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All-time Favourite Adult Novels

01

The Gloaming - Kirsty Logan

"We can't carry our whole lives with us everywhere we go. memories have weight, and no one can lift them all at once. We have to leave some of them behind."
 

Mara’s island is one of stories and magic. She knows she’ll eventually end her days atop the cliff, turned to stone and gazing out at the horizon like all the villagers that went before her, drawn by the otherworldly call of the sea. Her whole family will be there too, even her brother Bee and her sister Islay.
But the island and the sea do what they want, and when they claim a price from her family, Mara’s world changes forever.

 

The Gloaming  is the very loose  companion novel to The Gracekeepers, and kind of shares this place with it, as I love both equally.
You can find links to both down below.
 

Read my Review for The Gloaming
Read my Review for The Gracekeepers

 

02

The Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss

"I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.

You may have heard of me.

So begins a tale unequaled in fantasy literature--the story of a hero told in his own voice. It is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend."

An instant classic, one of the best fantasy books I have ever read, and one I would recommend to anyone who is a fan of the genre.

Read my Review
Find the book on Goodreads

03

The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

"I took a deep breaht and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am... "
 

Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther's breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational—as accessible an experience as going to the movies. A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic.

A harrowing classic about depression and mental illness, that transcents time and remains one of the most poignant and striking books on the topic ever written.

 

Find this book on Goodreads

04

Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel

"Survival is insufficient."

Set in the days of civilization's collapse, Station Eleven tells the story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

Probably the best post-apocalyptic literary fiction i have ever come across. Poetic, lyrical, heartfelt and meaninful from beginning to end.
Set in the days of civilization's collapse, Station Eleven tells the story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.


Find this book on Goodreads

 

05

The Tidal Zone - Sarah Moss

"Suddenly you will stop. You , me and all of us. Your lungs will rest at last and the electric pulse in your pulse will vanish into the darkness from which it came. Put your fingers in your ears, lay your head on the pillow and listen to the footsteps of your blood. You are alive..."

Adam is a stay-at-home dad who is also working on a history of the bombing and rebuilding of Coventry Cathedral. He is a good man and he is happy. But one day, he receives a call from his daughter's school to inform him that, for no apparent reason, fifteen-year-old Miriam has collapsed and stopped breathing. In that moment, he is plunged into a world of waiting, agonising, not knowing.
The story of his life and the lives of his family are rewritten and re-told around this shocking central event, around a body that has inexplicably failed. In this exceptionally courageous and unflinching novel of contemporary life Sarah Moss goes where most of us wouldn't dare to look, and the result is riveting - unbearably sad, but also miraculously funny and ultimately hopeful.

​A novel about living through and with the terrifying and humbling realization of the fragility of life. It's an intimate, compassionate and  ultimately true representation of the effects of a lifechanging health-event and the uncertainty that follows, on a family as a whole. I can't recommend this one enough, to anyone even remotely interested in this subject.

Read my Review
Find this book on Goodreads

 

06

Annihilation - Jeff Vandermeer

"Some questions will ruin you if you're denied an answer for too long."
 

For thirty years, Area X, monitored by the secret agency known as the Southern Reach, has remained mysterious and remote behind its intangible border– an environmental disaster zone, though to all appearances an abundant wilderness. Eleven expeditions have been sent in to investigate; even for those that have made it out alive, there have been terrible consequences.
‘Annihilation’ is the story of the twelfth expedition and is told by its nameless biologist. Introverted but highly intelligent, the biologist brings her own secrets with her. She is accompanied by a psychologist, an anthropologist and a surveyor, their stated mission: to chart the land, take samples and expand the Southern Reach’s understanding of Area X.
But they soon find out that they are being manipulated by forces both strange and all too familiar. An unmapped tunnel is not as it first appears. An inexplicable moaning calls in the distance at dusk. And while each member of the expedition has surrendered to the authority of the Southern Reach, the power of Area X is far more difficult to resist

This book is hard to explain, and possibly better left that way. Somewhere between sci-fi, psychological thriller and the hard to define genre "new weird", this is one of those books that kept me thinking, even years after reading it. 
It's definitely not going to be everybody's cup of tea, and even more so than most, I think this is one of those books where the readers can reflect themselves on it, as much as the other way around. If you prefer stories where everything is clear and explained, this may not be one for you, but if you like the ones where you have to fill some of the blanks yourself: give this one a try.

Do note that I only included "Annihilation" on this list, and not its sequels Authority and Acceptance, as I personally did not enjoy these, and prefer to think of Annihilation as a stand-alone novel. You won't miss much if you do so.
 

Find this book on Goodreads

 

07

Where the Forest Meets The Stars - Glendy Vanderah

“I’ve decided language isn’t as advanced as we think it is. We’re still apes trying to express our thoughts with grunts while most of what we want to communicate stays locked in our brains.”

