Read that already? Read this next! - Dispatch #2
The literary world is full of repeated recommendations, popular books you're sick of hearing about, the newest releases you've already read, old classics you don't want to revisit. In a valiant effort to reconcile these occurrences, I invite you to join me for our second glorious installment of: "Read that already? Read this next!"
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters --> When We Lost Our Heads by Heather O'Neill
When We Lost Our Heads is a spellbinding story about two girls whose friendship is so intense it not only threatens to destroy them, it changes the trajectory of history. Traveling from a repressive finishing school to a vibrant brothel, taking readers firsthand into the brutality of factory life and the opulent lives of Montreal's wealthy, When We Lost Our Heads explores gender and power, sex and desire, class and status, and the terrifying power of the human heart when it can't let someone go.
The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling --> Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
Tired of ordinary fantasy? In this fresh fantasy epic, Sunny Nwazue struggles to find her place in the world, only to discover that the things that set her apart are traits that become valuable assets in her magical training. Soon, Sunny is finding her footing studying the visible and invisible and learning to change reality, while fielding a very real and very powerful threat.
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman --> Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
If the themes of the short story, The Yellow Wallpaper appeal to you: the myth of feminine hysteria, the terror four simple walls can hold, Mexican Gothic should be your next read. After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region. Soon, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, Noemí may find it impossible to ever leave the enigmatic house behind.
And if you've already read Mexican Gothic, I highly recommend Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth
A gothic of a different sort, but one nonetheless equally concerned with crumbling locales, generational curses, and women who received the unfortunate short end of the stick, Plain Bad Heroines is the sapphic gothic horror-comedy we've all been waiting for. This fiction within a fiction is haunting in a way that brings into question the concept of reality as a whole, absolutely spellbinding from start to finish, from a scandalous private club at a girls boarding school in 1902 to the present, a crumbling manor amidst a breakout bestselling memoir turned horror film adaptation.
Circe by Madeline Miller --> Ariadne by Jennifer Saint
Ariadne, like Circe, gives a voice to the forgotten women of one of the most famous Greek myths, and speaks to their strength in the face of angry, petulant Gods. Beautifully written and completely immersive, this is an exceptional debut novel about Ariadne's choices in a world where women are nothing more than the pawns of powerful men.
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir --> The City of Dusk by Tara Sim
Set in a gorgeous world of bone and shadow magic, of vengeful gods and defiant chosen ones, The City of Dusk is the first in a dark epic fantasy trilogy that follows the four heirs of four noble houses—each gifted with a divine power—as they form a tenuous alliance to keep their kingdom from descending into a realm-shattering war. Necromancy, and shadows run rampant in this dark, fantasy epic, a brand new release from Orbit!