We check bestseller lists, explore Goodreads and Instagram, and ask friends for ideas when we’re hunting for good novels to read. However, the typical omnibus categories and genres might be a little too wide, and we’ve discovered that choosing books depending on our mood or interests frequently yields the greatest choices.
If you’re searching for something to read, we’ve put up a list of 34 super-specific suggestions that you won’t be able to put down. No matter how you’re feeling, this list got you covered.
- ‘On Earth We’re Briefly Beautiful’ by Ocean Vuong
Ocean Vuong is a Vietnamese-American poet whose debut work is written as a letter from a son to a mother who is unable to read. The novel, which examines race, class, and masculinity, is full of beautiful phrases that will linger in your mind long after you’ve finished reading it.
- ‘All About Love’ by bell hooks
Bell hooks, a feminist scholar and activist, died recently at the age of 69, but her work has long been and will continue to be timeless. Her 1999 work is about love from a personal, psychological, and philosophical standpoint, as the title suggests.
- ‘Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland’ by Patrick Radden Keefe
I’ll admit it: there are a lot of true crime books and podcasts out there, but very few of them truly solve cases or provide any new information. But it is this feature that distinguishes ‘Say Nothing’. You don’t need to be well-versed in Northern Ireland’s war to get caught into Keefe’s reporting and writing, and then fully fascinated when he begins to piece out who murdered Jean McConville.
- ‘Trust Exercise’ by Susan Choi
Sarah and David, two theatre youngsters, fall in love and explore their relationship for their profession under the watchful eye of their acting teacher in Choi’s unconventional coming of age novel, which received the 2019 National Book Award for fiction. The plot twists are surprising, and the setting—a high-pressure arts school in the 1980s—is ideal. You’ll want to tell everyone about it.
- ‘Wine Simple: A Totally Approachable Guide from a World-Class Sommelier’ by Aldo Sohm and Christine Muhlke
Aldo Sohm, who supervises the wine program at one of New York City’s premier restaurants, has been awarded the best sommelier in the world. Despite their success, he and Christine Muhlke have created a user-friendly manual. The unfussy Wine Simple demystifies it all from buzzy natural wines to tasting like an expert on your next evening out, using engaging charts and graphics.
- ‘Mostly Dead Things’ by Kristen Arnett
Every family has its peculiarities, and Jessa’s is no different. Their conduct becomes further odd when her father kills suicide in their family’s taxidermy shop; for a start, her mother started crafting violent and sexually provocative taxidermy art. Jessa takes over the company and tries to be strong for everyone, but she has trouble reaching out to her family members who refuse to talk about their problems. In the greatest possible manner, Mostly Dead Things is one of the oddest, most unusual books you’ll ever read.
- ‘Looker’ by Laura Sims
It might be difficult to classify any work into a single genre. Looker isn’t a thriller or a mystery in the traditional sense, but it has aspects of both. It provides a glimpse inside the psyche of an unknown lady who becomes increasingly unstable as the story progresses. She gets enamored with her neighbor, a famous actress, while she mourns her own ruined life. Looker is a small novel (less than 200 pages), yet it’s jam-packed with obsession, jealousy, and insane themes. Laura Sims made each and every one of her words count.