The most recommended fiction books

Who picked these books? Meet our 6,931 experts.

6,931 authors created a book list connected to fiction, and here are their favorite fiction books.
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Book cover of Maude The Not-So-Noticeable Shrimpton

Why am I passionate about this?

Lots of us rely occasionally on technology to help us entertain a young child, but the connection we form when looking at a book together cannot be beaten. I have found, both personally and professionally, that great books are born when a kind of magical mix-up is created in a child’s imagination between the words you read and the pictures they see. It feels so wonderful when this happens that they want to revisit the book again and again. I have written many books for young children over more than 20 years, and I am always striving to help cast that magical spell.

Fiona's book list on families and growing up–the funny bits, the comforting bits. . .and the scary bits

Fiona Munro Why did Fiona love this book?

This bold, punchy book was an absolute winner in our house. The pages are BIG, giving space for the striking illustrations, and the story is deliciously gasp-worthy!  

The large, loud Shrimpton family just loves to be noticed, apart from Maude, who feels invisible in this houseful of flamboyant extroverts. We read this book a lot and gasped a little every time. Especially when it turned out to be a very good thing for Maude that she did blend in with her surroundings!

Maude was published in 2013 when my daughter was 8. She is 18 now and still loves it! But now she notices different things – how stylish the characters are and how striking the Shrimpton’s beautiful home is. Even the wallpaper is gorgeous!

By Lauren Child, Trisha Krauss (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Maude The Not-So-Noticeable Shrimpton as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

Lauren Child teams up with a debut illustrator to tell a cautionary tale about the surprising perils of craving constant attention.

Meet the Shrimpton family — so talented, so eccentric, so larger than life, you couldn’t miss them if you wanted to. Mrs. Shrimpton wears flamboyant hats, and Mr. Shrimpton’s moustache makes quite a statement. The youngsters each have a stand-out quality: beauty, dancing, singing, a sense of humor that’s a laugh a minute. Indeed, the Shrimptons live to be noticed — all that is, except Maude, who prefers to blend into the wallpaper. But when Maude receives a ferocious…


Book cover of Cursed Prince

Jali Henry Author Of Cursed Charm

From my list on addictive urban fantasy with strong female leads.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was an avid reader as a child. Then I became a teenager and started hating it! Why? Because the teachers at school started pushing classical literature on me. I didn’t read for years until a friend introduced me to fantasy. I fell in love and haven’t looked back. I love commercial fantasy fiction that has lots of action, where the writer focuses less on elegant prose and more on plot and characters. I aim to write the kind of books that readers get addicted to, where they can disappear into another world and forget they are reading – the kind of books I love to read!

Jali's book list on addictive urban fantasy with strong female leads

Jali Henry Why did Jali love this book?

CN Crawford is one of my favourite authors. I know the pen-name includes 2 authors – a man and wife team who co-author the books but to make it easy, here I’ll refer to ‘them’ as ‘her’.

Her books are really fast-paced. This series was steeped in Scandinavian mythology and folklore which I loved. But it also contained lots of references to cultural tropes in our own modern world which I also loved. The dialogue is always really clever and funny.

There is a badass female lead who can do magic and kick butt. And there’s also an enemies-to-lovers romance at the centre of the plot. It’s highly addictive and I loved all three books. I couldn’t put them down.

Book cover of Check Mates

Alysa Wishingrad Author Of The Verdigris Pawn

From my list on for chess lovers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love games; board games, card games, head games*; any kind of situation in which employing strategy is the only way forward. And yet, I’m not a big game player—aside from word games. I’m also endlessly fascinated by the mechanisms of power and how societies arrange themselves. The marriage between writing and understanding politics (in the traditional, not the partisan sense) is my true north. Writing a book in which a chess-like game provides the foundation felt inevitable for me, for what game better explores the dynamics of power and strategy? *I don’t play head games, but I do find manipulation fascinating fodder for writing.

Alysa's book list on for chess lovers

Alysa Wishingrad Why did Alysa love this book?

I love intergenerational stories, and Check Mates fulfills that love with the added glory of including a chess subplot. 11-year-old Felix is constantly getting into trouble as his ADHA makes it very hard for him to focus and attend in-class. His Grandfather, who he’s never been particularly close to, is also suffering greatly following the death of his wife. The beauty and power in this story comes when the two are thrust together and the grandfather begins to teach Felix to play chess, while also sharing stories of his life during wartime. The result is a moving story filled with connection, discovering your strengths, and a fantastic immersion into the game of chess.

