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I recently spoke with a library customer who wanted to read something similar to the film War of the Roses. We learned that the 1989 film was based on a 1981 novel of the same title by Warren Adler. While we didn’t have this particular title in our collection, we did have a couple of other novels by Adler that sounded similar in tone and subject matter. I also suggested Model Home by Eric Puchner and This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper. This was a really fun readers’ advisory question that taught me a lot about how people describe what they want to read. It may be through a television show or movie that you understand how much you enjoy darkly humorous storylines or quirky, offbeat humor.
Here are a few of my favorite television shows along with some books that I think are good read-alike suggestions:
Reasons I love it: Smart writing; historical detail; flawed, complex characters; satirical and darkly humorous
The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan (seriously, Betty Draper: READ THIS BOOK)
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
Little Children by Tom Perrota
The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady by Elizabeth Stuckney-French
The Good Girls’ Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued their Bosses and Changed the Workplace by Lynn Povich (Peggy, this one’s for you.)
Reasons I love it: Sharp and clever writing; quirky characters; embracing of families in all their zany, messy, wonderful arrangements
The Family Man by Elinor Lipman
About a Boy by Nick Hornby
How to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan Tropper
Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon
The Good Wife
Reasons I love it: Strong female characters, political and legal subject matter, focus on personal choices
The Ten Year Nap and The Wife by Meg Wolizter
While I was Gone by Sue Miller
Run by Ann Patchett
American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
What are some additional TV show/book pairings that you might suggest?