Since childhood, I’ve been completely obsessed with Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass, and, of course the accompanying animated Disney film. I read Carroll's classic multiple times, and when I put the book aside, I reached for books like Alice in Wonderland.
There is something uniquely captivating about the story of a naive young girl falling into an enchanted world filled with whimsical (and sometimes dangerous) creatures and characters. Movie adaptations of the story pop up constantly (who can forget Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen?); Alice merchandise can be found anywhere; you can even host a Wonderland-inspired tea party.
Whatever the reason for the Alice In Wonderland obsession, I’m not complaining, because if Alice and her gang of friends are involved, I’m all in. Of course, as a book-lover, I get most excited about books inspired by the original tale.
Storytellers have been riffing off Carroll’s book for years, and the results are (almost) as magical as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. So if you, like me, are completely obsessed with all things Alice In Wonderland, here are some books you can’t miss.
1. The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
Alyss Heart is the heir to the Wonderland throne, but her evil queen Redd wants the crown for herself. So Alyss escapes through the Pool of Tears and finds herself in Victorian London. Meanwhile, Hatter Madigan, Alyss's bodyguard, searches everywhere to find Alyss, so the rightful queen can be restored. This book takes place both in Wonderland and in Victorian London, and Lewis Carroll even makes an appearance.
2. Alice In Sunderland by Bryan Talbot
This book is part graphic novel and part documentary. It explores everything from the history of Britain to the connection between Alice Liddell and Lewis Carroll. Reading it is a bit like falling down the rabbit hole: bizarre at times, but interesting nonetheless.
3. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
If you're searching for a children's story similar to Alice, but a bit darker, you can't go wrong with Coraline. Neil Gaiman's whimsical writing style has always reminded me a bit of Carroll's. This story about a young girl named Coraline and her Other Mother is magical, creepy, and just a little bit unsettling.
4. The Looking Glass House by Vanessa Tait
This book was written by the great-granddaughter of Alice Liddell, aka the girl who inspired Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. This story is set before the fictional Alice falls down the rabbit hole, and it centers on governess Mary Prickett. This is historical fiction, not fantasy, but it's written in a whimsical way that will definitely appeal to Alice fans.
5. Jabberwocky by Daniel Coleman
In this novella, Coleman takes the poem "Jabberwocky" and makes sense of it line by line, telling the tale of a boy named Tjaden and his quest to save a girl named Elora. It's a fun read perfect for Alice fans who can't get enough of Carroll's quirky poetry.
6. Alice In Verse: The Lost Rhymes Of Wonderland by J.T. Holden
Here's another book for the fans of the poetry in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Holden creates new poems based on Carroll's original nonsensical pieces, and you'll recognize plenty of familiar characters and tales.
7. Beware The Little White Rabbit by Shannon Delany And More
This YA anthology contains short stories inspired by Alice in Wonderland, meaning there's something for every Alice fan in this one. From romance to steampunk to thriller, this collection has it all.
8. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
If what you love about Alice's Adventures in Wonderland are the whimsical details, you'll love The Night Circus. This story about two dueling illusionists and a circus that appears without warning is magical and beautifully written and will satisfy all your Wonderland cravings.
9. Namesake by Isabelle Melançon And Megan Lavey-Heaton
This comic follows protagonist Emma Crewe, a woman who can visit fantasy lands — including Wonderland and Oz. Because it began as a web comic, you can read it online or buy the hard copies.
10. Heartless by Marissa Meyer
From Lunar Chronicles author Marissa Meyer comes an Alice In Wonderland prequel about the Queen of Hearts. Catherine is the favorite of the King of Hearts, and everyone expects him to propose any day. But Catherine just wants to become a baker, open her own shop, and live happily ever after with Jest, a handsome, mysterious jester. This retelling comes out in Nov. 2016, but you can pre-order it now.
Image: Walt Disney Studios (1)