More Great Books For Adult Harry Potter Fans

July 21, 2011

If you liked the Harry Potter series but are ready to branch out because you’ve grown up or already were older to begin with, we have suggestions for you.  The following carry on in the Potter fantasy tradition and are beautifully written with equally extraordinary and memorable stories. We’re sure you’ll find some new favorites.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
English magicians were once the wonder of the known world, with fairy servants at their beck and call; they could command winds, mountains, and woods. But by the early 1800s they have long since lost the ability to perform magic. But at Hurtfew Abbey in Yorkshire, the rich, reclusive Mr Norrell has assembled a wonderful library of lost and forgotten books from England’s magical past and regained some of the powers of England’s magicians. He goes to London and raises a beautiful young woman from the dead. Soon he is lending his help to the government in the war against Napoleon Bonaparte, creating ghostly fleets of rain-ships to confuse and alarm the French. All goes well until a rival magician appears.

Little, Big by John Crowley
The epic story of Smoky Barnable, an anonymous young man who travels by foot from the City to a place called Edgewood, not found on any map, to marry Daily Alice Drinkawater, as was prophesied. It is the story of four generations of a singular family, living in a house that is many houses on the magical border of an otherworld. It is a story of fantastic love and heartrending loss; of impossible things and unshakable destinies; and of the great Tale that envelops us all.

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
In Jasper Fforde’s Great Britain, circa 1985, time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection. But when someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature and plucks Jane Eyre from the pages of Bront ‘s novel, Thursday is faced with the challenge of her career.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman
One of the most talked-about books of the new millennium, “American Gods” is a kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth and across an American landscape at once eerily familiar and utterly alien. It is, quite simply, a contemporary masterpiece. It was the winner of the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and Bram Stoker awards. We also recommend Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book in audio–the author narrates perfectly.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman
bestselling novel about a young man practicing magic in the real world Like everyone else, precocious high school senior Quentin Coldwater assumes that magic isn’t real, until he finds himself admitted to a very secretive and exclusive college of magic in upstate New York. There he indulges in joys of college-friendship, love, sex, and booze- and receives a rigorous education in modern sorcery. But magic doesn’t bring the happiness and adventure Quentin thought it would. After graduation, he and his friends stumble upon a secret that sets them on a remarkable journey that may just fulfill Quentin’s yearning. But their journey turns out to be darker and more dangerous than they’d imagined. If you love this one, the sequel–The Magician King,  is coming out on August 9th.

Perdido Street Station by China Mieville
A magnificent fantasy rife with scientific splendor, magical intrigue, and wonderfully realized characters, told in a storytelling style in which Charles Dickens meets Neal Stephenson, Perdido Street Station offers an eerie, voluptuously crafted world that will plumb the depths of every reader’s imagination. Mieville  has won numerous awards for his works including three Arthur C. Clarke Awards, two British Fantasy Awards, the British Science Fiction Award, and the 2008 Locus Award for Best Young Adult Book.

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan’s California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified “dinery server” on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation — the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other’s echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changed in ways great and small. In his captivating third novel, David Mitchell erases the boundaries of language, genre and time to offer a meditation on humanity’s dangerous will to power, and where it may lead us.

Haroun And The Sea Of Stories by Salman Rushdie
The author of The Satanic Verses returns with his most humorous and accessible novel yet. This is the story of Haroun, a 12-year-old boy whose father Rashid is the greatest storyteller in a city so sad that it has forgotten its name. When the gift of gab suddenly deserts Rashid, Haroun sets out on an adventure to rescue his print.

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