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13 Books Recommended by Protagonists

Have you ever wanted to read a book because a character in another book has loved it? I was wondering this a couple of weeks ago so put the question out to the readers over on our Facebook page and it seems that it’s not just me who has been tempted to read something a protagonist recommended. I attempted to read War and Peace after reading Two Caravans a couple of years ago, but you had quite a few suggestions yourself and here they are.

First on the list is Wuthering Heights, recommended by Bella in Twilight. For those who dismissed the books as poor literature, many of our readers went on to read the classic afterwards.

Then we have a bit of an anomaly as many of you were left wanting to read An Imperial Affliction after you’d read The Fault in our Stars. As explained by John Green, the mentioned book is non-existent, a work of fiction inside a work of fiction.

Many of you read Clockwork Angel and then went on to read A Tale of Two Cities after it’s mentioned in Clockwork Angel; another example of contemporary literature leading to classic reading.

Beautiful Creatures introduced many of you to To Kill a Mockingbird, and what better time to catch up with the classic before the release of To Set a Watchman next month.

The Mysteries of Udolpho was introduced to many of you after reading Northanger Abbey, showing that our protagonists love some wide and varied works.

Many of you dismissed 50 Shades of Grey as not being worthwhile but it led many of our readers on to try Tess of the D’Urbevilles, a work of classic literature.

After many of you read Harry Potter you couldn’t wait to read The Tales of Beedle the Bard, not a real book until Rowling brought it to life after Harry Potter.

Another mention for To Kill a Mockingbird, this time when you’d finished The Perks of being a Wallflower; more teen fiction opening the door to classic literature.

Anne of Green Gables was a favourite when I was a child and it led many of you to want to read The Lady of Shalott.

And the last few mentions on the list go to

Tom Sawyer – Huckleberry Finn
Rebecca – Key to Rebecca
The Great Gatsby – The Catcher in the Rye
Great Expectations – Matilda

It seems our protagonists do have great taste in literature and they make some pretty good recommendations. Is there a book you were inspired to read after reading about it in another book? Tell us about it in the comments.

Leave your vote


  • Pip says:

    I read Jane Eyre because Mia was reading it in one of the Princess Diaries books.

  • Guy says:

    “Doc” by Mary Doria Russell inspired me to read “Crime and Punishment.”

  • Melissa says:

    Definitely reread Jane Eyre after reading The Eyre Affair. Tried to read The Vicar of Wakefield “at the recommendstion of” Jo March. Maybe I’ll finish it someday.

  • Debbie says:

    I read Georegette Heyer after hearing her mentioned in several different contemporary romances

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