In a reading rut? Try one of these offbeat novels to take you away from the ordinary…
The 100-year-old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson – Confined to a nursing home and about to turn 100, Allan Karlsson, who has a larger-than-life back story as an explosives expert, climbs out of the window in his slippers and embarks on an unforgettable adventure involving thugs, a murderous elephant and a very friendly hot dog stand operator.
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender – Being able to taste people’s emotions in food may at first be horrifying. But young, unassuming Rose Edelstein grows up learning to harness her gift as she becomes aware that there are secrets even her taste buds cannot discern.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple – When her notorious, hilarious, volatile, talented, troubled, and agoraphobic mother goes missing, teenage Bee begins a trip that takes her to the ends of the earth to find her.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan – After a layoff during the Great Recession sidelines his tech career, Clay Jannon takes a job at the titular bookstore in San Francisco, and soon realizes that the establishment is a facade for a strange secret.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce – Harold Fry is convinced that he must deliver a letter to an old love in order to save her, meeting various characters along the way and reminiscing about the events of his past and people he has known, as he tries to find peace and acceptance.
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley – Eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, must exonerate her father of murder. Armed with more than enough knowledge to tie two distant deaths together and examine new suspects, she begins a search that will lead her all the way to the King of England himself.