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From thrilling page turners to beautiful novels, we present you books and authors similar to the ones you love. Enjoy our recommendations – from bookworms for bookworms.
If you share our passion for music, have a browse through our list of genres and discover unmissable artists and songs from the past 50 years. You’ll find a bit of old, a bit of new and a bit of something you probably have never heard of before.
Whatever type of game you’re looking for, you’ll surely find one that tickles your fancy here. Choose your next favourite from one of our wonderful articles and get playing!
Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll, 1965) and The Chronicles of Narnia (C. S. Lewis, 1950-56) are two perfect choices for readers of any age, even though you might find them in the children’s section. We’ve already opened that secret door and uncovered other children’s books like Moondial (Helen Cresswell, 1987) too.
If you haven’t turned the key yet, go ahead and see what you’re missing. But if you’re looking for something with a little bit of Gothic charm, stick with us as we find out exactly what’s hiding within those walls.
Lewis Barnavelt is an orphan sent to live with a distant uncle, and like Coraline, he’s an inquisitive child who finds a mystery hiding within the walls of his new home.
Coraline fans couldn’t hope for more where illustration is concerned. Edward Gorey provides the book’s gothic vignettes – his work inspired Lemony Snicket and Neil Gaiman, who wanted the author to illustrate Coraline. But in a twist of fate, the illustrator died on the day Gaiman completed the story.
If you read ‘The House with a Clock in Its Walls’ and love it, great news! There are eleven books in the Lewis Barnavelt series, so you can just keep on going.
Does Ada Goth look familiar to you? Her story is beautifully (and gothically) illustrated by Chris Riddell, who has worked with Neil Gaiman on several books, including the 10th Anniversary Edition of Coraline.
‘Exploring was her favourite thing to do, especially at night when everyone else was sleeping.’
This heroine doesn’t need to pass through into a parallel apartment because her own world is eccentric enough, but she still shares Coraline’s inquisitive streak. Between a Victorian-style father, house guests and the shimmering ghost of a mouse, she’s got quite enough to discover without going too far afield. In the first book, she uncovers a dastardly plot.
Illustrated by Brett Helquist, The Bad Beginning sends the Baudelaire orphans on a thirteen volume chase to find safety and solve the mystery of the fire that killed their parents. Before we can meet the assorted characters they’ll encounter, we have to make a very important introduction.
Readers, meet Count Olaf. When he’s not keeping the children as servants, he’s threatening their lives. Charming, no?
If you’re wondering, those unfortunate events aren’t on the cover for decorative purposes. Lemony Snicket’s series will terrify and frustrate you in equal measure with near misses, misfortunes and just plain bad luck. And somehow, that always makes me want to start over again as soon as I reach the end.
After their father dies, the young diarist, her brother and mother are stuck living with the overbearing Aunt Maria in a seaside house. The narrator doesn’t get the worst of it, though – her brother, Chris, finds a ghost living in his room.
‘Neighbor John seemed a good name for the ghost. So we call him that now.’
Like Coraline, some parts of the Aunt Maria world are relatable things that become larger than life, like the horrors of bought cake, while other elements are far stranger.
A boy reluctantly runs to the shops for his mum. On the way, he meets a lost girl in strange clothes, who turns out to be an accidental time traveller who was standing in the 19th Century one moment and the 21st the next.
It’s got a more contemporary feel than Coraline, but I think younger fans will like the slightly spooky aspect of this girl from the past turning up in the present day.
A set of curious instructions lead Milo to the Tollbooth, a gateway to a magical land. ‘The Phantom Tollbooth’ is distinctly more upbeat than its list buddies, with a strong moralistic streak, and it weaves in references to a Mathemagician and suchlike. It’ll enchant some readers, though other may not find enough phantoms in their tollbooth.
YA readers, I’ve got you covered! This time, let’s fall down a few mythological rabbit holes. Norse mythology adventure Runemarks (Joanna Harris, 2008) is a great choice with a gifted heroine, while Gregor the Overlander (Suzanne Collins, 2013) sends a young New Yorker beneath the city’s streets. Here are all the details.
If you know any enchanting, chilling or just plain captivating books similar to Coraline, let us know in the comments.
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