Book Recommendations: If You Like This . . . Then Try This!

I’ve noticed a trend among various book-tubers I enjoy watching where they recommend books based upon their viewers’ enjoyment of other books, and thought I’d give it a try! Here, I’ve listed a few book recommendations based upon other books you may have enjoyed. If you like THIS book, then perhaps you should try THIS one!

If you liked Dietland by Sarai Walker, then try What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat by Aubrey Gordon. Both books tackle the complexities of fatphobia in the US, though one is fiction and the other, nonfiction. Both books are witty, sharp, and sincere, making for educational reading with complementary messages that support each other’s statements. One provides statistics and studies and the other offers a lived, fictional example of their play-out. Finally, their readability can’t be ignored – enjoyable and enlightening!

Motherhood and womanhood do not have to go in hand, and these books show how tumultuous and emotionally complex this relationship is. In Look How Happy I’m Making You, Polly Rosenwaike looks at a variety of women in different circumstances reconcile their complicated feelings on becoming mothers, while Meiko Kawakami notes the social discourses and barriers that prevent Japanese women from recognizing their full humanity in relation to their desire (or lack there of) to be mothers in Breasts and Eggs. Though I, personally, tend not to connect with books with themes of motherhood, these two have stood out as clear favorites of mine due to their wisdom and empathy.

Both Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo give off what I call “Spirited Away vibes.” In these stories two young women explore the fantastical worlds of their mythological cultures guided by a mysterious otherworldly young man (? spirit? other creature? I’m not spoiling anything . . . ) as they complete a quest that will challenge their characters before they return to their human realm. Lush with evocative visual details, historical tidbits, and a subtle romance that will linger with you after the story ends, both of these books contain captivating adventures and I would absolutely recommend the two in conjunction.

If I could sum up of the vibe of both The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and The Charm Buyers by Lillian Howan, I would say, “Sad boy has a bad time and loves a seemingly unattainable childhood friend in a Dickensonian epic.” Some real Great Expectations vibes. While The Goldfinch takes place in New York, The Charm Buyers takes place in Tahiti (the main character being a young man of Chinese-French-Tahitian descent), and the complex history of colonization is more prominent, offering a nuanced historical lens to Howan’s tale. If you like the long-winded appeal of one book, you’ll most likely enjoy the other.

Finally, I’d like to recommend The Bridge of the Beyond by Simone Schwartz-Bart to those who enjoyed The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor. Both books take a deep dive into the emotions of various Black women in light of their intertwined lives and conflicts. What I also loved about these novels is that they both take such beautiful care of language – I really felt the author’s intention in each sentence written. If you’re looking for sensitive portrayals of Black women, neither of these books will let you down.

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