Book Recommendations for Jonquils

I feel as though I’ve been in a bit of a book rut lately. What books would you recommend for someone whose favorite authors are:

  1. [name_u]Toni[/name_u] [name_m]Morrison[/name_m]
  2. [name_m]Mark[/name_m] [name_m]Twain[/name_m]
  3. [name_m]Wills[/name_m] [name_f]Cather[/name_f]
  4. [name_f]Jane[/name_f] [name_u]Austen[/name_u]
  5. C.S. [name_m]Lewis[/name_m]
  6. [name_f]Judy[/name_f] [name_f]Blume[/name_f]
  7. [name_f]Virginia[/name_f] [name_m]Woolf[/name_m]
  8. [name_f]Shirley[/name_f] [name_u]Jackson[/name_u]
  9. [name_f]Lucy[/name_f] [name_f]Maud[/name_f] [name_u]Montgomery[/name_u]
  10. [name_f]Louisa[/name_f] [name_f]May[/name_f] [name_u]Alcott[/name_u]

I love biographies, most nonfiction, stories about the American experience, the female experience, and the experiences of marginalized communities. I love children’s novels, too, and I’ll read a [name_m]Young[/name_m] Adult novel once in a while.

The last few books I read were: Conjure Women by [name_f]Afia[/name_f] Atakora, [name_f]Beloved[/name_f] by [name_u]Toni[/name_u] [name_m]Morrison[/name_m], The [name_f]Dawn[/name_f] Treader by C.S [name_m]Lewis[/name_m], [name_m]Deacon[/name_m] [name_m]King[/name_m] Kong by [name_u]James[/name_u] McBride, The Shining by [name_m]Stephen[/name_m] [name_m]King[/name_m], and Imaginary [name_u]Friend[/name_u] by [name_m]Stephen[/name_m] Chbosky.

Next up is my Benjamin Franklin biography and Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller.


Oh, wonderful! That’s an excellent list to work off of.

  1. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by [name_f]Susanna[/name_f] [name_u]Clarke[/name_u]- pretty much the most excellent fantasy novel I’ve read in years. Very well done, strange and twisted with wonderful world-building and mythology, witty and clever and magical in all the best ways. Excellent for fans of [name_f]Jane[/name_f] [name_u]Austen[/name_u], history, fairy tales, and Tolkien.

  2. A Tree Grows in [name_u]Brooklyn[/name_u] by [name_f]Betty[/name_f] [name_m]Smith[/name_m]- This is a coming of age novel (similar to [name_m]Little[/name_m] Women) set in turn of the century [name_u]Brooklyn[/name_u]. It has wonderful characters, a distinct setting, and it is very concerned with everyday life and the internal lives of characters without minimizing either. It’s slightly darker in tone than Anne of [name_u]Green[/name_u] Gables or Little Women, but it holds a place in my heart nonetheless.

  3. I would suggest reading the autobiographies of [name_m]Malcolm[/name_m] X, [name_m]Frederick[/name_m] [name_m]Douglass[/name_m], [name_f]Maya[/name_f] [name_f]Angelou[/name_f], and [name_m]Nelson[/name_m] [name_m]Mandela[/name_m]. Not only do they describe a personal journey, for someone with an interest in history and social justice they provide a fascinating snapshot of life in a turbulent period.

  4. If you love children’s books, I would go with The [name_m]Little[/name_m] [name_m]Prince[/name_m] or any of [name_f]Kate[/name_f] DiCamillo’s works. All of these are imaginative and slightly melancholy, which is one of my favorite combinations for children’s books. Additionally, read any of [name_m]Roald[/name_m] Dahl’s books, especially Matilda or Danny the Champion of the World.

  5. The [name_f]Guernsey[/name_f] Literary and Potato [name_m]Peel[/name_m] Pie Society by [name_f]Mary[/name_f] [name_f]Ann[/name_f] Schaffer and [name_f]Annie[/name_f] Barrows- This book is lovely. It is set right after WWII and told in the form of letters, and it’s a clever, moving, and very humanistic narrative. It focuses in on the wonderful characters primary, but the setting and time is very relevant, and as a bonus, a love of reading is a thread running through the book.

