• Isabelle Osborne

If you loved *this*, read *this*...

I often find myself reading books that are of the same genre, topic or sentiment as my favourites, perhaps to recreate the reading experience of that of my all-time favourites. In this blog post, I'm going to talk about some popular novels in relation to other novels I have read that relate to the former, and why you must read them.

If you loved A Thousand Splendid Suns, read The Pearl That Broke Its Shell

Khaled Hosseini is one of the world's most fabulous writers in my opinion. After reading all his books, I felt so lost as to where to go next - I adored all of them so much. My favourite Hosseini novel is A Thousand Splendid Suns, as its beauty and emotion spoke to me so much so that it has become one of my most treasured reads. In July, I read The Pearl That Broke Its Shell, and this is the only book that has presented a rival to Hosseini's. Written by Nadia Hashimi, the novel follows a dual narrative in Afghanistan that reflects that of Hosseini's, and it is truly beautiful.

If you loved The Tattooist of Auschwitz, read The Choice

The Tattooist is a book everyone has at least heard of, but The Choice is not as well-known - this needs to change! Detailing her experiences before, during and after her time in Auschwitz concentration camp, Edith Eger offers an inspiring account of how she dealt with the immense suffering she was forced to endure as a Jew during Nazi rule. Both books are equally painful to read, but I believe Eger's offers reader's something more, and that is why it is incredibly special.

If you loved I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, read Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Maya Angelou is a phenomenal woman, and her first autobiography deserves the praise it continues to receive. If you're looking to build on your understanding of America's history of racism and its roots on an anecdotal level, Frederick Douglass' autobiography is the perfect next step. Taking you back to 1800s Maryland, Douglass details his experiences as a slave. It is harrowing, painful and shocking, but I believe it is a book everyone should read at least once to begin to understand the horrors of racial discrimination people like Angelou and Douglass faced.

If you loved Rebecca, read The Miniaturist

Rebecca is one of those books that will stay with me forever (read my full review here!). Daphne du Maurier is a phenomenal writer, and I thought nothing would ever rival her greatest work. That was, until I read Jessie Burton's The Miniaturist. I quickly discovered a similarity between Rebecca de Winter (Rebecca) and the Miniaturist, as well as Marin, Johannes' sister, to a certain extent. These characters hold a sense of mystery and secrecy, whilst governing the actions of the main characters in a haunting manner, and both a fantastically written.

If you loved Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, read The Cut Out Girl

Anne Frank's diary speaks of the tragedy of a young girl's experience under the horrific Nazi regime, and is a cold reminder of the brutality the regime brought to the Jewish community. Although not in diary-form, Bart Van Es' book unlocks a Jewish girl’s experiences of growing up in the Netherlands during WWII that is not too dissimilar to Anne Frank's experience. In order to protect her, Lien is taken from her family to adoptive parents, and van Es, the grandson of the couple who looked after Lien, looks at the history behind Lien's life and why she suddenly became a part of the family they never wanted to remember. The two books offer an account of the experience of two young Jewish girls, and how they were affected by the Nazi regime.

If you loved We Should All Be Feminists, read Fight Like a Girl

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's short essay considers how we internalise ideas from our socialisation, how a wedding ring earns a woman more respect, the belief that being a single woman after a certain age is deemed a failure, and the prehistoric custom of boys paying for dates. If you're looking for something a bit more lenghty, you must check out Clementine Ford's Fight Like a Girl. It is whirlwind of feminist debate and female empowerment, and goes into detail on some of the discussions Adichie promotes in her essay.

Featured image courtesy of Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash. Image license can be found here. No changes were made to this image.

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