Loneliness, love, alienation and trying to find one’s way in the world aren’t exactly uncommon themes in novels, but author Paolo Giordano covered them exquisitely in his book, The Solitude of Prime Numbers. If you’d like to read variations on those themes, here are some suggestions.
The Marriage Plot, Jeffrey Eugenides
During college Madeleine falls for the intensely attractive but troubled Leonard, while good guy Mitchell can’t help but be convinced that Madeleine is the perfect woman for him. Eugenides delivers a classic love triangle with the characters’ actions informed by literary romance in his long-awaited third novel; his first two were The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex, which won him a Pulitzer Prize.
One Day, David Nicholls
Nicholls pops in on the lives of two students on the same day every year after they spent their college graduation night together — and never stopped thinking about what life would be like with each other.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon
Christopher John Francis Boone, a 15-year-old autistic boy, sets out, notebook in hand, to methodically solve the murder of his neighbour’s poodle, Wellington, after being accused of the crime himself. Both Boone and the title of the book are inspired by Sherlock Holmes.