  6. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi- This book is the story of generations of two sides of a family, in [name_u]America[/name_u] and modern-day Ghana, told in a series of snapshots. It’s fascinating, heartbreaking, and very relevant.

  7. If you’re at all interested in mysteries (and I wouldn’t normally categorize myself as being), try [name_f]Agatha[/name_f] [name_u]Christie[/name_u]; her books are interesting, surprising, and eminently readable.

  8. If you’re interested in Southern women’s fiction, try Fried [name_u]Green[/name_u] Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by [name_f]Fannie[/name_f] Flagg. It’s a quirky, slightly absurdist story about two different sets of women; one in the 80s and one in the 30s. It touches on friendship, love, family, race, identity, and [name_u]America[/name_u] while focusing on the everyday.


Hmm. [name_m]Just[/name_m] looking at my own bookshelves here. Maybe…

Brideshead Revisited by [name_u]Evelyn[/name_u] Waugh
Half of a Yellow [name_f]Sun[/name_f] by [name_f]Chimamanda[/name_f] [name_u]Ngozi[/name_u] Adichie
The Heart’s Invisible Furies by [name_m]John[/name_m] Boyle
Bitter Grounds by [name_f]Sandra[/name_f] Benítez
The [name_m]Stone[/name_m] Diaries by [name_f]Carol[/name_f] Shields
Everything Is Illuminated by [name_m]Jonathan[/name_m] Safran Foer
[name_m]Little[/name_m] Fires Everywhere by [name_f]Celeste[/name_f] [name_u]Ng[/name_u]
[name_u]Lincoln[/name_u] in the [name_m]Bardo[/name_m] by [name_u]George[/name_u] [name_m]Saunders[/name_m]
[name_u]Gift[/name_u] from the [name_u]Sea[/name_u] by [name_u]Anne[/name_u] Morrow [name_m]Lindbergh[/name_m]
[name_f]Ella[/name_f] [name_u]Minnow[/name_u] Pea: A [name_u]Novel[/name_u] in Letters by [name_m]Mark[/name_m] [name_m]Dunn[/name_m]
I Capture the Castle by [name_f]Dodie[/name_f] [name_m]Smith[/name_m]
[name_u]Maurice[/name_u] by E.M. [name_m]Forster[/name_m]
Middlemarch by [name_u]George[/name_u] [name_u]Eliot[/name_u]

I’m sure you’ve probably read some of these already, though!


only two books came immediately to mind, but then i’m not in the US so i haven’t read many books on the American experience.
A Tree Grows In [name_u]Brooklyn[/name_u] by [name_f]Betty[/name_f] [name_m]Smith[/name_m]
[name_f]Sofia[/name_f]’s War by [name_u]Avi[/name_u]
i really enjoyed both of these xo


These is [name_f]My[/name_f] Words series - [name_f]Nancy[/name_f] [name_m]Turner[/name_m]
The [name_f]Guernsey[/name_f] Literary and Potato [name_m]Peel[/name_m] Society
[name_f]Alice[/name_f] I Have Been - [name_f]Melanie[/name_f] [name_u]Benjamin[/name_u]
Moloka’i - [name_m]Alan[/name_m] Brennert
Loving [name_m]Frank[/name_m] - [name_f]Nancy[/name_f] Horan
[name_f]Juliet[/name_f] - [name_u]Anne[/name_u] Fortier
The Mists of [name_f]Avalon[/name_f] - [name_u]Marion[/name_u] Zimmer [name_u]Bradley[/name_u]
all of [name_m]Ken[/name_m] Follett’s books
The [name_u]Night[/name_u] Circus - [name_f]Erin[/name_f] Morgenstern
[name_f]Jennie[/name_f]’s [name_m]Tiger[/name_m] - [name_f]Eva[/name_f] [name_f]Gayle[/name_f] Six
The Orchardist - [name_f]Amanda[/name_f] Coplin
The Golem and the Jinni - HeleneWecker
The Lost Memoirs of [name_f]Jane[/name_f] [name_u]Austen[/name_u]
[name_u]Winter[/name_u]’s Tale
[name_f]Elizabeth[/name_f] [name_f]Street[/name_f]
All that Glitters - [name_f]Gita[/name_f] Trelease
Himself - [name_u]Jess[/name_u] Kidd
[name_m]Major[/name_m] Pettigrew’s Last Stand

