We Value Your Privacy

This site uses cookies to improve user experience. By continuing to browse, you accept the use of cookies and other technologies.

I UNDERSTAND
LEARN MORE

Best Literary Fiction Book Recommendations

What is literary fiction, you may ask? Often described as "serious" literature (think the Great American Novel), literary fiction often doesn't fit neatly into the parameters of other genres, and is usually more character-driven than plot-driven. But don't let that lofty definition put you off—plenty of literary fiction is accessible, fascinating, and all the more interesting for its fully fleshed-out characters. In fact, some of the most popular books of all time are literary fiction.

At the same time, a literary fiction label doesn’t mean a novel can’t have elements of other genres—there’s plenty of books shelved as literary suspense, literary romance, or even literary fabulism. You can expect these kinds of novels to still have those genre traits, but with elevated writing styles and more character development.

Another hallmark of literary fiction is the prizes. From Booker Prize winners to National Book Award winners to Pulitzer Prize winners, literary fiction features the kind of writing that deserves all the accolades.

Intrigued? Dive in to our lists of recommended literary fiction books below.

4af56302c502-birdillustration.png

The 20 Best Magical Realism Books You Haven’t Read Yet

Go beyond the most popular magical realism books and read these hidden gems.

The Best Book Club Books in Winter 2023

You'll be dying to discuss these picks.

Our Readers' Best Loved Books of 2022

Check out what Early Bird Books subscribers loved this year.

10 of the Most Wished For Books in 2022

Any one of these reads would make a great gift.

11 Charming Books Like A Man Called Ove

Inspiring stories of changed hearts and opened minds.

The Best Books for Fans of Cormac McCarthy

Or, what to read after you finish The Passenger.

All This and Brains, Too: 5 Signature Literary Fashions

Who else but James Joyce could pull off an eye patch?

6 Books Like The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell

Prepare to be enthralled by more deeply human stories.

8 Cozy Cottagecore Books

Transport yourself to the great countryside.

Liminal Space: The Work of Nella Larsen

Get to know the brilliant and mysterious Nella Larsen.