armchair bea: literary fiction

30 May 2013

This a genre I love so much, and I can't wait to discuss it! I'm not into reading recently published for many reasons. Mainly because its too expensive and because I'm focusing on classics. I feel like classics are the foundation to reading and I'm embarrassed that I don't know many classics. Granted, I have read many more than the average teenager, but its not enough for a bookaphile!

Are there any books I'm excited about (this year)?

I'm a massive Hosseini fan, and when I heard that this was coming out, I think a part of me died from excitement.

An unforgettable novel about finding a lost piece of yourself in someone else.

Khaled Hosseini, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations. 

In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. 

Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.

What authors/novels would you recommend to someone new to the genre?


  1. Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  2. Khaled Hosseini
  3. Markus Zusak
  4. John Green


Honourable Mentions:
  1. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
  2. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
  3. A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park

Are there any misconceptions or things that you'd like to clear up for people unfamiliar with literary fiction?


I don't think there are any misconceptions about literary fiction, not so much as other genres like horror ("Oh no, I don't have the stomach for it") or mystery ("I always flip to the end! Haha, I can't stand not knowing!") or fantasy ("Just a bunch of dragons and voodoo magic, bah. It's not realistic!"). Literary fiction just is. While searching for titles, I tried not to tread into "classic" or "modern classic" territory because there's a thin, wavering border between them.

What got you started into this kind of book?

There was never a definitive moment where I just delved into literary fiction. I unknowingly started to read books that fit into the genre because I classified everything as "young adult fiction" and "adult fiction".

Name a novel that hasn't received a lot of buzz that definitely deserves it.

The Caliph's House by Tahir Shah
In the tradition of A Year in Provence and Under the Tuscan Sun, acclaimed English travel writer Tahir Shah shares a highly entertaining account of making an exotic dream come true. By turns hilarious and harrowing, here is the story of his family’s move from the gray skies of London to the sun-drenched city of Casablanca, where Islamic tradition and African folklore converge–and nothing is as easy as it seems….

Inspired by the Moroccan vacations of his childhood, Tahir Shah dreamed of making a home in that astonishing country. At age thirty-six he got his chance. Investing what money he and his wife, Rachana, had, Tahir packed up his growing family and bought Dar Khalifa, a crumbling ruin of a mansion by the sea in Casablanca that once belonged to the city’s caliph, or spiritual leader.

With its lush grounds, cool, secluded courtyards, and relaxed pace, life at Dar Khalifa seems sure to fulfill Tahir’s fantasy–until he discovers that in many ways he is farther from home than he imagined. For in Morocco an empty house is thought to attract jinns, invisible spirits unique to the Islamic world. The ardent belief in their presence greatly hampers sleep and renovation plans, but that is just the beginning. From elaborate exorcism rituals involving sacrificial goats to dealing with gangster neighbors intent on stealing their property, the Shahs must cope with a new culture and all that comes with it. 

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9 thoughts:

  1. Great choices in your post. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. I keep saying I want to read Carlos Ruiz Zafon!
    thanks for sharing he Caliph's House by Tahir Shah, I had not heard about it, sounds good!

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  3. Great titles shared - I'm ashamed to say I've only read the Kite Runner before. *heads to add others to TBR list*

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  4. Great choices!! And I will have to add Caliph's House to my never ending TBR list...it sounds great!

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  5. Love your choices! I havent heard of The Caliph's House- will look for it-thanks!
    Kerri @ Turn the Page Reviews
    http://turnthepagereviews.com

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  6. I can't wait to read that new Mountains book! :) It's on hold at the library, and will probably come available when I'm on vacation. Oh, well.

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  7. Some great books that I need to check out! Great post! I'm not all that familiar with the genre but I don't have anything against it, so I'm interested in reading more books. Thanks for sharing!

    my ABEA post

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  8. Love, love, love Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I need to re-read Shadow of the Wind. One of my favorites!

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    Many thanks intended for relating upwards! Remember to don't forget to get back to political election!

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