There’s only a couple of weeks left in National Novel Writing Month. How’s your novel coming along? If you want something to read in your writing breaks, or if just want some inspiration for next year, take a peek through some of the books listed below. The first drafts for all of them were written during NaNoWriMo and eventually they were picked up by publishers and were very successful. If these authors can do it, so can you!
Sure Signs of Crazy by Karen Harrington
Twelve-year-old Sarah Nelson isn’t like the other kids her age. Instead of obsessing over Harry Potter, she spends her time writing letters to Atticus Finch. She’s never known her mother, who left when she was two, and she and her dad move from town to town through Texas so she’s never had a place that felt like home. But Sarah is determined that this summer will not be her typical boring summer. This year she will get to the bottom of the “Big Family Secret” and along the way she’ll find some new friends, her first crush, and she might just have an extraordinary summer after all.
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
An Austen-esque tale with a dash of magic, Shades of Milk and Honey features Jane Ellsworth , a talented glamourist in a society where the ability to create magical glamours to entertain others is one of the highly prized refinements any woman of good breeding should aspire to have. Unfortunately, though she is the far more talented glamourist, her sister Melody received the lion’s share of beauty and so is courted by many men, whereas Jane, at twenty-eight, has resigned herself to forever living in Melody’s shadow. When her family’s honor is threatened however by one of Melody’s suitors, Jane must find a way to use her skill with glamour to save their reputation and could end up finding a love of her own along the way.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
When Celia is sent to live with the father she has never before met, she does not find a warm and loving man, but rather a cold and calculating magician who immediately begins to train her as his apprentice. He trains her rigorously and she quickly learns that she is being used in a fight against his arch-rival and will be expected to battle Marco, his rival’s apprentice in the Night Circus, a mysterious circus that appears out of nowhere and is only open at night. However, when Celia and Marco meet, the plans of the magicians are thrown into disarray as instead of being rivals like their masters, they fall deeply in love. But the magicians have gone too far to be stopped and not even the love of Celia and Marco can resist the pull of their fates.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Twin sisters Cath and Wren have always been inseparable, tied together in friendship and by an obsessive love of Simon Snow, a Harry Potter-like book series that inspires similar devotion. While Wren has grown away from this fandom over the years, Cath defines her life by it, writing long and involved fanfiction online that is read by thousands of people. When they go off to college, Wren doesn’t want to be roommates leaving Cath feeling completely lost and overwhelmed by their new world. Suddenly Cath has to deal with a surly new roommate and her ever-present boyfriend, a creative writing professor who despises fanfiction, a charming and confusing classmate, and prospect of her mentally fragile dad living on his own for the first time. For Cath the question is, can she handle all of these new aspects of her life and what will she do if handling them means she has to leave Simon Snow behind?
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Mary’s world is made up of certainties. Trust in the Sisterhood to guide you, the Guardians to protect you, and the world outside the fence to harm you. But when her parents are killed by the Unconsecrated, horrifying undead creatures that lurk in the forest outside the fence, her older brother blames her and throws her out of the house, leaving her no choice but to join the Sisterhood. Being a part of the Sisterhood is not what she thought it would be however and raises questions she never wanted to ask. To be able to leave the Sisterhood, she marries the brother of the boy she is in love with, which places her in an uneasy position in their household, but everything is thrown further into chaos when the fence in breached and the Unconsecrated attack the village. Suddenly Mary is forced to question the certainties of her village life and confront the possibilities of the wider world.
The Secret of the Nightingale Palace by Dana Sachs
After her husband’s death thirty-five year old Anna feels stuck and unable to move past her loss. When she receives an unexpected phone call from her grandmother Goldie, who she hadn’t spoken to in five years, Anna goes to meet her with some trepidation. It turns out that Goldie wants Anna to drive her from New York to San Francisco to return some Japanese art to a long estranged friend there. During their hours of driving together, Anna begins to soften towards her often sharp-tongued and demanding grandmother and starts to heal from her own wounds. However, there are secrets in Goldie’s past that she is reluctant to reveal, secrets that need to be dealt with for both women to be able to move forward.