San Rafael Public Library

Adult Book Lists

Feel like you’re reading the same type of books over and over again? Try something new with these themed book lists. Most of the lists include both fiction and non-fiction.


Jump to:  Book Club Suggestions / Poetry and PlaysMystery / Science Fiction
Also see:  Non-fiction & Biography Lists


Fiction Award Winners 2019 (pdf handout)
Fiction winners of the Man Booker, National Book Award, and Pulitzer

Best 100 Novels (legal-sized pdf)
Modern Library’s picks for the best novels in English since 1900

Book Pairings
Books influenced or inspired by other books. Read them both!

Books with a Twist
Think you know where the story’s going? Think again. Surprising and unpredictable reads

Campus Life
Head back to school with these books based in universities and/or involving academics

Classic Fiction 2018 (pdf handout)
Titles considered to be literary classics

Coming to America
Books by and about new immigrants to America

Dear Diary (books written in letter, diary or journal format)
Enjoy some lively correspondence in both fiction and non-fiction

Family Dramas
Whether they drive you crazy or keep you grounded, there’s no lack of drama when the family’s around

Family Sagas
When one generation isn’t enough to tell a family’s story

Female Friendships
Tales of women’s bonds being tested and/or celebrated

First-Time Debut Novels (pdf)
From the classics to the most recent titles.

Fiction and Nonfiction for Foodies
Partake in these delectable books where the preparation and savoring of food plays a central role

Ghostly Tales
From gentle lost souls to the seriously spooky, the ghosts in these books are sure to intrigue you

Gothic Tales
Rich in atmosphere, these books build suspense and a sense of unease

Books about people who are, or once were, homeless

In Translation
Expand your horizons with these books that were originally published in languages other than English

Math and Mathematicians
From awkward geeks to clever spies, meet some mathematicians

My Funny Valentine
These titles will touch your heart and tickle your funny bone

Noir: The Seedy Side of Life
Dark tales of murder and despair

Nordic Noir
Visit the darker side of the land of Ikea and ABBA

On the Road to Recovery
Riveting memoirs, powerful fiction, and non-fiction about people recovering from substance abuse

Small Gems
Tired of door-stopper sagas? All these books are under 200 pages

Strong Sense of Place
Transport yourself with titles where the setting is crucial to its appeal

Suspense Thrillers
Try these thrilling and chilling reads… if you dare

True Life Fiction- Men
Melding facts with fiction about famous and not-so-famous men

True Life Fiction- Royalty
Get some history with a dash of invention

True Life Fiction- Women
Real women, real events, re-interpreted as fiction

Uplifting Books
Inspiring, humorous, and generally “feel-good” reads


Poetry & Plays

Science Fiction

Book Club Book Recommendations

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    San Rafael, CA 94903

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