Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur is Bookish’s fall 2019 Kelly’s Pick, and we want your book club to be prepared with everything you need for a great meeting—including recommendations for what to check out next! All readers can relate to the feeling of finishing a book and immediately wanting to pick up something similar.
Here’s what Brodeuer said when we asked her about the books that inspired her:
“Like most writers, I read broadly, find inspiration in unexpected places, and owe a debt of gratitude to more books than I could ever possibly list. But specifically, if I kept a literary ledger of memoirs that I’m indebted to, it would include the following: Elizabeth Alexander’s The Light of the World, Claire Bidwell Smith’s After This, Gail Caldwell’s Let’s Take the Long Way Home, Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, Nick Flynn’s Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, Vivian Gornick’s Fierce Attachments, Heather Harpham’s Happiness, George Hodgman’s Bettyville, Mary Karr’s The Liars Club (no one tops Mary Karr for voice), Ann Patchett’s Truth and Beauty, Nina Riggs’s The Bright Hour, Darin Strauss’s Half a Life, Jesmyn Ward’s Men We Reaped. I loved the way Jeannette Walls handled her parents eccentricities and failures with love and grace in The Glass Castle. These memoirs–dog-eared, underlined, annotated–were within arm’s reach as I wrote Wild Game.”
Below we’ve rounded up a few more books that tackle some of the themes we loved in Wild Game.
If you enjoy memoirs about complex relationships between parents and their children…
The Glass Castle is a book club classic, and if you haven’t read it yet, now is the perfect time. Jeanette Walls’ memoir recounts an unusual and transient childhood with her parents and siblings. Walls specifically focuses on her relationship with her father, a charming and intelligent man who struggled with alcoholism and was often unable to provide for the family. If you loved the way that Brodeur captured both her idealization of her mother and her realization of how codependent their bond could be, you’ll love the way Walls writes about the complicated nature of loving a parent who sometimes looks out for themselves more than their children.
If you’re interested in how parents’ pasts affect their relationships with their children…
The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui
Thi Bui’s parents fled Vietnam in the 1970s, and the challenges they faced in leaving their old lives and settling into the United States would inform the way they parented. That influence would live on in Bui’s own experiences as a parent, which will remind readers of how Malabar’s difficult childhood affected how she parented Adrienne, which would then influence how Adrienne raised her own daughter. If your book club loves stories about multiple generations, The Best We Could Do is a great pick.
If you’re fascinated by the dynamic between a child and a larger-than-life parent…
Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs
Lisa Brennan-Jobs’ father was Steve Jobs, the famous co-founder of Apple. In Small Fry, Brennan-Jobs writes about her relationship with her often-absent father. Jobs became more involved over the years, and his attention (and lack thereof) had a huge impact on Brennan-Jobs’ young life. For book clubs who were interested in what impact having a larger-than-life parent can have on a young person, we recommend Small Fry.
If Malabar’s cooking left you craving more fabulous recipes…
Cravings: Hungry for More: A Cookbook by Chrissy Teigen
We don’t know about you, but reading Wild Game made us really, really hungry. If you’re feeling inspired by Malabar’s prowess in the kitchen and want to check out some recipes, we recommend Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings: Hungry for More. In addition to sharing recipes, Teigen writes about being a mother, experiencing postpartum depression, and using food and cooking as a way to feel better again. We absolutely aren’t comparing Malabar and Teigen as mothers, but we do think that you’ll love these delicious recipes that are sure to delight your family and friends.