search-icon

5 Books to Read if You Loved Where’d You Go, Bernadette

by  | August 14

Where’d You Go, Bernadette is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read, and when you read as much as I do, it takes more than a few one-line zingers to get me to laugh out loud. I’m super excited that they are making a movie starring the amazing Cate Blanchett, but I’m also so nervous because it’s a rare, rare occurrence that a movie is halfway as good as the book. Fingers crossed that it delivers, because Bernadette is one of those characters you never forget because she’s acerbic, absurd, eccentric, and endearing.

She also hates Seattle, which is unfortunate because that is where she lives. You know how some books are a love letter to a city? This is not one of those books. Bernadette also has no tolerance for the BS of the moms at the private school that her darling daughter Bee attends. That’s because Bernadette is a legendary architect who is not only a genius, but also agoraphobic, which makes interacting with people outside her home a little challenging. Although there are many people, places, and things Bernadette doesn’t like, she loves her daughter, so that’s why she’s so conflicted when Bee asks for a family trip to Antarctica as a reward for her good report card. I told you that Bernadette does not like to leave the house, so that’s a real problem. And that’s when it gets real interesting. The highly agoraphobic Bernadette goes missing, and it’s up to her daughter to figure out the mystery of what happened.

If you haven’t read the book yet, read it quickly before the movie comes out. And if you’re already a big fan like me, then here are some other books like Bernadette that you will like!

Cheer Up, Mr. Widdicombe

Cheer Up, Mr. Widdicombe

by Evan James

If you like books about eccentric families, off-the-wall characters, and satirical writing, then this is the book for you. Frank Widdicombe’s wife, Carol, thinks that Frank is depressed and decides that staying at their new vacation home, Willowbrook, on the Puget Sound, should get him out of his funk. That’s when their house becomes ground zero for dramas involving family, friends, and acquaintances.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

by Abbi Waxman

Nina is a bookish introvert—something I think we can all relate to! She loves her life as it is. She’s an only child of a single mother; she works at a bookstore; she’s really into trivia; and she has a cat named Phil. She never knew her father and, when he dies, she suddenly realizes that he has left behind a huge family who wants to get to know her, which turns her life upside down. There’s also some romance in this book! Nina’s rival from the trivia scene is trying to pursue her (see what I did there!), and she can’t understand why. This is a book about a woman who is being drawn reluctantly out of her shell, when she didn’t even know that she needed to be.

(I think what freaks me out about this book is how much this Nina character and I have in common: I am the only child of a single mother; I work in publishing; I have a brain filled with lots of useless knowledge; and my ex-husband is named Phillip!)

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logo
Small Admissions

Small Admissions

by Amy Poeppel

I live in New York City, where getting into some preschools is more difficult than getting into Harvard, and let’s not get started on the cost! I could so relate to this book about an admissions counselor at a very selective private school in Manhattan. Kate Pearson is a highly ambitious grad student with a French boyfriend, and she just knows they are going to get engaged. When he breaks up with her, she falls apart and gives up on life. She drops out of grad school, has to get a job to support herself, and somehow falls into a position in admissions at Hudson Day School. This book brings you into the world of crazy parents who will do anything to get their kids into the school of their choice; the precocious and charming kids Kate interviews; and the school’s uptight staff. After being thrown into this pressure cooker culture, Kate realizes her life isn’t so bad after all.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor is a character who stays with you for a long time after reading the book, just like Bernadette does. She has trouble picking up on social cues and alienates people at work and in her personal life. But, it’s not her fault—she has had trauma in life after spending several years in foster care and children’s homes, and she has a very complicated relationship with her mother. She also drinks a lot to cope. You might be thinking that this book doesn’t seem very funny, but it’s a touching story about how, once Eleanor develops some unlikely friendships, she’s able to overcome her inner demons and find happiness.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logo
A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove

by Fredrik Backman

By now you’ve probably heard of A Man Called Ove—he’s Sweden’s favorite curmudgeon and inspired a whole new genre of books, GrumpLit! But if you haven’t, it’s a heartwarming story about a cantankerous old guy who gets charmed by a young couple and their daughters when they move in next door.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

by Maria Semple

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect; and to 15-year-old Bee, she is her best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette vanishes. It all began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle--and people in general--has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, and secret correspondence--creating a compulsively readable and surprisingly touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logo
Love to get lit... erary? Sign up to get the latest delivered to your inbox!