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Books Like 1984: Our Recommended Books ✨

By Leo Flynn

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pARABLE OF THE TALENTS By Octavia E. Butler

Parable Of The Talents Book Cover

Description: Lauren Olamina created a fledgling community of refuge from America and the autocratic president. It tells of her long journey of developing the community as she searches for human survival skills, hope, and faith

About The Author: Octavia E. Butler was an award-winning, groundbreaking sci-fi author who made waves in the literary world and beyond.

Why Read It? It won the Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Novel in 1998.

THE CIRCLE By Dave Eggers

Circle Book Cover

Description: When Mae lands a job at the world’s most powerful tech company, the Circle, she’s thrilled. With its sprawling California campus, the Circle links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with its universal operating system – making for a new age of transparency. But as Mae’s role grows more public, and she participates in the launch of a new product, a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken.

About The Author: Dave Eggers is a best-selling author and who’s always up for a challenge, whether it’s writing the next novel or helping out a cause.

Why Read It? This is about transparency and surveillance, too close for comfort.

ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY By Charlie Jane Anders

All The Birds In The Sky Book Cover

Description: Patricia, a witch, and Laurence, an avowed atheist-scientist who tinkers with things he shouldn’t play with. They’re drawn together by a power so old it defies understanding. They must overcome their differences to save everything.

About The Author: Charlie Jane Anders is a brilliant, award-winning author and futurist who’s changing the way we look at science fiction.

Why Read It? A captivating blend of fantasy and Sci-Fi.

BROWN GIRL IN THE RING By Nalo Hopkinson

Brown Girl In The Ring Book Cover

Description: A dark fantasy novel set on an island where drought and economic hardship have taken over. Ti-Jeanne’s only hope for a better future is to face her past, no matter what that might entail.

About The Author: Nalo Hopkinson is an author of speculative fiction who writes with a lively, unique voice and a love of Caribbean culture.

Why Read It? There’s a rich landscape of West Indian folklore in this book.

PANTHER IN THE HIVE By Olivia a. Cole

Panther In The Hive Book Cover

Description: Tasha Lockett is the lone survivor in a Chicago. Four days ago, cybertronics caused chaos and disaster on American soil. Tasha’s sister tells there are rumored safe zones from this new onslaught of weaponized people. Tasha sets out to find them.

About The Author: Olivia a. Cole is an author and journalist with a passion for exploring the intersection of culture and identity through her writing.

Why Read It? It’s a haunting, timely tale.

THE DISPOSSESSED By Ursula K. Le Guin

Dispossesed Book Cover

Description: The story follows the physicist Shevek as he leaves his earth-like planet called Anarres to explore the solar system.

About The Author: Ursula K. Le Guin was a trailblazing author who wrote groundbreaking works of science fiction, fantasy, and literature.

Why Read It? It explores how there’s no single way towards progress. Like dystopian worlds? This is great.

VOX By Christina Dalcher

Vox Book Cover

Description: Women are silenced, and America is under a totalitarian regime. A neurolinguist refuses to adhere to the rule of women must only speak 100 words a day. She will do anything to reclaim her voice.

About The Author: Christina Dalcher is a bestselling author who writes stories about captivating women protagonists.

Why Read It? This is a fantastic look at power, ambition and sinister intent.

THE SHORE OF WOMEN By Pamela Sargent

Shore Of Women Book Cover

Description: After a nuclear fallout, women rule the earth, banishing men to live a dangerous hunter gatherer life. One woman, exiled and condemned to the life of men, meets a man and falls for the thing she was born to hate.

About The Author: Pamela Sargent is an award-winning sci-fi author who’s been creating imaginative stories since the 1970s.

Why Read It? It’s a classic example of feminist science fiction.

THE HANDMAID’S TALE By Margaret Atwood

Handmaids Tale Book Cover

Description: Speculative fiction at its best. An extremist government overthrows the current system and renames it Gilead, a new dystopian society in the near future. Fundamentalist rule denies women their rights. Offred (of Fred) is a Handmaid assigned to bear children for the Commanders.

About The Author: Margaret Atwood is a prolific Canadian author who’s known for her thought-provoking works.

Why Read It? A chilling, intimate look at power and religious fanaticism.

FAHRENHEIT 451 By Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 Book Cover

Description: Books are outlawed. “Firemen” burn any they find. Clarisse McClellan, a young woman who embodies free thought, challenges Guy Montag’s role as one of these firefighters. Everything starts to slowly collapse around him.

About The Author: Ray Bradbury is an iconic author and master storyteller across a variety of genres and formats.

Why Read It? This parable is as relevant now as it was then.

BRAVE NEW WORLD By Aldous Huxley

Brave New World Book Cover

Description: A dystopian novel about a future which anticipates huge scientific advancements, and the pursuit of pleasure has transformed society. The World State has jurisdiction. How people live their lives depends on their caste system rank. Bernard Marx is a lower-class worker. He begins to wonder if life in his own society without meaning is worth living.

About The Author: Aldous Huxley was an English writer.

Why Read It? Paired with 1984, it’s a great introduction to some of the earlier works in the dystopian genre.

ANIMAL FARM By George Orwell

Animal Farm Book Cover

Description: A revolution began with high hopes and ended in totalitarian rule by a group all too similar to Big Brother. All farm animals are equal, but some are more than others in an insidious twist of fate.

About The Author: The same talented satirist and journalist who wrote 1984.

Why Read It? A disturbing yet humorous allegory by the same author.

NEVER LET ME GO By Kazuo Ishiguro

Never Let Me Go Book Cover

Description: Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy go to an English boarding school. Their lives an experiment called “The Human Complementation Project.” They have only ten years to live.

About The Author: Kazuo Ishiguro is a renowned author known for his moving literary stories and beautiful prose.

Why Read It? In this luminous story of love, memory, and identity, Kazuo Ishiguro has created a moving novel about childhood friendship.

JENNIFER GOVERNMENT By Max Barry

Jennifer Government Book Cover

Description: A futuristic satire about how the world would be if the human race were an employee of a giant corporation. We follow Jennifer Government, who is employed by McWorldwide and becomes one of their most successful employees. It doesn’t take much to become consumed by corruption.

About The Author: Max Barry writes funny, thought-provoking books.

Why Read It? It’s a great satirical novel with a surprising punch.

IN THE COUNTRY OF THE LAST THINGS By Paul Auster

Country Of The Last Things Book Cover

Description: A mysterious woman named Alice Blume shows up in a desolate, decaying city near the end of civilization, ravaged by a past world war. She’s searching for her missing brother, a former journalist. What follows is an intricate story about memory and meaning set during one of humanity’s darkest moments.

About The Author: Paul Auster is an acclaimed novelist and essayist.

Why Read It? Brutal, dark, but brilliantly written.

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About The Author: Leo Flynn

Hi! I run Road Less Read, curating my scifi, fantasy + YA favorites from reading 100+ books a year! Email me for a hyper-specific rec?

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