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Fulfilling books for those who resent 'literary fiction'

Alpha Reader "dee"
The list author says: "It's always hard to get invested in 'literary fiction'. It's so much easier (and often more enjoyable) to stick to the genre's we love - paranormal, fantasy, crime, thriller... often reading 'books of worth' is a hard slog (trust me, I tried reading 'Anna Karenina'... stupid Russian names! Grr!)

This is a list of literary fiction that I felt better for having read. They weren't a 'chore' to read and while reading I often forgot that these books can be found on school reading lists and have had numerous mind-numbing essays written about them."
To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird
"It's a classic for a reason - a beautiful story told from a child's perspective, of paradise lost and learning harsh adult lessons. The Gregory Peck 1962 film adaptation is also a must-see!"
Cloudstreet: A Novel
Cloudstreet: A Novel
"One of the best Australian novels ever written, by one of our finest authors. Once you meet these family's you'll regret coming to the last page and having to let them go..."
The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby
"This novel, to put it in modern terms, is just plain 'cool'. A twisted tale of unattainable love and social vanity. There are many moral lessons here, cloaked in Fitzgerald's effortlessly cool prose."
The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel
The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel
"Read this and you'll be quoting it for months afterwards - "God doesnÂ’t need to punish us. He just grants us a long enough life to punish ourselves." By golly, it's a beautifully sordid tale."
A Certain Slant of Light
A Certain Slant of Light
"Perhaps not a conventional, mainstream 'classic'... but I am deeming it as such. A beautiful ghost story that's so engaging you'll want to re-read right away!"
Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague
Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague
"Heartbreaking and epic. This is the novel that kicked off Brooks's brilliant career - read it and weep (literally!)"
the Time Traveler's Wife
the Time Traveler's Wife
"Once again, it may not be a 'classic' just yet... but I think it will be. A gorgeous love story, regardless of the inherent tragedy in the tale."
The Stories of Eva Luna
The Stories of Eva Luna
"Classic Allende - fanciful and beautiful tales of sordid human tragedy. Epic."
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Modern Classics)
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Modern Classics)
"A story that takes place in one of the grandest city's in the world... Utter brilliance. This one sticks with you well after the last page."
East of Eden (Oprah Book Club Series)
East of Eden (Oprah Book Club Series)
"You have to read at least one Steinbeck in your life, if only to make a haughty reference and appear intellectually superior. All kidding aside, 'East of Eden' is an exquisite tragedy. You'll understand why Steinbeck is considered a legend once you read this book."
The Dressmaker
The Dressmaker
"I consider this to be a new Australian classic. A novel about small-town bigotry and overcoming one's destiny. Brilliant (if you can get your hands on a copy!)."
The Cherry Orchard (Hackett Classics)
The Cherry Orchard (Hackett Classics)
"A play, not a novel. And once again, quoting Chekhov will be an intellectual coup... but seriously, this is a nice (easy) introduction into Russian literature and techniques. It's also a rather funny, poignant story. Should be read aloud however, because it can be cold on the page."