Recommend me some adult books

Dear readers, I come to you today with a very specific request : I need some recommendations for some adult fiction or non-fiction. If you accept the challenge, read further to find out exactly what I am looking for!

You see, I just finished reading Crossed  yesterday, and while I sped through it, it was nothing special, really. And while I do enjoy most YA I read, and know that there are some really great YA novels out there, I’ve been feeling the need to read something else. I do read adult fiction in French (enough that I kind of revived the blog’s French version, though I don’t update it as much) but I need more ideas of what to read in English.

The reason I read a lot of YA is that it is often the exact opposite of what I have to read for class; light, fast, it allows me to turn off my brain while going on a fictional adventure. Also : reasonable number of pages with often big fonts that make me feel like I’m turning a lot of pages!

I would love to find something similar in adult fiction, but I do have some specifics.  I want something to entertain me but that could also surprise me, teach me something, or blow me away with its beautiful writing. Something easy to read that won’t require too much thinking.  No strict romance novel, that’s for sure. No politics or religion. No paranormal or fantasy : I already have plenty of those, and I would like something different. I’m open to “chick lit”, although it would have to be different in some way.

I’m thinking maybe something along the lines of travelogues, fictional or not, or about people moving to “strange lands”. I have If You Follow Me and Undress me in the Temple of Heaven on my shelves, so maybe I should begin with this? Any similar recommendation?

I’m also interested in animal-related non-fiction. Not the dramatic kind like Marley and Me, but more like The Tiger (which I still have to finish).

I guess I have a thirst for adventure and discovery, right now! I would also enjoy some original mystery or adventure novel, magical realism, general fiction (though nothing too literary that would make my brain explode!)

I’m taking any recommendation, really. Please feel free to invite me to step out of my comfort zone! 🙂

(from past experiences, I feel the need to add : authors, if you want to request a review, please communicate with me through email rather than on this post. It is a lot easier for me to follow through, and more pleasant for everyone! Thank you! 🙂 )


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37 responses to “Recommend me some adult books”

  1. diary of a dashinista says :

    Have you tried “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel?
    It is a charming, page-turning story and features a tiger!

    I also love Joanne Harris (author of “Chocolat”), “Chocolat” of course is a favourite but the sequel “The Lollipop Shoes” is also astounding and I recently read a collection of her short stories “Jigs and Reels”. Enchanting, mischievous and thought provoking – ever wondered what life is like for the Ugly Sisters from Cinderella or the Big, Bad Wolf from Red Riding Hood? Or what the next celebrity fixation will be, now that they sell their marriages, children’s christenings and tales of surviving drug addictions.

    Happy reading!

    • kay says :

      “Life of Pi”, what a great idea! It has been on my wishlist for years!

      I have one or two books of Joanne Harris on my shelves. I might give them a try. I saw the movie inspired by “Chocolat” but I still haven’t gotten to the book!

  2. Diane@BibliophileBytheSea says :

    Read — I Thought You Were Dead; Pete Nelson – I loved this book — a light read, a dog as a narrator (I had the audio). My friend liked it a lot as well.


  3. Whitney B. says :

    I recently read “Mudbound” by Hillary Jordan and really enjoyed it. It’s not what I would call “fun” (as it’s has some serious plot-lines) but it’s a quick, very enjoyable read.

    • kay says :

      I have heard of Hillary Jordan’s “When she Woke”, but never of this one. It sounds interesting and very different from what I have been reading recently! Thank you!

  4. Terry Doherty says :

    The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls … travel through the life of a young girl in the coal fields of WV. Thoughtful without dragging you down; beautiful writing; nonfiction.

    • kay says :

      Oh! I have this one on my shelves but I was worried it would be a little “dry”, as one friend put it, or really sad. But the way you describe it, it does sound like something I would want to be reading. I’ll add it to the list, thank you!

  5. Juju @ Tales of says :

    I am listening to the most amazing audiobook right now. It’s called A Grown Up Kind of Pretty. It’s FANTASTIC so far.

    Watch this video for more info:

    • kay says :

      I hadn’t heard of this one before, but I took a look and it got me curious! I’m not sure I’ll try to get it on audiobook but the paper version will go on my list! Thanks for the recommendation.

