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Monthly Genre Challenge 2018 > January Genre - Contemporary/Literary Fiction

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message 1: by Rosemarie, Obsessive Reader (new)

Rosemarie | 3701 comments Mod
I am going to read Henderson the Rain King by the Nobel Prize winning author Saul Bellow, as Literary Fiction.
I have not read anything by this author before, so I am starting off the new year with a new author.

Happy New Year and Happy Reading everyone!


message 2: by LindaH (new)

LindaH | 153 comments I am going to read The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark.


message 3: by Allison, Quest Hound (new)

Allison (rainy-day-reads) | 1298 comments Mod
This is such a tough genre for me. I'm not a big fan of contemporary or literary fiction. But, I will try to stretch myself. I have a couple of possibilities on my shelves:

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

The Lost Book of the Grail - This is the one I'm more interested in, but it feels like cheating because it's a literary mystery, so not pure fiction... but it's literary... that counts, right?


message 4: by Rosemarie, Obsessive Reader (new)

Rosemarie | 3701 comments Mod
The second book fits under the Contemporary heading, I would say. It sounds interesting.


message 5: by Allison, Quest Hound (new)

Allison (rainy-day-reads) | 1298 comments Mod
Ok, thanks Rosemarie. I think I'll go for that one.


message 6: by Michael (new)

Michael | 26 comments Is there a definition for contemporary/literary fiction? Does anything by Daniel Silva count?


message 7: by Rosemarie, Obsessive Reader (new)

Rosemarie | 3701 comments Mod
Contemporary fiction is modern mainstream fiction from the past few years for a rough description. This includes most popular fiction that is not a specific genre.

Literary fiction is often found on required reading lists in English lit classes.
Any authors who have won major prizes for writing, like the Nobel prize or the Pulitzer would be good choices for this category.

If you need any ideas, the main authors of the 20th century would be good choices-- like Faulkner, Steinbeck, Carson McCullers, Doris Lessing, Somerset Maugham--just to name a few.

If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

The books can be in any language, as long as they fit the category.


message 8: by Rosemarie, Obsessive Reader (new)

Rosemarie | 3701 comments Mod
Michael wrote: "Is there a definition for contemporary/literary fiction? Does anything by Daniel Silva count?"


You can use Daniel Silva for October, when we do Thrillers.


message 9: by Sonia (new)

Sonia | 420 comments I am going to read Miss Pettigrew lives for a day. It was a Christmas present.


message 10: by Rosemarie, Obsessive Reader (new)

Rosemarie | 3701 comments Mod
I hope you enjoy it, Sonia.


message 11: by LindaH (new)

LindaH | 153 comments The terms “literary “ and “contemporary “ are so subjective. I did a very brief google search just now...and the consensus is, No one agrees. For instance, Written in the Twentieth century versus Written after 1960.

I like Rosemarie’s line, The main authors of the twentieth century.


message 12: by Allison, Quest Hound (new)

Allison (rainy-day-reads) | 1298 comments Mod
I usually think of of literary as the kinds of books that win awards or get assigned in schools, and contemporary as about 1960s or later. I agree that we can go with authors from the 20th and 21st centuries, as long as they're not a specific genre.


message 13: by LindaH (new)

LindaH | 153 comments I’m still trying to find a simple definition of “literary”. Ho-hah!

In choosing a book, I went to the Guardian list found at Let’s Have Pie. The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark was listed under Humor. It was published in 1963.

Literary? Someone at the Guardian (dare I say?) thought it had artistic merit.

Contemporary? It was published in my lifetime.

Overthinking this? Guilty as charged.


message 14: by Rosemarie, Obsessive Reader (new)

Rosemarie | 3701 comments Mod
Many books have overlapping classifications. I would consider anything by Muriel Spark as literary fiction.
It is easy to overthink things, for sure.


message 15: by Trisha (new)

Trisha | 766 comments Sonia wrote: "I am going to read Miss Pettigrew lives for a day. It was a Christmas present."
I put this on my wish list ages ago, but still haven’t read it - I’ll be interested to see what you think of it.


message 16: by Candy (last edited Apr 05, 2018 05:48PM) (new)

Candy Tiley | 84 comments I view literary as in literature. So if I read a book that is more challenging in language vs. the average read then I think of it as literary.
My book club picked The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver to read in January so I am going to count that as my literary fiction although it is also historical fiction.

