Recommendations for… books if you liked the Handmaid’s Tale

Happy Monday, everyone! Even though I participate in giving Monthly Recommendations, I thought I would start my own where every couple weeks I give recommendations for a specific topic (also Monthly Recommendations has been a bit dead lately so).

Today I’m doing recommendations for books if you liked The Handmaid’s Tale. With the TV series being back on, and with Kylie Jenner throwing a Handmaid’s Tale-themed party, I thought I’d talk about some books that are somewhat similar to the Handmaid’s Tale, both the book and TV show.

There were some elements of the Handmaid’s Tale that I focused on when choosing these books: it’s feminist and explores feminist themes; it’s dystopian; and it’s fairly dark. All of the books I listed are similar in one or more ways.

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If you want feminist fiction: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar is a feminist classic, and it’s fantastic. It’s largely focused on Plath’s suicide and depression, but it also explores so much about what it is to be a woman and how society views women. Fifty years later, and everything she said rings true.

If you want feminist YA: The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

The Female of the Species explores rape culture in our society, and does it in such a fantastic way. It also talks about girl-on-girl hate and confronts many stereotypes we hold about different people. I highly, highly recommend this book.

If you want sci-fi/dystopian: The Power by Naomi Alderman

I believe Margaret Atwood mentored Alderman or something, and is quoted on the cover of this book, so this comparison shouldn’t really be a surprise. But if you want another feminist dystopian, one that more explores rape culture, I definitely recommend this one.

If you want YA sci-fi/dystopian: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

If, by some miracle, you haven’t read The Hunger Games yet, I definitely recommend it. It has a strong female lead, a great relationship between Katniss and her sister, really interesting female characters, and a really interesting exploration of out society. It’s not explicitly feminist, but it does explore a lot of feminist themes.

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If you want a short story: The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

This is a classic feminist short story, and I highly recommend it. I read it in Grade 12 and wrote my final English essay on it, and I genuinely loved it. It’s so interesting, and definitely has a lot of the darker themes that The Handmaid’s Tale did.

If you want to read about toxic masculinity: Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

This might seem a bit weird but hear me out. Fight Club is, really, an exploration of toxic masculinity and the dark side of masculinity. The message is always lost on white boys, but it’s honestly brilliant. I think if you enjoyed the darker nature of The Handmaid’s Tale and want to read something that’s less explicitly feminist, but still explores an ultimately feminist theme, I definitely recommend this one.

If you want something based in reality: Women Talking by Miriam Toews

Women Talking is based on a real scenario and while it doesn’t explicitly explore feminism, it does explore independence in oppressed women. You could kind of think of it as reading about the women who become Handmaids. I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it.

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So those are some books I recommend if you enjoyed The Handmaid’s Tale. Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts? Do you agree with what I said about any of them? Let me know!

Thanks for reading! xx


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11 thoughts on “Recommendations for… books if you liked the Handmaid’s Tale

  1. Not a fan of the Handmaid’s Tale, but I loved, loved, loved The Yellow Wallpaper. As a matter of fact, I just bought a copy of it and selected writings. I recommend The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir. Should you read that start with the second part then circle back to the first. If you do it that it makes the first part easier to read.

    I just heard there is a Hunger Games Prequel coming out in 2020. Not sure how I feel about that. I enjoyed the first two but lost steam on the third.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the Yellow Wallpaper is amazing! So glad you love it too! I will definitely look into The Second Sex, thank you for the recommendation and tip!

      I’m definitely excited for the prequel, but will also remain hesitant. I generally don’t like expanding on series, but I think as a prequel, it could work well.

      Like

  2. I have no idea how anyone manages to think Fight Club is about how great Tyler Durden is!!! I’ve only seen the movie so far, but it should be obvious the message is basically ‘being that maverick tough guy isn’t a healthy response to feeling alienated and disaffected’. What actually helps the narrator? Going to support groups and trying to face his emotions with others! Lol. It’s totally feminist.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love how you’ve broken these down by different aspects – in theory I think the Handmaid’s Tale is a brilliant book (and fantastic show), but in practice it’s not my favorite read.

    of your list I’ve only read The Female of the Species and The Hunger Games, though The Bell Jar, The Yellow Wallpaper, and Fight Club have been on my TBR for quite a while! and I’ll definitely have to check out the rest.

    Liked by 1 person

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