Guilty Pleasure Historical Fiction I’ve been obsessed with since junior high and currently rereading her entire collection: [name_f]Victoria[/name_f] [name_m]Holt[/name_m], Phillippa Carr, [name_u]Jean[/name_u] Plaidy (all psuedonyms of the same author)


I really enjoyed Educated by [name_f]Tara[/name_f] Westover. It’s more of a memoir than a biography but a very good read!


Here is what comes to mind immediately:

Heidi by [name_f]Johanna[/name_f] Spyri (in case you didn’t get to it the last I mentioned it)
Sweep by [name_m]Jonathan[/name_m] Auxier
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn [name_m]Ward[/name_m]
The Birchbark House by [name_u]Louise[/name_u] Erdrich
The Quickening by [name_f]Michelle[/name_f] [name_m]Hoover[/name_m]

I second Everything is Illuminated by [name_m]Jonathan[/name_m] Safran Foer and [name_f]Circe[/name_f] by [name_f]Madeline[/name_f] [name_u]Miller[/name_u].

Also these biographies:


Hmm, here are some you might like: A Thousand Splendid Suns, A Great and Terrible Beauty trilogy, [name_f]Coraline[/name_f] & everything by [name_u]Neil[/name_u] Gaiman like Stardust, [name_u]Prairie[/name_u] Fires (historical), The Daylight Gate, Between the World and Me, and Where the Crawdads [name_m]Sing[/name_m].

You have great taste in literature by the way!


Thank you so much, everyone! I have a busy day today, but I will respond to everyone’s suggestions as soon as I can!

Like @firefly305, I think you might enjoy [name_u]Neil[/name_u] Gaiman. I don’t know what your thoughts are on magical realism from [name_u]South[/name_u] American authors. If you haven’t already, I think you could like [name_f]Isabel[/name_f] Allende’s The House of the Spirits or [name_u]Gabriel[/name_u] [name_u]Garcia[/name_u] [name_m]Marquez[/name_m]’ [name_u]Love[/name_u] in the Time of Cholera.


Seconding pretty much everything @firefly305, and @pinkbar said, and saw lots of great suggestions from everyone else!


Thank you all so much! I’m a prolific reader, so I’ve read a lot of these suggestions, but I’m excited to try:

  1. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
  2. Everything is Illuminated
  3. A Great and Terrible Beauty
  4. Where the Crawdads [name_m]Sing[/name_m]
  5. Bitter Grounds
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  1. Middlesex: [name_m]Jeffery[/name_m] Eugenides

  2. A Tree Grows In [name_u]Brooklyn[/name_u]: [name_f]Betty[/name_f] [name_m]Smith[/name_m]

  3. St [name_u]Clare[/name_u]’s Series: [name_f]Enid[/name_f] Blyton

  4. Malory [name_m]Towers[/name_m]: [name_f]Enid[/name_f] Blyton

  5. A [name_m]Little[/name_m] [name_f]Princess[/name_f]: [name_f]Frances[/name_f] [name_m]Hodgson[/name_m] [name_m]Burnett[/name_m]

  6. The [name_u]Royal[/name_u] Diaries: [name_f]Carolyn[/name_f] [name_m]Meyer[/name_m]

  7. Uncle [name_m]Tom[/name_m]’s Cabin: [name_f]Harriet[/name_f] [name_m]Beecher[/name_m] [name_m]Stowe[/name_m]

  8. Weightless: [name_f]Sarah[/name_f] [name_m]Bannan[/name_m] (This is pretty triggering, so I would exercise caution in choosing to read this.)

  9. Perennials: [name_u]Mandy[/name_u] Berman

I think you would enjoy a lot of [name_f]Enid[/name_f] Blyton books, if I’m being honest.

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