The most recommended slice of life books

Who picked these books? Meet our 15 experts.

15 authors created a book list connected to slice of life, and here are their favorite slice of life books.
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Book cover of Balam, Spring

John Bierce Author Of The Wrack

From my list on sci-fi/fantasy about plagues and pandemics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by epidemiology since I was a little kid first reading about the Black Death, and that interest only grew as I learned more about it over the years. Diving into the study of environmental history was especially fascinating for me, as I learned how under-emphasized the role of epidemics and pandemics has been in history, as if humans were trying to pretend that history was actually under our own control. This eventually culminated in me writing The Wrack, my own plague novel which, for better or worse, ended up coming out at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. (Slightly awkward timing, there.)

John's book list on sci-fi/fantasy about plagues and pandemics

John Bierce Why did John love this book?

A slice-of-life epidemiological fantasy novel set in the small town of Balam, as it deals with a mysterious illness accompanied by strange insectoid monsters intent on stealing the corpses of the victims. One of the weirder books on the list, with a setting heavily inspired by the Final Fantasy game series and lower stakes than most of the others – but still well worth a read.

By Travis M. Riddle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Balam is a sleepy town on the eastern coast of Atlua, surrounded by forest and sea. It’s a village where nothing happens and everybody knows each other. But now, people are dying.

School is out for the spring, and schoolteacher Theodore Saen is ready to spend the next few months relaxing with his family. But when the town’s resident white mage falls ill and several townspeople begin to show similar symptoms, they must call on a new mage. Aava has freshly graduated from the nearby mage academy when she is swiftly hired to deduce the cause of the unknown illness…


Book cover of Beware of Chicken

Waldo Rodriguez Author Of The Crucible

From my list on gamelit that break the mold.

Why am I passionate about this?

Gamelit’s a big focus and passion of mine because it is the genre I didn’t know existed nor that I needed when I got started as a writer. I was always a sci-fi and fantasy guy and the most GameLit thing I experienced prior were anime like Sword Art Online or So I’m a Spider So What. Once I found gems like Dungeon Crawler Carl, Cradle, and others, I was reading everything I could in the genre. Not only that, but I’m writing in the space too, with six books out under my name, another five under a pen name, and many more to come.

Waldo's book list on gamelit that break the mold

Waldo Rodriguez Why did Waldo love this book?

At first I picked up the book because I thought it’d be a good laugh. I mean, with a title like “Beware of Chicken” how could it not be?

Turns out I was right but it was so much more than that.

As I read I found myself in a slice of life tale about farming. Which normally is not my jam at all. I love action and comedy. Slice of life stuff is just too slow for me. But the story picks up fairly quickly.

You know the cultivation/xianxia trope where some martial artist wants to grow to ultimate power and rule the heavens?

Yeah Jin wants nothing to do with that. The dude just wants to farm and be left alone.

But his chicken does.

So effectively we have a main character who wants to avoid all the standard tropes and a chicken who lives and breathes them.…

By Casualfarmer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A laugh-out-loud, slice-of-life martial-arts fantasy about . . . farming????

Jin Rou wanted to be a cultivator. A man powerful enough to defy the heavens. A master of martial arts. A lord of spiritual power. Unfortunately for him, he died, and now I’m stuck in his body.

Arrogant Masters? Heavenly Tribulations? All that violence and bloodshed? Yeah, no thanks. I’m getting out of here.

Farm life sounds pretty great. Tilling a field by hand is fun when you’ve got the strength of ten men—though maybe I shouldn’t have fed those Spirit Herbs to my pet rooster. I’m not used to…


Book cover of Coming Of Age In New Jersey: College and American Culture

John C. Spurlock Author Of Youth and Sexuality in the Twentieth-Century United States

From my list on understanding American heterosexuality.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I finished my second book, which followed the life course of women in the U.S. in the early 20th century, I was left with questions and some confusion about women’s sexuality in the period. Books and magazine articles at the time obsessively discussed young women and their sexual freedom. But young women’s journals, and the psychological literature showed that publicly, young women performed a heterosexual script, but privately, and emotionally, they often remained far more comfortable with other girls and young women. Slowly it became clear that the real sexual revolution of the 20th century was the triumph of heterosexual relations and norms during the 1920s until the 1940s. 

