Recommendations based on Those Who Leave and Those Who Stayby Elena Ferrante

* statistically, based on millions of data-points provided by fellow humans

  1. The Story of the Lost Child

    by Elena Ferrante
    An exploration of the complexities of motherhood and female friendship, spanning four decades.

    "Nothing quite like this has ever been published before," proclaimed The Guardian about the Neapolitan novels in 2014. Against the backdrop of a Naples that is as seductive as it is perilous and a ... (Goodreads)

  2. My Brilliant Friend

    by Elena Ferrante
    A story of two friends' lives, exploring the intricacies of female friendship and life in a Neapolitan neighbourhood.

    A modern masterpiece from one of Italy's most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense and generous hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante's inimitable style lends ... (Goodreads)

  3. The Story of a New Name

    by Elena Ferrante
    Two young women's search for identity and independence in a patriarchal society.

    In 2012, Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend introduced readers to the unforgettable Elena and Lila, whose lifelong friendship provides the backbone for the Neapolitan Novels. The Story of a New ... (Goodreads)

  4. Americanah

    by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    An exploration of race, identity, and belonging as two Nigerian immigrants experience life in America and beyond.

    Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to ... (Goodreads)

  5. A Little Life

    by Hanya Yanagihara
    A powerful tale of four friends navigating life's hardships and the devastating effects of trauma.

    The novel follows the lives of four friends in New York City from college through to middle-age. It focuses particularly on Jude, a lawyer with a mysterious past, ambiguous ethnicity, and unexplained ... (Wikipedia)

  6. A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories

    by Lucia Berlin
    An exploration of female experience, weaving together stories of love, loss, and resilience.

    A Manual for Cleaning Women compiles the best work of the legendary short-story writer Lucia Berlin. With the grit of Raymond Carver, the humor of Grace Paley, and a blend of wit and melancholy all ... (Barnes & Noble)

  7. The Underground Railroad

    by Colson Whitehead
    An escaped slave's daring escape to freedom, fighting against the brutality of slavery.

    The story is told in the third person, focusing mainly on Cora. Scattered single chapters also focus on Cora's mother Mabel, the slavecatcher Ridgeway, a reluctant slave sympathizer named Ethel, and ... (Wikipedia)

  8. Lincoln in the Bardo

    by George Saunders
    A spiritual exploration of death, exploring the afterlife through the eyes of President Lincoln.

    In his long-awaited first novel, American master George Saunders delivers his most original, transcendent, and moving work yet. Unfolding in a graveyard over the course of a single night, narrated by ... (Goodreads)

  9. Stoner

    by John Williams
    An academic's life of quiet desperation, finding solace in literature.

    William Stoner is born on a small farm in 1891. After high school, the county agent advises he go to agriculture school. Stoner enrolls in the University of Missouri , where all agriculture students ... (Wikipedia)

  10. A Visit from the Goon Squad

    by Jennifer Egan
    A mosaic of characters, lives, and relationships as they intertwine and evolve over time.

    Jennifer Egan’s spellbinding interlocking narratives circle the lives of Bennie Salazar, an aging former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. ... (Goodreads)

  11. The Secret History

    by Donna Tartt
    A small group of misfit college students uncover a sinister secret and their lives become entangled with dangerous consequences.

    Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the ... (Goodreads)

  12. Half of a Yellow Sun

    by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    Story of two sisters navigating a civil war in Nigeria, and the effects of colonialism.

    The novel takes place in Nigeria prior to and during the Nigerian Civil War (1967–70). The effect of the war is shown through the relationships of five people's lives including the twin daughters of ... (Wikipedia)

  13. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

    by Junot Díaz
    An exploration of love, identity, and the power of fate in a family's struggles and triumphs.

    Oscar de León (nicknamed Oscar Wao, a bastardization of Oscar Wilde ) is an overweight Dominican growing up in Paterson, New Jersey. Oscar desperately wants to be successful with women but, from a ... (Wikipedia)

  14. Fates and Furies

    by Lauren Groff
    A tale of the secrets and passions of a marriage, exploring the depths of private lives.

    Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, ... (Goodreads)

  15. The Sympathizer

    by Viet Thanh Nguyen
    Vietnam War refugee returns to his homeland and struggles to reconcile conflicting loyalties.

    It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a general of the South Vietnamese army is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his trusted captain, drawing up a list of those who will be ... (Goodreads)

  16. Dept. of Speculation

    by Jenny Offill
    A woman's exploration of relationships, marriage, and motherhood amidst personal and familial struggles.

