If you, like me, have read Ernest Cline’s fascinating novel READY PLAYER ONE, you’re likely just as excited for Steven Spielberg’s movie adaptation. READY PLAYER ONE is set in a futuristic world in which most people spend their time living in a virtual reality called the OASIS. The eccentric billionaire creator of the OASIS left an “Easter Egg” hidden inside when he died—and the person who discovers it first will inherit his entire fortune and gain control of the OASIS. It’s a fun concept and even though I’m not a video gamer, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Throughout the book Ernest Cline leaves us our own Easter Eggs to find: dozens of movie, game, and book allusions. This is a nostalgia-packed book with countless references—especially to 80s pop culture. If you’ve finished READY PLAYER ONE and you’re looking for your next move, add these authors mentioned in the book to your TBR pile.
SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE solidified Kurt Vonnegut’s reputation as a writer. This infamous book is notably anti-war and fans of Wade Watts’ adventures in READY PLAYER ONE will also love Billy Pilgrim’s odyssey through time. Vonnegut wrote a number of other books, including PLAYER PIANO and CAT’S CRADLE, exploring the ways technology and humanity interact.
The absurdist tale of Billy Pilgrim -- an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden -- and his odyssey through time has become a classic of anti-war fiction and reading lists everywhere.
I told you Ernest Cline likes Easter Eggs! Eagle-eyed viewers spotted Stephen King’s murderous 1958 red-and-white Plymouth Fury, Christine, in the trailer for the film. King’s novel of the same name tells the story of Arnie Cunningham, who discovers the old car and becomes consumed by the mysterious automobile. For even more 80s nostalgia, be sure to check out Stephen King’s IT—an epic, terrifying tale.
I think I’d be remiss if I didn’t include the Lord of the Ring trilogy on this list. J.R.R. Tolkein is referenced in READY PLAYER ONE and his ability to create a wholly complete other world influenced many writers in the fantasy and science fiction genres. THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING is the first book in the epic adventure THE LORD OF THE RINGS, and it is an exciting and lasting work of fiction.
“Fly, you fools!” —Gandalf the Grey
Neil Gaiman is one of the best fantasy writers there is, and his novel THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE is completely captivating, poetic, and remarkable. When a middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral, his unremembered past comes flooding back. In this journey through an otherworldly adventure, a supernatural secret is revealed. The world Gaiman creates is extraordinary, but utterly believable. For another one of his older works, try AMERICAN GODS, a page-turner for fans of action and mythology.
An imaginative and poignant adult fairy tale from the modern master of wonder and terror. This bewitching and harrowing story of mystery, survival, memory, and magic makes the impossible all too real.
This book might technically be YA, but Terry Pratchett’s writing has captivated audiences of all ages. In this first book in the Johnny Maxwell series, the titular character is about to set the high score on the computer game “Only You Can Save Mankind” when suddenly the game becomes all too real. If you want to really go for it, take a look at Terry Pratchett’s sprawling 41-book DISCWORLD series and follow your favorite characters through all the different storylines Pratchett weaves.