moments from death, and taken in by a kindly family who gives him a life he could never have dreamed of, but he refuses to tell anyone who he truly is. As he grows into a young man, an evil is rising across Europe and he knows he must soon flee again. The final novel in the Seven Sisters seriesAtlas: The Story of Pa Salt, reveals how the sisters came to be adopted by their beloved, mysterious father, drawing the epic series to a stunning, unforgettable conclusion. Finally, readers will know the answer to the ultimate question: who is Pa Salt?

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To Paradise

by Hanya Yanagihara

This novel from the author of A Little Life spans stories of love, family, and loss over three centuries. 1893: New York is part of the Free States, and a member of a privileged family falls for an impoverished music teacher. 1993: Manhattan is being swept by the AIDS epidemic, and a Hawaiian man with a wealthy older partner must hide his family background. 2093: a world where plague and totalitarian rule is rife, a woman tries to solve the mystery of her husband's disappearance. This symphonic vision of America is a demonstration of Hanya Yanagihara's literary genius as she weaves three stories together. 

Bright Young Women

by Jessica Knoll

January 1978. Tallahassee. When sorority president Pamela Schumacher is startled awake at 3 a.m. by a strange sound, she’s shocked to encounter a scene of implausible violence – two of her friends dead and two others, maimed. The only person to see the man responsible, she is thrust into a terrifying mystery, entangled in a crime that captivates public interest for more than four decades. This extraordinary novel is inspired by the real-life sorority targeted by America's first celebrity serial killer in his final murderous spree. 


by Jane Harper

Small-town detective Aaron Falk returns in Exiles, the new novel from the bestselling author of The Dry, Jane Harper. When a young mother disappears on a warm spring night, leaving her baby alone in her pram at a busy festival, Falk begins to suspect that this is more than a cut-and-dry missing person’s case. A thrilling mystery novel with an evocative outback setting and heart-pounding twists, Exiles is a book you’ll want to discuss with everyone you know. 

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Before the Coffee Gets Cold

by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Translated by Geoffrey Trousselot

First published in the UK in 2019, this million-copy bestseller is now available in a beautiful collectible hardback edition – the perfect gift. In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café which has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time. This opportunity is not without risks: customers must sit in a particular seat, they cannot leave the café, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold. Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s beautiful novel has stolen the hearts of readers the world over. Through it, we meet four visitors to the café and explore the age-old question: what would you change if you could travel back in time?

Sword Catcher

by Cassandra Clare

Two outcasts find themselves at the centre of world-altering change. In Castellane, Kel is stolen to become Prince Conor Aurelian’s body-double. As his ‘Sword Catcher', Kel lives for one purpose: to die for Conor. Lin Caster is an Ashkar physician, part of a community ostracised for its rare magical abilities. But events pull her and Kel together and into the web of the mysterious Ragpicker King who rules Castellane’s criminal underworld. Together, they’ll discover an extraordinary conspiracy. But can forbidden love bring down a kingdom? 

How (Not) to Have an Arranged Marriage

by Amir Khan

From Dr Amir Khan, this is a timely, heartfelt novel which looks at all aspects of modern arranged marriages. The golden child of his strict Pakistani parents, Yousef has his life planned out for him – medical degree, wife chosen by his family. . . Then Yousef meets Jess. A fellow medical student, Jess presents a complication to the plan. Suddenly, Yousef finds himself torn between two worlds – keeping each a secret from the other. Then, as graduation looms, Yousef’s mother informs him that she’s started looking for his wife.

The House of Fortune

by Jessie Burton

A glorious, sweeping story of fate and ambition, The House of Fortune is the sequel to Jessie Burton’s bestseller The Miniaturist. Amsterdam, 1705. Thea Brandt is about to turn eighteen and she can't wait to become an adult. Walter, her true love, awaits Thea at the city's theatre. But at home on the Herengracht things are tense. Her father Otto and Aunt Nella bicker incessantly and are selling furniture so the family can eat. And, on her birthday secrets from Thea's past threaten to eclipse the present. Nella is feeling a prickling sensation in her neck, which recalls the miniaturist who toyed with her life eighteen years ago.

More Confessions of a Forty-Something F**k Up

by Alexandra Potter

Thought things were all wrapped up for Nell? Think again. Falling in love may be easy, staying in love, however, can take work. . . Friendships are tested, the past won't stay there, celebrity-scented candles and Instagram filters are simply not working hard enough and it's time for Nell to escape to LA with her eighty-something best friend. Fortunately for us, it seems she has some more confessions to share. 

