Let’s talk about books that you should read together. No, not like series or books by the same author, but books that make more sense (or are more fun), if you read both.
This post is inspired by my recent reading of For Darkness Shows the Stars (futuristic/post-apocalyptic Jane Austen) and companion Across a Star Swept Sea (retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel), but I fully enjoyed those without (yet) reading the accompanying classics. So, here are some pairings where you must read both, in order for the magic to truly happen.
1. Jane Eyre + The Eyre Affair
No one should be shocked that my sister demanded I read a book set in a bizarro 1985 London involving time travel and literary detectives. The Eyre Affair is about our heroine, Thursday Next’s, attempt to track down the villain who stole one Jane Eyre. As in, just plucked her, right out of the story! So, you see where I’m going with this – I had to first read Jane Eyre, then read this silly Jasper Fforde novel.
And, of course she was right. I loved Jane Eyre. I loved Thursday Next. I reference the Toast Marketing Board as often as possible. Amanda win.
2. The Great Gatsby + Great
I’ve seen a few positive reviews of Great recently, and I’m intrigued. I loved The Great Gatsby in high school English. I read it again last year, and I wondered why I loved it so much since the characters are generally unlikeable, shallow, and vapid. Oh dear, what does that say about me? Don’t answer that.
Anyway, Great is a contemporary YA retelling where Nick has become Naomi and Gatsby is Jacinta. Scrolling through Goodreads, there are definitely some haters of this book, but whether people loved or hated, the consensus is that Great makes the most sense with the background of the original work. This is totally on my list to read soon.
3. Treasure Island + Treasure Island!!!
You guys. Have you heard of Literary Disco, the amazing book podcast co-hosted by 90s teenage heartthrob Rider Strong? Yeah, I hadn’t either, until recently, but now I am totally hooked and working my way through 50+ episodes. It’s amazing. (Note, J may disagree as he had the pleasure of listening to several episodes on a recent drive to NC. However, I think his disdain was less about the show and more about my excitement over Shawn Hunter.)
Okay, so the show is actually really really funny. One of the books they covered was this goofy Treasure-Island-With-3-Exclamation-Points. It’s Episode 6: go listen, and then try and tell me that you don’t want to read this book. But I think we should read Treasure Island first, for maximum effectiveness. Agree?
What other book pairings do you suggest?