By Stewart Foster,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Check Mates as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE UKLA BOOK AWARDS 2021

'Funny and heartfelt with a cunning twist. Stewart Foster is a grandmaster' - ROSS WELFORD

'An inspirational underdog story and a chilling mystery! A winning combination' - DAVID SOLOMONS

Some people think that I'm a problem child, that I'm lazy and never pay attention in lessons. But the thing is, I'm not a problem child at all. I'm just a child with a problem. Felix is struggling at school. His ADHD makes it hard for him to concentrate and his grades are slipping. Everyone keeps telling him to try harder, but no one…


Saving Raine

By Marian L Thomas,

Book cover of Saving Raine

Marian L Thomas

New book alert!

What is my book about?

Saving Raine is a captivating tale of resilience, redemption, and the enduring power of love, penned by the acclaimed author Marian L. Thomas.

This contemporary fiction novel chronicles the compelling journey of Raine Reynolds as she confronts heartache, betrayal, and loss. Against the vibrant backdrops of Atlanta and Paris, Raine's story unfolds as she grapples with the aftermath of her husband's infidelity and tragic passing.

Through poignant prose and compelling characters, "Saving Raine" delves into themes of forgiveness, healing, and the strength discovered in confronting life's greatest challenges. Readers will be captivated by Raine's emotional odyssey as she unearths hope, redemption, and the courage to embrace a brighter future.

Saving Raine

By Marian L Thomas,

What is this book about?

Raine Reynolds stands at the crossroads of despair and opportunity.
 
When the life you've built crumbles and the past refuses to release its grip, sometimes you need a fresh start-a new beginning that promises hope and redemption.
 
Once a celebrated author, Raine's life unraveled, sending her fleeing to the picturesque streets of Paris to escape the tormenting heartache that threatened to consume her. Yet, no matter how far she traveled, the pain remained her unwelcome companion.
 
Returning to bustling Atlanta as a senior VP for an ad agency, Raine is forced to confront a city steeped in…


Book cover of The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast

Christyne Morrell Author Of Kingdom of Secrets

From my list on for children with mind-blowing plot twists.

Why am I passionate about this?

I hate surprises in real life, but in fiction, nothing beats a good plot twist. As both a reader and a writer, I love to get swept up in a story, especially when I’m not certain where it will take me or what will happen next. It’s like being on a thrilling ride! Each of the books on this list kept me guessing, caught me off guard, and made me shout “aha!”  

Christyne's book list on for children with mind-blowing plot twists

Christyne Morrell Why did Christyne love this book?

I was intrigued by this book from the first page when Boy wakes up all alone on an island with no memory of who he is or how he got there. From there, Boy must piece together his identity while figuring out how to escape from the island and get back home – wherever that may be. The tone of the story is unsettling and mysterious, leading to a conclusion that is surprising, heartbreaking, and rewarding.

By Samantha M. Clark,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

"A poignant story." -School Library Journal
"An unforgettable, life-affirming tale." -Booklist

The Graveyard Book meets Hatchet in this eerie novel about a boy who is stranded on a mysterious beach, from debut author Samantha M. Clark.

A boy washes up on a mysterious, seemingly uninhabited beach. Who is he? How did he get there? The boy can't remember. When he sees a light shining over the foreboding wall of trees that surrounds the shore, he decides to follow it, in the hopes that it will lead him to answers. The boy's journey is a struggle for survival and a search…


Book cover of Kazan: The Wolf Dog

Tabitha Ormiston-Smith Author Of Bloodsucking Bogans

From my list on featuring realistic dogs.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since I brought home my first rescue thirty years ago, my life has been full of dogs and dog-related activities that I can hardly imagine the person I would've been without them. My own books often feature one or more dogs, not because I particularly decide to write about dogs, but more because I live with dogs, it’s what I know. When I’m browsing for a good read, if a book features a dog, that’s a draw for me, just because dogs are dogs; they are such good creatures, so infinitely lovable, that their presence enhances a book for me just as their presence in my life enhances my every day.

Tabitha's book list on featuring realistic dogs

Tabitha Ormiston-Smith Why did Tabitha love this book?

This is an old book, in the tradition made so popular by Jack London. There were a number of these ‘proud, free dog of the North’ type of books published, and they are all great reads, yet this one is in my opinion the finest of them. It never descends into mawkish sentiment, but tells Kazan’s story from his own viewpoint; there is little of the human world, and we get a glimpse of just how alien a wild animal is, how different from our own, more domestic companions. 

A tremendously exciting read, with not a dull page in it.