The story of Nell Stevens’ struggle through her imperfect, messy life doesn’t just make brilliant fiction, it’s turning into a cultural revolution!
Matt Cain

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by Sarah May

Aspiring journalist Becky Sharp has one goal: to reach the top of the career ladder at the Mercury, London’s top tabloid during the industry’s celebrity-obsessed 1990s heyday. But for Becky, no matter how many champagne-fuelled parties she covers or celebrity scoops she publishes, her past threatens to stop her from bagging her dream job. A nostalgia-filled trip through the heady, Britpop-obsessed world of 90s London Becky is a dark, witty novel that you won’t want to put down.

Young Mungo

by Douglas Stuart

The extraordinary, powerful second novel from the Booker prize-winning author of Shuggie BainYoung Mungo is both a vivid portrayal of working-class life and the deeply moving story of the dangerous first love of two young men: Mungo and James. Young Mungo is a gripping and revealing story about the meaning of masculinity, the push and pull of family, the violence faced by so many queer people, and the dangers of loving someone too much.

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Stone Blind

by Natalie Haynes

Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2023, this retelling of the famed myth of Medusa asks who the real monsters are. The sole mortal raised in a family of gods, Medusa is alone in her ability to experience change and to be hurt. Then, when the sea god Poseidon commits an unforgivable act in the temple of Athene, the goddess takes her revenge where she can – and she is changed forever. Writhing snakes replace her hair, and her gaze now turns any living creature to stone. Unable to control her new power, she is condemned to a life of shadows and darkness. Until Perseus embarks upon a quest . . .

The Centre

by Ayesha Manazir Siddiqi

Anisa spends her days writing subtitles for Bollywood films in her London flat, longing to be a translator of literature. Her boyfriend, Adam, on the other hand, has an extraordinary aptitude for language – or so Anisa thinks. But after learning to speak Urdu practically overnight, Adam reveals his secret – the Centre: an elite programme that guarantees fluency in any language in just ten days. Anisa can't help but enrol and is quickly seduced by all that it's made possible, however, she soon realizes the disturbing, hidden cost of its services. This page-turning debut announces the arrival of an extraordinary new talent. 

Open Throat

by Henry Hoke

A queer and dangerously hungry mountain lion narrates this fever dream of a novel, carrying us on a universal journey through a wondrous and menacing modern day L.A. The lion spends their days protecting a nearby homeless encampment, observing hikers and grappling with the complexities of their own identity. When a man-made fire engulfs the encampment, the lion is forced from the hills down into the city where they confront the cruel inequalities of Los Angeles. But even when salvation finally seems within reach, they are forced to face the question: do they want to eat a person, or become one?

The Passenger

by Cormac McCarthy

A sunken jet. Nine passengers. A missing body. The Passenger is the story of a salvage diver, haunted by loss, afraid of the watery deep, pursued for a conspiracy beyond his understanding, and longing for a death he cannot reconcile with God. The first of two eagerly anticipated novels from literary great Cormac McCarthy The Passenger is followed by Stella Maris  – both are too good to be missed. 

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The Square of Sevens

by Laura Shepherd-Robinson

A historical fiction novel packed with fortune-telling, travels and mystery, The Sqaure of Sevens an epic and sweeping novel set in Georgian high society. A girl known only as Red, the daughter of a Cornish fortune-teller, travels with her father making a living predicting fortunes using the ancient method: the Square of Sevens. When her father suddenly dies, Red becomes the ward of a gentleman scholar. But soon, she can't ignore the burning questions about her family. The pursuit of these mysteries takes her across the country in an tale of intrigue, heartbreak and audacious twists. 

Can you name a book you have read so far this year that you know is 100% going to be in your top 10 books of the year list? This is mine.

Promise Boys

by Nick Brooks

Thought-provoking and timely, Promise Boys is the new YA mystery novel that will have everyone talking in 2023. For J.B., Ramón, and Trey, attending the prestigious and ultra-strict Urban Promise Prep School is a golden ticket to college and avoiding the fates of many of the men they grew up around. That is until their principal is brutally murdered, and the boys emerge as the police’s main suspects. As they fight to investigate the crime and fight the prejudice of those around them, the trio are locked in a battle to find the real culprit and clear their names before it’s too late.

