The best contemporary fiction that will make you think

Rich Marcello Author Of The Latecomers
By Rich Marcello

The Books I Picked & Why

Sophie's World: A Novel about the History of Philosophy

By Jostein Gaarder, Paulette Møller

Sophie's World: A Novel about the History of Philosophy

Why this book?

This is one of my all-time favorite novels. The setup is fantastic. One day a young girl, Sophie, comes home from school to find two questions, Who are you? and Where does the world come from? From there, she and the reader learn much about the history of philosophy. It’s one of the most thought-provoking novels I’ve ever read, and I can’t recommend it enough.


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Ishmael

By Daniel Quinn

Ishmael

Why this book?

Another of my favorite novels, Ishamel starts off with a simple ad. Teacher seeks pupil. Must have an earnest desire to save the world. Apply in person. From there, the reader is taken on one of the great spiritual adventures in modern literature. I can’t say enough positive things about Ismael. Everything about it––the writing, the story, the ideas––works.


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The Moviegoer

By Walker Percy

The Moviegoer

Why this book?

The Moviegoer was the first novel I read which had little plot and a great deal of meaning. Basically, it’s about one man’s search for meaning in a world which values shallowness and consumerism above all else. It’s as relevant today as it was when written and the prose is amazing!


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The Unbearable Lightness of Being

By Milan Kundera

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Why this book?

This is another philosophical novel and Kundera, more than any other novelist, inspired me to become a writer. It’s a novel of ideas couched in a great story, a love story, yes, but much more. Oh, and read the book before you watch the movie. While I like the movie, too, it’s not nearly as good as the book.


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On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

By Ocean Vuong

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

Why this book?

This novel made me think for a different reason. The prose is absolutely the most beautiful I’ve seen in a novel in many years. I had to stop often and reread the sentences because they were an experience in and of themselves. The story is interesting and autobiographical, but it’s really the prose that carries the novel. If you love incredibly well-written novels, this one is for you.


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