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.