Top 10 Tuesday: 10 Books for Readers Who Like Wes Anderson Films

Posted by Maria Vicente

Thanks largely to the recently uploaded video What if Wes Anderson Directed X-Men?, and my own obsession with Wes Anderson films, I’ve decided to focus on Wes Anderson fans for this week’s Top 10 Tuesday.

Anderson is known for combining comedy with melancholic topics. He loves topics like grief, the loss of innocence, sibling rivalry, and unlikely friendships. Aesthetically, his films typically adhere to a color palette, make use of flat space camera moves, and involve hand-made miniatures or stop motion animation. If you’re a fan of his films, try out the following books the next time you’re looking for something to read.

BORN WEIRD by Andrew Kauffman: This book is focused on a group of siblings (family name: Weird), and the characters and setting are just as visual as any Wes Anderson film. Anderson would certainly approve of the relationships explored between the family and the very strange “curse” that plagues them.

THE POST OFFICE GIRL by Stefan Zweig: Wes Anderson has spoken at great lengths about Zweig’s work and how this novel in particular helped shape the inspiration for The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014): “Many of the ideas expressed and/or explored in Grand Budapest we stole directly from Zweig’s own life and work.” So there you go.

THIS ONE SUMMER by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki: This graphic novel deals with nostalgia and loss of innocence, two of Anderson’s signature themes. This is a quiet, beautiful story, and the muted colors in the book are reminiscent of Anderson’s need for a color palette in his films.

THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER AND CLAY by Michael Chabon: I so desperately want to see Wes Anderson’s take on the comics industry. He’d be the perfect director to bring the aesthetic style to the silver screen (without it being an actual comic book adaptation). Chabon’s novel deals with some serious stuff, but is also quite playful and introspective. A perfect fit for Anderson fans.

VIRGINIA WOLF by Kyo Maclear: A picture book with breathtaking illustrations and a message that’s a bit older than the intended audience. It has all the makings of a Wes Anderson film. I can already picture a live-action version with colourful clothing and deceptive costumes.

WINESBURG, OHIO by Sherwood Anderson: Not only does the author share Wes’s last name, but this book has the craziest cast of characters I have ever encountered. Have fun reading and trying to create a dream cast of actors for this adaptation.

MADE YOU UP by Francesca Zappia: So this book isn’t even out yet (I’m sure the author would love it if you pre-ordered it though!), but it’s being pitched as the perfect book for fans of Wes Anderson… so it definitely belongs on this list. The book cover sure looks like something straight from Anderson’s art direction, so here’s hoping it lives up to the hype!

FANTASTIC MR. FOX by Roald Dahl: This is an easy addition, since Wes Anderson, you know, actually adapted this book into a film in 2009 (starring epic people like Meryl Streep, George Clooney, and Bill Murray). It’s an inspired and hilarious adaptation, but there’s something magical about the book as well.

THE DARK IS RISING by Susan Cooper: This is the first book in a fantasy series about the struggle between good and evil, called the Light and Dark. This book was an inspiration for Anderson’s film Moonrise Kingdom.

THE WES ANDERSON COLLECTION by Matt Zoller Seitz: I thought I’d include at least one practical book for Wes Anderson fans. This book is a retrospective of his work so far and a great gift for any fan.