This year on the library blog, I started writing a new monthly post suggesting “readalikes” for one of our most popular books that month. It’s been a useful readers’ advisory tool, both for readers eager to read the most popular books, and for those who have already read them and are looking for similar titles.
Of the most popular books each month, I featured books from different categories or genres, from literary fiction to nonfiction, young adult fiction to cookbooks.
January: The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware – a psychological thriller
February: Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance – a personal account of growing up as part of the declining white working class
March: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles – a popular work of literary historical fiction set in the Metropol hotel in Moscow in the 1920s, by the author of Rules of Civility
April: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – YA fiction inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and racial inequality
May: Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout – short stories by the author of My Name is Lucy Barton
June: Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan – literary fiction about a complicated family, set in Ireland and Boston
July: Al Franken, Giant of the Senate by Al Franken – a leftist political humor memoir (note: Franken has since resigned from the Senate after accusations of sexual harassment)
August: Dying by Cory Taylor and The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs – memoirs and other nonfiction on the topic of death and dying
September: What She Ate by Laura Shapiro – culinary historian Shapiro looks at three famous women through the lens of food and cooking
October: Glass Houses by Louise Penny – the newest Three Pines mystery featuring Armand Gamache
November: Smitten Kitchen Every Day by Deb Perelman – a second cookbook by the blogger with a dedicated following
December: Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan – a new work of historical fiction by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit From the Goon Squad, set in WWII-era New York
2 thoughts on “A year of read-alikes”
Which was your favorite to write? Which was the most challenging?
Ooh, great question! The most challenging one (at the time, and also now) was the Al Franken one, because I was really looking for humorous political memoirs from the left AND right, and there just aren’t any on the right. And now it’s difficult because, you know, he has resigned. I loved Saints For All Occasions and was surprised how many close matches there were for it (Boston Irish, complicated family history/secrets, multiple narrators, etc.). In August, that practically wrote itself – there have been so many books and memoirs about death and dying lately, the topic is becoming less taboo. Smitten Kitchen was different from the others because I included blogs as well as books. In general the whole thing was a great exercise!