Where the Forest meets the Stars is an adult contemporary novel, with a slight magical realism vibe, that both thematically and tonally seemed almost made for me. (The last time I said that about a book was with A Monster Calls, which is still in my top 3 of all time. )

We follow a graduate student in her mid-twenties, who has isolated and buried herself in her thesis on bird-nesting, in order to keep her mind of the recent events in her personal life. She has recently survived cancer, but only after losing her mother to the same hereditary tumor, and has not allowed herself the time to grieve either of those losses. A remarkable friendship with the similarly reclusive egg-salesman next door, and a mysterious girl who claims to have come from the stars, helps her to find her way back to other people, and to face her feelings and her future again.


Find this book on Goodreads

 

08

Circe - Madeline Miller

"But in a solitary life, there are rare moments when another soul dips near yours, as stars once a year brush the earth. Such a constellation was he to me.”

A retelling of the life of the mythological witch Circe, who is a side character in many a great Greek myth, but never get's a voice of her own. I'm a big fan of any type of retelling of Greek mythology, and the story of one of my favourite characters was in good hands with one of my favorite retellers Madeline Miller. Beautifully written, well researched and with an atmosphere and setting you don't find too often: this has well earned its spot on this list.

Find this book on Goodreads

 

09

The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern

"The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not."

Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

 

Magical, lyrical and one of the most atmospheric fantasies I ever read.

Find the book on Goodreads

 

10

The House of God - Samuel Shem

"Gomers Never Die"

 

Six eager interns  -- they saw themselves as modern saviors-to-be.   They came from the top of their medical school class  to the bottom of the hospital staff to serve a  year in the time-honored tradition, racing to answer  the flash of on-duty call lights and nubile  nurses.
But only the Fat Man -- the all-knowing resident -- could sustain them in their struggle to survive, to stay sane, to love and even to be doctors when their harrowing year was done.

 

Hilarious, hyperbolical, but not that  far from the truth. It may be a bit of a controversial book, but this story about the ups and down of a medical interns life will forever have a special place in my heart.

Find this book on Goodreads

11

Never Let me Go -Kazuo Ishiguro

"“Memories, even your most precious ones, fade surprisingly quickly. But I don’t go along with that. The memories I value most, I don’t ever see them fading.”

Hailsham seems like a pleasant English boarding school, far from the influences of the city. Its students are well tended and supported, trained in art and literature, and become just the sort of people the world wants them to be. But, curiously, they are taught nothing of the outside world and are allowed little contact with it.
Within the grounds of Hailsham, Kathy grows from schoolgirl to young woman, but it’s only when she and her friends Ruth and Tommy leave the safe grounds of the school (as they always knew they would) that they realize the full truth of what Hailsham is.


Find this book on Goodreads

12

Grief is the Thing With Feathers - Max Porter

“Again. I beg everything again.”
 

In a London flat, two young boys face the unbearable sadness of their mother's sudden death. Their father, a Ted Hughes scholar and scruffy romantic, imagines a future of well-meaning visitors and emptiness.
In this moment of despair they are visited by Crow - antagonist, trickster, healer, babysitter. This self-described sentimental bird is attracted to the grieving family and threatens to stay until they no longer need him. As weeks turn to months and physical pain of loss gives way to memories, this little unit of three begin to heal.

 

I have a weird relationship with this book. I have read this multiple times and keep feeling differently about it. At times I hate it, at times I love it, and each time I find something new that I hadn't picked up on before. No matter what happens though, there is a certain gravity-like pull that always brings me back to this story. As a concept, it has been with me for one of the hardest times of my life. Like the its feathered protagonist, it's at times unpleasant and obnoxious, at times a comfort, but always a companion that is with me in the background of my mind at all times, which tells you something about the quality of this story.

Find this book on Goodreads

13

The Mistborn Trilogy - Brandon Sanderson

"Our belief is often strongest when it should be weakest. That is the nature of hope.”

I don't think this book needs much introduction as it's a staple of the fantasy genre at this point. In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice.

Brandon Sanderson is one of the best fantasy novelists of all time for me, and I've loved everything I've read by him so far. The Mistborn Trilogy (in particular The Final Empire) however, will always have a special place in my heart as being my first introduction to him, and adult fantasy as a whole. With its completely unique and well developed magic system, it's amazing characters and story that pulled me in and din't let me go, this novel opened the door to a genre that I now consider one of my favourites.

Find this book on Goodreads


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All-time Favourite YA & Middle-grade Novels
 

01

A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness

At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting - he's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It's ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth.

 

This beautiful and unique portrayal of childhood grief is one of the very few books to ever make me cry. It hit hard en true on a very personal level and made me feel understood on a level that many others failed. For this reason, it will forever hold a special place in my heart and on my favorite-list. For now, this place is a very deserved nr. 1.

Read my Review
Find the book on Goodreads

 

02

We are Okay - Nina LaCour

"You go through life thinking there’s so much you need…
Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother."

