If you’ve been following us here at Book Riot even a little, you’ll have a fair idea of just how in love we are with Angie Thomas’s YA debut novel, The Hate U Give. The book follows Starr Carter, a 16-year-old black girl whose world changes after she witnesses her best friend being shot. The book hit the New York Times Bestseller List, inspired hundreds of young activists, and believe it or not, was banned by some authorities and institutions across the U.S.
If you haven’t had a chance to pick up this beautiful, heartbreaking marvel of a book, you have around a month before we are blessed with the movie adaptation, starring Amandla Stenberg, KJ Apa, Issa Rae, and Regina Hall. The book has everything, from profound words about black activism and police brutality to cozy, quippy family banter. I have no doubt the movie will be a gorgeous inspiring tearjerker, and here are some of my favourite The Hate U Give quotes I’d love to see come to life.
Funny how it works with white kids though. It’s dope to be black until it’s hard to be black.
What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?
Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.
You can destroy wood and brick, but you can’t destroy a movement.
Your voices matter, your dreams matter, your lives matter. Be the roses that grow in the concrete.
‘Brave doesn’t mean you’re not scared, Starr,’ she says. ‘It means you go on even though you’re scared. And you’re doing that.’
I’ll never forget. I’ll never give up. I’ll never be quiet. I promise.
At an early age I learned that people make mistakes, and you have to decide if their mistakes are bigger than your love for them.
My nana likes to say that spring brings love. Spring in Garden Heights doesn’t always bring love, but it promises babies in the winter.
“What is Tumblr anyway? Is it like Facebook?”
“No, and you’re forbidden to get one. No parents allowed. You guys already took over Facebook.”
It’s also about Oscar.
It’s even about that little boy in 1955 who nobody recognized at first—Emmett.
If you’re still not sold on Angie Thomas’s magic:
What are your favorite The Hate U Give quotes? Oh, and if you’re here because you loved the book as much as we did, we gotcha. Here’s a list of brilliant books if you’re looking for read-alikes!
The 1980’s was a decade built, in many ways, on contradictions. It was a decade defined by excess, unrest, moral outrage, and the rising tide of a new brand of political conservatism. It was “morning in America,” but also the waning days of the Cold War. There was rising wealth right alongside skyrocketing poverty. The soaring rhetoric of the Reagan Administration was sometimes at a sharp contrast to the lives of everyday citizens. This all, of course, left its mark on the literary world. The best books of the 1980’s ranged from disturbingly prescient dystopian horrors to heartrending sagas, escapist yarns, and everything in between. Here are a few of our picks for the best books to take you back to the 1980’s.
The Handmaid’s Tale
Following the overwhelming success of Hulu’s adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood’s iconic piece of dystopian fiction has once again proved its timelessness and unfortunate relevance. Nolite te bastardes carborundorum, bitches.
The late 70’s to the mid-80’s were the golden age of Stephen King novels and while I was tempted to put Different Seasons in this spot (I’ll settle for sneaking in a mention), for my money, It will always be Stephen King at his very best. The novel has it all – the epic scope, the nostalgia, the carefully drawn characters, and plenty of scares.
The Color Purple
This 1983 Pulitzer Prize winner is an American classic. It is also a heartrending tale of pain, loss, and redemption. It is a difficult and emotionally exhausting read, but this decades-spanning saga is well worth the experience.
A Confederacy of Dunces
John Kennedy Toole
A Confederacy of Dunces was published eleven years after the suicide of John Kennedy Toole and earned the author a posthumous Pulitzer Prize. The farcical adventures of Ignatius J. Reilly climbed from cult classic to American classic for a reason.
The Joy Luck Club
Amy Tan’s moving exploration of cultural divides and familial bonds is as powerful today as when it was published in 1989 – perhaps more so. The Joy Luck Club is not only a moving examination of the immigrant experience, but also the bond, and inescapable tensions, between mothers and daughters.
Picking any single novel to call Cormac McCarthy’s masterpiece is a tall order, and Blood Meridian is most certainly in the conversation. It’s stunning not simply for its brutality, but also for McCarthy’s startlingly simplistic yet evocative prose. Blood Meridian is, in many ways, a pure synthesis of McCarthy’s inimitable style.
