Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell

Congratulations to Katherine Rundell, winner of the 2014 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize! Try these next…

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead for proper old-fashioned storytelling mixed with a healthy helping of whimsy 

My Name is Mina by David Almond for a truly unique heroine taking control of her own future

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente for a quirky fantasy adventure 

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine for a strong female voice exploring what it’s like to have Asperger’s

Get the email | Buy us a coffee

Scarecrow by Matthew Reilly

For more fast paced thrillers and characters who play by their own rules…

Killing Floor by Lee Child for an introduction to one man army, Jack Reacher

Sahara by Clive Cussler for modern swashbuckling adventurer Dirk Pitt 

Along Came A Spider by James Patterson for the original Alex Cross thriller

Sandstorm by James Rollins for Sigma Commander Painter Crowe; part Dirk Pitt, part Jack Reacher, all badass.

Get the email | Buy us a coffee

Ghost World by Daniel Clowes

For coming-of-age awesomeness set in different eras, try…

Black Swan Green by David Mitchell for a precocious-yet-unannoying kid’s-eye view of life in an ’80s-era British village

Locas by Jaime Hernandez for an alt-comic depiction of badass, punk-rock Chicanas growing up as best friends and sometime lovers in ’80s So Cal

The Rachel Papers by Martin Amis for hilarious first lust/love antics set against the groovy backdrop of ’60s/’70s London

Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block for a dreamy YA novel about a gritty fairy tale-like ’80s L.A.

This post was co-edited by Eve Epstein and Leonora Epstein, authors of X vs. Y: A Culture War, a Love Story. You can find them on Twitter here and here.

Get the email | Buy us a coffee

Remainder by Tom McCarthy

For more sanity-dissolving books about mental unraveling, try these next…

The Deep Whatsis by Peter Mattei for insight into the psychological devastations wrought by creative ad agencies

Here Lies Gerald by Robert Travieso for a delusional subway ride into mental collapse

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville for a book that’s less about finding a white whale and more about a monomaniac losing his mind 

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger to remind yourself that your childhood hero was suffering from a nervous breakdown

This post was guest edited by Benjamin Samuel, Co-Editor of Electric Literature and Recommended Reading. You can find him on Twitter.

Get the email | Buy us a coffee

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot 

For more stories of complicated relationships with heart, try these next…

Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer for intense family dynamics and beautiful writing

Sweep by Cate Tiernan for messy relationships and complicated friendships

Absolutely Normal Chaos by Sharon Creech for a hilarious main character to make you laugh and cry

Sean Griswold’s Head by Lindsey Leavitt for a sweet and funny contemporary story about first love

This post was guest edited by author Tess Sharpe. Her latest book, Far From You, is out now.