So back in December of last year I made a 'if you like/you might like' post with the full intention of making more fairly regularly... and, well, that didn't happen. Regardless, I've been wanting to make a new one for a while, so here we are! I already have books and ideas for another, so hopefully I'll have another one up sooner rather than later. For today's post, I tried to include a small variety of genres so that there's a little something for everything. Let me know if you've read any of these books or what books you would recommend in comparison to these!
If you loved the intensity and compelling storyline of the popular book The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang, then you should check out We Ride the Storm by Devin Madson and Kings of Paradise by Richard Nell. Both We Ride the Storm and Kings of Paradise have similar non-European settings and vibes and also really strong casts of characters that add so much to the story. And if you liked having an awesome female protagonist in The Poppy War, then you'll be happy to know that there is an incredible female lead in We Ride the Storm as well.
If you like your dystopian-esque worlds that sometimes feel all too real and seem especially horrifying for women (why do we do this to ourselves again?) in books such as Red Clocks by Leni Zumas, then I'd like to recommend Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed and Vox by Christina Dalcher. Red Clocks features a future United States in which abortion of all kinds and IVF are illegal, Gather the Daughters features a society in which women are solely around for the sake of breeding, and Vox features a United States in which women are only allowed to speak one hundred words a day. There are some very similar themes running through these books, and if you like one, I'm sure you'll be interested in the others.
I've only just recently read Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell, but I found it to be a really fun, adventurous fantasy that was both serious and not-so-serious at the same time and was a perfect book to relax with. This made me think of Robert V.S. Redick's The Wolf Conspiracy, which also features a young male protagonist who is still figuring things out in his life, much like Kellen in Spellslinger. Red Wolf is also just as exciting and adventurous (if not more) and full of exciting plot twists.
Living up to the sheer size, mind-blowing magic system, and world-building of The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson is a hard thing to try to live up to, but I found that A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne and Soul of the World by David Mealing left me just as impressed and yearning for more as I was for more Stormlight Archives books. Both books have fascinating and complex magic systems as well as a compelling cast of characters and well-constructed world-building. For some reason I don't see these books mentioned much, but I really can't recommend them enough.
If you loved the subtle and somewhat disturbing atmosphere of The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani, then you'll love the deceptively horrifying book You Were Made for This by Michelle Sacks and the emotionally draining I Love You Too Much by Alicia Drake! Am I selling these books or what? In all seriousness, I found my emotions played with a lot by these books, all of which share various unlikable and rather horrible characters, in addition to innocent bystanders that must face the consequences of others' actions. And just as a warning for I Love You Too Much--I was practically crying throughout the entire book, and I almost never cry while reading.
Okay, so this was just a fun one that I couldn't help throwing in. If you managed to
slog your way make it through the famed Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace and actually enjoyed it, you should absolutely try Jerusalem by Alan Moore! Both have a somewhat rambling style at times with immense detail that requires careful reading and they both are of course over 1,000 pages. Personally, I think you might like Jerusalem even if you didn't like Infinite Jest (ahem, such as my own situation), but I think you might be especially interested in Jerusalem if you enjoyed Infinite Jest. Though the stories are vastly different, there are still incredibly quirky and memorable characters in each and they have storylines that aren't abundantly clear at first, but make more sense in the end.