10.06.2014

TOP TEN TUESDAY | BOOKS FOR READERS WHO LIKE CHARACTER-DRIVEN NOVELS


This week's Top Ten Tuesday on The Broke and the Bookish is: Top Ten Books For Readers Who Like Character-Driven Novels. This is a timely topic for me, because I feel like I've read several books that fit this criterion recently. Some of these may seem surprising!


Hearts and Minds - Amanda Craig
Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel
All My Puny Sorrows - Miriam Toews


This Is Where I Leave You - Jonathan Tropper
Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving (or any of his other books, pretty much)


 
I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith
The Catcher In the Rye - J.D. Salinger
Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell


The Bean Trees - Barbara Kingsolver
BONUS: 1. All Families Are Psychotic - Douglas Coupland (because it's character-driven, but it's also really, really weird and definitely not everyone's cup of tea.) 2. The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt (because I haven't read the whole thing so I don't feel like I can really include it as one of the ten, but based on the first half it definitely fits in this list!)

I feel like there are so many great character-driven books out there. I tend to find them more fulfilling than action-packed thrillers (though I do need plot with my characters). I enjoy connecting to the person on the page and feeling like I'm learning what it's like to be inside someone else's head.

What about you guys? Which books had vivid main characters that you just couldn't forget?

16 comments :

  1. Hi. Wow you have 12 in your list. I agree with you on 'The Catcher in the Rye' but unfortunately I didn't like Holden. I've read so many reviews on 'Gone Girl', 'Eleanor & Park' & 'The Goldfinch' and they certainly interest me to pick up & read.

    My choices can be found in this link. Out of 10, I'd say Jane Eyre is the most vivid character I've read and enjoyed.
    http://ssreaderscorner.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/ten-books-for-readers-who-like-character-driven-novels/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I included a few books that I didn't necessarily love - or with characters that weren't great - just to account for taste. Gone Girl is a good example. I hated pretty much every character in the book, but still thought it excellently written and thoroughly character-oriented.
      I remember loving Jane too, though it's been way too long since I read it!

      Delete
  2. Great choices! I have Eleanor & Park on my list this week too. I've heard great things about Station Eleven!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. E&P.... I have such mixed feelings about that book, but can't deny that it was skillfully written and the characters complex and lingering. Station Eleven was a total surprise to me, in the best possible way. I highly recommend it!

      Delete
  3. Oh YES to Rainbow Rowell!! I put Eleanor And Park on my list...aaand then swapped it for Fangirl because Cath was perfection. I can't love her enough. XD I think she represented fangirls/writers/introverts with A+ and I just want to thank Rainbow Rowell for that book again and again and forever. XD lol I'm mildly enthusiastic, yes.
    Here's my TTT!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Rainbow... how she pulls at my heart strings! It's weird, because there were things in both of those books that didn't work for me, but in the end I didn't care. I still say I loved them and the characters were so well conceived. INTROVERTS. Yes. So with you on that one!

      Delete
  4. I love it that the first three are completely new to me. Thanks for sharing these.

    Here's my Best Character-Driven Novels!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh good! I love it when I come across new-to-me books on other blogs, so glad to have been able to introduce you to these - particularly since they were all excellent!

      Delete
  5. I'm much more drawn to character-driven novels too. I almost listed Catcher in the Rye for this week too. Great list.
    My TTT

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I debated whether to include it since I read it more than a decade and a half ago and barely remember it. But I was left with an impression and I know that the characterization in it was strong, so in the end, I decided it deserved a place.

      Delete
  6. Oh, Gone Girl. That was amazing! Even the husband loved it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've rarely encountered such powerfully-drawn characters. Even if they were completely and totally unlikeable!

      Delete
  7. Yet another reminder that I need to read Gone Girl. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd say it's worth a read - just go into it prepared for some complex emotions!

      Delete
  8. Fab list! Gone Girl made my list, but there are three or four on here that are on my TBR. The Goldfinch has been on it for a while now... *cough*...

    My TTT: http://confessionsofabookgeek.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/top-ten-tuesday-character-driven-novels/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I've been reading Goldfinch on and off (mostly off) since last Christmas. It's not an easy one to get through - partly because the characters are SO vivid and realistic. It's hard when they're experiencing such unpleasant circumstances!

      Delete

Share Buttons