Reading is an entirely immersive experience. Not only do we, as readers, leave our own world behind when we open the pages of a book but also we immerse ourselves in a totally different one. That’s the beauty of it, right? And we’re not just talking about historic, science or portal fiction here (though those worlds are amazing)—contemporary fiction is chock full of lifestyles, journeys, hobbies and careers that we may not know anything about before we crack the cover. So take a deep dive into a new world with these six engaging books full of people doing fascinating and often-unexpected things. You’ll be glad you jumped in.
The Little Clan by Iris Martin Cohen
Ever wonder what it might be like to be the ambassador of a crumbling literary and arts society? At the Lazarus Club, a young librarian and her enigmatic friend aim to turn a near-forgotten eccentricity into a sparkling gem of a writer’s salon.
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Following along with the 1% and all of their trappings can be a fun place to stay for a while, and this kind of aspirational tale gives us permission to hang out in some pretty swanky places. The outfits are great, but good luck trying to decipher what is true and what is just gossip.
Campaign Widows by Aimee Agresti
For the women behind the men employed on a fictitious version of the 2016 presidential election, life is a series of revolving doors as the campaign trail beckons their men out of the house and the road. As circumstance draws these women together, they find more than just common ground—and we see what friendship means in a politically charged life.
The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson
When you grow up as part of a family troupe of performance artists, the line between reality and spectacle is in constant flux, making the world seem exciting and raw. And when you grow out of the constant desire to perform, that line blurs even more, until even the performer is unsure of what is real and what is not.
We Are Unprepared by Meg Little Reilly
Climate change, war, disease—in a town full of “Preppers,” it’s not the end of the world that people fear, but of facing it without the right tools. And when you start to get sucked into this dire but assured world, you realize that it’s not paranoia if they’re right. Prepare for a great read.
The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
Spend time in a doomed international newsroom as the era of print journalism slowly comes to an end, and meet the dedicated people who each have a unique stake in keeping their doors open, and will do whatever it takes to keep the news flowing—even if it means sacrificing their personal as well as their professional lives.
Is there a world you’ve been immersed in lately that we missed here? Tell us about it!