Feature

Taylor Jenkins Reid's 6 favorite books that share the same universe

The author recommends works by Stephen King, Helen Hoang, and more

Taylor Jenkins Reid's new novel, Carrie Soto Is Back, follows a tennis champion who appeared in Reid's 2021 best-seller, Malibu Rising. Below, the author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo recommends other books set in shared universes.

My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout (2016)

It's no secret that Elizabeth Strout is a stunning writer, but I still find myself amazed at the depth she brings to the world of her stories centered on Lucy Barton. The four novels can be read in any order, but if you start with this — the first — you'll soon be ready for Strout's latest, Lucy by the Sea. Buy it here.

Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory (2019)

Guillory is the queen of romance these days. Her Wedding Date series doesn't need to be read in any particular order. I'm recommending the fourth book, about a later-in-life romance involving an American woman who, during a chance stay at a royal castle, connects with the queen's private secretary. Buy it here.

Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert (2020)

If you want your romances with a high dose of comedy, turn to Talia Hibbert, who's laugh-out-loud funny. Her stories follow the love lives of the Brown sisters. I'm recommending you start with Dani Brown, just for the first line of the book alone. If it grabs you, you've come to the right place. Buy it here.

Misery by Stephen King (1987)

Many of Stephen King's novels take place in the same universe — most of them in the fictional Maine towns of Derry or Castle Rock. One of my favorites is Misery, in which we learn that the main character, Paul Sheldon, grew up across from It's Eddie Kaspbrak. Buy it here.

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (2018)

Hoang's debut is a smart, steamy romance about a woman who hires a sex worker and ends up falling in love. It's the first of three interconnected novels, all featuring members of the Phan-Diep family and centering on neuro-divergent characters. I cannot get enough of Hoang's writing. Buy it here.

The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams (2014)

Williams' literary universes have many entry points; pick one that interests you and get started. The first I read, The Secret Life of Violet Grant, is part of the three-volume Schuyler Sisters series, in which each book follows one of three sisters and explores a different moment in the early or mid-20th century. The stories are deliciously transportive. Buy it here. 

This article was first published in the latest issue of The Week magazine. If you want to read more like it, you can try six risk-free issues of the magazine here.

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