Best fiction books chosen by critics

We list the best fiction books recommended by critics from Washington Post, NPR, New York Times and many more. All critics' recommendations are referenced with customer reviews. The rating you see is an aggregate from several platforms and is always higher than 4 out of 5 stars.

4.5 Home Fire

Home Fire: A Novel by Kamila Shamsie

LA Times

“Shamsie’s writing is measured and beautiful, and the novel ends with a shock that readers won’t likely be able to forget.”

Featured in LA Times’ Best Fiction books of 2017.

4.4 Sing Unburied Sing

Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

Washington Post

“Sing, Unburied, Sing is built around an arduous car trip when a black woman and her children drive to a state penitentiary to pick up their white father. The narration passes back and forth between the convict’s 13-year-old son and his drug-addled mother, Leonie.”

Featured in Washington Post’s Best 10 Books of 2017.

4.5 Five Carat Soul

Five-Carat Soul: A Novel by James McBride

Washington Post

“The story collection by this National Book Award winner delivers insights into racial identity, war, masculinity and humanity.”

Featured in Washington Post’s 50 Notable Fiction Books of 2017.

4.6 Stone Sky

The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth) by N. K. Jemisin


“A transformative cap to a series that hasn’t so much raised the bar on epic fantasy as it has fundamentally changed the genre.”

Featured in NPR’s Book Concierge Great Reads of 2017.

4.2 The Ninth Hour

The Ninth Hour: A Novel by Alice McDermott


“Alice McDermott carefully builds a world and a story that leads to an act of love so unexpected it will leave you lingering over the final page, wondering how she pulled it off.”

Featured in NPR’s Book Concierge Great Reads of 2017.

4.0 American War

American War: A Novel by Omar El Akkad


“This novel by Omar El Akkad breaks all the conventions. It’s America split in two by another civil war and destroying itself.”

Featured in NPR’s Book Concierge Great Reads of 2017.