Red Queen

by Juan Gómez-Jurado

Soon to be a major TV series, this serial-killer thriller is packed full of mystery with a fascinating lead character. Antonia doesn’t go outside much. Why would she when she can solve crimes from her attic in Madrid? She also never gets visitors. That's why she really doesn't like it when she hears unknown footsteps coming up the stairs. And whoever it is, Antonia is sure that they are coming to look for her. . .

Other Women

by Emma Flint

Emma Flint’s evocative historical novels transport you to another time and place. In her new book, Other Women, the destination is London, devastated by the impact of the Great War. For unmarried Beatrice Cade, the war has robbed her of the chance to find true love and have a family, just like it has for millions of others. One day a chance encounter changes her life, and she falls head over heels in love with someone she should never have met. An enthralling tale of obsession, murder and lives intertwined by forbidden love, Other Women is a novel that you won’t be able to put down. 


by Emma Donoghue

Shortlisted for both the Booker Prize and the Women’s Prize for fiction, Room is a unique novel, about survival and innocence. Jack lives with his Ma in Room, which has a locked door and a skylight, and measures 11 feet by 11 feet. He loves watching TV, and the cartoon characters he calls friends, but he knows that nothing he sees on screen is truly real – only him, Ma and the things in Room. Until the day Ma admits that there’s a world outside. Now also a major film, Room is the story of a mother and son, told in Jack's voice, whose love lets them survive the impossible. 

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A Little Life

by Hanya Yanagihara

Shortlisted for both the Booker Prize and the Women's Prize and now adapted into a West End play, A Little Life is undoubtedly one of the novels of the century. Hanya Yanagihara's flawless character development transports us into the lives of Jude, Willem, JB and Malcolm. We follow the central characters as they try to make their way in New York. Gradually, it is Jude and his unspeakable childhood that is revealed. By midlife he is both a terrifyingly talented litigator and an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by trauma. The book follows Jude for decades, yet ultimately tells a story of love and friendship. 

The Miniaturist

by Jessie Burton

Beautiful, intoxicating and filled with heart-pounding suspense, Jessie Burton's historical novel set in Amsterdam is both a bestseller and a major BBC TV series. In 1686, Nella Oortman arrives at a lavish house to marry merchant trader Johannes Brandt. Instead of a warm welcome, she encounters his sharp-tongued sister, Marin. Johannes gifts her an intricate miniature replica of their home, to be furnished by a mysterious miniaturist whose creations eerily reflect reality. As Nella delves into the secrets of the Brandt household, she unveils escalating dangers. Is the miniaturist holding their fate?

The Lamplighters

by Emma Stonex

Inspired by true events, Emma Stonex’s debut novel is a riveting mystery which will grip the reader, and a beautifully written exploration of love and grief. In Cornwall in 1972, three keepers vanish from a remote lighthouse, miles from shore. The door is locked from the inside, and the clocks have stopped. What happened to those men, and to the women they left behind? 

Station Eleven

by Emily St. John Mandel

On a snowy night in Toronto, renowned actor Arthur Leander dies on stage, coinciding with the arrival of a devastating virus in North America. Two decades later, Kirsten, a member of the Travelling Symphony, brings Shakespeare's words to life in the settlements that have emerged post-collapse. However, her newfound hope is jeopardized, prompting a critical question: in a world devoid of civilization, what is worth safeguarding? And to what lengths would one go to ensure its preservation? A dreamily atmospheric novel set in the eerie days of civilization's collapse, Emily St John Mandel's Station Eleven is also an HBO TV series. 

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Shuggie Bain

by Douglas Stuart

Douglas Stuart’s blistering, Booker Prize-winning debut is set in a poverty-stricken Glasgow in the early 1980s. Agnes Bain has always dreamed of greater things, but when her husband abandons her she finds herself trapped in a decimated mining town with her three children, and descends deeper and deeper into drink. Her son Shuggie tries to help Agnes long after her other children have fled, but he too must abandon her to save himself. But he believes that if he tries his hardest he can be like other boys and escape this hopeless place.


by Raven Leilani

Raven Leilani is a funny and original new voice in fiction. Her razor-sharp yet surprisingly tender debut is an essential novel about what it means to be young now. Edie is messing up her life, and no one seems to care. Then she meets Eric, who is white, middle-aged and comes with a wife who has sort-of-agreed to an open marriage and an adopted black daughter who doesn’t have a single person in her life who can show her how to do her hair. And as if life wasn’t hard enough, Edie finds herself falling head-first into Eric’s family.

