8 Stunning Novels | Best Books To Read In 2024

Over the years, book publications have increased, and the numbers will continue to rise. That’s why lists of the best books to read in 2024 are always welcome. 

But what does this increase in book publications mean for us? Should we maximize the amount of books we read to maintain a respectable ratio of books read versus published? 

Maybe it’s better not to get lost in the numbers and hypes around books. Instead, let’s take it easy and focus on the books and genres you love. They say voracious readers don’t finish most of the books they start reading. Instead, they focus on the books they can’t put down, which is how to read more than most (here’s how to read more and become a voracious reader). 

The second best way is to be mindful of the algorithmic recommendations. You’re at risk of simply reading more of the same. That’s why I only recommend the books I read. 

So, let’s discuss this personally curated list of the best books to read in 2024.

Best Books To Read In 2024 Monk of Mokha

1. Monk of Mokha - 4.1/ 5 (Yemen/US)

No matter what anyone says, coffee tastes different everywhere we go. If you are an adventurer and you also happen to be a coffee lover, Monk of Mokha is for you. It was a coincidence when I met Ali, a Yemeni refugee looking for a job in the Netherlands. I knew little about Yemen, but reading Monk of Mokha was a revelation.

It is one of the best realistic nonfiction books, and I got to know Yemen more. Dave Eggers is the writer behind the book, narrating the true story of Mokhtar, an American with Yemeni roots. Dave narrates Mokhtar’s journey from a struggling young man in San Francisco to becoming a successful coffee entrepreneur.

But why coffee?

Yemen is one of the earliest regions where coffee beans were grown and consumed. Some regions like Haraz, Mattari, and Haimi are famous for coffee beans.

The success for Mokhtar, however, doesn’t come easy. As he embarks to Yemen from America to bring coffee beans, he gets trapped in a Yemeni civil war. How he makes it back to America with two brief suitcases of Yemeni beans is a heart-pounding, resilient story.

You can check the coffee shop of Mokhtar Alkhanshali, the resilient man on Monk of Mokha. I’d also recommend Dave Egger’s book What is the What about the Lost Boys of Sudan.

best vietnam war books

2. The Sorrow of War - 4.1/5 (Vietnam)

How would it be to fight against the Americans for 11 years and be one of only ten survivors out of 500 soldiers? That’s precisely what former North Vietnamese soldier Bao Ninh shows you in his heartwrenching The Sorrow of War. It is one of the best fiction war books in world literature.

The Sorrow of War is about Bảo Ninh, the Vietnamese writer’s experiences as a soldier of the North Vietnamese Army. As it frequently happens, the war books often talk about winning and war strategies. However, this best survival books fiction focuses on the human cost of the conflict.

The narrative is non-linear as it recounts the war and its aftermath from the perspective of a North Vietnamese soldier named Kien. It delves deep into the psychological and emotional scars left by the conflict. Even when the war is over, Kien struggles with life, the memories of his fallen comrades who lost love, and the horrors of the war.

The Sorrow Of War is one of the earliest novels that gave a new perspective on the Vietnam War, starkly contrasting Western literature and media. It is one of the best fiction war books that you should include in the list of best books to read in 2024.

all dogs are blue

3. All Dogs Are Blue - 3.6/5 (Brazil)

All Dogs Are Blue is truly an exceptional read. Its author, Rodrigo de Souza Leão, spent much of his time in a psychiatric hospital in Rio de Janeiro, grappling with mental fragility. His experiences and interactions in a psychiatric hospital make his work one of the best realistic fiction books.

Through first-person narrator Gabriel, we experience the madness, identity, and challenges faced by individuals with mental health issues. Although the subject matter is challenging, the book still finds beauty amid all the mental health issues.

The book is raw, funny, and honest, blurring the line between reality and delusion. The author published the book in Portuguese, but it later came out in English and many other languages.

It is one of the best books to read in 2024 that has come out of Brazil in the past two decades. Since we are talking about Brazil, how about checking the best Brazilian movies?

You can stream the Brazilian movie Brainstorm on YouTube to explore the subject matter more.

three body problem

4. The 3-Body Problem - 4.1/5 (China)

Recently, I spoke to an American entrepreneur who had sold his company and taken a long sabbatical. I asked him if he could recommend a book that greatly influenced him. His answer was The 3-Body Problem by Cixin Liu.

When I got my hands on the book, I was in awe. The story begins during the Cultural Revolution in China and then jumps to the present day. It interweaves historical accounts of scientific research with science fiction. If you love science fiction, it should be on your list of best books to read in 2024.

The plot centers around a secret military project that sends signals into space in search of extraterrestrial life. One day, it receives a response from an alien civilization known as the Trisolarans. These aliens are facing the impending doom of their planet due to the three-body problem, and they see Earth as a new home.

