What’s better than reading a great book? Reading a great book and then diving into books that are just as good and in a similar vein. I’m a BIG mood reader–and sometimes my mood is very specific–like books about sisters, or fairy tale retellings, or books set in the Catskills.
That’s why I love finding great lists of read-alikes for the books I’m reading–it helps grow my never-ending TBR pile, but it also gives me a jumping off point so I never fall into a reading slump. There’s always a next book to look forward to!
This July, the FFL book club read Ladies of the House by Lauren Edmonson and fell in love with the Richardson sisters while we watched them overcome their father’s scandals, the perils and joys of sisterhood, and romance.
If that book got you excited about reading, these thirteen other books are a great place to go next! Some of them are also Austen retellings, some are books about the line between politics and real life, and many of them are all about the joys of sisterhood.
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
If you were enchanted by the Richardson sisters, why not read the novel that inspired them? Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility is a classic for a reason, and it’s surprisingly readable for a modern audience as well! Austen’s humor and wit shines throughout, and it’s also a great tale of sisterhood.
The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany by Lori Nelson Spielman
“Since the day Filomena Fontana cast a curse upon her sister more than two hundred years ago, not one second-born Fontana daughter has found lasting love. Some, like second-born Emilia, the happily-single baker at her grandfather’s Brooklyn deli, claim it’s an odd coincidence. Others, like her sexy, desperate-for-love cousin Lucy, insist it’s a true hex. But both are bewildered when their great-aunt calls with an astounding proposition: If they accompany her to her homeland of Italy, Aunt Poppy vows she’ll meet the love of her life on the steps of the Ravello Cathedral on her eightieth birthday, and break the Fontana Second-Daughter Curse once and for all.”
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
Jane Austen’s most famous novel, Pride and Prejudice, gets a modern twist in this retelling that brings Liz, a big city magazine writer, home to the Bennet family, all brought into modern times, CrossFit and all. Of course, sparks fly with a particular neighbor’s broody best friend, and the rest is history.
Jane in Love by Rachel Givney
“Bath, England, 1803. At 28, Jane Austen prefers walking and reading to balls and assemblies; she dreams of someday publishing her carefully crafted stories. Already on the shelf and in grave danger of becoming a spinster, Jane goes searching for a radical solution—and as a result, seemingly by accident, time-travels. She lands in…Bath, England, present day. The film set of Northanger Abbey. Sofia Wentworth is a Hollywood actress starring in a new period film, an attempt to reinvent her flagging career and, secretly, an attempt to reinvent her failing marriage. When Sofia meets Jane, she marvels at the young actress who can’t seem to “break character,” even off set. And Jane—acquainting herself with the horseless steel carriages and seriously shocking fashion of the twenty-first century— meets Sofia, a woman unlike anyone she’s ever met before. Then she meets Fred, Sofia’s brother, who has the audacity to be handsome, clever, and kind-hearted.What happens when Jane, against her better judgement, falls in love with Fred? And when Sofia learns the truth about her new friend Jane? And worst of all, if Jane stays with Fred, will she ever achieve her dream, the one she’s now seen come true?”
Austenland by Shannon Hale
“Jane Hayes is a young New Yorker with a real romantic problem: no man she meets can compare to her one true love―Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. But when a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort for Austen fanatics, Jane’s fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become realer than she ever could have imagined. Dressed in empire waist gowns and torn between a sexy gardener and an actor playing the brooding Darcy role, Jane finds herself mastering the rules of etiquette and of the resort’s flirtatious games. But when it’s time to bid Austenland goodbye, can Jane really leave her fantasies―and the two men who’ve played into them―behind?”
The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close
“A New York newlywed, Beth was supportive when her husband, Matt, decided to follow his political dreams all the way to Washington. Yet soon after they move to D.C., Beth realizes that she hates everything about it: the traffic circles, the ubiquitous Ann Taylor suits, the humidity that descends each summer, and, most of all, the lonely dinner parties where anyone who doesn’t work in politics is politely ignored. Things start to change when the couple meets a charismatic White House staffer named Jimmy and his wife, Ashleigh. The four become inseparable, coordinating brunches, birthdays, and long weekends away. But as Jimmy’s star rises higher and higher, the couples’ friendship—and Beth’s relationship with Matt—is threatened by jealousy, competition, and rumors.”
Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win by Jo Piazza
“Charlotte Walsh is running for Senate in the most important race in the country during a midterm election that will decide the balance of power in Congress. Reeling from a presidential election that shocked and divided the country and inspired to make a difference, she’s left her high-powered job in Silicon Valley and returned, with her husband and three young daughters, to her downtrodden Pennsylvania hometown to run for office in the Rust Belt state. Once the campaign gets underway, Charlotte is blindsided by just how dirty her opponent is willing to fight, how harshly she is judged by the press and her peers, and how exhausting it becomes to navigate a marriage with an increasingly ambivalent and often resentful husband. When the opposition uncovers a secret that could threaten not just her campaign but everything Charlotte holds dear, she must decide just how badly she wants to win and at what cost.”
Pride by Ibi Zoboi
Another P&P remix! “Zuri Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride, and pride in her Afro-Latino roots. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable. When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding. But with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick’s changing landscape, or lose it all.”
Incense and Sensibility by Sonali Dev
“Yash Raje, California’s first serious Indian gubernatorial candidate, has always known exactly what he wants—and how to use his privileged background to get it. He attributes his success to a simple mantra: control your feelings and you can control the world.
But when a hate-fueled incident at a rally critically injures his friend, Yash’s easy life suddenly feels like a lie, his control an illusion. When he tries to get back on the campaign trail, he blacks out with panic. Desperate to keep Yash’s condition from leaking to the media, his family turns to the one person they trust—his sister’s best friend, India Dashwood, California’s foremost stress management coach. Raised by a family of yoga teachers, India has helped San Francisco’s high strung overachievers for a decade without so much as altering her breath. But this man—with his boundless ambition, simmering intensity, and absolute faith in his political beliefs—is like no other. Yash has spent a lifetime repressing everything to succeed. Including their one magical night ten years ago—a too brief, too bright passion that if rekindled threatens the life he’s crafted for himself. Exposing the secrets might be the only way to save him but it’s also guaranteed to destroy the dream he’s willingly shouldered for his family and community . . . until now.
Pride and Premeditation and Tirzah Price
Pride and Prejudice gets a murderous remix in this YA novel that imagines Elizabeth working in her father’s law firm and tackling a mysterious murder in the area that might have ramifications on her entire family’s wellbeing. It’s a fun but historical take on the P&P story.
To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters
“The widowed Diana, Lady Templeton and Jeremy, Marquess of Willingham are infamous among English high society as much for their sharp-tongued bickering as their flirtation. One evening, an argument at a ball turns into a serious wager: Jeremy will marry within the year or Diana will forfeit one hundred pounds. So shortly after, just before a fortnight-long house party at Elderwild, Jeremy’s country estate, Diana is shocked when Jeremy appears at her home with a very different kind of proposition. After his latest mistress unfavorably criticized his skills in the bedroom, Jeremy is looking for reassurance, so he has gone to the only woman he trusts to be totally truthful. He suggests that they embark on a brief affair while at the house party—Jeremy can receive an honest critique of his bedroom skills and widowed Diana can use the gossip to signal to other gentlemen that she is interested in taking a lover. Diana thinks taking him up on his counter-proposal can only help her win her wager. With her in the bedroom and Jeremy’s marriage-minded grandmother, the formidable Dowager Marchioness of Willingham, helping to find suitable matches among the eligible ladies at Elderwild, Diana is confident her victory is assured. But while they’re focused on winning wagers, they stand to lose their own hearts.”
Harmony by Carolyn Pankhurst
“How far will a mother go to save her family? The Hammond family is living in DC, where everything seems to be going just fine, until it becomes clear that the oldest daughter, Tilly, is developing abnormally–a mix of off-the-charts genius and social incompetence. Once Tilly–whose condition is deemed undiagnosable–is kicked out of the last school in the area, her mother Alexandra is out of ideas. The family turns to Camp Harmony and the wisdom of child behavior guru Scott Bean for a solution. But what they discover in the woods of New Hampshire will push them to the very limit. Told from the alternating perspectives of both Alexandra and her younger daughter Iris (the book’s Nick Carraway), this is a unputdownable story about the strength of love, the bonds of family, and how you survive the unthinkable.”
Yolk by Mary K Choi
“Jayne and June Baek are nothing alike. June’s three years older, a classic first-born, know-it-all narc with a problematic finance job and an equally soulless apartment (according to Jayne). Jayne is an emotionally stunted, self-obsessed basket case who lives in squalor, has egregious taste in men, and needs to get to class and stop wasting Mom and Dad’s money (if you ask June). Once thick as thieves, these sisters who moved from Seoul to San Antonio to New York together now don’t want anything to do with each other. That is, until June gets cancer. And Jayne becomes the only one who can help her. Flung together by circumstance, housing woes, and family secrets, will the sisters learn more about each other than they’re willing to confront? And what if while helping June, Jayne has to confront the fact that maybe she’s sick, too?”
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