For a book that is all about loneliness, it made me feel incredibly connected. The more often I reread it, the more the latter stands out to me. It's about love and loss, grief and comfort, fear and hope, and packs a larger punch in its 200 pages than many a 500 page brick.
It can be a hard hitter for anyone going through, or having gone through grief, but in the end it was the warmth and hope that this book eminates that helped me through a lot.

Read my Review
Find this book on Goodreads

 

03

The Astonishing Colour of After - Emily XR Pan

 

Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird.
Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life.
Alternating between real and magic, past and present, friendship and romance, hope and despair, The Astonishing Color of After is a novel about finding oneself through family history, art, grief, and love.

 

This freaking book broke me in the best way possible, and I truly don't understand how it's as underrated as it is. I  wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who feels up for the subject matter, as this is not only in my top 5 best YA-novels of all time, but also one of the best debuts Ih've ever read.

Read my Review

Find this book on Goodreads

04

The Six of Crows - Leigh Bardugo

"No Mourners, No Funerals"

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .

Find this book on Goodreads

 

05

Strange the Dreamer - Laini Taylor

“I turned my nightmares into fireflies and caught them in a jar.”

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.
What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?


Find this book on Goodreads

 

06

His Dark Materials trilogy - Philip Pullman

“All the history of human life has been a struggle between wisdom and stupidity.”

One of my absolute childhood favorites that has stood the test of time. Philip Pullmans trilogy is, in my opinion, a modern classic that can (and should) be enjoyed by readers of all ages. Especially book one is one of the most magical reading experiences I can remember from my childhood, on par and possibly even surpassing the feeling that books like Harry Potter gave me.

Find the book on Goodreads

07

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrow of Ava Lavender - Leslye Walton

​“To many, I was myth incarnate, the embodiment of a most superb legend, a fairy tale. Some considered me a monster, a mutation. To my great misfortune, I was once mistaken for an angel. To my mother, I was everything. To my father, nothing at all. To my grandmother, I was a daily reminder of loves long lost. But I knew the truth—deep down, I always did.
I was just a girl.”

Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird.
In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration.
That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo.


Find this book on Goodreads

 

08

The Gracekeepers - Kirsty Logan

"You go through life thinking there’s so much you need…
Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother."

As a Gracekeeper, Callanish administers shoreside burials, laying the dead to their final resting place deep in the depths of the ocean. Alone on her island, she has exiled herself to a life of tending watery graves as penance for a long-ago mistake that still haunts her. Meanwhile, North works as a circus performer with the Excalibur, a floating troupe of acrobats, clowns, dancers, and trainers who sail from one archipelago to the next, entertaining in exchange for sustenance.
In a world divided between those inhabiting the mainland ("landlockers") and those who float on the sea ("damplings"), loneliness has become a way of life for North and Callanish, until a sudden storm offshore brings change to both their lives - offering them a new understanding of the world they live in and the consequences of the past, while restoring hope in an unexpected future.

I've already mentioned this book together with The Gloaming, as they're set in the same universe, so I won't go into it again too deeply. I'm sorry to say that this book has had a" review to come" message on my Goodreads for years now. I simply love it too much to put into words exactly what makes that so. I truly hope to be able to write a review at some point, but I'm not yet making any promises.

Find this book on Goodreads

 

 

All-time Favourite Medical Non-fiction

1. When Breath Becomes Air - Paul Kalanithi
2. The Emperor of All Maladies - Siddhartha Mukherjee

3. This is Going to Hurt - Adam Kay

4. I am, I am, I am - Maggie O'Farrell

5. The Bright Hour - Nina Riggs

Books in Pairs
 

Books in Pairs Pt.1

For the full article, click here

Books in Pairs Pt.2: Underrated Edition

For the full article, click here
 

 

  • If you liked: The Secret History by Donna Tartt,
    you might like: If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio
  • If you liked: Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier
    you might like: The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea
  • If you liked: Circe or The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
    you might like: The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
  • If you liked: The Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo
    you might like: The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
  • If you liked: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
    you might like: City of Woven Streets by Emmi Itaränta
  • If you liked: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
    you might like: The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan
  • If you liked: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
    you might like: The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell
  • If you liked: Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley
    you might like: Challenger Deep by Neal Schusterman
  • If you liked: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
    you might like: When the Moon was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore
  • If you liked: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
    you might like: In the Night Wood by Dale Bailey



Books in Pairs Pt3: TV-show Edition

For the full article, click here

  • If you liked: Stranger Things you might like: The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman

  • If you liked: Dexter you might like: I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells

  • If you liked: Gray’s Anatomy you might like: The House of God by Samuel Shem

  • If you liked: Firefly you might like: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

  • If you liked: Supernatural you might like: American Gods by Neil Gaiman

  • If you liked: The X-files you might like: The Anomaly by Michael Rutger

  • If you liked: Black Mirror you might like: Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

  • If you liked: Gilmore Girls you might like: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

  • If you liked House MD you might like: Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

 
 

Underrated Recommendations