What should I read next?
February 4, 2012 7:33 PM   Subscribe

What should I read next?

I just finished The Help and am looking for fiction recommendations that I will enjoy as much. Looking for books that have a great plot, are engrossing and aren't too cheezy/fluffy. I read plenty of non-fiction that makes me feel like my brain is working hard to process information. I like the opposite effect with fiction--just a natural ease of digesting a plot that makes me not want to put the book down.
posted by rglass to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (15 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe The Kite Runner or Water for Elephants. They're both plot-driven, historical and not too fluffy.
posted by infinitywaltz at 7:43 PM on February 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

I just picked up Fieldwork by Mischa Berlinski and couldn't put it down. I talked about it in this question, where I got a lot of great answers!
posted by zoomorphic at 7:49 PM on February 4, 2012

I second infinitywaltz's suggestions and add The Night Circus and A Prayer for Owen Meany, which are both really engaging in different ways.
posted by charmedimsure at 7:55 PM on February 4, 2012

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

The Given Day by Dennis Lehane.
posted by eugenen at 8:05 PM on February 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

I really enjoyed The Help too.

This mefi question has given me so many great titles. I am currently reading Black Swan Green because so many people there recommended it.

Never Let Me Go is one of my favorite books of all time.
posted by mamabear at 8:17 PM on February 4, 2012

Plot-wise, you may enjoy A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley. I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith, is also very engrossing.

Jumpha Lahari has some great stuff; you may really like The Namesake.
posted by k8lin at 8:18 PM on February 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

The Help to me has the same sort of feel as "Cold Sassy Tree" by Olive Ann Barnes. It has the warmth and heart I think resonates in the same way. I adore CST for it's humor and because it tells a damn good story.
posted by loquat at 8:23 PM on February 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

Also: any Kate Atkinson, Barbara Kingsolver, or Tana French. And, The Family Tree by Carole CadWalladr.
posted by charmedimsure at 8:35 PM on February 4, 2012

Funny, I meant to include Cold Sassy Tree in my post just above loquat's, and forgot. Seconding.
posted by k8lin at 8:45 PM on February 4, 2012

Peace Like A River, Bel Canto, Room. suggestions from my personal librarian.
posted by goutytophus at 8:51 PM on February 4, 2012

I found The Time Traveler's Wife to be good for this.
posted by rabbitbookworm at 9:12 PM on February 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

+1 for Room and The Time Traveler's Wife.

These is My Words by Nancy Turner.

Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay.
posted by McPuppington the Third at 10:41 PM on February 4, 2012

All the books I'm going to recommend feature alternating point of view and strong female characters dealing with adversity, which are perhaps things you enjoyed about The Help. They also have well-paced, interesting plots and fully developed characters. Also, although none of these is a comedy, they are all leavened with healthy doses of humour from time to time.

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe or Standing in the Rainbow, both by Fannie Flagg.

Margaret Drabble's trilogy The Radiant Way, A Natural Curiosity, and The Gates of Ivory. I'd definitely read them in that order.

The Republic of Love, by Carol Shields.

Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden.

I'd also second the suggestion above for Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake. It's amazing.

[Mr. hgg recommends Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:23 AM on February 5, 2012

Three Cups of Tea
posted by costanza at 12:32 AM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think this infographic will provide you with an answer to this question, assuming you don't hate sci-fi or fantasy.
posted by Effigy2000 at 1:51 AM on February 5, 2012

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