Serious fiction to get you thinking

We all have space in our reading lives for a reflective, more solemn read. Serious doesn’t have to mean difficult, boring or even downbeat. Instead, we offer up a selection of novels and poetry deliver experiences which are completely genuine and true to life. Their fascination lies in the ability to open doors into worlds we wouldn’t normally get to inhabit with the confidence that if we need time out we can pause, put down the book and return to our familiar surroundings for a breather before diving back in for more. Serious books come in all shapes and sizes – and we have the full range here. Tiny books can punch well above their weight  in contemplative prose – so don’t disregard them in your search. Equally, big books may look forbidding – but they can come with a big, honest heart. Good luck finding the one that works best for you.

Search for books by Mood & Emotion


Jay Taverner

To My Daughter in France

Stephanie and Barbara Keating


Jaspreet Singh

An Untamed State

Roxane Gay

This Time the Flames

David Crackanthorpe

The Body Artist

Don DeLillo

The Daughters of Mars

Thomas Keneally

The Cellist of Sarajevo

Steven Galloway


J M Coetzee

The Little Girl and the Cigarette

Benoit Duteurtre


Tupelo Hassman

Broken April

Ismail Kadare

The Gallows Pole

Benjamin Myers


Anouar Benmalek

The Catastrophist

Ronan Bennett


Jed Mercurio


Joanne Harris


Saleem Haddad

White Chrysanthemum

Mary Lynn Bracht


A L Barker

Under an English Heaven

Robert Radcliffe

Beneath the Darkening Sky

Majok Tulba

I Have Waited, and You Have Come

Martine McDonagh

The Love of Stones

Tobias Hill

Blank Gaze

Jose Luis Peixoto

The Unquiet Dead

Ausma Zehanat Khan

The Heart is Deceitful Above all Things

J T LeRoy

Sea of Poppies

Amitav Ghosh

The Hidden Man

Charles Cummings


Nico Walker

The Informer

Akimitsu Takagi

The Gurugu Pledge

Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel

The Other Side of the Mountain

Erendiz Atasu

The Book of Night Women

Marlon James

Death in Danzig

Stefan Chwin

Untied Kingdom

James Lovegrove

Children of the Jacaranda Tree

Sahar Delijani


David Fuller


John Wray


Bill Broady

Silences from the Spanish Civil War

Jane Duran

Call It Dog

Marli Roode

The Birth House

Ami McKay

The Mysteries

Robert McGill

Time on my Hands

Giorgio Vasta

A Good Country

Laleh Khadivi

Blood Orange

Harriet Tyce

Burning Bright

Ron Rash

Ahab's Wife

Sena Jeter Naslund