The various factions on Earth with differing motives get involved in the impending arrival of the Trisolarans. What happens next is a spine-chilling read. It is one of the best survival books fiction, where survival takes precedence.

Netflix is adapting the trilogy into a series adaptation, and the Game of Thrones production team is behind the project. Netflix will release the first episode of Three Body on March 21, 2024.

hundred years of solitude

5. A Hundred Years of Solitude - 4.1/5 (Colombia)

Gabriel García Márquez is a name that needs no introduction in world literature. One of the greatest writers of modern times whose books continue to sell in hundreds of thousands. Where should you start if you haven’t read Gabriel García Márquez? The answer is fairly simple: A Hundred Years of Solitude.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez published A Hundred Years of Solitude in 1967. Readers and critics consider it one of his masterpieces and a classic of world literature. It is a fascinating personal history of how Gabriel Garcia became a writer.

The novel tells the multi-generational story of the Buendía family in the fictional town of Macondo. The family’s patriarch, José Arcadio Buendía, founded the city. Macondo is where the extraordinary is commonplace, and magical elements blend with the real. It combines in a way that reflects the complexities and contradictions of life itself.

The novel is known for its imaginative use of magical realism to depict the reality of Latin American life. If you haven’t read any fictional work from Latin America before, you must include this novel in your best books to read in 2024 list.

The Nobel Prize in Literature honored García Márquez in 1982. A Hundred Years of Solitude is one of the works for which he got the recognition. If you want to read, you’re one click away.

Best Books To Read In 2024 | song of kieu

6. The Song of Kieu - 4.3/5 (Vietnam)

The Tale of Kieu is a classic Vietnamese epic poem by Nguyễn Du, celebrated as a national poet in Vietnam. UNESCO also recognized him as a World Cultural Figure. Nguyễn Du composed the poem in the 19th century. The book is alledgedly the most significant work of Vietnamese literature.

There are over 3,200 verses written in lục bát (“six-eight”) meter, a traditional Vietnamese verse form. The Tale of Kieu tells the epic story of a young woman named Thúy Kiều.

The poem follows Kiều as she undergoes a series of misfortunes and hardships. It starts with a decision to sell herself into marriage to save her father and family from debt. Her life continues to unfold through dramatic events, including betrayal and forced prostitution. These dramatic events and many other trials test her resilience and virtue.

The Tale of Kieu is available in many languages, and the poem is mandatory in Vietnamese schools. If you want to read a literary epic, consider including The Song of Kieu in your list of best books to read in 2024.

Best Books To Read In 2024 | naked dont fear the water

7. The Naked Don't Fear the Water - 4.2/5 (Afghanistan)

After spending years working as a Canadian journalist in Afghanistan, Matthieu decides to embark on the most incredible adventure of his life. He’ll risk his life to accompany his best friend, the Afghani Omar, on his migration as a refugee to Europe.

The Naked Don’t Fear the Water alternates between insights about politics and the situation in Afghanistan. We also experience the novelesque and dangerous adventures of the rugged Afghan mountains. All the uncertainty and hardships that two friends face test their faith and friendship.

Once you read the book, you get new perspectives and insights on the issues of displacement, conflict, and the global refugee crisis. The book is particularly insightful in the context of the war in Afghanistan and its aftermath.

The book is a perfect testament to the courage and resilience of refugees. So, you can read The Naked Don’t Fear the Water from a personal narrative and as a critique of the international systems.

I have already discussed the books about Afghanistan, and you can also include them in your best books to read in 2024.

Best Books To Read In 2024 Ministry for the future

8. Ministry for the Future - 3.9/5 (USA)

The Ministry for the Future is one of the best modern fiction books by American author Kim Stanley Robinson. The novel is set in the near future and addresses climate change.

The book is orthodox in its structure as it has different narrative styles. It also includes fictional eyewitness accounts, reports, and meeting minutes. The writer uses data to explore social, political, economic, and technological challenges.

The book “The Ministry for the Future” is about a new international organization created under the United Nations. Its mandate is to advocate for the world’s future generations and to protect all living creatures. The heatwave in India acts as a catalyst that leads to a massive loss of life, leading to global action on climate issues.

Suppose you are looking for a novel that doesn’t just paint an abysmal picture of climate change. Instead, it comes with an ambitious action plan; you should read this novel, one of the best modern fiction books.

Best Books To Read In 2024

Best Books To Read In 2024 | A Recap

If you have followed the list, you must have seen how each book is different. The books differ not just in terms of genres but also in terms of countries, writers, and themes. The reason? I am recommending these books because I have read these books already.

Please share if you also read books in 2023 and think I should include them in my list of best books to read in 2024. The book recommendation could be fiction, non-fiction, or both. As long as that book is an inspiration, and you couldn’t put it down. 

Leave those names in the comments!

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