John's book list on understanding American heterosexuality

John C. Spurlock Why did John love this book?

Michael Moffatt was a professor of anthropology when he embedded himself in the Rutgers student dorms to begin a years-long investigation of what entering adulthood meant for undergraduates at the State University of New Jersey.

Moffatt’s research included survey data, perceptive description of his own experience, and student journals (used with permission, of course). In the great tradition of social science, Moffatt identifies a range of sexual types among the young people he studied. 

By Michael Moffatt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Coming Of Age In New Jersey as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Coming of Age is about college as students really know it and-often-love it. To write this remarkable account, Michael Moffatt did what anthropologists usually do in more distant cultures: he lived among the natives. His findings are sometimes disturbing, potentially controversial, but somehow very believable. Coming of Age is a vivid slice of life of what Moffatt saw and heard in the dorms of a typical state university, Rutgers, in the 1980s. It is full of student voices: naive and worldy-wise, vulgar and polite, cynical, humorous, and sometimes even idealistic. But it is also about American culture more generally: individualism,…


Book cover of The Memoirs of Jacques Casanova de Seingalt Vol. 1 the Venetian Years

Gloria Oliver Author Of The Secret Humankind

From Gloria's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Wallflower Detail stickler Reader Unveiling the fantastic

Gloria's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Gloria Oliver Why did Gloria love this book?

I ran into The Memoirs of Jacques Casanova by accident while doing some research for my historical cozy mystery series.

While we've all heard the name 'Casanova' and that he's famous for his amorous dalliances, I had no idea he'd written a twelve-volume autobiography! I've only read the first volume so far, but I found it completely fascinating! (Make sure you do not end up with the butchered version of his memoirs—back at the time the books were thought quite scandalous, and some got 'doctored.' The originals would be considered tame nowadays. :P)

A great slice of life back in the 18th century. Most shocking was all the chocolate they ate and drank!

By Giacomo Casanova, Arthur Machen (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Memoirs of Jacques Casanova de Seingalt Vol. 1 the Venetian Years as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Casanova was an Italian adventurer and author from the Republic of Venice. His autobiography, is regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century. He has become so famous for his often complicated and elaborate affairs with women that his name is now synonymous with "womanizer". He associated with European royalty, popes and cardinals, along with luminaries such as Voltaire, Goethe and Mozart. He spent his last years in Bohemia as a librarian in Count Waldstein's household, where he also wrote the story of his life. Set of…


Book cover of Take Me Home

Kwame Nyong'o Author Of A Tasty Maandazi

From my list on what life is like in Africa for children.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a Kenyan/American raised in both countries, I noticed growing up that there was very little creative content about Africa. Whilst in Kenya, I experienced much joy and fun in the culture and felt that other people in other parts of the world would also enjoy it. Loving reading, drawing, comics, and movies, I felt it would be useful to create such content about Africa. I was very fortunate to study arts at an undergraduate and graduate level in the US. This formal training, combined with extensive travel around Africa and the diaspora, has informed my sense of book and film creation and appreciation. I hope you enjoy this book list that I’ve curated!

Kwame's book list on what life is like in Africa for children

Kwame Nyong'o Why did Kwame love this book?

As a child, Take Me Home was my most favorite storybook. The way that the creators show the relationship between a father and son, and how they work together to achieve the goal of creating a matatu bus (a public transport bus common throughout Africa) is so palpably endearing. Set in 1970’s Kenya, the story offers a heartfelt slice of life that inspired me to want to go to Kenya and soak up the sights and sounds and be a part of this wonderfully intimate world. Unfortunately, the book is currently out of print, but if you can find a used copy out there it will be so well worth it.

By Nereas Gicoru,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Dog Songs: Poems

Amy Lee Kite Author Of Goodbye, Gus

From my list on children and adults coping with the loss of a pet.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I was a young girl, I always turned to writing to work through anything that was happening in my life, ranging from the first time I experienced loss to my parents’ divorce. I have since published three children’s books on tough topics as I have aimed to provide parents, children, and teachers with tools to discuss loss and change. My most recent book, Goodbye, Gus is specifically about the loss of a pet. My dad died when I was 21, and that was the first death (other than my dogs) that I ever experienced. I was able to experience first-hand the fact that the loss of my pets helped prepare me to cope with grief, and I also learned that we can all focus on what we did have and hang on to those memories forever. 

