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Like it or not, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is an entertainment juggernaut and, despite a bit of tumult over at Disney, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the MCU. I’m the kind of nerd that analyzes the trailers, watches all the YouTube breakdowns of the individual shots in the trailers, then goes opening weekend to see the newest one. Apologies to anyone who has ever called/emailed/texted the Friday a Marvel movie comes out. I’m ✨occupied.✨
I’ve begun dabbling in the original comics as well. (Let me tell you how smug I felt explaining the Midnight Angels to my partner after seeing the Wakanda Forever trailer…) And we’ll even be hosting the author of the latest Ms. Marvel comic book Samira Ahmed for a book signing at the LA Times Festival of Books next month.
So yes, you could say I’m a fan. Here are five book suggestions for what to read if you loved these Marvel movies as much as I did.
If you loved Captain America: The First Avenger
read The Good Left Undone by Adriana Trigiani
Why? I have a theory that the first Captain America film did so well for one major reason: Everyone loves a WWII romance. Just walk on down to your nearest Little Free Library and see how many paperbacks you can find that feature a woman with her hair in victory rolls facing away, walking towards a plane or a boat or something. I’m not knocking this genre, I love it too, which is why Captain America: The First Avenger is one of my favorite Marvel movies. The Good Left Undone is everything I love about WWII romance – a plucky main character, a stunning Italian coastline, and a handsome Scottish captain.
If you loved The Avengers, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: End Game
read The City We Became and The World We Make by N.K. Jemisin
Why? There’s a feeling when the stakes are incredibly high and the entire cast finally comes together to fight the Big Bad. If you’re especially eager to read a New York angle à la the first Avengers film, The City We Became will be perfect for you. Then you’ll be sucked into this world. Thankfully, you don’t need to watch a neverending list of dozens of films and TV shows to see it to completion. This is only a duology. And like the Infinity Saga, the stage becomes worldwide in The World Me Make.
If you loved Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1
read Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes
Why? The ensemble cast of misfits is what made Guardians of the Galaxy worm its way into my little frozen heart, and Chilling Effect does exactly the same thing. Our main character Eva is the captain of a less-than-legal spaceship with a crew of alien outcasts trying to outsmart a crime syndicate. Sound familiar? This book takes all the best parts of Guardians and leaves the rest (like Chris Pratt, the worst of all the Chrises).
If you loved Ant-Man
read Partners in Crime by Alisha Rai
Why? Both Ant-Man and Partners in Crime center around a genuinely likeable reformed con artist going back for one last heist. While Partners in Crime doesn’t feature any fancy shrinking suits or quantum tech, it does have an enemies-to-lovers romance that I just couldn’t quit. A fun film and an equally fun book.
If you loved Black Widow
read The Child Riddler by Angela Greenman
Why? Like the Black Widow herself Natasha Romanoff, The Child Riddler’s main character Zoe Lorel has red in her ledger and she’d like to wipe it out. Both trained as spies from childhood, Natasha and Zoe are both tired of being a pawn of power-hungry governments and terrorist states and focus on what matters more – chosen family. But how far will they have to go to get what they want?
Honorable mention: If you loved the Jessica Jones Netflix series, especially season 1 with David Tenant, read The House in the Pines by Ana Reyes. I won’t say any more than that but if you know, you know.
Thank you to Books Forward for sponsoring a portion of this post!