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Ask a Book Buyer: Ideas for Fans of George R. R. Martin, Reza Aslan, and More

Ask a Book BuyerAt Powell's, our book buyers select all the new books in our vast inventory. If we need a book recommendation, we turn to our team of resident experts. Need a gift idea for a fan of vampire novels? Looking for a guide that will best demonstrate how to knit argyle socks? Need a book for a vegetarian who loves Radiohead and Flight of the Conchords? Email your question to We'll be posting personalized recommendations regularly.

Q: I am going to London for a month and really need some book recommendations. Some books I've enjoyed lately are: Mirror, Mirror off the Wall by Kjerstin Gruys, No Impact Man by Colin Beavan, the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth, the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling (my all-time favorite books), and all of John Green's books (especially The Fault in Our Stars). –Berkeley

A: A favorite of mine is China Mieville's Un Lun Dun, which shows the underbelly of an alternative and eccentric London. Also try Mind the Gap by Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon. Imagine Oliver Twist living in today's Tube tunnels. –Tracey

It won't be released until September 10, but try Rainbow Rowell's book Fangirl. It's about a young woman in her first year of college who writes fan fiction for her favorite fantasy series. Also, the author's first young adult title, Eleanor and Park, is amazing. –Jen

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Q: I'm looking for books that are a retrospective or academic analysis of creative projects. The books should include things like an explanation of the process that went into creating and executing the project, information about the tools and resources used in the project, commentary from the creator of the project, and feedback from others about the project. Do such books exist? I'm especially interested in books concerning creative projects that involve literature and multimedia. –Michelle Rae

A: Even though it's not really academic, you might find Miranda July's Learning to Love You More helpful. The guy who cowrote it is an arts academic. –Kevin

Michael Ondaatje's The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film provides fascinating insight into the creative process from two giants of film and literature. It's inspirational and informative. –Mary Jo

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Q: My wife and I were married almost a year ago and our anniversary is coming up. Can you recommend a book that affirms love and commitment but is not a romance novel? –Rian

A: After Sex and the City referenced a similar (yet fictitious) title a few years back, Love Letters of Great Men has become a popular romantic recommendation. –Shawn

Aw c'mon! Let's give romance a little love! Here are a couple of books that are very romantic, tell great stories, and come complete with happily ever afters: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and The Perils of Pursuing a Prince by Julia London. Enjoy, and congratulations! –Tom

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Q: I'm currently rereading A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. Do you have any recommendations for similar series? I love the characters and their development, as well as the entire world and history that he carefully cultivates. –Chris

A: George R. R. Martin has a new anthology, Dangerous Women, coming out in December which includes a novella set in Westeros. A few things to read between now and December:

Robin Hobb. Start with either Assassin's Apprentice or Ship of Magic. Everything is well crafted: plot, characters, the world — she is a top-notch fantasy author.

Also: The First Law books by Joe Abercrombie, Acacia by David Anthony Durham, or Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series.

And, if you haven't read The Name of the Wind yet, drop everything and get started. –Mary Jo

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Q: I'm interested in historical reads similar to Zealot by Reza Aslan. What do you have in mind? –Ava

A: Reza Aslan's previous book, No god but God, is excellent. I'd also recommend anything by Karen Armstrong; A History of God may be the best place to start. –Shawn

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Q: I'm looking for some chapter books that feature characters of color to read aloud to kindergartners and first graders. Any suggestions? –Ariel

A: Some great chapter book series are: the Ruby Lu and Alvin Ho series by Lenore Look, Katie Woo by Fran Manushkin, Zapato Power by Jacqueline Jules, Ellray Jakes by Sally Warner, Sugar Plum Ballerinas by Whoopi Goldberg, and the Akimbo books by Alexander McCall Smith. –Jen

Read more Ask a Book Buyer on PowellsBooks.Blog.


Books mentioned in this post

  1. No Impact Man: The Adventures of a... Used Trade Paper $6.50
  2. Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall: How I... Used Hardcover $14.00
  3. Harry Potter Paperback Box Set #1-7... Used Trade Paper $60.00
  4. The Fault in Our Stars
    Used Hardcover $10.95
  5. Un Lun Dun
    Used Trade Paper $4.50
  6. Mind the Gap: A Novel of the Hidden... Used Trade Paper $5.95
  7. Fangirl
    Used Hardcover $10.50
  8. Eleanor and Park
    Used Hardcover $13.50
  9. Learning to Love You More
    Used Trade Paper $13.50
  10. The Conversations: Walter Murch and...
    Used Trade Paper $14.50
  11. Outlander
    Used Trade Paper $10.00
  12. The Perils of Pursuing a Prince... Used Mass Market $3.95
  13. Love Letters of Great Men
    Used Hardcover $11.95
  14. Dangerous Women Used Hardcover $23.00
  15. Assassin's Apprentice: Farseer
    Used Mass Market $5.50
  16. Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders #1) Used Mass Market $3.95
  17. The Blade Itself (The First Law:...
    Used Trade Paper $8.50
  18. Acacia, Book One: The War with the Mein
    Used Mass Market $5.50
  19. Gardens of the Moon: Malazan Book...
    Used Mass Market $3.95
  20. The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller...
    New Mass Market $8.99
  21. No God But God (Updated Edition):... Used Trade Paper $9.00
  22. A History of God: The 4000-Year... Used Trade Paper $2.50
  23. Ruby Lu, Star of the Show (Ruby Lu) New Trade Paper $5.99
  24. Allergic to Girls, School, and Other...
    Used Trade Paper $2.95
  25. Katie Woo, Don't Be Blue (Katie Woo) Used Trade Paper $3.50
  26. Zapato Power #01: Freddie Ramos... Used Trade Paper $3.50
  27. Ellray Jakes #01: Ellray Jakes Is... New Trade Paper $5.99
  28. Sugar Plum Ballerinas: Plum... Used Trade Paper $3.50
  29. Akimbo and the Snakes (Akimbo) Used Trade Paper $4.50
  30. Zealot Signed Edition
    Used Hardcover $14.00
  31. Divergent Series Complete Box Set Used Hardcover $39.00

One Response to "Ask a Book Buyer: Ideas for Fans of George R. R. Martin, Reza Aslan, and More"

    Terri August 14th, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    For anyone looking for a series similar to George R.R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice, I highly recommend the Long Price Quartet by Daniel Abraham!

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