Amy's book list on children and adults coping with the loss of a pet

Amy Lee Kite Why did Amy love this book?

I am recommending Dog Songs as a dog lover and as a poet. Two of my favorite things are dogs and poetry, and Mary Oliver combines the two in her beautiful celebration of the love between humans and dogs. I think this is a great choice when people are grieving, as the magic of the canine/human connection is conveyed in these poems, providing a source of beauty and comfort for the reader. All of her selections emphasize that unique love that we have with our pets, reminding us to enjoy life’s precious moments. 

By Mary Oliver,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Dog Songs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The popularity of [Dog Songs] feels as inevitable and welcome as a wagging tail upon homecoming' Boston Globe

In Dog Songs, Mary Oliver celebrates the special bond between human and dog, as understood through her connection to the dogs who across the years accompanied her on her daily walks, warmed her home and inspired her work. The poems in Dog Songs begin in the small everyday moments familiar to all dog lovers and become, through her extraordinary vision, meditations on the world and our place in it.

Dog Songs includes visits with old friends, like Oliver's most beloved dog Percy,…


Book cover of Biomedical Self-Engineering

Edwin McRae Author Of Skulls of Atlantis

From my list on characters who empower others as they level up.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a LitRPG author and narrative designer for the video games industry. I’ve written and designed for many RPGs and have always found it satisfying when the player character’s actions tangibly improve the in-game situations of the NPCs. In my own LitRPGs and interactive fiction, I intentionally place the player characters within communities they will come to care about and see grow as their own personal power grows. To me, a character build is more about relationships than upgrades. Stats are just numbers until they affect the lives of others. Then they become story.

Edwin's book list on characters who empower others as they level up

Edwin McRae Why did Edwin love this book?

Carl is an unhealthy old man who gets the break of a lifetime when a strange accident enables him to upgrade his DNA. Not only is it like taking a sip from the fountain of youth, but Carl can also adopt some of the sensory super powers that animals have. But rather than this turning into another boring superhero story, Biomedical Self-Engineering is the story of a nice guy whose positivity brushes off on almost everyone he encounters. Carl’s not out to save the world. He’s just out to make each day a little better for himself and others.

By Jon Svenson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Biomedical Self-Engineering as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Divorced and working as a security guard in Portland, 73 year old Carl is attacked by an unknown creature before he is able to taser it to death. After being released from the hospital, he discovers by accident that he is unwittingly acquiring DNA samples from other people he touches. 
He discovers a number of shocking facts about himself when a blue box appears in his right eye, Most importantly, he discovers that his health is nowhere near to what he assumed it would be. Can he reverse the negative aspects of his health using these blue boxes somehow? And…


Book cover of The School of Essential Ingredients

Elizabeth Sumner Wafler Author Of Topanga Canyon

From my list on that deep-dives into complex relationships, while tugging at every heartstring.

Why am I passionate about this?

As you get to know the characters I create, you'll be imbued with a sense of hope and possibility–with the magic that can happen when someone pokes a toe out of her comfort zone and makes things happen. You'll relate to discrete characters, who like most women, desire and deserve true love, authentic relationships—whether they be friends, mothers, daughters, or loversand meaningful work. You'll care about their emotional hurts, the misunderstandings that cause them to stumble, and cheer them on as they make choices that ultimately lead them to create empowered, fulfilling lives. Hooking you from the first sentence, I'll ignite your brain's hardwired desire to learn what happens next. 

Elizabeth's book list on that deep-dives into complex relationships, while tugging at every heartstring

Elizabeth Sumner Wafler Why did Elizabeth love this book?

This luminous women's fiction is anchored by Lillian, restauranteur by day, cooking class instructor by night. Come for the lyrical and evocative descriptions of sophisticated food and indulgences. Stay for a brilliantly-crafted cast of flawed characters, who seek hope and restoration. I especially adore this novel for the relatable backstories of Lillian's students. It's the perfect, decadent slice of life for escaping yours.