By James Oliver Curwood,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kazan as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This carefully crafted ebook: "Kazan, the Wolf Dog" is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents.
Excerpt:
"Kazan lay mute and motionless, his gray nose between his forepaws, his eyes half closed. A rock could have appeared scarcely less lifeless than he; not a muscle twitched; not a hair moved; not an eyelid quivered. Yet every drop of the wild blood in his splendid body was racing in a ferment of excitement that Kazan had never before experienced; every nerve and fiber of his wonderful muscles was tense as steel wire..."
James Oliver Curwood was…


Book cover of The Monsters We Defy

Jody Bower Author Of Jane Eyre's Sisters: How Women Live and Write the Heroine's Story

From Jody's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Cultural mythologist Fantasy & sci-fi lover Writer Singer Hiker

Jody's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Jody Bower Why did Jody love this book?

Engaging work of historical fiction with a supernatural element, featuring a strong black heroine living in Washington DC during the 30s.

Clara was born with the ability to see spirits and speak to them, and the main plot is about her quest – accompanied by other Gifted people to fight a major threat from “the Over There.” The author brings in West African diaspora religions as well as historical persons, places, and events (I spent a lot of time Googling to find out more!). She deftly handles the constant fear that a person of color lives with as a fact of life, and the love story is believable and satisfying.

By Leslye Penelope,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Monsters We Defy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"[P]itch perfect, with wit, romance, and a lovable found family." ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"This smart and entertaining, magical heist novel hits all the right notes!" ―T.L. Huchu

NPR Best Book of 2022! Paste Best Fantasy Book of 2022!

"Never make a deal with shadows at night, especially ones that know your name.”

Washington D. C., 1925: Clara Johnson can talk to spirits—a gift that saved her during her darkest moments, now a curse that’s left her indebted to the cunning spirit world. So when a powerful spirit offers her an opportunity to gain her freedom, Clara seizes the chance,…


Book cover of Trouper

Cheryl Lawton Malone Author Of Dario and the Whale

From my list on children’s books about kindness and friendship.

Why am I passionate about this?

Fairy tales were my first love but I didn’t discover the true magic of children’s picture books until I left my 25-year career as an attorney to enter an MFA program. Wow, was I amazed. Picture books—books in which pictures tell an integral part of the story—not only create an instant connection between reader and little listener but stay with us into adulthood as memories. With this insight, I dove into the genre to discover what distinguishes picture books that are read and reread from those that fade. The answer turns out to be—tales that engender awe and wonder, yarns with heart, and narratives about friendship and kindness. Those are the stories that stay with us forever.

Cheryl's book list on children’s books about kindness and friendship

Cheryl Lawton Malone Why did Cheryl love this book?

Author Meg Kearney and Caldecott Honor Book artist E.B. Lewis join together to create the enchanting story of a three-legged street mutt who longs to find his forever home. After his canine mob is napped by animal control, Trouper watches each of his pals get adopted. Alone in his crate, he wonders if anyone will ever want him. Of course—with perfect pacing—the right boy comes along at the right time and oh my goodness, do we cheer. In a charming approachTrouper is told from the dog’s POV. This book oozes with heart and humor and is a sure re-read for anyone who loves an underdog.

By Meg Kearney, E.B. Lewis (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Trouper as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A moving story of a three-legged stray dog who finds a loving boy to call his own--illustrated by Caldecott Honor Book artist E.B. Lewis. Based on a true story.

Trouper ran with a mob of mutts who tripped over trash cans and pawed the cold streets for bones. They howled and cried and wished for a home. Until one day, the dogs are captured from off the streets and put in cages in a shelter as they wait to be adopted. Trouper watches sadly as, one by one, each of his dog friends are chosen. He's the only one left…


Book cover of A Deadly Fortune

Dianne Freeman Author Of A Lady's Guide to Etiquette and Murder

From my list on female sleuths of the Gilded Age.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the author of the Countess of Harleigh Mystery series. I’ve been fascinated by the Gilded Age/Victorian Era/Belle Epoque since reading my first Edith Wharton novel, The Buccaneers, which followed the lives of four American heiresses of the late 19th century, who crossed the Atlantic to marry British lords. Love and marriage almost never went together in Wharton’s world, but with all the loveless marriages, the social climbing, and the haves and have-nots, I find it makes an excellent setting for a mystery.

Dianne's book list on female sleuths of the Gilded Age

Dianne Freeman Why did Dianne love this book?

