Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Read-alike Suggestions

This week's Top Ten Tuesday wants us to suggest good, slightly more obscure books for fans of a popular book or author. So if you like X, then you'll like Y. This one was trickier than I thought, but I it did get me thinking!

Books to Read...
...If you like Jane Austen:

Anything by Georgette Heyer
My mum's been trying to get me to read these books for years, and reckons Arabella is the best one to start with (my sister says Cotillion or The Talisman Ring). Written in the 50's, these are period novels written in the style of Jane Austen. According to my 'sources' they're great comfort reading - lighter and frothier that Austen's own classics - and a little bit addictive. 

The Poldark Saga, Winston Graham - 
Set just before the regency period, these books follow Ross Poldark, a landowner from Cornwall who's just returned from the American War of Independence. Fast reads, great characters and dramatic storylines, I read about five in the space of a few weeks. The only problem is that our hero does something un-forgiveable at the end of book four, that kind of puts a downer on everything. Still, I kept reading after that. And I'm excited for series 2!

Victoria and the Rogue, Meg Cabot - 
If you like Jane Austen, and you're a fan of Meg Cabot, this book will be right up your street. Similar in style to the Georgette Heyers, Victoria and the Rogue is the story of a young regency heiress who's shipped off to England (from her home in India) to find a rich husband. But will she choose the right man? A really easy read and harmless fun - interchangeable with Nicola and the Viscount which is almost exactly the same story. I liked this better though.

North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell - 
A Pride and Prejudice-like  tale in an industrial setting, North and South is the story of Margaret Hale, a young Victorian lady whose family uproot to Milton (a fictionalised Manchester) when her vicar father loses his faith. Gaskell was a contemporary of Dickens, so this is a bit wordy, like most Victorian fiction. but it's a great story and Mr. Thornton is lovely. I can't decide whether I like him better in the book, or in the mini-series, as portrayed by Richard Armitage.

...If you like Harry Potter:

The Chrestomanci Series, Diana Wynne-Jones - 
I'd recommend the Chrestomanci books to any fan of the Potterverse. The stories center around a world similar to our own, except everything is more old-fashioned and witches and warlocks live among us. In Charmed Life, we first meet the nine-lived enchanter who is tasked with keeping the magical community under control. Best start with this one, although my favourite is the prequel, The Lives of Christopher Chant

The Worst Witch Series, Jill Murphy - 
I loved the TV series as a kid, and enjoyed the books too. Mildred Hubble is a hapless young student at Cackle's Academy for Witches. Along with her best friends Maud and Enid, she gets into plenty of trouble but also manages to save the school on multiple occasions. There's five books, really short and easy to read with some great characters. 

The Secret of Platform 13, Eva Ibbotson - 
I remember getting this out of the library when I was little - really liked it and noticed plenty of similarities to Harry Potter, especially the doorway to a magical world at King's Cross Station... This was published pre- Potter, but Eva Ibbotson was nice and didn't hold a grudge. It's a standalone story, but I've read and enjoyed some of her other stuff too (try The Secret Countess). Just a traditional children's fantasy - but a good one.

If you like Phillipa Gregory 
(e.g The Other Boleyn Girl, The White Queen):

My Lady of Cleeves, Margaret Campbell Barnes - 
I've recommended this before, but it's one of my very favourite books so I want to get it out there. It tells the story of Henry VIII's least fictionalised wife - and my favourite since I read this - Anne of Cleeves. Brought from Belgium to marry a king who'd only seen a portrait of her, she was dubbed the 'Flanders mare' and is still thought of as 'the ugly one'. But she was one of two wives to outlive (and stay on good terms with) Henry, she was kind to his children and Campbell Barnes draws her as a woman you can't help but love. There's a romance thrown in too and some great characters and scenes. A must for fans of Tudor fiction.

...If you like I Capture the Castle (Dodie Smith) 
and books about families:

The Casson Family series, Hilary McKay - 
So, I haven't actually read 'I Capture the Castle.' all the way through. I was just trying to think of a popular book about eccentric families, similar in tone, so that I could recommend Saffy's Angel and the rest. Bad, I know. Aimed at a young audience, I reckon these books can still enjoyed by all ages. Each of the five novels focuses on one of the four Casson children (I'm guessing Rose is the author's favourite, as she gets two books...) who are named after colours on the paint chart. The characters are loveable and despite the craziness there's something real and relate-able about the family. Easy to read, and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny.

If you like Game of Thrones:

Anything by Rosemary Sutcliffe - 
Although the Song of Ice and Fire novels are fantasy, not historical fiction, George R.R Martin borrows a lot from history. And I'm almost certain he read at least one Rosemary Sutcliffe during his childhood. Although a bit description-heavy, Sutcliffe wrote young adult historical novels with the best of them. Whether set in Roman Britain, Medieval times or any other period, these are old fashioned but exciting adventure stories that recreate the period with a wealth of detail. And every character seems to have a big, wolf-like dog...

So there's 10 recommendations all together. Not very varied, but there you are. 


  1. Fantastic list! High for also mentioning North and South when recommending books for Jane Austen fans, clearly great minds think alike. ;) Also yes to The Worst Witch - I loved those books when I was little, and the tv series too - and to Diana Wynne Jones and Eva Ibbotson, I love them all.

  2. yay! I went with Jane Austen this week too - love your recommendations! :) My TTT

  3. I don't see Rosemary Sutcliffe mentioned much in the blogging world so it's cool to see her here! She wrote some interesting books. :)

    1. I know, she seems a bit forgotten about, but she's really good!

  4. Awesome post and there are some great books on there. I remember reading the Worst Witch books when I was a kid many, many moon ago and had almost forgotten about them until today so It was a lovely reminder to see them mentioned today!

    New Bloglovin follower

    My TTT - Thea @ Gizzimomo's Book Shelf

    1. Thanks for the follow ! The Worst Witch always gets me nostalgic too :)

  5. I love these recommendations! Your friends are right about Georgette Heyer (I've been going around saying that on several JA lists this morning). Light and sweet and funny, and addictive. Even if you don't normally like that sort of thing (ahem-me). I really enjoyed Poldark as well. I haven't read the rest of the series, or finished the first season of the show (but I did like them both). The costumes in the show (and that gorgeous coastline) were amazing!
    Great list!
    My TTT if you're interested:

    1. Thank you! and I'll check out your list :) It's definitely worth continuing with Poldark - the stories get more addictive as you go on :) And I'm going to have to get started on Georgette Heyer - I listened to the audio book of 'Venetia' (Richard Armitage narrating...) but apparently that doesn't count, haha

    2. I will add the rest of the Poldark books to my list then :)

      Richard Armitage narrating? That would put me to sleep, I think! (Something about his voice). And I think that would count.

  6. I can't say I loved I Capture the Castle, but the Casson family series looks like fun! I will have to check it out.;)

    1. Aw I hope you give them a go! And I should probably read 'I capture the castle' to see whether they're actually anything alike, haha


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