  6. Amanda says :

    Okay, it made me laugh because i made a list of books to recommend, then checked goodreads and found you’d read most of them already. 😀 Often with high ratings, so at least I was thinking the right direction!! 😀 My first thought, for instance, was Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos.

    Here are a few others, though, that weren’t on your read shelves on Goodreads:

    – The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist – yes, it’s dystopia, but very different from YA dystopia
    – The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa
    – Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin
    – The Good Earth by Pearl Buck – I know this last one’s a classic, but it’s actually really easy to read and does a great job of transporting you to a different world.

    I definitely recommend If You Follow Me from your question above. It’s a bit slow, but worth it.

    And I also recommend Howl’s Moving Castle. I know that technically that’s a YA novel and not adult, but it felt far more adult or all-ages to me than YA, much more than other DWJ books I’ve read. It’s the sort of book that appealed to me, my husband, all three of my kids (ages 7-11), and my mother-in-law, so you can see that the age-range is wide. It’s also definitely fast and fun! 😀

    • kay says :

      That’s a great list Amanda! I’ve just started If You Follow Me last night (really like it so far!) and I’ve had the Unit on my shelves since it came out in paperback, so it’s probably time I finally read it, right?

      I’m taking notes of all of your recommendations. I honestly haven’t heard of The Good Earth (what does that say about me? Haha!) so I’m very curious about it. Thank you!

  7. Steph says :

    I don’t know that I have anything to suggest since I feel like your net is still so wide that there are tons of books that might appeal, BUT I would say that I have read Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven and it is AMAZING. It’s definitely a page-turner that will blow your mind, so you should absolutely read that one.

    I also think you might like The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. It’s a slip of a novel so you can read it quite quickly, but the writing is just SO beautiful. It’s one of those books where I wanted to underline every passage! 😉 It’s set in NY which I realize isn’t anywhere super exotic considering you’re in Montreal, but the writing is what this book is all about!

    Also, I know you said you didn’t want anything too similar to the YA stuff you normally read, but GoodReads tells me that you have A Discovery of Witches in your collection and even though it’s a chunkster it’s such a fun read that obviously has elements that you will enjoy. You might also consider reading The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, which is one of the best examples of dystopian fiction.

    • kay says :

      I have been wanting to read The History of Love for a while but I feared it would be too serious, too academic. I’m always up for beautiful writing – and I’ve never been to NY though I dream of it, so even if it’s not the most exotic setting I’m sure I would enjoy it!

      I’ll keep in mind your two other suggestions too; I want to read A Discovery of Witches but I’m spending a lot of hours on the subway and bus during the week, and this book is huge!

  8. Tracy Novick says :

    For animal books- try Moduc by Helfer ( Story of an Elephant & a boy- amazing), Wesley the Owl by O’brien ( charming story about rescuing and raising a owl), Zafara by Allin ( first Giraffe in Europe). All non fiction
    For YA- consider the newly published: The fault in Our Stars by Green (truly a great book- about two teens who meet in a cancer support group), there are so many books…Divergent, Brusiers, Between Shades of Gray (wow), Delirium, Before I Fall- both by Oliver.
    I could go on and on- let me know if you need more suggestions,
    Tracy @ Tracys2cents

    • kay says :

      I hadn’t heard of this animal books, but I’m curious (I already added Wesley the Owl to my wishlist, because I just love owls!)

      As for YA, I have read all of these books except for Shades of Gray and Brusiers. I’ve mostly enjoyed them, but I really want to find a few different things. Thank you though for your recommendations : they fell exactly in the type of books I enjoy!

  9. Bookish Hobbit says :

    Some books that I’ve read and would recommend are:
    The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
    100 Heartbeats by Jeff Corwin
    The Club Dumas by Arturo Perez-Reverte
    The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

    • kay says :

      Oh, I have The Night Circus on my shelves! I almost forgot about it!

      I’ll look for 100 Heartbeats and The Club Dumas, I haven’t heard of them. Thank you!

  10. Candice says :

    I’m just gonna go ahead and recommend the only “adult” book I ever recommend because it’s my favorite book of all time – Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married by Marian Keyes. It does sound like a simple, shallower type book, but I remember the first time I read it I was totally blown away by some of its deeper moments. It’s also an easier read (as far as adult books go) and has somewhat bigger font, which is usually a plus for me!

