Thursday, May 30, 2013

Genre: Literary Fiction: Armchair BEA

This is one post I think I am going to enjoy posting and sharing with other book bloggers. I am glad that the organizers for this event decided to add the genre discussion. Because most of the events that I see out there are mainly YA, and fantasy, and romance.  I didn't feel I connected with anyone in particular.  I am glad to see this discussion was added to the Armchair BEA event. 

I am hoping after BEA that I will connect with other literary fiction book bloggers and visit their book blogs. 

I was a main stream reader for years until I joined a book club. The two book clubs I joined in New Jersey were literary fiction.  They were very serious readers. Sometimes I felt over my head. But, I stuck with it.  I learned so much from their discussions.  After that I was stuck on literary fiction.  Even when I read mystery, it has to be literary fiction.  Not main stream mysteries likes James Patterson, or Mary Higgins Clark.
Occasionally I will sneak in a beach read. Most beach reads though have to have substance. 

Most of my reading, I want to learn something, or something in the book can be discussed with other readers. It is usually a spring board with others to open up for discussion. 

Mainly I read literary fiction because that is the type of fiction my two book clubs read.  Only recently have I decided I want to spread my wings, and realized I like to read magical realism, like Night Circus.  I also dive into occasional non fiction, but it has to read like a novel.  Something that can be a spring board for discussion. These kinds of non-fiction can be medical, historical, political.  But not dry, and read like a novel. 

I just realized recently like I like to read a novels, that are to me called, "literary", historical fiction. Novels that take place in a different time and place, and mainly fictional characters. These kinds of novels, can't be dry, they have to rivet me and keep me drawn in for a while.

One thing that most people think that literary fiction has to be"dry". That is not correct.  Most books that I like to read, is story line.  I have a friend, she likes literary fiction. But, she likes character study. There are many different ways to characterize this genre. 

It can be character driven, plot driven. Some literary fiction is suspense and mystery.  Most people think literary fiction is very descriptive and wordy, and can be dry. Sorry folks that is not true.  The only thing I will say literary always seems to have a tragedy, and drive characters to strive for something.  There is never a conclusion, or a happy ending. You have to make your own conclusions what you think happens or will happen. 

These are the books that I recommend to you for literary fiction, some of them have a historical twist. 
Paris Wife by Paula McLain
Baker's Daughter by Sarah McCoy
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan 
Life Boat by Charlotte Rogan
City of Women by David  R. Gilham
Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussman
On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jami Ford

There is one author that I have followed forever, and he loves talking to book clubs. He's name is Chris Bohjalian. He is just about to publish a new novel, The Lights in the Ruins.  There is also Jodi Picoult's, but I don't often read her unless our book club gets drab. To get us going again. Occasionally we add her to get our book club out of a rut.  Her books always have something to discuss.  Her newest novel, is Story Teller, a novel, based on a story dealing with the holocaust. 

Then there are a few that I recommend that are Jewish literary fiction:
Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg
The World Without You by Joshua Henkin
Jerusalem Maiden by Talia Carner

I am looking forward to reading The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell.
But there are so many more novels that are being published very soon. The publishers and authors are sending me galleys already for the fall season.  If you would like to see what else I recommend come visit me at my two book literary book blog at or my Jewish literary blog at, 

Here also is my new stack of books that have arrived recently before BEA and during.  This is like a kid in the candy store.   I hope you enjoyed my post, and come visit me again soon.  I will be looking out for you.

1 comment:

Laurie C said...

When left to my own devices, I'll always choose literary fiction, too! As a librarian, I do try to read some genre fiction to familiarize myself with popular authors, too, and sometimes do that through audiobook editions that I can listen do on my commute.