It’s hard to characterize Geek Love. It’s hard to even tell a reader what they’re in for when they crack it’s pages. Geek Love is, at base, a story of sideshow freaks – ones who have been bred by a married couple for their traveling carnival. But that is just the admittedly off-kilter framework for the story. Geek Love is really an audacious, imaginative, sometimes horrifying examination of the concepts of normalcy, beauty, and family. It’s also heartbreaking tour-de-force.
Rabbit Is Rich
The saga of Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom is arguably John Updike’s masterpiece – a sprawling, humorous, and tragic examination of life in the latter half of the 20th century told with Updike’s stunning prose precision and disarming, at times disturbing insight. Rabbit is Rich, the third in the series, is perhaps the best.
Lonesome Dove is arguably one of the finest western novels ever written. It is a brilliantly realized epic that became a cultural event following its miniseries adaptation in 1989. Set against the backdrop of the American Frontier giving way to progress, it is a fascinating examination of cultural shifts, friendship, and death.
Toni Morrison’s Beloved took home a Pulitzer Prize in 1988 and remains as startling, powerful, and haunting today as it was on its initial publication. The tale of a former slave unable to escape the ghosts of her past represents Toni Morrison at the height of her considerable skill, and is one of the finest novels in American literature.
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
Douglas Adams is best known as the mind behind The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – in all its many, many forms – but there’s a lot to be said for the misadventures of Dirk Gently, he of the Holistic Detective Agency. It’s a subversive, silly, and deliriously witty read lifted by the crisp and absurd prose of Adams.
Love in the Time of Cholera
Gabriel García Márquez
Gabriel Garcia Marquez is not only one of the pre-eminent voices of Latin American literature, but one of the most important authors of the twentieth century. With Love in the Time of Cholera, the Nobel Laureate crafted a deeply nuanced portrait of love, death, aging, and the power of memory.
Movie: The Hate U Give When it comes out: October 5 What the book is about: Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
The Old Man & the Gun (essay featured in The Devil and Sherlock Holmes) by David Grann
Movie: The Old Man & the Gun When it comes out: October 5 What the book is about: Each of the dozen stories in this collection reveals a hidden and often dangerous world and, like Into Thin Air and The Orchid Thief, pivots around the gravitational pull of obsession and the captivating personalities of those caught in its grip. There is the world’s foremost expert on Sherlock Holmes who is found dead in mysterious circumstances; an arson sleuth trying to prove that a man about to be executed is innocent, and sandhogs racing to complete the brutally dangerous job of building New York City’s water tunnels before the old system collapses. Throughout, Grann’s hypnotic accounts display the power-and often the willful perversity-of the human spirit.
Loving Pablo, Hating Escobar by Virginia Vallejo
Movie: Loving Pablo When it comes out: October 5 What the book is about: At 33, Virginia Vallejo was media elite. A renowned anchorwoman and socialite, and a model who appeared on magazine covers worldwide, Vallejo was the darling of Colombia’s most powerful politicians and billionaires. Meeting Pablo Escobar in 1983, and becoming his mistress for many years, she witnessed the rise of a drug empire that was characterized by Escobar’s far-reaching political corruption, his extraordinary wealth, and a network of violent crime that lasted until his death in 1993. In this highly personal and insightful story, Vallejo characterizes the duality of Escobar’s charm and charisma as a benefactor to the people of Colombia, and the repulsion of his criminal actions as a tyrannical terrorist and enemy of many world leaders.
First Man by James R. Hansen
Movie: First Man When it comes out: October 12 What the book is about: On July 20, 1969, the world stood still to watch thirty-eight-year-old American astronaut Neil A. Armstrong become the first person to step on the surface of another heavenly body. Perhaps no words in human history became better known than those few he uttered at that historic moment. In a penetrating exploration of American hero worship, Hansen addresses the complex legacy of the First Man, as an astronaut and an individual.
Break My Heart 1,000 Times by Daniel Waters
Movie: I Still See You
When it comes out: October 12
What the book is about: Living in the aftermath of the Event means that seeing the dead is now a part of life, but Veronica wishes that the ghosts would just move on. Instead, the ghosts aren’t disappearing-they’re gaining power. When Veronica and her friend, Kirk, decide to investigate why, they stumble upon a more sinister plot than they ever could have imagined.
