11 Acclaimed Realistic Fiction Novels to Read When You Need an Escape

Escapism is popular these days. Movies and television seem to dominate, but books remain fierce competition. People who value print can simply carry a book around with them, not worrying about the battery life or internet service available to access it. The best e-readers are free from most of these woes as well, despite needing the occasional recharge, and when connected to the internet, they can pull up almost any novel you like.

If we have convinced you to pick up a new title and start reading, you might be wondering where to start. Genres such as fantasy and sci-fi are popular for their ability to tap into our imaginations and stretch our minds to the edge of the galaxy. Other novels can have different effects: A great mystery will keep you turning pages for hours while a suspense novel may leave you with lasting night terrors. Realistic fiction, also called “slice of life,” is universally enjoyed by anyone who lives in the real world.

Reading is said to foster empathy, and with that in mind, we have compiled a list of novels that touch on widely varying snapshots of the human experience. Though some may require a little suspension of disbelief, these stories will whisk you far away to meet diverse characters with unique trials and lasting consequences.