BUT THEN I realized, hey, you know what book I super-love right now? Little Women.
I love it so much that. having just reread it, I am currently obsessed with hoovering up everything I can get from a library that is tangentially related. None of which I've read yet. But I'm so excited about the ones I've got on deck that I just spent an hour researching additional options to get to a top 10, and I'm really hoping I enjoy them all!
(It goes without saying I need to investigate Little Men and possibly Jo's Boys. But first...)
1. Meg and Jo - Virginia Kantra
I am...not sure my heart has the strength for this, tbh. Seems messy to go for a modern-day adult sequel AU. And I don't know why it's gotta be set in the South, which is never a setting I seek out in fiction. But it's one of the few on this list my local library has, and it could also be a very interesting retelling-with-a-twist. And if I like it, it has its own "volume II" style sequel coming soon.
2. The Little Women Letters - Gabrielle Donnelly
Oh how fun! I was actually just thinking about how interested I would be in a 20th (or 21st, I guess) century story about one or more of Jo's descendants -- and the link of one of them finding old letters in a family attic, written by Jo about the original Marches, is a fantastic way to add a personal stake to what is already one of my favorite story tropes.
3. The Courtship of Jo March: A Variation of Little Women - Trix Wilkins
A splendid-sounding "hey what if Jo and Laurie ended up together" take on Part II, and what other changes might have occurred to the story in such a scenario.
Pro tip: if you buy the ebook -- which is only $5 AUD -- you get bonuses like printables and a file of deleted/alternate scenes. I think that is such a wise investment that I bought it despite not owning an e-reader. One day I will! And then I will actually be able to, you know, read this.
4. Jo & Laurie - Margaret Stohl & Melissa de la Cruz
Jo/Laurie endgame, but make it YA?? HONESTLY MY DREAM BOOK. I also love that it copies a take from the new movie and opens on the premise that Jo has just published a fictional volume I of Little Women and is now trying to produce a sequel. I read an excerpt from it online and my heart instantly shot the moon, so...yeah, I'm pretty hyped.
5. Little Women and Me - Lauren Baratz-Logsted
I don't care how low its Goodreads ratings are. This is not my first 'teenager jumps into a classic book' rodeo, and by god, it won't be my last. Especially not when this girl is on the Jo/Laurie train. Plus, this author has always been pretty reliable for me -- I've apparently read 5?? of her books, all 3-4 stars.
6. Bookish Boyfriends # 2: The Boy Next Story - Tiffany Schmidt
So it's the reverse of the above book, where a character(s) jumps out of the story? I don't know much about this series, I only found out about it 20 minutes ago on another TTT blogger's post from last week, but mark me down as INTERESTED. It does look fairly like fluff and perhaps a bit too ludicrous for me, but that can still be fun.
7. The Mother-Daughter Book Club - Heather Vogel Frederick
I have long been drawn to this cute-looking middle grade series -- it gives me the same vibes as The Teashop Girls -- but I kept putting it off. Now that I've re-realized the first book they read is Little Women, I've got a fire lit under me.
8. Littler Women: A Modern Retelling - Laura Schaefer
HEY SPEAKING OF THE TEASHOP GIRLS, apparently its author got in on the Little Women middle grade game too! Definitely a must-investigate for me -- a modern-day version of the family where the girls are 3 years younger than at the start of the original classics.
9. Portraits of Little Women series - Susan Beth Pfeffer
As far as I can tell, these are a series of easy reader novels that look for all the world like they're original short stories about the girls, focusing on when each is 10, and patterned on the American Girl book format. Now, that could go either way in terms of quality, but with my champion Susan Beth Pfeffer at the helm? I trust her. Pity my library doesn't have these; I'd like to just read them all in at once rather than having to request all, what, 15 of them individually? WHY NO COMPENDIUM EDITION.
10. The Little Women Cookbook - Jenne Bergstrom & Miko Osada
I mostly check out cookbooks to read and look at rather than actually cook from (I usually don't have the time or the ingredient list to experiment with new stuff), and this is no exception. But I think it's going to be REALLY FUN to read and look at, because it gives the context (via book excerpt) for each recipe, and is "packed with beautiful color photographs, timeless illustrations, historical trivia, and additional commentary by the authors."
P.S. Apparently there is a different Little Women Cookbook, also published in October 2019 (gotta jump on that new movie hype, I guess!), boasting many of the same extras as the above. I would like to compare them side by side, but my library does not have this one so it will have to wait.
P.P.S. Special winner of tonight's THE WORST award goes to "Lusty Little Women," a book that would almost be less awful if it was the kind of shameless X-rated Chuck-Tingle-esque cash grab it sounds like instead of what it apparently is, i.e. "a book like Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, but with sex/sexy thoughts inserted instead of zombies, and also Marmee has an affair because reasons."
In conclusion, GIVE ME ALL OF YOUR ADDITIONAL RECS*.
-I have already checkd out Geraldine Brooks' "March," but I'm fairly dubious about it. Their father is just not the character I care about, even less so as a man in a war setting.
-Graphic novels really do not do it for me
-Also not super interested in fictionalized versions of Louisa May Alcott herself [edit: but on second thought, I won't rule them out]
-Keep "Little Women and Werewolves" (and frankly any other supernatural elements you might come up with) the heck away from me.
For any newcomers who weren't around for my reading history recap/movie review post, please know that I am equal parts love for Jo/Laurie and Jo/Bhaer. I shall tolerate no gruff about either one and frankly think anyone who is ride or die for one to the exclusion of the other is BORING (I also don't think it's super exciting if you don't like her with either one, but I'll respect that take).
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