Can You Ever Forgive Me? by Lee Israel
Movie: Can You Ever Forgive Me? When it comes out: October 19 What the book is about: Before turning to her life of crime—running a one-woman forgery business out of a phone booth in a Greenwich Village bar and even dodging the FBI—Lee Israel had a legitimate career as an author of biographies. Her first book on Tallulah Bankhead was a New York Times bestseller, and her second, on the late journalist and reporter Dorothy Kilgallen, made a splash in the headlines. But by 1990, almost broke and desperate to hang onto her Upper West Side studio, Lee made a bold and irreversible career change: inspired by a letter she’d received once from Katharine Hepburn, and armed with her considerable skills as a researcher and celebrity biographer, she began to forge letters in the voices of literary greats.
Firing Point by Don Keith & George Wallace
Movie: Hunter Killer When it comes out: October 26 What the book is about: Below the polar ice cap, an American nuclear submarine moves quietly in the freezing water, tailing a new Russian sub. But the usual, unspoken game of hide-and-seek between opposing captains is ended when the Americans hear sounds of disaster and flooding, and the Russian sub sinks in a thousand feet of water. The American sub rushes to help, only to join its former quarry in the deep. The situation ignites tensions around the world. As both Washington and Moscow prepare for what may be the beginnings of World War III, the USS Toledo—led by young, untested Captain Joe Glass—heads to the location to give aid. He soon discovers that the incident was no accident. And the men behind it have yet to make their final move.
Barn Burning (short story featured in The Elephant Vanishes) by Haruki Murakami
Movie: Burning When it comes out: October 26 What the book is about: With the same deadpan mania and genius for dislocation that he brought to his internationally acclaimed novels A Wild Sheep Chase and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Haruki Murakami makes this collection of stories a determined assault on the normal. A man sees his favorite elephant vanish into thin air; a newlywed couple suffers attacks of hunger that drive them to hold up a McDonald’s in the middle of the night; and a young woman discovers that she has become irresistible to a little green monster who burrows up through her backyard.
Netflix and chill with these certified fresh (according to Rotten Tomatoes) book-to-film adaptations.
THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY (2018)
Five years after the end of World War II, a young London-based writer travels to the Island of Guernsey to interview residents for a book she plans to write about their experiences during the war. Once there, she learns about the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and the harrowing trials its members went through during the war.
In 1958 Germany, a teenage boy named Michael Berg has an affair with an older woman named Hanna Schmitz, who then mysteriously disappears. Decades later, Michael, now a lawyer, encounters Hanna in court. She is on trial for war crimes committed when she was a guard at a Nazi concentration camp.
Based On:The Reader by Bernhard Schlink, translated by Carol Brown Janeway
Starring: Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, David Kross
REVOLUTIONARY ROAD (2008)
April and Frank Wheeler’s troubled marriage crumbles under the social constraints of their mid-1950s suburban existence.
Starring: Emile Hirsch, Marcia Gay Harden, William Hurt, Jena Malone, Kristen Stewart, Vince Vaughn, Zach Galifianakis
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962)
Father, widower, and small-town lawyer Atticus Finch defends a black man accused of raping a white woman in 1932 Alabama. Meanwhile, his two children, Jem and Scout, become intrigued by their mysterious shut-in neighbor, Boo Radley.
Starring: Michelle Williams, Matthias Schoenaerts, Kristin Scott Thomas, Sam Riley, Margot Robbie, Ruth Wilson
THE IMITATION GAME (2014)
British mathematical genius Alan Turing and a team of gifted mathematicians try to crack the German Enigma code to turn the tide of World War II. But when Alan is outed as a gay man, he is faced with imprisonment or chemical castration.
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Charles Dance, Mark Strong, Allen Leech, Rory Kinnear
THE FUNDAMENTALS OF CARING (2016)
A retired writer named Ben takes a six-week course to become a caregiver, then takes a job caring for Trevor, an eighteen-year-old with muscular dystrophy. Ben takes Trevor on a road trip to see the world’s deepest pit. Along the way, Trevor meets Dot, a kind girl he develops a crush on.
