Are you an avid reader? Do you want to read more? Do you ever struggle to find a book you want to read next? If you need book recommendations, look no further. As a bookworm, I love sharing books with people. Below, I’ve compiled a list of popular movies, and what books you should read if you like them. There’s something for everyone to enjoy here, so happy reading!
If you’re a horror fan like myself and enjoyed the 2023 movie Talk to Me, you might like John Darnielle’s literary horror novel Universal Harvester. Though perhaps most well-known for his work as the leader singer-songwriter of The Mountain Goats, Darnielle is also a successful author. Universal Harvester is his second novel, which follows a young man who works at a video rental store and starts finding disturbing videos recorded over the VHS tapes. Like Talk to Me, Universal Harvester deals deeply with maternal loss. It’s a thinker that will twist your expectations upside-down and back around, but it’s more than worthy of any horror fan’s time.
If you’ve been keeping up with pop culture at all in the past few years, you’ve probably seen the hit Korean thriller film Parasite. If you liked Parasite, consider reading Percival Everett’s novel The Trees. The Trees follows the investigation of a series of murders in the small town of Money, Mississippi. Each murder scene has two bodies, a black man and a white man. Here’s the kicker: the black man is always the same, and his body keeps going missing from the morgue. While the plots of these stories couldn’t be more different, both expertly blend comedy, thriller and social commentary in a truly unique way.
If you liked the tense drama of the movie Tár, consider reading Sonora Jha’s book The Laughter. Those who were fans of watching Lydia Tár manipulate and destroy both her professional and personal relationships will have a lot to chew on in The Laughter. The book follows a white college professor, Oliver, who has a fetishistic obsession with his Pakistani colleague, Ruhaba. When Ruhaba’s nephew comes to stay with her, Oliver jumps at the opportunity to get closer to her before finding that Ruhaba might not be what she seems. Like Tár, this book kept me on the edge of my seat and hungry for more.
We’ve all had moments where we just want to sit down and watch or read something that’ll make us cry. If you liked the emotional drama of the movie Moonlight, consider reading Richard Mirabella’s book Brother and Sister Enter the Forest. Both stories are queer coming of age dramas dealing with traumatic childhood and masculinity. Brother and Sister Enter the Forest follows siblings Willow and Justin as they attempt to cope with Justin’s abusive relationship. Like Moonlight, Brother and Sister Enter the Forest splits its timeline between the protagonists’ childhood experiences and how they’ve coped as adults, providing a nuanced view of how trauma can affect someone long term. It’s an emotional journey you shouldn’t miss.
Finally, if you liked Jordan Peele’s sci-fi horror movie Nope, consider reading Octavia Butler’s book Dawn. Dawn follows Lilith, a human woman who was abducted by the alien race Oankali after they invaded Earth and killed most humans. The Oankali want Lilith’s help in reinhabiting the Earth — and in repurposing human genetic material. Butler was a breakthrough black female science fiction author who was an expert in weaving subtle horror into her books. If you’re interested in science fiction at all, her catalog is a must read. Dawn is one of my favorites of her books, maybe it’ll be yours as well!
If you see anything here that interests you, consider supporting your local library or independent bookstore! Again, happy reading!
G.D. Kerch is a junior Art major and your go-to person for the best recommendations.