Books Recommending Books, Vol. 4

From time to time, fellow bluestockings ask us, “I really liked this book. Do you carry something similar?” As we head into the holiday season, shopping for gifts and looking forward to wintry days spent curling up with a good book, we compiled a list of “books recommending books.” The titles in these pairings aren’t exactly alike: Yes, some have similar plots or subject matter, but others are kindred spirits in terms of character, theme, or mood. We hope you’ll find something new you’ll enjoy…or perfect picks for avid readers on your gift list! (All of the suggested “try this” titles are available for purchase on the Bas Bleu website. Just click on the book cover.)

If you liked this…
And Then There Were None book cover

Try this…
cover of An Unwanted Guest

Like the hapless characters in Dame Christie’s famous 1940 mystery, the ten guests who arrive at a remote Catskills lodge in An Unwanted Guest each harbor their own secrets and dramas. And like Christie’s crew, Lapena’s characters soon find themselves cut off from the world by a storm, trapped together in the hotel…as a murderer begins picking them off, one by one.

If you liked this…
book cover of Alexander Hamilton

Try this…
cover of Eliza Hamilton by Tilar J. Milazzo

Tony Award-winning composer/playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda makes no secret of the fact that he was reading Ron Chernow’s lauded biography of Alexander Hamilton when he dreamed up his hip-hop Broadway smash. But in a 2017 interview with CNBC, Miranda called the founding father’s wife, Eliza Hamilton, “the hero of the show,” who “leaves an incredible legacy of her own.” Heck, yeah, she was incredible, and it’s high time we knew more about her than can fit into a few songs.

If you liked this…
book cover of Still Life

Try this…

So many readers we know wait with baited breath for every new Inspector Gamache novel to hit the shelves. (Penny’s first novel, Still Life, is a past Bas Bleu Book a Month pick.) If you count yourself among Gamache’s fans, we’d like to introduce you to Benoît “Bruno” Courrèges, chief of police in the French village of St. Denis. A former soldier, Bruno loves his calm country life—he doesn’t wear a gun and he avoids making arrests when he can. But all that changes when a murder rocks his sleepy town…

If you liked this…
book cover of Rosemary's Baby

Try this…
book cover of Lock Every Door

Okay, so there is no demon baby in Lock Every Door. But the spirit of Rosemary’s apartment building from hell is alive and well in this brooding contemporary thriller about a desperate young woman whose hard-knock life finally begins looking up…in a tony Manhattan penthouse apartment, no less. If you love a slow-building thriller—and are wary of overly friendly neighbors—you’ll savor this contemporary nail-biter. (And, yes, you will need to lock every door before you begin.)

If you liked this…
book cover of The Dud Avocado

Try this…

Elaine Dundy’s acclaimed (and laugh-out-loud funny) 1958 novel introduced readers to Sally Jay Gorce, a fun-loving American girl who discovers sex and romance while swanning around Paris on her rich uncle’s dime. Freya’s Freya Wyley is no Sally Jay; she’s a considerably more focused, ambitious, and adventurous soul. But like Sally Jay Freya also lives “scandalously,” a woman who bucks societal constraints at every turn. She’s unforgettable!

If you liked this…
book cover of Chilbury Ladies' Choir

Try this…
The Spies of Shilling Lane book cover
Fans of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir, a past Bas Bleu bestseller that focused on the women of an English village during World War II, will adore this novel’s blend of humor, drama, and heart. The central character, Mrs. Braithwaite, is a small-town busybody with a tongue so sharp she’s driven away friends, her husband, even her daughter. But when her fed-up neighbors finally put her in her place, the humiliated Mrs. Braithwaite flees to Blitz-ravaged London…where an unexpected turn of events forces her to reevaluate her harsh outlook on life.

If you liked this…

Try this…

Historian Jon Meacham explored in-depth the wartime relationship between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, a complex “courtship” in which Churchill lobbied hard for American support against the Nazi takeover of Europe. Both men do factor in to Last Hope Island, but this riveting World War II history includes examinations of England’s relationships with other leaders in the early days of the war and the critical—even world-changing—results those alliances produced.

If you liked this…
book cover of Antony and Cleopatra

Try this…
cover of Cleopatra's Shadows by Emily Holleman
With all due respect to the Bard, his romantic tragedy probably informs popular knowledge of Cleopatra more than it should. For example, neither Shakespeare nor Elizabeth Taylor told us about the famous queen’s real-life sisters, Arsinoe and Berenice, whose considerable political (and personal) intrigues form the backbone of this historical novel. And you thought you thought you had a complicated relationship with your sister…

If you liked this…
book cover of Eloise by Kay Thompson

Try this…
The Plaza by Julie Satow

Obviously these two books offer very different takes on New York’s storied (ha!) Plaza Hotel. But readers who first “explored” the Plaza alongside the fictional Eloise in Kay Thompson’s effervescent children’s books will be enthralled by the luxury hotel’s real-life story, which is every bit as rich in history and drama as the lives of its famous guests.

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