Hi guys! I hope you’ve had a good week! I actually started mine having to pay 7€ in library fees – something that came as a bit of a shock since I’ve never returned anything late in my life before now… But, in my defense, the university library originally said that it would let us keep books indefinitely while corona was going on, and I never got their notice that that rule had been suspended or that my books (and there were a lot of them) were due. Oops.
Anyways, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let’s get into some book recommendations! I haven’t done a recommendations post in a while, and since I like watching “I’ve You Liked This, Try This” videos on BookTube every once in a while, I thought I might as well give my own version of this a go. The idea is pretty much self-explanatory: Based on a book, I’ll try to recommend one that might appeal to fans of the first one. I tried to include a variety of things, so I hopefully everyone can find something interesting!
#1 If you liked Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, you might also like Mandy by Julie Andrews Edwards
The Anne of Green Gables books are not just some of my favorite classics, but some of my all-time favorite books out there. I love how spunky Anne is, her vivid imagination, the way she cares for the people around her, and all the mishaps she gets into. And if you feel the same way, I think you might also really enjoy Mandy! In contrast to Anne of Green Gables, this is not a classic, but I think or heroine actually has a lot in common with Anne. Mandy is an orphan who has dreamed of being adopted her entire life, and when she discovers an abandoned cottage in the woods behind her orphanage, she sets out to restore it and make it a place of her own. Along the way, she gets into all kinds of scrapes, and you can’t help but fall in love with her drive, enthusiasm, and determination. I highly recommend you give this a chance! (And yes, the author is the same Julie Andrews who starred in The Sound of Music or Mary Poppins – but although her career as an actress has significantly overshadowed her writing, that doesn’t mean this book isn’t excellent!)
#2 If you liked The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, you might also like Babel-17 by Samuel Delany
I actually wasn’t the biggest fan of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, but one thing I did really like about it were the diverse and interesting backgrounds of the Wayfarer‘s crewmembers and their relationships with one another. While I do think the book lacked in plot, all the speculations about what alien cultures might look like and how interaction between them might work were super interesting! And Samuel R. Delaney’s Babel-17 has that, too – in addition to what is, in my opinion, a much more interesting story. Like The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, Babel-17 is set aboard a spaceship in a world populated by many different alien cultures, and follows a linguist named Rydra Wong as she tries to get to the bottom of a mysterious language humans have recently intercepted in the midst of a galactic war. While it can be confusing at times, I found this story and the cultures portrayed in it to be super interesting and would recommend it to fellow sci-fi lovers. Plus, I feel like there isn’t that much popular sci-fi written by Black authors out there – something that definitely has to change!
#3 If you liked Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb, you might also like Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
All right, these are probably both pretty well-known, but I love a chance to sneak my favorite books into posts, so I just had to put them here on the off-chance that you haven’t heard of them 😉 Like Robin Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy, Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness Quartet is an extremely political, character- and plot-driven fantasy series with a beautifully fleshed-out world. And just as we watch Fitz grow up in the former, we follow Alanna’s journey from young girl to fierce knight in the latter. Both books take place at court, both have an intriguing magic system, and both follow an underdog – Fitz as a royal bastard and Alanna as a girl disguised as a boy in a world that only allows men to be knights. Plus, in both series, these characters actually have to train to get good at stuff – Which should be a given, but much to my annoyance, it often isn’t! – and we get some pretty cool training scenes and mentor-mentee relationships. If you like fantasy, these series are a must!
#4 If you liked Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, you might also like The Unseen World by Liz Moore
One reason I loved Little Fires Everywhere so much was because it put so much emphasis on family, family relationships, and family members’ history – history that others in their lives may not even have been aware of. It showed the struggles of single parenting, the way the community you live in can shape the way you act, the way a teenager might feel out of place at home, the search for role models. The Unseen World also has all of these things. We accompany our protagonist Ada: At the start of the novel, she is a little girl homeschooled by her scatter-brained, computer-scientist father, later, a young woman searching for answers about her family’s history. Like Little Fires Everywhere, this book has a profound depth to it, and is perfect for everyone who loves a good character-driven story!
#5 If you liked Educated by Tara Westover, you might also like My Place by Sally Morgan
Like Educated, My Place is a memoir following a young woman coming to terms with the way she was raised and her family history. However, while Educated is the story of a girl who grew up isolated from mainstream US society and who never attended school before college, My Place is about a young Australian reclaiming her Aboriginal heritage. Throughout the novel, we get to see how Sally grew up, the struggles she had to deal with, and how she slowly uncovers her family’s story – how her mother was part of the Stolen Generation and hid their heritage from her children, in fear that they might be taken away from her the way she was taken away from her own mother. This story is so raw and gripping, and you learn so much reading this! Would highly recommend!
#6 If you liked Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, you might also like Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
Who doesn’t love a good cute YA contemporary with a bit of punch? Like Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Autoboyography is the story of two boys falling in love, and just as in Simon, there are obstacles. Our main character Tanner has recently moved to Utah, and as he lives in a mainly Mormon community, he doesn’t feel as though he can be as openly bisexual as he was back home in California. Then, however, he meets Sebastian, the adorable assistant helping out at his high school’s novel writing class. Sebastian, however, is Mormon through and through, and if he knows anything, it’s that he most definitely isn’t gay. This book has everything I also loved about Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. A cute romance, great family relationships, good explorations of friendship. Plus, I think this book handled a rather delicate topic marvelously – in no way did it bash the Latter Day Saints’ religion, instead, it opened up a two-sided conversation on some very important issues. I actually like Autoboyography more than Simon, and if you haven’t read it yet, I’d recommend you check it out!
Anyway, that’s it for today! I hope you were able to discover at least one book you hadn’t heard of before 😉 And if you’ve read any of these, let me know what you thought of them!