I’m Starting to Feel My Age: Top 5 Adult Fiction Books on My TBR

Posted December 4, 2015 by Cristina (Girl in the Pages) in Features, TBR / 29 Comments

Lately I’ve been going through a phase where I find myself semi-tired of my beloved YA. Titles that I thought I would CERTAINLY be on the edge of my seat reading have ended up being a chore to read (I’m looking at you, Winter). Perhaps because I’ve recently been thrust into adulthood in my real life, I find myself craving characters with more mature relationships, life challenges, and goals. While I don’t see myself ever turning away from YA or even demoting it from my number one preferred genre of books, I think incorporating more adult fiction into my TBR will help prevent myself from feeling a certain monotony with the dozens of YA books I read every year. Below are the top 5 adult fiction books that I am interested in picking up that will hopefully shake up the content on my TBR:

husband's secretThe Husband’s Secret by Lane Moriarty

Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . .
Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.

The boyfriend practically had to pry this out of my hands at Barnes & Noble last weekend because I wanted it so badly (I’m trying to ban myself from buying books between now and Christmas so I can add them to my wishlist!) I haven’t read any books by this author but it sounds like a thriller that’s rooted in the relationship dynamics of a contemporary couple (an element I loved about Gone Girl). Doesn’t it look great?!

mebeforeyouMe Before You by Jojo Moyes

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that. What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

I feel like there is something seriously lacking in my reading life since I’ve yet to read a book by Jojo Moyes. She seems to have a lot of cross-over appeal for the older YA readers I know. From what I’ve read of the synopses of her various novels, her stories seem very character driven, which is one of my favorite things. I’m only slightly nervous that her books have such a cloud of hype around them. Would you recommend starting with this book or another by her? (I chose this one since it seems to have some of the highest Goodreads ratings!)

Secondhand SoulsSecondhand Souls by Christopher Moore

Something really strange is happening in the City by the Bay. People are dying, but their souls are not being collected. Someone—or something—is stealing them and no one knows where they are going, or why, but it has something to do with that big orange bridge. Death Merchant Charlie Asher is just as flummoxed as everyone else. He’s trapped in the body of a fourteen-inch-tall “meat” waiting for his Buddhist nun girlfriend, Audrey, to find him a suitable new body to play host.

To get to the bottom of this abomination, a motley crew of heroes will band together: the seven-foot-tall death merchant Minty Fresh; retired policeman turned bookseller Alphonse Rivera; the Emperor of San Francisco and his dogs, Bummer and Lazarus; and Lily, the former Goth girl. Now if only they can get little Sophie to stop babbling about the coming battle for the very soul of humankind…

I read A Dirty Job back in high school and I was shocked to find out Christopher Moore was writing a sequel so many years later. He has such a witty narrative voice and a dark sense of humor that I’ve always wanted to return to another one of his novels. This presents the perfect opportunity (and it’s set in San Francisco, my favorite US city).


Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloane

The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The bookstore’s secrets extend far beyond its walls.

Ok, I’ll be completely honest and say I’m still not really sure what this book is about. However, it has the word “bookstore” in the title and takes place in San Francisco, so it made it onto my TBR. Interestingly enough, I’ve heard the cover of the book glows in the dark! This is another adult fiction book that I see a lot of YA lovers read.


bernadetteWhere’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle—and people in general—has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence—creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.

This is a book I actually already own, and got at a steal for like $3 on the book bargain table at B&N. I’ve literally seen only 4 and 5 star reviews and it has sort of an offbeat feel with a lot of literary themes to unpack. It reminds me of the type of book I would have read in one of my American Literature post 1950’s classes in college.


Have you ever experienced YA burnout? Do you find yourself sometimes drawn to adult fiction when the themes in YA become too redundant? Can you vouch for any of the above books being worth reading? If you have adult fiction recommendations, please please please send them my way!

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29 responses to “I’m Starting to Feel My Age: Top 5 Adult Fiction Books on My TBR

  1. I read a lot of adult/ women’s fiction in addition to YA title. But I’m old 🙂 I love Liane Moriarty and I really enjoyed The Husband’s Secret but Big Little Lies was my favorite. Me Before You is one of my all time favorites. I like get other books as well. Where’d You Go Bernadette wad one I enjoyed a lot and was kind of kooky. Hope you love which every ones you try!!

    Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog recently posted: Mini-Review ~ Mr. Mercedes
  2. I have been reading a lot of YA this year, but I always try to mix it with other genres to avoid a ‘burn out’. I have actually read three of these titles and I have Me Before You on my TBR pile as well! My favorite would be Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, but The Husband’s Secret was quite entertaining as well. I had some problems with Where’d You Go, Bernadette myself, but it sure is a perfect beach or light read. 🙂

    Yvo @ It's All About Books recently posted: BOOK REVIEW: Liars, Inc. – by Paula Stokes
  3. I don’t think I have ever experienced YA burnout, but that is probably because I already read a mix of young adult and adult books. Although I mostly read YA whenever I get in the mood I read an adult book, basically what you plan on doing now. I think it will help out your problem! 🙂 Where’d You Go Bernadette is a great book! I have never read any Christopher Moore, but I really should. I have heard a lot of good things about Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore. Good luck and happy reading! I look forward to seeing what you think.