By Erica Bauermeister,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The School of Essential Ingredients as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of Reese Witherspoon's Book Club pick The Scent Keeper comes a "heartbreakingly delicious" national bestseller about a chef, her students, and the evocative lessons that food teaches about life.

Once a month on a Monday night, eight students gather in Lillian's restaurant for a cooking class. Among them is Claire, a young woman coming to terms with her new identity as a mother; Tom, a lawyer whose life has been overturned by loss; Antonia, an Italian kitchen designer adapting to life in America; and Carl and Helen, a long-married couple whose union contains surprises the rest of…


Book cover of What Did You Eat Yesterday? 20

Nicole Kimberling Author Of Grilled Cheese and Goblins: Adventures of a Supernatural Food Inspector!

From Nicole's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Professional cook Editor Straight-shooter ENTP Nosy neighbor

Nicole's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Nicole Kimberling Why did Nicole love this book?

In the 20th volume of Yoshinaga’s slice-of-life/cooking instructional manga, the protagonists, Shiro and Kenji, a gay couple living in Tokyo, talk about their friends’ weddings, aging, promotions, and other day-to-day challenges—all while making dinner.

The recipes in this manga are easy to follow and, because they’re simple, always work. And, since the characters are always making a full meal, it’s easy to see what dishes make up a whole, modern Japanese homestyle meal.

The pleasure of this manga is ghosting along like an invisible guest at these meals, listening to everyday concerns as if you were a member of this small and private group of characters.

Overflowing with warmth and humanity and cozy in the best possible way, this series helps when I need to recenter on how good small, everyday pleasures really can be.

By Fumi Yoshinaga,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What Did You Eat Yesterday? 20 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Wedding bells are in the air as Gilbert/Wataru and Kohinata begin preparing for their upcoming nuptials. Pushed to his limit by the stress of finding an LGBTQ+-friendly venue and getting wedding-hot, Gilbert turns to his good friends Shiro and Kenji for the comforting company and soul food he knows he can rely on. This save-the-date announcement also means Shiro can finally broach a conversation years in the making with Kenji, and colors a significant step he takes in connecting his family with his life partner. And because when it rains it pours, big changes are also in store for Shiro…


Book cover of Vampire Hunter D Volume 1

Michael B. Chikondi Author Of Like Father, Like Son: Idle Hands, Book 1

From my list on reads for a slice-of-life, classical Vampire story.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I was abandoned in the woods, and raised by bats. I’ve thought vampires were pretty cool. I’ve never met one outside of government, but they are a unique part of folklore. A spiritual throwback to how pagan beliefs were affected by Christianity, including the fear of losing your soul, and an echo of physical fears; death, blood loss, and disease. To me, vampires represent even more; the predatory mentality found in humanity, and things we wish to ignore about ourselves. Being concerned about the way humanity in general responds to shady and unaccountable powers, it seemed the natural next step was to write about mystery-solving vampires.

Michael's book list on reads for a slice-of-life, classical Vampire story

Michael B. Chikondi Why did Michael love this book?

I love this one, a graphic novel. Vampire hunting stories, set in a world emerging from three hundred years of vampiric rule. Our hero, D, is a Damphir (it’s not so easy to find good Damphir characters in media. Lore accuracy is basically impossible, but if it was, it would be D.) A vampire hunter, weighing his humanity against the value of vampire life. 

Lots of fighting, lasers, robot horses, and wide-brimmed hats, and did I mention it was illustrated by Yoshitaka Amano? So it’s just visually stunning. I’ve honestly loved this since I heard of it as a teenager. Made it so much more fun that I recognised Yoshitaka Amano’s artwork from the Final Fantasy 9 games, which I also love.

By Hideyuki Kikuchi, Yoshitaka Amano (illustrator), Kevin Leahy (translator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Vampire Hunter D Volume 1 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

12,090 A.D. It is a dark time for the world. Humanity is just crawling out from under three hundred years of domination by the race of vampires known as the Nobility. The war against the vampires has taken its toll; cities lie in ruin, the countryside is fragmented into small villages and fiefdoms that still struggle against nightly raids by the fallen vampires - and the remnants of their genetically manufactured demons and werewolves. Every village wants a Hunter - one of the warriors who have pledged their laser guns and their swords to the eradication of the Nobility. But…