Books I Always Recommend

Image of an open book

Variations on “What should I read next?” and “What book should I gift to someone?” make up common questions people ask me. Here are just some of my consistent recommendations:


“I want something about a magic school without it really being very magic school-ish. And it should be for adults.”

Vita Nostra by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko.


Cover of Stowaway Novel

“How about something sci-fi but for late elementary?”

The Icarus Chronicles duology by John David Anderson or Chronicle of the Dark Star trilogy by Kevin Emerson.


“Give me a story focused on a character’s journey.”

The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle by Matt Cain and Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.


“I wish E. M. Forster had something new out.”

Alec by William di Canzio.


“Great poetry wanted.”

When My Brother Was an Aztec by Natalie Diaz.


“Just really good writing, please.”

Train Dreams by Denis Johnson and O Pioneers! by Willa Cather.


Flamer Book Cover

“They’re more into graphic novels.”

Flamer by Mike Curato.


“I want a good memoir.”

Punch Me Up to the Gods by Brian Broome.


Tales of the City #9 Book Cover

“A soapy series, please.”

Tales of the City books by Armistead Maupin.


“Something to make me think about how I live.”

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer.


“To be honest, I miss text books. But, you know, make it accessible.”

The Sociology Book by Sam Atkinson.


“Early reader but with a good story.”

The Notebook of Doom series by Troy Cummings.

Find books at your local store listed at Indiebound.org, or shop online through Bookshop.org or Libro.fm. (Links may provide a benefit to the referrer.)

Read more about my fiction writing here.

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