Books That Will Grow Your Reading List

Posted by Danielle Mohlman

If you’re like us, you never run out of things to read. There’s always a stack of books waiting for you at the library or a bunch of books you already own but have never read. But every once in a while you crave a new set of recommendations. Well, today’s your lucky day. Not only are we making some stellar recommendations, those books are making their own recommendations. Today we’re showcasing books that will grow your reading list. So, let’s get reading!


[source: Workman Publishing]

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is a book lover’s dream. The novel follows a bookstore owner named – you guessed it! – A.J. Fikry. And as you would imagine, Fikry has opinions about what his customers are reading. He references everything from Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man is Hard to Find to Baby-Sitters Club Super Special #1: Baby-Sitters on Board. Author Gabrielle Zevin even annotated each literary reference on her website, helping her readers become even more Fikry-like. And who wouldn’t want to own an island’s only bookstore?


[source: Penguin Random House]

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler

If you’re looking for literature’s biggest Austenites, look no further than The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler. Over the course of this deeply engaging and incredibly fun novel, the club’s members read Jane Austen’s entire canon – everything from Sense and Sensibility to Persuasion. It’s the kind of book that will make you wish you owned a collected volume of Austen’s works – but are glad you don’t because then you’d be a total Grigg. Don’t know what we’re talking about? Pick up this book immediately.


[source: Penguin Random House]

The World’s Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne

If memoir is more your speed, be sure to pick up Josh Hanagarne’s The World’s Strongest Librarian. Throughout this memoir, Hanagarne gives readers a tour of what it was like to grow up Mormon with Tourette’s Syndrome – and how he found himself in weightlifting and librarianship. Hanagarne is currently a librarian at the Salt Lake City Public Library, so his past and present is littered with literary references. You may find it hard to keep up!


[source: Penguin Random House]

Matilda by Roald Dahl

Everyone’s favorite pint sized bookworm, Matilda, is sure to give readers a few TBR ideas. And, sure that readers wouldn’t be able to keep up with Matilda’s voracious reading habit, the Roald Dahl estate has a section of their website dedicated to her favorite books. They’ve even gone as far as creating a Pinterest page of ever book she’s ever read, creating a gorgeous collage of book covers. We especially love The Secret Garden and The Grapes of Wrath.


[source: Macmillan]

Texts from Jane Eyre by Daniel Mallory Ortberg

In Texts from Jane Eyre, Daniel Mallory Ortberg imagines what your favorite literary protagonists might do with an unlimited texting plan. And if they’re not your favorite literary protagonists, they will be soon. Ortberg explores conversations between Circe and Odysseus from The Odyssey, Jane and Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre, and Scarlett and Ashley from Gone with the Wind – along with many many more. It’s a literary smorgasbord, complete with Ortberg’s signature Toast humor and every classic book you’ve ever loved.


[source: Quirk Books]

Paperbacks from Hell by Grady Hendrix

In Paperbacks from Hell, Grady Hendrix takes readers through horror paperbacks of the 1970s and 80s – two iconic decades in horror writing. As a horror author himself – as well as an avid collector of paperbacks – Hendrix provides killer commentary and captivating context for each novel in this book, exploring authors both familiar and obscure. Granted, we’re a little biased, but we think it’s the perfect book for every horror fan.


[source: Quirk Books]

Paperback Crush by Gabrielle Moss

In Paperback Crush, Bustle features editor Gabrielle Moss takes readers through those 1980s and 90s pink-covered flimsy paperbacks we all loved. These series were inspired by the commercial success of Sweet Valley High and The Babysitters Club and came at us fast. Who could forget the dime store novels of our time, series like The B.Y. Times, Pen Pals, and The Cheerleaders – among many many others. It’s a book that will remind you of every slumber party, every note passed in class, and every dog-eared and tattered paperback you shared with your friends.