Klara And The Sun

Books like Klara And The Sun

September 10, 2022

#1 Exit West

Two young people—the sensuous, fiercely independent Nadia and the sweet, restrained Saeed—meet in a nation that is on the verge of civil war. They start a covert relationship, but the upheaval shaking their city soon isolates them in an early intimacy. They start to hear rumblings about doors until it erupts, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts. These doors can transport individuals far away, but only at great risk and expense. Nadia and Saeed come to the conclusion that they are powerless to stop the violence as it intensifies. They locate a door and enter it, leaving their house and previous life behind.

Exit West portrays these characters as they leave behind their familiar past and enter an unfamiliar and unknown future while attempting to cling to one another, their history, and their very sense of themselves. It recounts a remarkable tale of love, devotion, and courage that is simultaneously entirely of our time and timeless. It is profoundly intimate and incredibly innovative.

#2 Americanah

When Ifemelu and Obinze leave military-run Nigeria for the West, they are young and in love. Ifemelu is attractive and confident when she leaves for America, but despite her academic excellence, she is forced to confront her first-ever questions about what it means to be black. Quiet, reflective Obinze had intended to go with her, but after 9/11, he was unable to enter America and instead settled into a perilous, illegal existence in London. They rejoin in a modern democratic Nigeria fifteen years later, reigniting their passion for one another and for their country.

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#3 On Earth We Re Briefly Gorgeous

A son’s letter to a mother who is unable to read is found in the book On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. The letter, which is written while the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, provides a window into aspects of his life that his mother has never known while revealing an amazing revelation about a family history that began before he was even born and has its roots in Vietnam. It is both a brutally honest examination of race, class, and manhood and a witness to the complicated yet unmistakable love between a single mum and her kid.

As we are enmeshed in addiction, violence, and trauma and ask questions that are fundamental to our American moment, questions that are supported by compassion and kindness, Both the power of speaking one’s own tale and the deafening quiet of not being heard are major themes in On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous.

#4 Pachinko

Teenage Sunja, the beloved daughter of a disabled fisherman, falls in love with a rich stranger at a beach close to her house in Korea in the early 1900s. He makes a lot of promises, but she rejects his advances when she learns she’s pregnant and that her lover is married. Instead, she accepts a marriage proposal from a kind, frail clergyman who is passing through town while traveling to Japan. But by leaving her house and rejecting her son’s wealthy father, she starts a dramatic story that will last for many generations.

Pachinko is a beautifully written and incredibly poignant tale of love, devotion, ambition, and sacrifice. Strong, unyielding women, devoted sisters, and sons, fathers shook by moral crisis, and others Lee’s complex and passionate characters survive and thrive against the uncaring arc of history in everything from bustling street markets to the halls of Japan’s finest universities to the pachinko parlors of the criminal underworld.

#5 Severance

Candace Chen is a routine-obsessed millennial drone who works alone in a Manhattan office building. So when a pestilence of biblical proportions sweeps New York, she hardly notices it. Shen Fever then spreads. Families run away. Businesses cease operations. The metro stops abruptly. As the fictitious blogger NY Ghost, she soon finds herself completely alone and unfevered as she captures the creepy, deserted metropolis.

But Candace won’t be able to survive by herself indefinitely. Here come the survivors, led by the ferocious IT specialist Bob. They are headed to a location known as the Facility, where Bob assures them that they will have everything they need to rebuild society. But Candace has a secret that she is certain Bob would use against her. Does she need to flee from her rescuers? Ling Ma’s Severance is a quirky coming-of-age story and satire that mocks and critiques the rituals, routines, and lost possibilities of modern life.

#6 Gentleman In Moscow

Amor Towles made a name for himself as a master of intellectual fiction with Rules of Civility, his bestselling debut book, which brilliantly captured the ambiance and style of late 1930s Manhattan. In the words of NPR, “Towles writes with grace and energy about the social norms and manners of a civilization on the edge of tremendous change,” readers and critics were enthralled.

With the tale of Count Alexander Rostov, A Gentleman in Moscow transports us to a different gorgeously rendered era. The count is placed under house imprisonment in the Metropol, a luxurious hotel located across the street from the Kremlin, in 1922 after being found to be an unrepentant aristocracy by a Bolshevik tribunal.

#7 To Sleep In A Sea Of Stars

Kira Navárez fantasized about living in alien worlds. She has now awoken from a nightmare. Kira discovers an alien artifact while conducting a normal reconnaissance mission on an uncolonized planet. She is initially thrilled, but when the ancient dust surrounding her starts to move, her joy quickly turns to horror.

Kira embarks on a galactic voyage of exploration and transformation as conflict breaks out among the stars. She had no idea what to expect from the first encounter, and subsequent occurrences test the very boundaries of what it is to be human. Kira is dealing with her own tragedies as Earth and its colonies are on the verge of extinction. Now, Kira might be the last and best hope for humanity.

#8 All The Light We Cannot See

Marie-Laure, whose father works at the Museum of Natural History, resides in Paris close by. When Marie-Laure is twelve years old, the Nazis have taken over Paris, and her father and daughter leave for Saint-Malo, a walled city where Marie-great Laure’s uncle lives alone in a tall home by the sea. They may be transporting the most priceless and hazardous treasure in the museum.

Orphan Werner Pfennig grows up in a mining village in Germany with his younger sister, fascinated by a rudimentary radio they discover that transmits news and tales from locations they have never visited or imagined. Werner gains proficiency in creating and maintaining these essential new tools and is hired to use his skill to find the resistance. Doerr skillfully illustrates the ways people attempt to be kind to one another in spite of all circumstances by weaving together the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner.