Longtime neighbors Addie Moore and Louis Waters have hardly spoken to each other the whole time they’ve lived side-by-side. But that changes when Addie reaches out and tries to make a connection, sparking a beautiful late-life romance.
Starring: Marco Leonardi, Lumi Cavazos, Regina Torné, Mario Iván Martínez
COLD MOUNTAIN (2003)
During the final days of the Civil War, Inman, a wounded Confederate soldier, embarks on a dangerous journey back to Cold Mountain, North Carolina to reunite with his love, Ada. Meanwhile, Ada struggles to survive after her father dies, leaving her destitute.
Starring: Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Renée Zellweger, Charlie Hunnam, Eileen Atkins, Brendan Gleeson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Natalie Portman, Donald Sutherland
OUT OF SIGHT (1998)
Career bank robber Jack Foley and U.S. Marshal Karen Sisco share a steamy moment of mutual attraction while stowed away in a trunk during Foley’s escape from a Florida prison. After the getaway, Sisco chases Foley and his pals to Detroit where they plan to steal a cache of uncut diamonds.
Starring: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles, Gale Hansen
RED DRAGON (2002)
Will Graham, a retired FBI agent with a gift for understanding disturbed minds, tracks down a brutal serial killer known as “The Tooth Fairy” with the help of imprisoned forensic psychiatrist—and world’s greatest human flesh cook—Dr. Hannibal Lecter.
Starring: Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Caroline Goodall, Embeth Davidtz
JURASSIC PARK (1993)
Billionaire philanthropist John Hammond and a team of genetic scientists have created a wildlife park full of cloned dinosaurs. When a power failure knocks out the park’s security system, a small group of visitors there to preview the exhibits before opening day are faced with a hoard of toothy reptiles and one very pissed-off t-rex.
Starring: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Richard S. Castellano, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (2001)
A hodgepodge fellowship comprised of four hobbits, two humans, a dwarf, an elf, and a wizard embark on an epic quest to destroy the Ring of Power in the fires of Mount Doom in order to stop the Dark Lord Sauron from taking over Middle-earth with his force of evil orcs.
Starring: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellan, Viggo Mortensen, Liv Tyler, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Sean Bean, Ian Holm, Andy Serkis, Sala Baker
THE LITTLE PRINCE (2015)
A little girl whose mother has a strict plan for her life that includes no time for leisure befriends her elderly retired aviator neighbor who tells her the story of a little prince he once met from a faraway planet.
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, James Franco, Marion Cotillard, Benicio Del Toro, Ricky Gervais, Paul Giamatti
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2017)
A shallow and self-centered prince is cursed by a witch to transform into a beast for the rest of his life unless he can make a woman love him before the last petal falls from an enchanted rose. Belle, a bookish girl ahead of her time, saves her father from the clutches of the beast by offering to remain a prisoner in his stead.
Starring: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Audra McDonald, Ian McKellan, Emma Thompson, Hattie Morahan
A young anthropomorphic bear with an unusual affinity for marmalade migrates from the wild Peruvian jungle to modern-day London. Lost and alone at Paddington Station, he meets the Brown family, who kindly offer to let him stay with them.
Based On:Paddington by Michael Bond, illustrated by R. W. Alley
Starring: Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Ben Whishaw, Peter Capaldi, Nicole Kidman
TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE (2018)
Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song Covey keeps love letters she’s written to all the boys she’s ever loved in a hatbox gifted to her by her late mother. One day, Lara finds her hatbox missing and it quickly becomes apparent that someone has mailed the letters to their not-so-intended recipients.
Starring: Mark Williams, Sorcha Cusack, Nancy Carroll, Alex Price
ALIAS GRACE (2017)
Grace Marks is a convicted murderess, having participated in the gruesome slaying of her employer, Thomas Kinnear, and his housekeeper, Nancy Montgomery. Fifteen years into serving a life sentence in Kingston Penitentiary, an alienist named Simon Jordan takes an interest in Grace’s case and begins a series of interviews intended to suss out the motivation behind her crime. But Dr. Jordan’s interest soon grows beyond the detached professional persona he tries so desperately to maintain and it becomes clear that the facts of the case may not align with what truly happened.