    Good luck; I see you already have some amazing suggestions!

    • kay says :

      Thank you! I have been planning on reading Keyes for a few years now and I still haven’t. I’ll push it up my to-do list!

  11. zibilee says :

    I would recommend two to you: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks ( a nonfiction book about one woman’s incredible and miraculous cancer cells) and The Human Bobby by Gabe Rotter ( a fast paced roller coaster of a read, with an incredible ending. the pages just turn themselves on this one.)

    • kay says :

      I’ve been hesitant about Henrietta Lacks; I have a bit of a problem with cancer-related books. Is it more about the science, or the disease and its treatment?à

      The Human Bobby sounds really interesting though! I went and put it on my list! Thank you!

  12. alitareads says :

    I’m going to echo Candice’s Marian Keyes recommendation. She’s one of my absolute favourite authors, although Lucy Sullivan is my least favourite of hers. My favourite, the one that I recommend over and over again: Anybody Out There? Also really very good is Rachel’s Holiday. Right now I’m reading her most recent (although it’s already a couple years old), The Brightest Star in the Sky, which is much different from her other stuff but still very enjoyable.

  13. Amy @ My Friend Amy says :

    I do think you’d enjoy If You Follow Me it’s a great book.

  14. Torbillonbyjoleensteel says :

    My absolute favorite author is Ted Dekker. Though he is classified as a Christian writer his material is not overt. The plots of his first three books title RED, BLACK, WHITE are so gripping. I lost a lot of sleep reading his books. He’s also written a group of YA books called THE CIRCLE. Good reads all!

    • kay says :

      I will keep this in mind! I have a book of Ted Dekker on my shelf – none of which you mentioned, but it could be a fun start. Thanks!

  15. LauraLaura says :

    My absolute favorite novel of all time (so far, of course) is Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre” but that doesn’t seem to be up your alley.

    HOWEVER, I do have some recommendations that would fit, in the sense that they’re at least page-turners and difficult to put down:
    1) Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman – a cheerful Southern book that seems to be a cross between YA and adult. Made me want to move to Georgia.
    2) The Likeness by Tana French – an intense Irish mystery novel, with an atmosphere that just sucks you in and you never want to leave.
    3) The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – someone recommended this earlier, and I would have to agree; it’s dystopian adult lit, and it truly blew me away. I was stunned after I finished and I couldn’t read another book for days.
    4) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – again, someone already recommended, and even though it’s categorized as YA the characters are very mature and moving.

    I saw earlier someone recommended The Historian, and even though it’s a good book…it’s heavily academic. The characters mull over the little things over and over, and it really does require you to think. But it’s adventurous and mysterious! Give it a chance if you’re willing to spend 2+ weeks.

    • Laura says :

      I should take back my Jane Eyre comment – just noticed your post 😉 If you want more books similar to Jane Eyre, I’ve got a huge list!

      • kay says :

        Haha, that’s okay! I read a lot of different things – and I would LOVE suggestions more like Jane Eyre!

        I read and loved The Fault in Our Stars, and I’ll keep in mind your other recommendations. Beth Hoffman has been recommended to me a few time but I have still to read one of her novels. Thank you!

  16. The Book Wurrm says :

    I don’t know if I have ever recommended The History of Love by Nicole Krauss to you. And these days I have been reading adult fantasy and I’m not sure you’re into that. Also The History of the World in Ten and a Half Chapters by Julian Barnes is amusing. The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood was very amusing. And I haven’t read this one yet but The Snow Child by Eowyn (someone) seems really awesome.

    • kay says :

      Thank you! That’s two recommendations for The History of Love, so it sounds like I really HAVE to read it.

      I read The Penelopiad and really enjoyed it, and The Snow Child is on my wishlist. It does sound awesome!

      I’m always up for adult fantasy, so if you have any recommendations, I would love to hear them. I used to read a lot of it before discovering YA and we have a lot around since this is almost all that The Man of the House reads! Haha!

  17. notanotherrandomgirl says :

    One Day – David Nicholls
    The Time Travellers Wife – Audrey Niffeneger.

  18. Lily Wight says :

    I have really enjoyed K.ate Mosse’s books Labyrinth and Sepulchre. They have very strong heroines and plots that span history. Also Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian. Happy reading x

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