books wes anderson

Ten Books for Readers Who Like Wes Anderson

Books for Fans of Wes Anderson

If you’ve ever played Slate’s Wes Anderson Bingo as a drinking game (I can personally tell you this is not recommended), you’re painfully aware that the beloved director has a distinct style. For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, which is focused on recommending Books for Readers Who Like ___, I’ve put together a list of titles for fans of the quirky world of Wes Anderson.


The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg

This is actually a little outside the box for Wes Anderson, as it centers on folklore and myths, but it’s something I could see him moving toward in the future. And Greenberg’s shifting color palette would make Anderson weak in the knees.


The Last Summer of the Camperdowns by Elizabeth Kelly

Riddle James Camperdown sounds like a character straight out of a Wes Anderson movie and her 1972 Cape Cod home echoes the style of Moonrise Kingdom to a t.


Rainey Royal by Dylan Landis

Precocious child alert! Childish adults! Rainy Royal’s odd, unpredictable life with her artist father is like a Wes Anderson movie waiting to happen. And that cover has the color palette all laid out.


The Hundred-Year House by Rebecca Makkai

The strange mood at the center of Makkai’s novel fits perfectly with Anderson’s style, as does the budding artist colony and layered mystery.


Florence Gordon by Brian Morton

Florence Gordon easily fits in as one of the powerful, older women in Wes Anderson’s films and the New York setting is one we know the director can handle.


How to Tell Toledo From the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer

Anderson seems to be attracted to dysfunctional families and relationships with tons of quirk, so Lydia Netzer’s newest novel definitely fits the bill.


Butterflies in November by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir

The roadtrip at the center of Butterflies in November screams Wes Anderson, particularly in its awkward dialogue and odd pairings.


Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia

This one hits the bingo mother lode! Children’s theater, sibling rivalry, personal letters and precocious children, all wrapped up in a massive hotel perfectly fit to Anderson’s style.


Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Bernadette is probably a little too overzealous to exist in the Wes Anderson universe, but I can’t but wish he would take the colors of that cover and convert them into a fabulous movie.


The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson

This is the one book on the list I haven’t read, but its constant comparisons to Wes Anderson’s films made me feel like I couldn’t leave it off. For those of you who have read it, is it deserving?


  • I love Wes Anderson and I love this list. I’m so glad you put The Family Fang on it.

  • Kristen A.

    Oooohhhh love this!

  • I’ve obviously heard of Wes Anderson, but have no idea what movies he’s directed (I haven’t seen a movie in 4 yrs!)…but this is such a creative list! And – Bernadette was awesome!

  • The Family Fang definitely fits. It’s most like The Royal Tennenbaums, I think. Great list!

  • What a great list! I only know How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky, but I’ll jot down a few of these titles for the next time I’m in the mood for some quirkiness.

  • Kay

    I’ve heard of a few of these books and have wanted to read WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE ever since it came out. There are some others here that look interesting. ;-)

  • Love this list! I trust that Richard Linklater will do a good job with Where’d You Go, Bernadette, but I’d rather see it made by Wes Anderson.

    • Me too – I love Linklater, but I’m worried he will make it a little too serious. Here’s hoping he gets it right!

  • Okay, these are all going on my TBR!

  • I love this category! I do love Wes Anderson! I’ve read a couple of these and a couple more are on my list – I like knowing that I’m on the right track with these.

  • Holy crap! This is the best list everrrr!

  • Great list! (And now my tbr list just got longer)

  • Love this list! I’ve only seen Moonrise Kingdom and The Life Aquatic (I don’t count Grand Budapest Hotel because I watched it the night I lost my job, and beverages were consumed, so I don’t remember much about it.) But from what little I’ve seen, I think The Family Fang is a good fit!

  • I totally forgot about The Last Summer of the Camperdowns; I really wanted to read that one – ha! I loved Where’d You Go, Bernadette; such a crazy read. Thanks so much for sharing this list; love it!

  • Ti Reed

    This is a great list. BTW, sometimes I read through my reader but this time I popped over to say Hi and I see the new blog design. LOVE.

  • Oh my gosh, The Family Fang is a perfect fit for a Wes Anderson movie. Now that you have said this, I am bewildered that Wes Anderson has not yet optioned The Family Fang. It would be the WesAndersoniest movie of all time.

  • What a fun list! The only one I’ve read is Where’d You Go, Bernadette, and I loved it!

  • Oh I love this list! Quirky books galore! YES, The Family Fang is such a great book, Shannon. You’d like it a lot, I can almost guarantee it :D

  • What a great list! I haven’t read any of these YET, but I love Wes Anderson. Sounds like everyone is really raving about The Family Fang, maybe I need to check that one out first.

  • Beth

    Well, these are all going on my TBR! I love quirky and colourful (especially when it comes to families). Now you’ve also got me in the mood for a Wes Anderson movie marathon. :P

  • Mayssa

    The family fang is amazing! Hadn’t devoured a book this way in a long time! :)

  • I’ve only read two of these Where’d you go Bernadette? And The Family Fang, they definitely both fit the category. But what about what I consider as the ultimate Wes Anderson-sequel book, Franny and Zooey by JD Salinger, that should be on this list.

    • Totally agree about Salinger! I Other than Family Fang, I was hoping to avoid books like Franny and Zooey/Zweig, which are pretty regularly attached to Anderson and introduce a few new titles.

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  • Love Wes Anderson. Love this list. Love quirky. Brilliant idea, good work.

  • Love Wes! I read the Family Fang a few years ago and loved it.

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  • Thanks for this post. I was able to help a patron searching for novels at my public library.