A Thousand Ships

by Natalie Haynes

While the names Odysseus, Achilles and Agamemnon are synonymous with epic tales of battle and bravery, the women of Homer’s epics have largely been sidelined, if not entirely forgotten. From Helen to Penelope, Natalie Haynes gives a voice to the women, girls and goddesses who have been silenced for so long in this retelling of the story of the Trojan War from an all-female perspective. Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction, A Thousand Ships is a historical must read and a feminist masterpiece

The Atlas Six

by Olivie Blake

Bestselling fantasy sensation The Atlas Six follows six young magical practitioners as they compete to join the secretive Alexandrian Society, whose custodians guard lost knowledge from ancient civilizations. Their members enjoy a lifetime of power and prestige. Yet each decade, only six practitioners are invited – to fill five places. Following recruitment by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they travel to the Society’s London headquarters. Here, each must study and innovate within esoteric subject areas. And if they can prove themselves, over the course of a year, they’ll survive. Most of them.

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The Shape of Water

by Andrea Camilleri

The Shape of Water is the first in Andrea Camilleri's wry, brilliantly compelling Sicilian crime series, featuring Inspector Montalbano. When two employees of the Splendour Refuse Collection Company discover the body of engineer Silvio Luparello, one of the local movers and shakers, apparently deceased in flagrante at the Pasture, the coroner's verdict is death from natural causes. But Inspector Salvo Montalbano, as honest as he is streetwise and as scathing to fools and villains as he is compassionate to their victims, is not ready to close the case – even though he's being pressured by Vigàta's police chief, judge, and bishop.

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Normal People

by Sally Rooney

Book cover for Normal People

Normal People has sold over one million copies and been adapted into a hit TV series. The story follows Connell and Marianne who, despite being from different worlds, form an unspoken connection at school which then follows them to Trinity College. Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically drawn back together. Then, as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other. Sally Rooney's characteristically subtle yet intense prose marks her as one of the best writers of our times. 

Nineteen Eighty-Four

by George Orwell

One of the most influential fiction books of all time, 1984 is George Orwell's terrifying vision of a totalitarian future in which everything and everyone is slave to a tyrannical regime led by The Party. The novel has a fascinating history, from the phenomenon it became on publication to the impact it has had on the English language.

The Handmaid's Tale

by Margaret Atwood

Book cover for The Handmaid's Tale

This novel has become a cultural byword for all things dystopian. The book is set in the fictional Republic of Gilead, a religious totalitarian state in what was formerly known as the United States. In an age of declining birth rates, Offred, along with her fellow Handmaids, are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Yet even a repressive state cannot eradicate hope and desire. Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force.

The Great Gatsby

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Evoking the glitz, glamour and the dark side of 1920s, The Great Gatsby is a cynical look at the limits of the American Dream and a must read for all fans of fiction. Gatsby lives mysteriously in a luxurious Long Island mansion, playing lavish host to hundreds of people. And yet no one seems to know him or how he became so rich. He is rumoured to be everything from a German spy to a war hero. People clamour for invitations to his wild parties. But Jay Gatsby doesn't heed them. He cares for one person alone – Daisy Buchanan, the woman he has waited for all his life. Little does he know that his infatuation will lead to tragedy and end in murder.

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Gone Girl

by Gillian Flynn

Book cover for Gone Girl

This twisty psychological thriller became a phenomenon when it was published, selling over twenty million copies worldwide and being adapted into a hit film starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. When Nick Dunne wakes up on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary to find his wife missing, he quickly becomes the police’s chief suspect. Amy’s friends reveal she was afraid of him, there are strange searches on his computer and persistent calls to his mobile phone, but Ben swears he knows nothing about any of this. So what really happened to Amy Dunne? 

Girl, Woman, Other

by Bernardine Evaristo

Book cover for Girl, Woman, Other

This 2019 Booker Prize winner follows twelve characters on their personal journeys over the last one hundred years. From Newcastle to Cornwall and the beginning of the twentieth century to the modern day, each of them is searching for something. These wonderful interwoven stories address issues of race, identity and womanhood. Joyfully polyphonic and vibrantly contemporary, this is a gloriously new kind of history, a novel of our times: celebratory, ever-dynamic and utterly irresistible.