    Dept. of Speculation is a portrait of a marriage. It is also a beguiling rumination on the mysteries of intimacy, trust, faith, knowledge, and the condition of universal shipwreck that unites us all. ... (Goodreads)

  17. Mrs. Dalloway

    by Virginia Woolf
    A day in the life of a high-society woman, delving into her inner thoughts and feelings.

    Clarissa Dalloway goes around London in the morning, getting ready to host a party that evening. The nice day reminds her of her youth spent in the countryside in Bourton and makes her wonder about ... (Wikipedia)

  18. The House of the Spirits

    by Isabel Allende
    Epic family saga spanning generations, exploring the power of love and the impact of politics.

    The story starts with the del Valle family, focusing upon the youngest and the oldest daughters of the family, Clara and Rosa. The youngest daughter, Clara del Valle, has paranormal powers and keeps ... (Wikipedia)

  19. East of Eden

    by John Steinbeck
    Exploration of the timeless struggle between good and evil, set against a backdrop of a family saga.

    In his journal, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck called East of Eden “the first book,” and indeed it has the primordial power and simplicity of myth. Set in the rich farmland of California’s Salinas ... (Goodreads)

  20. Middlemarch

    by George Eliot
    A grand narrative of life in a small English town, exploring the lives of its inhabitants.

    Middlemarch centres on the lives of residents of Middlemarch, a fictitious Midlands town, from 1829 onwards – the years up to the 1832 Reform Act . The narrative is variably considered to consist of ... (Wikipedia)

  21. The Luminaries

    by Eleanor Catton
    A complex mystery set in New Zealand's gold rush era, as a web of secrets and lies unravels.

    The story begins with one of the book's protagonists, Walter Moody, arriving in the smoking room of the Crown Hotel after having encountered a horrific sight on his boat trip to Hokitika . There, he ... (Wikipedia)

  22. Invisible Cities

    by Italo Calvino
    A fantastical exploration of the cities of the imagination and the possibilities of life.

    "Kublai Khan does not necessarily believe everything Marco Polo says when he describes the cities visited on his expeditions, but the emperor of the Tartars does continue listening to the young ... (Goodreads)

  23. 1Q84

    by Haruki Murakami
    A surreal journey of two people entangled in a mysterious dual-world conspiracy.

    The events of 1Q84 take place in Tokyo during a fictionalized year of 1984, with the first volume set between April and June, the second between July and September, and the third between October and ... (Wikipedia)

  24. Lila

    by Marilynne Robinson
    A young woman's journey of self-discovery and exploration of faith and spirituality.

    Marilynne Robinson, one of the greatest novelists of our time, returns to the town of Gilead in an unforgettable story of a girlhood lived on the fringes of society in fear, awe, and wonder. Lila, ... (Goodreads)

  25. Exit West

    by Mohsin Hamid
    Reflection on displacement and immigration as two refugees traverse the world in search of a new life.

    Nadia and Saeed meet when they are working students in an unnamed city. Saeed is more conservative and still lives at home, as custom generally requires, but the more independent Nadia has chosen to ... (Wikipedia)

  26. Tenth of December

    by George Saunders
    A collection of stories exploring the human condition through diverse characters and their struggles.

    A young girl named Alison is kidnapped three days before her birthday. Kyle, a boy who lives nearby whose parents enforce very strict household rules, sees the event unfold and must decide whether to ... (Wikipedia)

  27. Beloved

    by Toni Morrison
    A haunting story of loss and resilience in the aftermath of slavery.

    Beloved begins in 1873 in Cincinnati, Ohio , where the protagonist Sethe, a formerly enslaved woman, has been living with her eighteen-year-old daughter Denver at 124 Bluestone Road. The book ... (Wikipedia)

  28. My Name Is Lucy Barton

    by Elizabeth Strout
    A woman's journey of self-reflection, uncovering secrets from her past.

    Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn't spoken for many years, comes to see her. Her unexpected visit forces Lucy to confront ... (Goodreads)

  29. Don Quixote

    by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
    An aging knight's adventures and misadventures, filled with chivalry, honor, and satire.

    Don Quixote has become so entranced by reading chivalric romances that he determines to become a knight-errant himself. In the company of his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, his exploits blossom in ... (Goodreads)

  30. Commonwealth

    by Ann Patchett
    Intertwining story of two families across multiple generations, and how their lives become intertwined.

    It started at Franny Keating’s christening party. Bert Cousins wasn’t even invited, but looking for an excuse to get out of the house, away from his three noisy children and pregnant wife for a few ... (Wikipedia)