    Kay @ It's a Book Life recently posted: **Spoiler Review** I am in love with Jessica Jones
    • I think it’s easy to stick with YA and constantly read it because I’m constantly seeing all of the new titles being released because I’m involved in the YA book blogging scene. Adult fiction books don’t usually cross my radar unless there is a major one that is hyped up a lot. I’d love to discover more adult fiction novels, though! Do you have any other recommendations? 🙂

  4. I read a mix of books. I love YA but also read a lot of adult/ women’s fiction and suspense types books. From what you listed I have read and really enjoyed The Husband’s Secret, Me Before You and Where’d You Go, Bernadette. For Liane Moriarty I actually liked Big Little Lies more. Hope you enjoy whichever you read!

    Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog recently posted: My TBR List – December 2015
    • I just discovered Liane Moriarty and to be honest, I don’t think there’s been a book synopsis for one of her novels that hasn’t completely drawn me in! Plus I love the covers of her books. I can’t wait to start reading her novels!

  5. I always try to read a balance of YA and adult books, so I don’t get burned out on either. I highly recommend The Husband’s Secret and Me Before You. And almost all of the other Liane Moriarty and Jojo Moyes books. Both authors create wonderful characters and amazing stories.

    I didn’t really enjoy Where Did You Go, Bernadette, but I know most people do. I haven’t read the other 2 although the 24-hour book store one is on my list.

    Enjoy your break from YA fiction!

    Kate @ Mom's Radius recently posted: Christmas Ornament Stories: Volume 1
  6. I have the tendency to move around between YA, adult and MG when I’m picking my reads! The variety has always worked when it comes to keeping things interesting in my reading life. While I don’t read a lot of adult novels, I can definitely tell you that Jojo Moyes novels are WONDERFUL. Me Before You is great, but my favorite from her is One Plus One – you should definitely try reading that one too!

    Alexa S. recently posted: Time Travel To: Western Expansion
    • I almost want to start with anything other than Me Before You because it’s the title that EVERYONE talks about, and I don’t want to have my expectations shattered. Thanks for the recommendation of One Plus One (I actually like the sound of the synopsis a bit better, to tell the truth!)

  7. I just finished reading The Husband’s Secret not too long ago! I was feeling the same doldrums with YA and needed something a little different. I really enjoyed the story and the characters’ relationships with each other, I thought, were handled so well. Also, Where’d You Go, Bernadette? is just so much fun.

    Alyson recently posted: Book Report: The Husband’s Secret
    • Ever since I discovered The Husband’s Secret (which I have not read yet, as I know I’m getting it for Christmas) I’ve been obsessed with adding Liane Moriarty’s books to my TBR. They just look so GOOD. I think “doldrums” is a good word to describe how I’m feeling with YA at the moment!

  8. Great picks, the first two are on my TBR as well. I read What Alice Forgot by Moriarty, and while it was a solid enough read, it didn’t blow me away. I’ve heard much better things about The Husband’s Secret though. I’m a real genre hopper, and I love me some YA, but I do need to break it up with Adult fiction from time to time too. I need those “adult” conflicts and issues adults deal with that YA doesn’t always touch. R xx

  9. Me Before You is one of my absolute favorite books! It is just great.
    I too think I should get into more Adult books, but it’s hard to know where to start and what to look for. Jojo Moyes is probably a good way to go though 😀

    Cecilie recently posted: Unspesified time Wrap-Up
  10. I’ve read Me Before You twice and it’s still one of my absolute favorites, ever! I think I cried harder the second time reading it, too. And I’m in the middle of The Husband’s Secret. I can’t wait to keep reading! I’ve read other books by Liane Moriarty and Jojo Moyes and both authors are amazing! Hope you like them!

    Tina @ Pages of Comfort

  11. I know what you mean, I have found myself reading more adult fiction nowadays than I used to, as YA doesn’t always satisfy or I just get kinda “burned out” on it.

    I’ve read both What Alice Forgot and The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. I really enjoyed the first, I wasn’t as enthralled with the second. She does a good job of portraying realistic, flawed characters and their relationships, while still managing to inject some humour at times. I’m hoping to get Big Little Lies for Christmas! *crosses fingers*

    Also, if you enjoy historical fiction I would definitely recommend Kate Morton. She writes mysteries involving narratives switching between past and present storylines; her characterization is fantastic and her descriptions of the historical setting really work to make the reader feel like they’re there. In particular, I’d recommend The Forgotten Garden or The Secret Keeper.

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