Top 66 Books About Families, Dysfunctional or Otherwise

Ah, the holidays. That magical time of year when we’re surrounded by good cheer, delicious food, and those nearest and dearest — our families. Definition of family certainly varies from person to person; some folks have brothers and sisters, moms and dads, and aunts, uncles and cousins, while other families look a little different. I personally love stories about families (the more dysfunctional the better) — my favorites are This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper (included below), Circle of Friends, by Maeve Binchy, and Counting by 7s, by Holly Goldberg Sloan, along with movies; I love classics like E.T., Annie, Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang, and The Sound of Music, plus newer films like The Family Stone, The Darjeeling Limited, and The Royal Tenenbaums. We asked our 3,000 bibliomaniacs for books that define “blood is thicker than water” in every way imaginable, and here’s what they reported back.

(1) Geek Love, by Katherine Dunn (2) Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott (3) Helter Skelter, by Vincent Bugliosi  (4) Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (5) A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning, by Lemony Snicket  (6) Flowers in the Attic, by V.C. Andrews  (7) East of Eden, by John Steinbeck  (8)Why be Happy When You Could be Normal, by Jeanette Winterson (9) Where’d You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple (10) Wonder Boys, by Michael Chabon (11) Queen’s Own, by Mercedes Lackey (12) The Thornbirds, by Colleen McCullough (13) The Witching Hour, by Anne Rice (14) The Liars’ Club, by Mary Karr (15) Tilt, by Elizabeth Burns (16) Ten Kids No Pets, by Ann M. Martin (17) The Penderwicks, by Jeanne Birdsall (18) Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech (19) Her Fearful Symmetry, by Audrey Niffenegger (20) Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George (21) Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery (22) The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins (23) Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn (24)Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen  (25) Ordinary People, by Judith Guest (26The Yearling, by Marjorie Rawlings (27) Random Family, by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc (28) Salvage the Bones, by Jesmyn Ward (29)One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (30) A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens (31) Beezus & Ramona, by Beverly Cleary (32) The Other, by Thomas Tryon (33) The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield

(34) Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides (35) Franny & Zooey, by J.D. Salinger (36) All-of-a-Kind Family, by Sydney Taylor (37) The Watsons Go to Birmingham, by Christopher Paul Curtis (38) Danny, the Champion of the World, by Roald Dahl (39) The Believers, by Zoe Heller (40) This is Where I Leave You, by Jonathan Tropper (41) Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, by Alexandra Fuller (42) The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz (43) Lookaway, Lookaway, by Wilton Barnhardt (44) The Sound and the Fury, by William Faulkner (45) Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling (46) Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton (47) The Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder (48) Awkward Family Photos, by Mike Bender (49) Bee Season, by Myla Goldberg (50) To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee (51) A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith (52) Betsy-Tacy, by Maud Hart Lovelace (53) Family: The Ties that Bind…And Gag!, by Erma Bombeck (54) The Middlesteins, by Jami Attenberg (55) The Enchanted Book, by Jan Brett (56) Long Day’s Journey Into Night, by Eugene O’Neill (57) The Borrowers, by Mary Norton (58) Life Among the Savages, by Shirley Jackson (59) We Have Always Lived in the Castle, by Shirley Jackson (60) Sounder, by William H. Armstrong (61) Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut (62) Light Years, by James Salter (63) Fathers and Sons, by Ivan Turgenev (64) Barney’s Version, by Mordecai Richler (65)One For the Money, by Stephanie Evanovich (66) The Godfather, by Mario Puzo

Any notable familes we left out? Let us know in the comments! — Kristen 

Kristen is Public Relations Specialist at Half Price Books Corporate. 
You can follow her on Twitter at @kristendickson.

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