Monday, September 28, 2015

Reading Recs: If You Like That Book, Try This One!

One of my favorite things about working at a library is the opportunity to chat about books, both with patrons and my awesome co-workers. At the library, recommending reading material to patrons is called "readers' advisory."

Today's Top Ten Tuesday topic, provided by the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish, is all about readers' advisory: if you like that popular book or author, try this one. I decided to do 10 (well, 12), separate books and recommendations.

I'm excited to browse everyone else's lists this week; I'm sure I'll be adding to my to-read list! And I'm seeking some suggestions as well. I've enjoyed reading some "lite" sci-fi and fantasy lately, like "Ready Player One," "Armada," "Red Rising" and "The Bone Season," and I'd like to read more in the same vein. Any recommendations, my lovely bookworm friends?

If you enjoyed "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, you might like "I'll Be Seeing You" by Suzanne Hayes and Loretta Nyhan. 

Why: Both are heartwarming WWII novels written in letters.

My review of "I'll Be Seeing You."

If you enjoyed "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins or "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card, you might like "Red Rising" by Pierce Brown.

Why: "Red Rising" is an oppressed-lower-classes-rising-up dystopia like "The Hunger Games" as well as a space-y sci-fi story with plenty of battle strategy planning like "Ender's Game."

My review of "Red Rising."

If you enjoyed "Euphoria" by Lily King, you might like "The Poisonwood Bible" by Barbara Kingsolver.

Why: "Euphoria" involves ill-fated anthropologists studying primitive New Guinea in the 1930s; "The Poisonwood Bible" is about an obsessed missionary dragging his ill-fated family to primitive Africa in the 1950s. Both are gripping stories that feature fascinating looks at indigenous populations.

I picked "Euphoria" as the "popular" book in this equation simply because it was published far more recently than "The Poisonwood Bible," but I'm really not sure which is more popular overall, so here's my review of "Euphoria."

If you enjoyed "Wonder" by R.D. Palacio, you might enjoy "Boo" by Neil Smith.

Why: Like Auggie in "Wonder," Boo is bullied at school because he's different. Both ultimately triumph, though, and find their identity in the process.

My review of "Boo."

If you enjoyed "The Rosie Project" by Graeme Simsion, you might like "Rubbernecker" by Belinda Bauer.

Why: Patrick, the main character in this fantastic mystery by Belinda Bauer, has Asperger's like Don in "The Rosie Project." But where "Rosie" is lighthearted and sweet, our look at Patrick's life veers more toward heartbreaking, even if he ultimately redeems himself by finding a killer.

My review of "Rubbernecker."

If you enjoyed "A Dog's Purpose" by W. Bruce Cameron, you might like the Chet and Bernie mysteries by Spencer Quinn.

Why: Quinn's Chet and Bernie books are fun and cute -- and written from the dog's perspective, just like "A Dog's Purpose."

If you enjoy watching "The Walking Dead," you might like "The Girl With All the Gifts" by M.R. Carey.

Why: Well, zombies, obviously. But "The Girl With All the Gifts" comes at the undead with an original perspective.

If you enjoyed "Delicious" by Ruth Reichl, you might like "My Life in France" by Julia Child.

Why: Food descriptions so vivid you will find yourself wiping drool from your chin.

My review of "My Life in France."

If you enjoyed "Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon, you might like "The River of No Return" by Bee Ridgway.

Why: Major plot points: time travel and romance.

If you enjoyed "One Plus One" by Jojo Moyes, you might like "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" by Maria Semple.

Why: Both are funny, lighthearted reads that feature a quirky main character and a totally lovable daughter.

If you enjoyed "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien, you might like "Fives and Twenty-Fives" by Michael Pitre.

Why: "The Things They Carried" gave us a heart-wrenching, realistic look at the Vietnam War. "Fives and Twenty-Fives" does the same for Iraq. Both are penned by veterans.

If you enjoy the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich, you might like the Meg Langslow series by Donna Andrews.

Why: Funny, lighthearted cozy mysteries. Donna Andrews is like Janet Evanovich-lite. (Though Janet is definitely better.)


  1. Oh you have some of my favorites on here - Rosie and The Stephanie Plum books (the early ones anyways). I will totally be checking out your suggestions!! Great list!

  2. I had no idea The Girl With All the Gifts had zombies in it. I had seen it a few times on booktube and blogs, but didn't pay any attention to it. I love the Walking Dead, so I'm gonna have to read this now.

    - Emma @ Emma Likes Books

    1. Yeah, the cover doesn't really bring to mind zombies, does it? You should definitely check it out!

  3. I super love Outlander!!! I will check out The River of No Return. Thanks for the recommendation ! My TTT

  4. My husband LOVED the Girl With All the Gifts.
    My ttt

  5. will def. be checking out I'll Be Seeing You now! :) My TTT

    1. It was a wonderful book -- one of my favorite reads from last year.

  6. Wow, this is a nice and varied list-nice! I have had "The Girl With All the Gifts" pop up on a few personal recommendations lists, and now I really think I'll have to check it out. "Where'd You Go Bernadette" has been on my TBR for a while now. And food descriptions . . . I'm in!

    I am a bookseller myself, so I understand exactly what you mean! It is a ton of fun to be able to talk books on a daily basis.
    Here's my TTT if you're interested:

    1. You should check out both of those! Couldn't be more different, but both solid reads. Beware, "Where's You Go, Bernadette" made me add (very expensive) Antarctica cruise to my bucket list!


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