Beyond Bestsellers: The Handmaid’s Tale

by Jackie P.

The Handmaid's TaleThe Handmaid’s Tale, even before the award-winning streaming adaptation, has been having a moment 30+ years after its initial publication. It’s long been considered a modern classic, and with shifting politics and reproductive rights dominating political headlines, modern readers are revisiting it or discovering it anew. We’ve definitely seen increased demand here at Sno-Isle Libraries, which tracks with print and digital publishing.

The Testaments

In September, Atwood will be publishing a sequel, called The Testaments, set 15 years after the end of the first book. This is such a big deal that over 1,000 theaters across the world will be live-streaming “an evening with the Canadian novelist, poet, literary critic and inventor.”


If you’ve been one of the many readers of this book, you might be wondering what’s Beyond The Handmaid’s Tale – what should you read next, while you wait for The Testaments? We have some suggestions:

Women Talking - Toews, MiriamWomen Talking by Miriam Toews

Based on horrific true abuses in an isolated Mennonite community, this philosophical book gives voice to women who have very little power and even less education. Focusing on a group of women discussing their next steps, this challenging and unforgettable novel explores female relationships, faith, duty, autonomy, and hope with compelling nuance. For July, it’s available without a holds queue for all Sno-Isle cardholders.


The Bees The Bees by Laline Paull

At first look, a book narrated by a worker bee dreaming of being a queen bee might not immediately seem related, but it challenges authority, established power structures, and the drive for procreation. It doesn’t take long to forget that the buzzing metropolis is, in fact, a beehive.


Girls Burn BrighterGirls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao

If you’re looking for a brutal but compelling and ultimately empowering depiction of friendship proving the strength to overcome even the most hopeless situations, this story of two girls from a small Indian village will keep you reading with emotional urgency.


For more, see our If You Like… The Handmaid’s Tale lists in the catalog and Overdrive.

We also have great digital audiobooks that tie into various shared themes. Try Brave New World, 1984, Animal Farm, and First They Killed My Father.

The Handmaid's Tale

What are your suggestions for The Handmaid’s Tale next reads? Share in the comments or make your own list!

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