Tuesday, October 8, 2013

10 Character-Driven, Non-Action Books Rated 3.5 or Higher

Over the last 3 years, I have read 10 character-driven books, with a 3.5 rating or above, that grabbed me from the start and never let up.  These books basically have no action in them.  They're all about relationships.  I can't really identify any universal genre.  They're not romances, although there is certainly some romance in a few of them.  They're not mysteries, although there are mysterious goings on in some of them.  They're not historical fiction or legal dramas or series.  They're not fantasies or science fiction or paranormal.  They're not children's or YA.  They're just books about people connecting with other people.  Call them contemporary fiction, if you need a name.  And I can make this promise to you.  If you have read one or more of them and have liked what you read, then you can't go wrong with any of the books on this list.  Here they are in the order that I read them:

The Leisure Seeker, Michael Zadoorian
The Angels' Share, Rayme Waters
The Turnaround, George Pelecanos
Iron House, John Hart
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Jamie Ford
The Language of Flowers, Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, Beth Hoffman
Looking for Me, Beth Hoffman
The Gravity of Birds, Tracy Guzeman
The Lost Saints of Tennessee, Amy Franklin-Willis

I'm excited for you to read at least some of the books on this list and will look forward to getting your feedback.


  1. The only ones I've read are the Beth Hoffman books (both great) a few of the other are already on my to-read list. I don't read many of character driven books but when I read a good one I always wonder why that is! Probably because average character driven novels don't excite me very much.

    1. Stacy, I completely agree with you. In just about every other genre, less-than-stellar writing can still make for an enjoyable book. But no so in character-driven novels. The flip side is that when it's done well, it can be memorable.

  2. I'm proud to have both my novels on your list. Thanks so much, Lloyd!

    1. You earned it. No freebies or sympathy picks here.

  3. I've read 4 of those books and loved all of them. I need to check out the rest on your list.

    1. I'm glad that you agree on 4. I think it's likely that you will like the other 6 too - except that I know what it feels like to have to add 6 books to the TBR pile. It's very daunting, if not downright depressing.