Following up - The Poisonwood Bible is definitely a great book. I think the author's personal experiences really added to the realism of the novel. I am going to read more of this author's book.


message 17: by Allison, Quest Hound (new)

Allison (rainy-day-reads) | 1298 comments Mod
Barbara Kingsolver is a great choice for literary.


message 18: by Celia (new)

Celia (cinbread19) | 50 comments I am going to read Burmese Days, by George Orwell.


message 19: by Rosemarie, Obsessive Reader (new)

Rosemarie | 3701 comments Mod
The Poisonwood Bible is an excellent book.


message 20: by Rosemarie, Obsessive Reader (new)

Rosemarie | 3701 comments Mod
Burmese Days is one of the few books by Orwell that I haven't read. It will be interesting to hear your comments, Celia.


message 21: by Celia (new)

Celia (cinbread19) | 50 comments Rosemarie wrote: "Burmese Days is one of the few books by Orwell that I haven't read. It will be interesting to hear your comments, Celia."

I am scheduled to start it Jan 15... stay tuned. A member of my book club recommended it. It has been sitting on my to-read since Apr 08, 2015. I tried Wigan Pier about 7 years ago. I plan to try it again. I don't think I was an advanced literary appreciator (!!) when I read it in 2010.


message 22: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Joy (rebecca_joy) | 18 comments I'm going to read "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood". It's been on my list forever and I think it counts as contemporary.


message 23: by Rosemarie, Obsessive Reader (new)

Rosemarie | 3701 comments Mod
Rebecca, that fits contemporary very well.


message 24: by Paula (new)

Paula Bardell-Hedley (gaiabird) | 195 comments My Book for January is going to be Asymmetry, a new book by Lisa Halliday. I think it probably fits both the Contemporary and Literary Fiction categories. 🤓


message 25: by Paula (new)

Paula Bardell-Hedley (gaiabird) | 195 comments LindaH wrote: "I am going to read The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark."

Excellent choice, Linda. Spark is one of my all time favourite authors.


message 26: by Brenda (last edited Jan 19, 2018 08:18AM) (new)

Brenda (chocoholic1976) Thanks for the definitions of literary and contemporary. I’m starting Steinbeck’s Sweet Thursday. I’ve been wanting to read more of his, so this is a great motivator.

*Update 1/19: I began a goal this week to focus on personal development reading daily, which leaves little time for pleasure reading. I won’t be able to get back to this one. I don’t know how you all read so much! I find there are too many things I want to do in life.


message 27: by Paula (new)

Paula Bardell-Hedley (gaiabird) | 195 comments Rosemarie wrote: "The Poisonwood Bible is an excellent book."

Totally agree, Rosemarie. I read it several years ago but thought it superb.


message 28: by Paula (new)

Paula Bardell-Hedley (gaiabird) | 195 comments Celia wrote: "I am going to read Burmese Days, by George Orwell."

I was given a copy of Burmese Days for Christmas, so will do my best to get round to it before too long. So far, everything I have read by Orwell I've really enjoyed. Hope this is another good one! 😊


message 29: by Rosemarie, Obsessive Reader (new)

Rosemarie | 3701 comments Mod
I read Cannery Row not that long ago and I believe Sweet Thursday has the same characters. Enjoy the book, Brenda.


message 30: by Rosemarie, Obsessive Reader (new)

Rosemarie | 3701 comments Mod
I will be interested to read your comments too, Paula.

