Faithful Place by Tana French
Back in 1985, Frank Mackey was nineteen, growing up poor in Dublin’s inner city, and living crammed into a small flat with his family on Faithful Place. But he had his sights set on a lot more. He and Rosie Daly were all ready to run away to London together, get married, get good jobs, break away from factory work and poverty and their old lives.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon — when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach — an “outlander” — in a Scotland torn by war and raiding Highland clans in the year of Our Lord … 1743.
The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer
Paris, 1937. Andras Lévi, a Hungarian-Jewish architecture student, arrives from Budapest with a scholarship, a single suitcase, and a mysterious letter he has promised to deliver to C. Morgenstern on the rue de Sévigné.
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
Balram’s India is a corrupt one where schoolteachers steal children’s lunch money and bribes are commonplace. “In the old days there were one thousand castes and destinies in India. These days, there are just two castes: Men with Big Bellies, and Men with Small Bellies. And only two destinies: eat – or get eaten up”
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
We are in the center of Paris, in an elegant apartment building inhabited by bourgeois families. Renée, the concierge, is witness to the lavish but vacuous lives of her numerous employers. Outwardly she conforms to every stereotype of the concierge: fat, cantankerous, addicted to television. Yet, unbeknownst to her employers, Renée is a cultured autodidact who adores art, philosophy, music, and Japanese culture. With humor and intelligence she scrutinizes the lives of the building’s tenants, who for their part are barely aware of her existence.
Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
The true story of one family, caught between America’s two biggest policy disasters: the war on terror and the response to Hurricane Katrina.
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
“It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured.”
So begins this epic, mesmerizing first novel set in the underworld of contemporary Bombay. Shantaram is narrated by Lin, an escaped convict with a false passport who flees maximum security prison in Australia for the teeming streets of a city where he can disappear.
Juliet by Anne Fortier
Twenty-five-year-old Julie Jacobs is heartbroken over the death of her beloved aunt Rose. But the shock goes even deeper when she learns that the woman who has been like a mother to her has left her entire estate to Julie’s twin sister. The only thing Julie receives is a key—one carried by her mother on the day she herself died—to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy.
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri is a collection of short stories about Indian culture, both in India and the United States, as well as the joys and difficulties of relationships that someone of any culture can identify with. Some of the stories have a thread of sadness in them such as “A Temporary Matter” while others are quirky such as “This Blessed House” (my two favorite stories).
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them-in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul-they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation.
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
A mesmerizing, moving, and elegantly written debut novel, The Language of Flowers beautifully weaves past and present, creating a vivid portrait of an unforgettable woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own troubled past.
11/22/63 by Stephen King
A teacher travels back in time to try to stop the assassination of JFK, and in doing so alters the futures of those he meets in ways he had not anticipated.
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
A 4 year old arrives alone on a dock in Australia with only a few belongings in a small white suitcase. When the man who found and cared for her dies, an older Nell is given the suitcase. Within it is a book of fairy tales written by the woman who put her on the boat. Join Nell, and then her granddaughter Cassandra, on a journey to England and a cottage on a cliff to unravel the mystery of her past.
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
The Thirteenth Tale is the story of Vida Winter, a prolific writer with a mysterious past. She commissions a young writer named Margaret to pen her story, the “Thirteenth Tale”. Mrs. Winter tells the story of Angelfield, an avoided house that was home to spooky twin girls that terrorized the village. The manor was run by their father, a recluse that never got over the unconventional love he had for his sister. Mrs. Winter’s tale, along with Diane Setterfield’s intriguing writing, will draw you in as you are told the stories of Angelfield and its inhabitants.
On Folly Beach by Karen White
A young widow who buys a bookstore in Folly Beach is taken back in time as she discovers the love and loss of a South Carolina family during WWII through notes written in the margins of books.