This novel embraces all the darkest elements of the Gilded Age—the occult, greed, cruelty, and the notorious asylum for the insane on Blackwell’s Island and I’m here for all of it! The sleuth is Amelia Matthews, a psychic who suffered a head injury that both expanded her psychic ability and landed her in Blackwell Asylum. She is not insane, but neither are many of the other women locked up with her—at least not when they first arrived. It’s chilling to know that this really happened to women who were betrayed by their nearest and dearest. Stacie Murphy made me feel like her characters were real, and I wanted justice for them! 

By Stacie Murphy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Deadly Fortune as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A historical mystery in the vein of The Alienist, in which a young woman in Gilded Age New York must use a special talent to unravel a deadly conspiracy.

Amelia Matthew has done the all-but-impossible, especially for an orphan in Gilded Age New York City. Along with her foster brother Jonas, she has parleyed her modest psychic talent into a safe and comfortable life. But safety and comfort vanish when a head injury leaves Amelia with a dramatically-expanded gift. After she publicly channels an angry spirit, she finds herself imprisoned in the notorious insane asylum on Blackwell's Island. As Jonas…


Book cover of Leadership Secrets of Rogue Warrior: A Commando's Guide to Success

Nicolas A. Valcik Author Of Strategic Planning and Decision-Making for Public and Non-Profit Organizations

From my list on showing leadership through someone's own story.

Why am I passionate about this?

Leadership is always the key to success in strategic planning for any organization. Great leaders can drive their organizations to success, while poor leadership can crater the organization and take generations for it to rebuild. A good leader is essential in the aspect of providing good morale for the employees of the organization. Good leadership factors cause the organization to be seen as cutting edge and as an organization that others want to go work for in an effort to be better themselves. An organization with a superior strategic planning process, will have great leaders and employees to not only formulate the plan, but also execute the plan successfully.  

Nicolas' book list on showing leadership through someone's own story

Nicolas A. Valcik Why did Nicolas love this book?

History is full of military men and commanders who have had to possess leadership qualities and decision-making abilities to be successful in the field and in life.

This book has a number of great qualities described throughout the book that public managers should take note of in order to be successful. I love the 10 commandments format for the book. The case studies throughout the book for both warfare and business are very insightful, and I feel beneficial for leaders to understand how the principles described are applied in real-life situations. 

By Richard Marcinko,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Leadership Secrets of Rogue Warrior as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Richard Marcinko's explosive #1 New York Times bestselling autobiography, Rogue Warrior, chronicled the wild, death-defying adventures of his thirty controversial years as a Navy commando and creator of the legendary SEAL TEAM SIX. Three blockbuster Rogue Warrior novels transformed classified information he could never reveal in nonfiction into blistering tales of international warfare and counterterrorism. Now, writing in the tradition of A Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi, Japan's greatest samurai, Marcinko blasts other self-help guides out of the water. In LEADERSHIP SECRETS OF THE ROGUE WARRIOR, he shows how anyone can apply the skills he has honed throughout…


Book cover of Drawn That Way

Miel Moreland Author Of It Goes Like This

From my list on young adult about ambitious girls.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was an ambitious teen, and as I entered adulthood, my relationship with ambition has continually evolved. Those of us with marginalized genders sometimes have our ambition treated with suspicion or scorn—by peers, family, or would-be mentors. I wanted to share books that don’t necessarily come to the same conclusion about ambition’s role in our lives, but that all grapple with what it means to be ambitious in a culture where that is often seen as threatening or unladylike—or where any sign of ambition gets one automatically labeled as “unlikeable.” I love these books’ narrators, and I hope you will find something to love in them too. 

Miel's book list on young adult about ambitious girls

Miel Moreland Why did Miel love this book?

Hayley is thrilled to be accepted to a prestigious summer program for aspiring teen animators. But then only boys are chosen to direct the participants’ short films, and that might only scratch the surface of the boys’ club culture within the program. The multiple forms of sexism Hayley experiences throughout are so real, they were painful to read (in the best, truest way), as I reflected on my own experiences with misogynistic gatekeeping—but the community and solidarity that develop throughout this fantastic novel are very satisfying. 

By Elissa Sussman, Arielle Jovellanos (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Drawn That Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 11, 12, 13, and 14.

What is this book about?

“Packs a swoony punch along with its feminist rage.” —Maurene Goo, author of Somewhere Only We Know

Moxie meets the world of animation in this fresh, unputdownable novel about a teen girl determined to prove herself in the boys’ club of her dream industry no matter what it takes.

Hayley Saffitz is confident, ambitious, and intent on following in the footsteps of her hero, renowned animation director, Bryan Beckett. When she’s given a spot in his once-in-a-lifetime summer program, Hayley devises a plan: snag one of the internship’s coveted directing opportunities. Dazzle Bryan with her talent. Secure a job post-graduation.…