I started it a few years ago but couldn't get into it then, but I really want to give it another try sometime since I really like Orwell's other works.


message 31: by KJ (new)

KJ Lange | 1 comments I'm thinking I'd like to read Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here. Last time I read that I was in high school and I may have a different viewpoint now . I'm sure I do, 40 years later.


message 32: by Rosemarie, Obsessive Reader (new)

Rosemarie | 3701 comments Mod
Great choice, KJ.
Books say different things to us at different ages in our lives.


message 33: by Hannah (new)

Hannah | 2 comments I’m reading Animal Farm by George Orwell, The little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Inferno by Dan Brown and finally the hard way by Lee Child. Busy month 😅


message 34: by Rosemarie, Obsessive Reader (new)

Rosemarie | 3701 comments Mod
Enjoy your books, Hannah.


message 35: by LindaH (new)

LindaH | 153 comments Nice to know you like Spark., Paula! This is only my second book by her but I definitely want to read more. Loitering with Intent was so good.


message 36: by Kay (new)

Kay Smeal | 99 comments So I just finished Abundance of Katherine's by John Green does this count as contemporary?


message 37: by Rosemarie, Obsessive Reader (new)

Rosemarie | 3701 comments Mod
Kiersten wrote: "So I just finished Abundance of Katherine's by John Green does this count as contemporary?"

It certainly does.


message 38: by Mark (new)

Mark  | 1 comments Hello. I'm new to this group. Trying to make sure I read a lot more this year. Starting this month with Little fires everywhere by Celeste Ng, I think it fits into contemporary fiction.


message 39: by Rosemarie, Obsessive Reader (new)

Rosemarie | 3701 comments Mod
Welcome to the group, Mark. Your choice is a good pick for contemporary fiction. Happy reading.


message 40: by Shashank (new)

Shashank Rao (shashankpr) | 1 comments Hi All !
I'm new to this group and I like this Genre challenge. I'm trying to push myself this month and read :
1) A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
2) Little fires everywhere by Celeste Ng
3) To Kill A Mockingbird


message 41: by Jyanaar (new)

Jyanaar | 1 comments Hi everyone, happy new year :) Would “The girl who saved the king of Sweden” by Jonas Jonasson fit this category?


message 42: by Anne (new)

Anne | 1 comments Hi all:)
I'm new here and I'm looking forward to the genre challenge. I've many books on the go but I'm thinking Marian Keyes fits 'contemporary'. Is that ok?


message 43: by Veronica (new)

Veronica Garcia | 1 comments Hello all,
I’m very exited to be a part of this group and I’m looking forward to reading and sharing! I want to read

The Alchemist by Paulo Cuelho.

Veronica


message 44: by LindaH (new)

LindaH | 153 comments Great choice, Veronica. I loved The Alchemist.


message 45: by LindaH (new)

LindaH | 153 comments I finished The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark.


message 46: by Rosemarie, Obsessive Reader (new)

Rosemarie | 3701 comments Mod
LindaH wrote: "I finished The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark."

What did you think of it?


message 47: by Rosemarie, Obsessive Reader (new)

Rosemarie | 3701 comments Mod
Shashank wrote: "Hi All !
I'm new to this group and I like this Genre challenge. I'm trying to push myself this month and read :
1) A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
2) Little fires everywhere by Celeste..."


Good luck on your challenge and enjoy the books. You have a good selection there.


message 48: by Rosemarie, Obsessive Reader (new)

Rosemarie | 3701 comments Mod
Anne wrote: "Hi all:)
I'm new here and I'm looking forward to the genre challenge. I've many books on the go but I'm thinking Marian Keyes fits 'contemporary'. Is that ok?"


Good choice. Enjoy your book.


message 49: by Rosemarie, Obsessive Reader (new)

Rosemarie | 3701 comments Mod
Jyanaar wrote: "Hi everyone, happy new year :) Would “The girl who saved the king of Sweden” by Jonas Jonasson fit this category?"

That sounds like a fun choice. Happy reading.


message 50: by LindaH (new)

LindaH | 153 comments Rosemarie wrote: "LindaH wrote: "I finished The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark."

What did you think of it?"


I thought it was funny and thought provoking at the same time. It gave me a good sense of what it’s like living in London and specifically, what it was like to live in London right after the War ended.


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