Tag Archives: read-alikes

Gone Girl Readalikes

Top Ten Tuesday {REWIND}: Books for People Who Liked Gone Girl

Top Ten TuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten list and everyone is invited to share their answers. If you’re interested, head on over to The Broke and the Bookish to take a peek at upcoming Top Ten Topics.

This Week’s Topic: Top Ten Tuesday {REWIND} — Books for People Who Liked Gone Girl

This week I get to pick my topic and one of my favorite was from July 2012: Top Ten Books for People Who Liked X Book. I’m working on a short presentation to give at a Readers’ Advisory workshop in May so it seems like a good time to see how right-on or off-base my recommendations are for Gone Girl (a book I really loved way back in 2012 and plan on reading again VERY SOON). I think I’ve decided on my topic as “The Next Gone Girl” which could mean more psychological thrillers like Gone Girl or books that have potential to be runaway bestsellers (not sure I’m qualified for this one)…for today, I’m just focusing on the first topic. If this ends up being my actual presentation topic…well, we shall see…I mean, it’s possible it’s been done MANY times and no one wants to hear about Gone Girl anymore. (And if that’s the case, maybe I’ll focus on what I’m calling “The New Chick-Lit” — totally just made this up, but it could work.)

Gone Girl by Gillian FlynnIt amazes me how huge Gone Girl has become, even my sister read it and usually she only reads memoirs about people who have had horrific experiences. Gillian Flynn made Nick & Amy so icky & twisty & dark & scarily real (is that a word?) that it really is hard to compare ANY book to Gone Girl, but shocking endings, suspense, and unreliable narrators weren’t invented by Ms. Flynn (aside: I’m kind of excited to see the ending changed for the big screen). There have been many titles that DO deliver on the “if you like Gone Girl” promise, both before and after Gone Girl hit shelves (at least in my opinion). So here are a few books I’ve loved that I think make for great readalikes to the Dunne family drama (and they aren’t all “marriage thrillers”). I’m also going to share the ones I didn’t love nearly as much — you know, those I read because a blurb or a list somewhere told me it was like Gone Girl.

The Books I LOVED:

Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson — Before Gone Girl, there was this story of a woman with amnesia and her journals — complete with a twisty ending. This is THE book that introduced me to psychological thrillers. (A movie adaptation starring Nicole Kidman & Colin Firth is scheduled for later this year.)

Sister by Rosamund Lupton — After Before I Go to Sleep, I discovered this one. Instead of a marriage, it focuses on the relationship between two sisters.  When Tess goes missing, Beatrice tries to find her and we learn of her findings through a letter she has written. Haunting and thrilling. (Also has a film in the works starring Emily Blunt, but it appears it’s much earlier in the process than Before I Go to Sleep.)

Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes — Incredibly suspenseful and an absolute page-turner.

Close My Eyes by Sophie McKenzieLike the Haynes title, McKenzie does a wonderful job of putting you in the main characters head.

Precious Thing by Colette McBeth — Here we explore the secret-filled friendship of Rachel and Clara. Both of these young women have their fair share of issues….

The Books I Liked:

So Much Pretty by Cara Hoffman — A school shooting, a small town, a missing girl…so many different topics that all exist within this book. It felt very disjointed at times, but still a compelling read.

The Dinner by Herman Koch — I really didn’t love this one, but I definitely see the similarities to Gone Girl. It isn’t one I can recommended with all the gushing, but it will appeal to many fans of Ms. Flynn’s novel.

Kiss Me First by Lottie Moggach — Leila is a terrible main character — if a character is going to be unlikable, they also need to be compelling — and this book didn’t really give any kind of resolution, but if you like unlikable main characters then this is the one for you! I kept turning the pages of this one because I wanted to know what happened next.

The Silent Wife by A.S.A Harrison — The twisted marriage is the only real comparison to Gone Girl for this one. Like I mentioned before, I want my unlikable characters to still be INTERESTING and if possible I’d like a riveting plot. This one missed on both of those counts.

Good…But a Readalike?

