American novelist William Styron was once quoted saying, “A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.” The 10 best modern novels on this list offer the reader experiences that will never be forgotten. They are page-turners, keeping you up till the wee hours of the night. Different than the classics, modern novels provide a fresh perspective to one of the most enchanting forms of entertainment that has ever existed.
Top 10 Best Modern Novels
Vision in White by Nora Roberts (2012)
A simple love story, this novel follows the lives of four women who own a lucrative wedding planning business in the Northeast. The f the four meets the hero in a clumsy yet endearing encounter and the romance blossoms from that point on. She finds him adorable and amazing, especially in the bedroom. But with any love story, there is an obstacle to overcome. This book touches your heart, with the author returning to what she does best, writing about romance. You will smile throughout its pages and will remember what it is like to fall in love.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (2008)
Set in a futuristic setting of North America where the privileged overpower the poor, a nation is divided into twelve districts overseen by the Capitol. Because of an uprising that occurred almost 75 years prior, each year a boy and a girl from each district must compete in the Hunger Games as a deterrent from ever turning against the government again. The story follows the life of the main character as she goes through the hardships of volunteering in place of her sister to the sour triumph of winning. Considered an easy read by many, you might not be unable to set it down and may very well finish it in a single sitting.
Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson (2007)
As one of the best modern novels, this story explores the Vietnam War like no other. Following the main character through the operations of the CIA, it looks at the war from multiple views. It gives readers varying perspectives of Vietnam, sharing the experiences of characters that range from G.I. brothers, a Canadian nurse to a priest in the Philippines on his own religious quest. You will be sad when you get to the last page because although the novel is over 700 pages long, you will want it to go on and on.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy (2006)
This novel is about a father and son who are stuck in a world full of clouds of black dust and cannibals around every corner. Traveling to Mexico in an attempt to find warmth in a freezing world, the trip takes them on a journey that not only covers hundreds of miles but also explores the depths of a father’s love for his child. Although the plot is dark with violence, it is a novel that isly sad. You will want to read it alone unless you want your tears to be seen by all.
The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil by George Saunders (2005)
As one of the best modern novels, this one explores what occurs when a small and feeble group of individuals are under the rule of a larger, well-organized and better equipped group. It follows a chain of events that lead to injustice and mass hysteria. Often referred to as the 21st century version of Orwell’s Animal Farm, this book will take the reader on a journey filled with and sarcastic political satire. You will finish the book with a greater appreciation of the irrationality in everyone.
House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski (2000)
The main plot is set in a haunted house, which has been newly occupied by an unsuspecting family. While it sounds cliché, this novel brings an excitement and thrill to the reader that cannot be described, only experienced. Inside its covers are pages that can only be read if held up to a mirror because the passages are written backwards. There are twenty-two pages that go on and on about the origin of the word echo. The characters reach the farthest depths of insanity, unable to escape. This novel is captivating, addicting, and wonderfully original. Once you read it, even if you want to, you can’t get it out of your mind.
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier (1997)
Also one of the best modern novels, this one follows the story of two young lovers, separated by the Civil War. As the man leaves to serve his duty, the woman must discover how to fend for herself when her father dies. With no other family around, she learns that while she can rely on others, she can no longer live the life of privileged. Meanwhile, her lover is injured and attempts to make it back home to her. The book tells the story from both their sides, giving readers a look at both of their hardships and triumphs. The novel ends in a way that leaves readers saddened but enlightened by the power of transformation and transformation and endurance.
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (1996)
In the literal sense, this novel is about a film that is so entrancing that anyone who reads it wants nothing more than to continue watching it, over and over. The extreme nature of this obsession drives its viewers to neglect taking their medicine and get gravely ill, and even to avoid eating to the point where they starve to death. Ultimately, the book is about addiction in every form possible, from sex and sports to drugs and alcohol. While one of the most frustrating and difficult novels ever written, it is also one of the most satisfying you will ever read. It will also be the last book you will ever read by Wallace as he committed suicide in 2008.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker (1982)
Traveling with the main character through childhood to late adulthood, the novel gives insight to the life of a young black woman in America during the early 20th century. Struggling through hardships such as rape and abuse and discovering the power of sisterhood and self-acceptance, this novel shares the experiences of a black woman in the rural south. The book takes readers on a journey they will never forget, sharing the importance of discovering that the worth of oneself is priceless.
Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley (1976)
A semi-biographical story of the author’s ancestors, the novel starts by following the life of an 18th century African man who is captured and sold into slavery. From then on, the book take readers on a journey through Haley’s ancestors’ lives and the injustices they experienced as black individuals in early America. It has been hailed as a great novel, becoming a tribute to those lost to the slave market and the individuals who overcame it. It gives readers an inside perspective to the heartbreaks and wrongdoings in a dark time in U.S. history.