#9 Cloud Cuckoo Land

When all is lost, what endures are our tales. How will we survive the end of everything? In order to depict a vision of surviving against all odds, Cloud Cuckoo Land draws together an extraordinary ensemble of dreamers and outsiders from the past, present, and future.

Constantinople, 1453: On opposing sides of a city wall, a cursed child who loves animals and an orphaned seamstress risk all to defend the people they care about.

#10 Books Like The Alice Network

Two women—an unconventional American socialite looking for her cousin in 1947 and a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I—are brought together in a captivating new historical novel by national bestselling author Kate Quinn. The story is one of bravery and redemption.

1947. American college student Charlie St. Clair is unmarried, pregnant, and on the verge of being expelled from her extremely proper family in the turbulent years following World War II. She also has a fervent wish that her beloved cousin Rose, who vanished during the war in Nazi-occupied France, is still alive. Charlie, who is determined to learn what happened to the cousin she adores like a sister, escapes her parents’ control and travels to London after they send her to Europe to have her “small problem” resolved.

#11 A Man Called Ove

A noisy young family comes in next door, upending the lonely life of a gruff but lovable father. I’m Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of person who accuses those he doesn’t like of breaking in through his bedroom window. He has short temper, rigid routines, and strong morals. People refer to Ove as the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter simply because he doesn’t always have a smile on his face?

There is a story and grief hidden beneath the gruff appearance. So when a chatty young couple and their two chatty young girls move in next door one November morning and unintentionally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it serves as the prelude to a funny and endearing story of unkempt cats, a surprising friendship, and the age-old skill of backing a U-Haul. All of which will fundamentally alter one grumpy old man and a neighborhood residents’ group.

#12 The Rose Code

1940. Three very different women respond to the summons to the enigmatic country estate Bletchley Park, where the brightest minds in Britain learn to decipher German military codes, as England gets ready to fight the Nazis. Osla is a vivacious debutante who has it all—beauty, money, and the handsome Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses—but she is driven to prove that she is more than just a society girl. To that goal, she uses her fluent German to translate enemy secrets. Mab, a conceited self-made woman who was raised in poverty in East London, works the famed code-breaking machines while hiding her scars and looking for a husband who will benefit her social standing.

Meliara must learn a whole new method of fighting if she is to survive—with wit, words, and covert alliances. At least in war, she knew who she could rely on. She can no longer put her trust in anyone.

#13 Books Like The Maid

Molly Gray is unique compared to other people. She has trouble interacting with others and frequently misinterprets their intentions. Molly’s grandmother used to translate the world for her, codifying everything into clear guidelines that she could follow.

Since Gran passed away a few months ago, Molly, age 25, has had to deal with the difficulties of life on her own. Whatever the case, she enthusiastically dives into her work as a hotel maid. She is the perfect candidate for the job because of her distinctive personality, obsession with cleanliness, and understanding of the right protocol. She enjoys putting on her polished uniform every morning, filling her cart with tiny soaps and bottles, and making sure the guest rooms at the Regency Grand Hotel are immaculate.

#14 Books Like Lessons In Chemistry

Elizabeth Zott, a chemist, is not your typical woman. In actuality, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to acknowledge the lack of a typical woman. However, her all-male Hastings Research Institute staff has a very unscientific perspective on equality because it is the early 1960s. Except for Calvin Evans, the misanthropic, bright, and Nobel Prize nominee who falls in love with her mind of all things. Results of true chemistry.

But life is unpredictable, just like science. Because of this, Elizabeth Zott discovers herself to be a single mother and the unwilling star of Supper at Six, one of America’s most popular cookery programs, a few years later. Elizabeth’s novel method of cooking—combining a tablespoon of acetic acid with a dash of sodium chloride—proves to be ground-breaking. But not everyone is pleased as her fan base expands. Elizabeth Zott isn’t simply teaching women how to cook, it turns out. She is daring them to alter the current situation.

#15 The Four Winds

Texas, 1934. The Great Plains are in a drought, and millions of people are jobless. As crops fail, water runs out, and dust threatens to bury everyone, farmers are fighting to maintain their land and their means of subsistence. The Dust Bowl era, one of the worst parts of the Great Depression, has descended with a vengeance.

Elsa Martinelli, like so many of her neighbors, is forced to choose between fighting for the land she loves and moving to California in quest of a better life in this uncertain and frightening period. A generation will be defined by the heroism and sacrifice of one unbreakable woman, whose book The Four Winds is an unforgettable portrayal of America and the American Dream.

#16 Anxious People

An emotional comedy about a crime that never happened, a would-be bank robber who vanishes into thin air, and eight incredibly anxious strangers who discover they have more in common than they ever imagined comes from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove and “writer of astonishing depth” (The Washington Times).

Viewing an apartment is often not a life-or-death experience, but this open house does turn into one when a failed bank robber storms in and kidnaps everyone inside. The eight strangers gradually start to open up to one another as the pressure builds and divulge long-kept secrets. The whimsical story of Anxious People serves up memorable insights into the human condition and is a friendly reminder to be kind to all the anxious people we come across every day. It is rich with Fredrik Backman’s “pitch-perfect dialogue and an unparalleled humanistic approach” (Shelf Awareness).

#17 The Dutch House

At the conclusion of World War II, Cyril Conroy builds a massive real estate empire by a combination of good fortune and a single wise investment, lifting his family out of extreme poverty. The Dutch House, an opulent house outside of Philadelphia, is his first order of business. The house, which was intended to be a present for his wife, causes everyone he loves to fall apart.

Danny, Cyril’s kid, tells the tale as he and Maeve, their older sister, who is superbly sarcastic and confident, are banished from the home where they were raised by their stepmother. The two affluent brothers discover they can only rely on one another when they are thrust back into the misery their parents had managed to escape. Both their lives are saved and their futures are derailed by this unbreakable tie between them.