Starring: Sarah Gadon, Edward Holcroft, Kerr Logan, Anna Paquin, Paul Gross
ANNE WITH AN “E” (2017- )
Anne Shirley, an eleven-year-old orphan girl, is adopted by brother and sister Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert and goes to live with them on picturesque Prince Edward Island. There she meets an eclectic cast of characters, including the rambunctious Gilbert Blythe, busybody neighbor Mrs. Rachel Lynde, and kindred spirit Diana Barry. Facing prejudice because of her parentless status, Anne struggles to be accepted and chases her dreams.
Starring: Neil Patrick Harris, Patrick Warburton, Malina Weissman, Louis Hynes, Presley Smith, K. Todd Freeman
ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK (2013- )
Middle-class WASP Piper Kerman is sentenced to eighteen months in Litchfield Penitentiary after being convicted of smuggling drugs for her ex-girlfriend, Alex Vause. There she copes with the daily hardships and injustices of prison life and meets an eclectic cast of fellow inmates. Things take an interesting turn when Alex is also sent to Litchfield.
Starring: Robert Taylor, Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips, Cassidy Freeman, Adam Barley, Louanne Stephens, Bailey Chase, A Martinez, Zahn McClarnon
BATES MOTEL (2013-2017)
Norma Bates and her teenage son, Norman, buy a motel after Norman’s father dies. Shortly thereafter, the former owner of the motel breaks in and sexually assaults Norma. Norman knocks him unconscious and Norma stabs him to death. From this point, the series traces Norman’s complicated relationship with his mother and the unraveling of his fragile psyche.
Starring: Jenny Agutter, Laura Main, Venessa Redgrave, Stephen McGann, Judy Parfitt, Helen George, Cliff Parisi
NORTH & SOUTH (2004)
A young middle-class southerner named Margaret Hale comes face-to-face with the brutality of poverty and the industrial revolution when her family moves to the Northern cotton mill town of Milton in the mid-18th century. There she meets John Thornton, a brusque mill owner whose manners and seeming indifference to his worker’s suffering offends her finer sensibilities.
Movie: Sierra Burgess Is a Loser When it comes out: September 7 What the book is about: This is Edmond Rostand’s immortal play in which chivalry and wit, bravery and love are forever captured in the timeless spirit of romance. Set in Louis XIII’s reign, it is the moving and exciting drama of one of the finest swordsmen in France, gallant soldier, brilliant wit, tragic poet-lover with the face of a clown. Rostand’s extraordinary lyric powers gave birth to a universal hero–Cyrano de Bergerac–and ensured his own reputation as author of one of the best-loved plays in the literature of the stage.
Movie: A Simple Favor When it comes out: September 14 What the book is about: It starts with a simple favor—an ordinary kindness mothers do for one another. When her best friend, Emily, asks Stephanie to pick up her son Nicky after school, she happily says yes. Nicky and her son, Miles, are classmates and best friends, and the five-year-olds love being together—just like she and Emily. A widow and stay-at-home mommy blogger living in woodsy suburban Connecticut, Stephanie was lonely until she met Emily, a sophisticated PR executive whose job in Manhattan demands so much of her time. But then Emily doesn’t come back.
Movie: Unbroken: Path to Redemption When it comes out: September 14 What the book is about: On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.
Movie: The Land of Steady Habits When it comes out: September 14 What the book is about: Anders Hill, entering his early sixties and seemingly ensconced in the “land of steady habits” — a nickname for the affluent, morally strict hamlets of Connecticut that dot his commuter rail line — abandons his career and family for a new condo and a new life. Stripped of the comforts of his previous identity, Anders turns up at a holiday party full of his ex-wife’s friends and is surprised to find that the very world he rejected may be the one he needs.
