I was honored to be asked to write an author list for Shepherd.com. Since Beautiful is a faerie tale (I explain why I used that spelling in my intro!) I went with a list of other books that portray faeries as ambiguous and “other” in some way. Basically these aren’t your butterfly-like creatures hopping around gardens! Check out my list here, and let me know what you think. Do you agree with my picks? Disagree? Is there anything I should have included?
June 8: Books I Loved that Made Me Want More Books Like Them (The wording is weird here, so if you have a better way to say this please let me know! What I’m thinking is… you read a book and immediately wanted more just like it, perhaps in the same genre, about the same topic or theme, by the same author, etc. For example, I once read a medical romance and then went to find more because it was so good. The same thing happened to me with pirate historical romances and romantic suspense.)
For this one, I decided to make things a bit interesting. If a book has TV/film adaptations it’s not allowed on this list, because it’s too popular (and popular books always have imitators!). So this is also turning into a bit of a list of books that I’m surprised don’t have adaptations! I’m also sharing some of the read alikes I’ve found for the books on this list.
1.The Secret History by Donna Tartt– Actually now that I think of it, I’m surprised that Hollywood hasn’t tried to adapt this one. Apparently the rights have been sold but nothing come of it. I’m sure it’s coming eventually, and I can only hope they do it justice. Anyway, after Some read alikes are The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman and Red Leaves by Paullina Simons.
2. The Quincunx by Charles Palliser– This is another book I’m surprised no one’s tried to adapt yet. I think a miniseries format might work best. Though I’m sure it would be a difficult task. It’s actually part book, part puzzle, which is why it’s so hard to find read alikes for. Some read alikes (in different ways) include The Meaning of Night and The Glass of Time by Michael Cox and Fingersmith by Sarah Waters (which was ineligible for it’s own spot on this list due to two adaptations)
3, The Eight by Katherine Neville– Actually someone in Hollywood really need to check out this list because I have wonderful source material for them! This book does have a sequel but I haven’t read it yet. I want to reread the first one before I read it. Actually some of the other books on this list, including The Gargoyle and The Shadow of the Wind make decent read alikes. Also, Amy Benson’s Plague Tales trilogy.
4. The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson- The Eight (see above) is actually not a bad read alike for this one. Another one is The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (which had the film rights sold in 2005 apparently but no word on whether it’s ever actually happening!). The similarities are more in terms of tone than plot.
5. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon- My quest for read alikes for this one led me the rest of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series. It also led me to Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale (which couldn’t make this list due to the adaptation) which sent me on yet another quest for more read alikes.
6. The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue– Read alikes include Donohue’s The Boy Who Drew Monsters, and The Changeling by Victor LaValle. Even though the target audiences are very different I might also say that Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, and even JM Barrie’s Peter Pan are similar.
7. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern– There are rumors of a film adaptation of this one. I’m sure there will be one at some point, but for now it works for this list. Read alikes include The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern and Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter.
8. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier– Sent me on a quest to read everything else Marillier has written or will write. That includes the rest of the Sevenwaters series. Other non-Marillier read alikes include Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth, Katherine Arden’s Winternight trilogy and Robin McKinley’s folktale series.
For That Artsy Reader Girl’s Top Ten Tuesday:
March 12: Standalone Books That Need a Sequel
For the record I think some of these were intended to have a sequel which, for whatever reason, didn’t work out. They’re not all standalones though. Sometimes they are a sequel to something else and another sequel is needed. Just a warning, I tried to avoid SPOILERS but there might be some minor ones here and there.
1. The River of No Return by Bee Ridgeway– I think the author definitely intended to write a sequel to this book. The ending sets it up and leaves us with a cliffhanger. But it came out in 2013 and there’s still no word of a sequel, so it’s not looking promising…
2. Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor– Like Gone With the Wind (a book it recalls in several ways), this leaves the characters in a transitional place. What will they do next? Gone With the Wind had an authorized sequel (not a very good one, but it existed…) whereas this doesn’t even have that much.
3. Love Me by Rachel Shukert– This is the sequel to Shukert’s Starstruck. She was clearly intending this series to be a trilogy at least, but no more books in the series came. I tweeted her once and asked her about it. She said that there were no current plans for anything more in the series.
4. Villette by Charlotte Bronte– I’m going to try not to give away spoilers here, but come on! Did he make it? Didn’t he? If so (or if not!) what happened next! The first time I read it, I actually thought that my copy had pages missing! But I think Charlotte Bronte was pretty daring to end the book this way.
5. Splendor by Anna Godbersen– Really I just wanted this series to end a bit differently. There were things I liked about it a lot, and things that few really random, contrived, and, in a few cases, out of character. I’d just like to see some of the loose ends that the book tried to tie up, explored.
6. Almost Paradise by Susan Isaacs- This ended with one of the characters in a difficult, devastated position. How does he respond? What does he do next? I understand why it ended where it did. The story this book was telling was over but I think there’s more more the characters.
7. Cybele’s Secret by Juliet Marillier– This was the sequel to Marillier’s Wildwood Dancing. It was a pretty good read but according to Marillier her publishing company didn’t want to ask for a third because the sales of this one weren’t that great.
8. The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue– This had a fairly open ending with the main character about to embark on a quest. It’s a valid choice to end that way, but I want to know what happened next! Did he succeed?
9. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern– I’m sort of torn because while the ending left the door open for a sequel, I felt like this did have a sense of completion in spite of that. But the setting is so vivid and colorful that I think you could easily tell a few more stories about it.
10. The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber– This book ends with the anti-heroine doing a bad thing that could potentially have good results. Or it could have really bad results! I’d like to know which!
- Loving every second of my summer vacation
- A published author for about a week now. It still only feels semi-real. Most of the feedback that I’ve gotten so far has been good. I know that negative feedback will come sooner or later (it does to everyone) but at least I can balance it out with some of the positive.
- Checking Beautiful on Amazon at least twice a day for any change in review status, ratings, sales, etc.
- Working on the paperback release of Beautiful. It should be ready by early next week. Maybe holding an actual, physical copy of my book will make it seem more real?
- Included in New York’s Emerging Writers: An Anthology of Fiction. The story they’re using is the same flash fiction. that was posted in Toasted Cheese Literary Journal last year.
- In what might be the opposite of a reading slump. What do you call it when you’ve read several really good books in a row? In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been really impressed by The Immortalists, The Changeling, The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter and Margaret the First. I’m currently reading and enjoying The Stolen Child.
- Pleased to hear that Jane Austen’s final, unfinished novel, Sandition, will be adapted for television. As much as I love Austen’s finished novels, I don’t think that we need another TV adaptation of the same old thing. I look forward to something a bit different.
- Continuously shocked and horrified by the actions of my government. Writers for Families Belong Together has a number of auctions and lotteries for prizes from book sets, ARC’s of highly anticipated books, manuscript critiques from agents, editors, and authors, and much more. All proceeds go to reunifying families. Check it out, before it ends on July 15, and participate if you can!