We read fiction to escape, to fire the imagination, to explore the lives of others, to relax, to seek pleasure. Within us it has the power to evoke joy, heartbreak, empathy, serenity, even rage. It moves us. And it can help us better understand people, relationships, and the wider world. Here are some stories whose characters, narratives and themes can teach us about ourselves.
This is a modern love story. It is a story about learning to survive, endure and flourish in a relationship. Above all, it is a story full of tenderness and sympathy for the hard work of keeping love going, and full of hope that we can make it through.
The novel that has made 2 million readers happier! The story of one woman's inspirational journey from boredom and dissatisfaction to happiness and fulfilment!
An iconic novel that continues to inspire millions of fans around the world, and now a major new Disney movie.
Hermann Hesse's moving and inspirational chronicle of spiritual evolution, Siddhartha, includes a new introduction by bestselling author Paulo Coehlo in Penguin Classics.
The critically acclaimed, Sunday Times and international bestseller, long-listed for the Man Booker Prize 2012: 'A magical, moving and uplifting tale about a man's journey across England and into his own heart.' - Deborah Moggach.
The US bestseller comes to the UK - the unforgettable story of a girl whose magical gift becomes a devastating curse
The wildly inventive and powerfully moving novel, published as a Penguin Essential for the first time.
An irresistibly funny, cynical and perceptive new anti-hero to sit alongside Eleanor Oliphant, The Rosie Project's Don Tillman and A Man Called Ove
Books for the independent masters of self-control born 22 December – 19 January.
Books for the open-minded, philosophical enthusiasts born 22 November – 21 December.
Books for the assertive, resourceful decision-makers born 23 October – 21 November.