25/04/2012 09:35 BST | Updated 25/04/2012 11:46 BST

Books That Explain Men; Books That Explain Women

The differences between the sexes is well-trodden ground for book publishers.

Self-help sections are lined with hundreds of variations on Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, each one purporting to explain the pertinent points where the male and female of our species diverge, each one promising to deliver us to a holy land of mutual compassion, understanding and trust.

Well, we say poppycock to them all.

Great fiction has always told us as much about reality and truth than any book of science, and so it is with the ancient dilemma of trying and fathom the inner workings of the opposite sex.

Here, HuffPost Culture's lead writers each offer 5 novels that help explain men, and help explain women. Scroll down for both, and add your own suggestions at the bottom.