Movie: The Children Act
When it comes out: September 14
What the book is about: Fiona Maye is a High Court judge in London presiding over cases in family court. She is fiercely intelligent, well respected, and deeply immersed in the nuances of her particular field of law. Often the outcome of a case seems simple from the outside, the course of action to ensure a child’s welfare obvious. But the law requires more rigor than mere pragmatism, and Fiona is expert in considering the sensitivities of culture and religion when handing down her verdicts. But Fiona’s professional success belies domestic strife. Throwing herself into her work, especially a complex case involving a seventeen-year-old boy whose parents will not permit a lifesaving blood transfusion because it conflicts with their beliefs as Jehovah’s Witnesses, her attempts to resolve the issues of her personal and professional life may strain her to the breaking point.
Movie: Bel Canto When it comes out: September 14 What the book is about: In an unnamed South American country, a world-renowned soprano sings at a birthday party in honor of a visiting Japanese industrial titan. Alas, in the opening sequence, a ragtag band of 18 terrorists enters the vice-presidential mansion through the air conditioning ducts. Their quarry is the president, who has unfortunately stayed home to watch a favorite soap opera. And thus, from the beginning, things go awry.
Movie: The House with a Clock in the Walls When it comes out: September 21 What the book is about: Orphaned Lewis Barnavelt comes to live with his Uncle Jonathan and quickly learns that both his uncle and his next-door neighbor are witches on a quest to discover the terrifying clock ticking within the walls of Jonathan’s house. Can the three of them save the world from certain destruction?
Movie: The Sisters Brothers When it comes out: September 21 What the book is about: Hermann Kermit Warm is going to die. The enigmatic and powerful man known only as the Commodore has ordered it, and his henchmen, Eli and Charlie Sisters, will make sure of it. Though Eli doesn’t share his brother’s appetite for whiskey and killing, he’s never known anything else. But their prey isn’t an easy mark, and on the road from Oregon City to Warm’s gold-mining claim outside Sacramento, Eli begins to question what he does for a living – and whom he does it for.
Movie: Nappily Ever After When it comes out: September 21 What the book is about: Venus Johnston has a great job, a beautiful home, and a loving live-in boyfriend named Clint, who happens to be a drop-dead gorgeous doctor. She also has a weekly beauty-parlor date with Tina, who keeps Venus’s long, processed hair slick and straight. But when Clint–who’s been reluctant to commit over the past four years–brings home a puppy instead of an engagement ring, Venus decides to give it all up. She trades in her long hair for a dramatically short, natural cut and sends Clint packing.
Colette by … Okay, it’s not actually a book but a biographical drama about a French novelist
Movie: Colette When it comes out: September 21 What the book it is about: Colette was a French novelist whose writing career spanned from the end of WWI through the mid-1950s. She was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. Her best known work, the novella Gigi (1944), was the basis for the film and Lerner and Loewe stage production of the same name. She was also a mime, an actress, and a journalist.
Movie: Little Women When it comes out: September 28 What the book is about: Generations of readers young and old, male and female, have fallen in love with the March sisters of Louisa May Alcott’s most popular and enduring novel, Little Women. Here are talented tomboy and author-to-be Jo, tragically frail Beth, beautiful Meg, and romantic, spoiled Amy, united in their devotion to each other and their struggles to survive in New England during the Civil War.
Having acquired the (extremely expensive) rights to re-adapt The Lord of the Rings, Amazon Studios has doubled down with a production budget of a quarter billion dollars – this means the series is on track to become the most expensive TV series ever made. There is speculation that it will serve as a launchpad for varous spin-offs and prequels, and with “Game of Thrones” finally off the scene, fantasy fans will be drawn to this glittery new object like moths to a flame. Anything that costs that much has got to be worth watching… right?
A Wrinkle in Time is an enduring classic of children/young adult literature. Its fantastical elements and playful language make it a delight for younger readers while its more complex ruminations on religion and philosophical quandaries leave adults with plenty to ponder. Following its initial publication in 1962, A Wrinkle in Time took home a slew of awards including the Newberry Medal and positioned Madeleine L’Engle as one of the most significant and thought-provoking children’s authors of her time. The novel, and its sequels, remain an oft-challenged and beloved classroom fixture. With Disney’s recent blockbuster, Oprah-backed adaptation – helmed by Ava Duvernay – our thoughts have once turned to Madeline L’Engle’s miraculous world. Whether you’re looking for something to whet your appetite before catching the film or something to sate your thirst for more after the end credits roll, the books below should do the job.
