By Rachel Kray, Librarian and Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive

One of the biggest #booknerdproblems is the ever growing ‘To Read’ pile. The world is full of so many amazing books in the world and it makes me sad to think that I’ll never be able to read them all. What’s even worse, is when you’re reading a book (or watching a TV show / movie) with a fictional book in it that sounds REALLY good. But, alas, you can never read it because, well, it doesn’t exist. To help ease this pain, I’ve chosen my three favorite fictional books and created some ‘Read-Alikes’ that I think might be similar…


Scorpio by Thomas Yates (House of Cards – TV Series)
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen. Scorpio won The National Book Award so I think Franzen’s 2001 winner would be a close read.
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. This sprawling and complex work includes many topics that Scorpio seems to have (addiction, suicide, and family drama). I’m not sure if Scorpio would have footnotes, but Thomas Yates seems like the kind of writer that would include them.
City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg. Scorpio is often referred to as ‘life-changing.’ City on Fire is a sophisticated, emotional debut novel, that fits the same description of Scorpio as well.

An Imperial Affliction by Peter Van Houten (The Fault in Our Stars by John Green)
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. Before TFiOS came around, this was the book about cancer that made everyone cry their eyes out.
Terms of Endearment by Larry McMurtry. A parent deals with the loss of a child from cancer. Sounds like An Imperial Affliction to Me!
If I Stay by Gayle Forman. While not about cancer, I think this is a phenomenal book about dealing with death.

Basically everything written by Kilgore Trout (various Kurt Vonnegut stories)
To Marry Medusa by Theodore Sturgeon. Trout is loosely based on Sturgeon so I’m guessing his novels would be the closest to Trout.
Venus on the Half-Shell by Philip Jose Farmer. Trout is the titular author of this 1975 novel, writing pseudonymously by Farmer. So I guess this could be considered a ‘Trout’ novel.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. When I was initally reading about Trout, I was picturing a Douglas Adams-esque character so Hitchhiker seems like a solid read-alike.

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Are there any fictional books you’d like to read? Let us know in the comments!

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