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

Broken River

J Robert Lennon


Oisin Fagan

Before, During, After

Richard Bausch

The Element of Water

Stevie Davies

The Gurugu Pledge

Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel

Anatomy of a Soldier

Harry Parker

Death in Danzig

Stefan Chwin

The Memory Keeper's Daughter

Kim Edwards


Maureen Freely

The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon

Richard Zimler

The Story of Forgetting

Stefan Merrill Block

Map of the Invisible World

Tash Aw

Let the Right One In

John Ajvide Lindqvist

Six Four

Hideo Yokoyama

The Reckoning

Patricia Tyrrell

A Closed Book

Gilbert Adair

Tell No One

Harlan Coben


Eva-Marie Liffner

My Name is Light

Elsa Osorio

The Secret of Not Drowning

Colette Snowden

A History of Forgetting

Caroline Adderson

The Cave

Jose Saramago

Kingdom of Strangers

Zoe Ferraris


Tom McCarthy

The Meursault Investigation

Kamel Daoud


G X Todd

Made in Britain

Gavin James Bower

Children of the Sun

Max Schaefer

He Who Fears The Wolf

Karin Fossum

The Cellist of Sarajevo

Steven Galloway


Chris Cleave

Boy A

Jonathan Trigell

Arab Jazz

Karim Miské

The Last Shot

Hugo Hamilton

The Invention of Dr Cake

Andrew Motion

Little Gold

Allie Rogers

The Colour of Milk

Nell Leyshon


Natsuo Kirino

Blue Light Yokohama

Nicholás Obregón

The Heart is Deceitful Above all Things

J T LeRoy

Vinland the Dream

Kim Stanley Robinson

Lorraine Connection

Dominique Manotti


Jed Mercurio

Our Sunshine

Robert Drewe

The Deadly Space Between

Patricia Duncker

New Finnish Grammar

Diego Marani

To My Daughter in France

Stephanie and Barbara Keating

Crimson China

Betsy Tobin

The Swimmer

Roma Tearne

Mercy Among the Children

David Adams Richards