If we were to believe the media, summer reading is a time for light beachy reads. Thrillers, romance and other guilty pleasures seem to fall in this category. I fall strictly into the camp that you can read anything you want at any time, but one thing we can agree on? It isn’t summer anymore! So maybe it is the perfect time for a literary read. Literary fiction is often denser, more lyrical and the characters spend less time doing things and more time reflecting or reacting to things. They can be beautiful to read, have complex issues, but also sometimes dark and sad. Warning: literary fiction books often have open or ambigious endings! You will be in for a surprise if you normally read romance or mysteries.
Literary fiction fans often refer to awards lists – and two of my go-to lists have recently announced their nominees. The Man Booker prize  is awarded to British authors and those from the Commonwealth of Nations. Their recently announced short list is very diverse – four of the six are women and are from the far reaches of Zimbabwe, New Zealand, India, and Canada. The entire list:
We Need New Names  by NoViolet Bulawayo
The Luminaries  by Eleanor Catton
Harvest  by Jim Crace
The Lowland  by Jhumpa Lahiri
A Tale for the Time Being  by Ruth Ozeki
The Testament of Mary  by Colm Tóibín
The National Book Awards fiction nominees are:
The full list of Young Adult, Poetry and Nonfiction nominees can be found at the National Book Awards website .
While maybe not gripping and gritty, these literary fiction titles each look thought-provoking and full of life. I know my to-read list just got a little bit longer!