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes — I’m including this one because it’s on quite a few lists as great for fans of Gone Girl or “the next Gone Girl” and I want to know what others think. While I really enjoyed this book, I don’t think it’s a readalike. Is it suspenseful? Yes. Is it good writing? Yes. Many that enjoy Gone Girl will enjoy The Shining Girls, but as far as saying “If you liked that, you’ll like this” I can’t do that here. The Shining Girls is a real genre blender — horror, science fiction, mystery — but it also doesn’t have the mass appeal that Gone Girl does (simplistically speaking, there are lots of married people, there aren’t that many time travelling serial killers). Perhaps my readalike scope is too narrow. Thoughts?

And now I present the many hundreds of lists also promising you more books like Gone Girl complete with twist endings, unreliable narrators, unlikable characters, lots of suspense, and/or great writing. (Some of them I agree with, some of them I don’t — I didn’t like Dare Me or Cover of Snow – and many of them I haven’t read…yet.)

What Will You Read After Gone Girl from Random House
What Will You Read After Gone Girl from Random House
Books That Make You Cry

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Will Make You Cry

Top Ten TuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten list and everyone is invited to share their answers. If you’re interested, head on over to The Broke and the Bookish to take a peek at upcoming Top Ten Topics.

This Week’s Topic: Books that make you cry.

One of my favorite kind of books is one that causes some kind of outward response — tears, laughter, throwing the book across the room. Crying is my favorite though…I like to cry. *shrug*

Books That Make You Cry
Ok…so maybe a few more than ten.

And! A bonus (kind of)! A couple of years ago I posted a list of the many books I had read recently that were tear-inducing: If I Stay, Before I Fall, Going Bovine, and Thirteen Reasons Why. Head over to that post from 2011 for more about those books!

 

 

Quirky Men.

The Quirky Male.

I have a feeling we can thank Sheldon Cooper and Sherlock Holmes (in all his variations) for the rise in fascinating and original male protagonists (or we can  give Forrest Gump a hug). Despite who the credit goes to, these quirky male leads are highly entertaining and great characters to watch (and read). They’re the know-it-alls. The characters that don’t have the greatest social skills, but make some pretty excellent observations. They are peculiar and different. They are the unlikely heroes we love.

Quirky Men in BooksWe have Don from The Rosie Project, Bartholomew from The Good Luck of Right Now, Maxon from Shine Shine Shine, William from Someone Else’s Love Story. All wonderful characters and none of them an Edward, a Jacob, a Peeta, a Gale. They’re original, funny, (sometimes) heartbreaking, and wonderful characters.

Don Tillman is looking for a wife in The Rosie Project. So many laugh-out-loud funny moments with this one. Don has never been on a second date and it’s pretty obvious why not…he’s not one to shirk words or hold back his opinion.

Bartholomew has just lost his mother in The Good Luck of Right Now. He’s never had a job or paid bills or had an “age-appropriate” friend, so he’s pretty lost. But he does know things have to change so he writes letters to Richard Gere while he tries to figure it all out. Along the way he takes a few chances (including talking to the “Girlbrarian” he’s had a crush on) and learns that he doesn’t have to go it alone now that his mom is gone.

In Shine Shine Shine, the unconventional love story of Maxon and Sunny unfolds while exploring the age-old question of what is “normal”? Sunny was born hairless in Burma and is currently a lonely, pregnant stay-at-home mom, Maxon is a genius robotics engineer on a mission to the moon — so neither fit the traditional definition of normal. It’s a great story.

Shandi thinks she’s found her very own Thor when William Ashe saves her and her little boy during a gas station robbery in Someone Else’s Love Story. William is in the middle of his own crisis when he meets Shandi and while I didn’t love this book, I did love William. His story was interesting and the parts that told his story were my favorite.

Aside 1: Matthew Quick, the author of The Good Luck of Right Now does a great job of writing unconventional male characters — if you haven’t read The Silver-Linings Playbook, read it, too! (And if you like SLP, also grab The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving. Like The Silver Linings Playbook, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving is about a man who has lost everything and both novels deal with the journeys the main characters take to rediscover themselves…their lives…and maybe their sanity.