Whether you’re picking it up for the first time or revisiting the well-read classic, there’s nothing quite exploring Madeleine L’Engle’s Time Quintet as an adult. It should come as no surprise that the series, like all great literature, ages incredibly well. The adventures of Meg and Charles Wallace Murray, their friend Calvin O’Keefe, and eventually the Murray and O’Keefe families are as enchanting and thought-provoking today as on their initial publication.
This bestselling trilogy and basis for the hit Syfy show is a must-read. Blurring the lines between reality and fiction, The Magicians Trilogy centers around Quentin Coldwater – a brilliant but misanthropic high school student fascinated by a series of children’s fantasy novels set in the magical land of Fillory. Imagine Quentin’s surprise when he’s accepted to an elite, secret college of magic and discovers that Fillory may actually exist. It is an adventure that is equal parts fantastical and deeply human.
While not technically set in a magical or alternate realm, the Florida Everglades of Karen Russell’s Swamplandia! feel no less fantastical. The novel follows Ava Bigtree, a precocious young girl who has spent her entire life in her family’s gator wrestling theme park, Swamplandia. When a series of mishaps and misfortunes sends her family spiraling into chaos, Ava sets out into the everglades to make things right in this brilliantly imagined debut from Karen Russell.
What do you get when you mix in a traveling vaudeville troupe, a young man searching out his father, a bit of Lovecraftian Cosmicism, and a dose of weird fiction? The Troupe by Robert Jackson Bennett. While Bennett is best known for the Divine Cities trilogy, his earlier stuff is just as good, and this one might just be my favorite. Like A Wrinkle in Time, it centers around a child’s search for their parent, and The Troupe is home to a mesmerizing and bizarre cast of characters set against a turn-of-the-century vaudevillian backdrop teeming with magic and suspense.
The Talisman and its sequel Black House, a collaboration between two of the most influential horror writers of their generation, span the life of Jack Sawyer. As a boy in The Talisman, Jack traveled to a parallel universe called “the territories” to save his mother from an agonizing death. Twenty years later, during the events of Black House, Jack is a retired homicide detective with no memory of his time in the territories until a series of gruesome murders pulls him inexplicably toward the past he’d long ago forgotten.
This 2017 Nebula Award winner and Hugo finalist is a bizarre, humorous, and ultimately poignant tale of the clash of magic and science with the world’s end looming. It’s built around the conflict between an ancient order of witches and a hipster tech startup – each battling to prevent the world from tearing itself apart. At its center is the love story of Patricia, a brilliant witch, and Laurence, a engineering genius. It’s all told against the backdrop of San Francisco and a world well on its way to a crisis. It’s precisely as quirky and strange as it sounds, and Charlie Jane Anders holds it all together.
Like The Troupe, this one may not seem like an obvious choice. It’s a truly bizarre adventure that pulls from classic folk tales and video games to create decidedly weird, and oft-hilarious, concoction. It centers on a suburban family man who takes a hike in rural Pennsylvania and soon stumbles into an unsettling and dangerous world. It’s weird fiction. It’s an otherworldly adventure with an engaging cast of characters. It’s a deconstruction of the fairy tale form. It’s also utterly entertaining.
A child being whisked away to become the savior of a fantasy world is a common trope, but what happens to the family the child leaves behind? More importantly, what happens when the story ends? These questions are the bedrock of Joshua Williamson’s Birthright series. The Rhodes family is shattered when their young son mysteriously goes missing. A year later, a full grown sword-wielding man appears, claiming to be the young son they lost. Could that possibly be the case?
This Newberry Medal winner wears its inspiration firmly on its sleeve. Rebecca Stead has made no secret that A Wrinkle in Time was her inspiration for When You Reach Me; in fact, it is the protagonist’s favorite book. The story follows sixth grader Miranda, who begins receiving mysterious notes that seem to be able to predict the future. With each one, she is pulled into a deeper and seemingly more dangerous mystery. Much like A Wrinkle in Time, When You Reach Me is an intricately woven and thought-provoking tale that will to readers of all ages and linger long after the final page.