Aside 2: I hear I should also read The Art of Racing in the Rain and The Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime for more of the (peculiar?) characters I find so fascinating.

Aside 3: If you’re in search of an actuary-by-day, superhero-by-night kind of guy, meet Chesney Anstruther from Matthew Hughes’ series To Hell and Back. The entire book is quirk. It’s got demons, televangelists, bad guys. Chesney definitely fits in with the guys mentioned above. The first book in the series is The Damned Busters.

Aside 4: Who are the female counterparts in literature to these unconventional male characters? I’m really struggling to think of any…my first thought would be someone like Amy Dunne in Gone Girl but then all of the women I think of end up being unlikeable female characters (and obviously Sunny from Shine x3, but there have to be more) . The beauty of these male leads is that they’re likable and different. Thoughts?

Who are your favorite unlikely heroes?

World War Z & Friends

Top Ten Tuesday: Books for People Who Like World War Z

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten list and everyone is invited to share their answers. If you’re interested, head on over to The Broke and the Bookish to take a peek at upcoming Top Ten Topics.

This week’s topicTop Ten Books for Folks Who Like World War Z by Max Brooks

For the zombie elements

  • The Newsflesh Trilogy by Mira Grant — Feed, Deadline, and Blackout
  • Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
  • The Walking Dead — TV show & Graphic Novels

For the structure — WWZ is written as an oral history and has a very nonfiction feel.

  • The Good War: An Oral History of World War Two by Studs Terkel — Brooks based the structure  of his novel off of Terkel’s work.
  • Robopocalypse by Daniel Wilson — I know a lot of people that didn’t enjoy this one as much, but I loved it.
  • And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic by Randy Stilts — This is another nonficiton title, but there’s something about World War Z that reminds me of this  one. Even though one is based in facts and the other is fiction, they’re both readable…journalistic. Does that make sense?

And just because  

  • The Passage by Justin Cronin — Virals instead of zombies, but they’re both undead so they’re similar, right?
  • Oryx & Crake and The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood — The story of before and after the end of the world.

Because it can’t be left outPride & Prejudice & Zombies. I mean, it’s the classic love story with zombie kick-assery!

And one I haven’t read yet, but am looking forward to: This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

Read-alikes are a teeny part of my job (I’ve been thinking about a Walking Dead and/or zombie post for a while), so if you want to check out books similar to The Hunger Games, Bossypants, the Sookie Stackhouse series, and a few others….follow the links :)

Top Ten Tuesday: Readalikes (or For People Who Liked X Author)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten list and everyone is invited to share their answers. If you’re interested, head on over to The Broke and the Bookish to take a peek at upcoming Top Ten Topics.

This week’s topic: Top Ten Books I’d Recommend to Someone Who Liked X Author

Perhaps my favorite topic EVER. Instead of doing ten books for one author, I’m just going to do a couple for some of my favorites authors/series…hope that’s OK :)

If you like Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, I recommend A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness and Overseas by Beatriz Williams (the latter is based just on the book description, but I really want to read it!).

If you like Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series, I recommend the Kitty Norville series by Carrie Vaughn. (More Sookie readalikes here)

If you like Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody series, I recommend Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series. (Alexia is like Amelia with a twist.)

If you like Malcolm Gladwell’s writings, I recommend Quiet by Susan Cain, The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, and Imagine by Jonah Lehrer.

If you like George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice & Fire series, I recommend The Inheritance Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin and The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss (I would also recommend Rothfuss to Harry Potter fans).

If you enjoyed Bossypants by Tina Fey, I recommend Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. (More books by Funny Ladies here)

If you like Margaret Atwood’s novels, I recommend When She Woke by Hillary Jordan and The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker.

If you enjoyed American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld, I recommend Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer.

If you enjoyed Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, I recommend Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson. Alif isn’t as nostalgia heavy as RPO, but it gives a few short waves to geekery.

If you like Sandra Dallas’ novels, I recommend These Is My Words by Nancy Turner.

If you like The Walking Dead (TV series & graphic novels), I recommend The Newsflesh Trilogy by Mira Grant and World War Z by Max Brooks.

OK…so I went way over. Can’t wait to see what everyone else recommends!