A- A+

Love This, Read That: DSM Book Festival Edition

Readalikes 2022

March 15, 2022

The DSM Book Festival is coming up soon on Saturday, March 26 in Downtown Des Moines (DSM). Maybe you are a bookworm who has read each author that is coming, or maybe you haven’t heard of any of the authors that will be at The Festival. Today Kelly Marble from the Des Moines Public Library put together a list of readalikes based on the DSM Book Festival’s Headlining Authors to help you learn more about the authors coming to The Festival and build your DSM Book Festival itinerary.

The Des Moines Public Library hosts the annual Authors Visiting in Des Moines (AViD) series. We have six events planned this year, including visits from bestsellers like Jason Mott, the winner of the 2021 National Book Award, three-time National Book Award finalist Lauren Groff and Angeline Boulley, who will appear at the DSM Book Festival and is the author of what?TIME?Magazine called one of the 100 best young adult novels of all time.


If you like “Homegoing” and “Transcendent Kingdom” by Yaa Gyasi, then you'll like “Behold the Dreamers” and “How Beautiful We Were” by Imbolo Mbue.

Yaa Gyasi's debut novel “Homegoing” traced the lineage of one family from pre-slavery to present day. In “Behold the Dreamers,” Imbolo Mbue explores the modern-day experience of immigration through the story of a young Cameroonian couple in the wake of the Great Recession.

 Homegoing Cover  How Beautiful We Were Cover

Add Imbolo Mbue's session to your DSM Book Festival Itinerary if you: Are drawn to immigration stories and/or stories of starting over Contemporary fiction sharing alternate perspectives

If you liked “Daisy Jones and the Six” by Taylor Jenkins Reid, then you'll like “The Final Revival of Opal and Nev” by Dawnie Walton.

“Daisy Jones and The Six” follows a ‘70s rock group reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac. In “The Final Revival of Opal and Nev” we hear the story of the meteoric rise of an iconic interracial rock duo in the 1970s, their sensational breakup and the dark secrets unearthed when they try to reunite decades later for one last tour. “The Final Revival of Opal and Nev” is told in the format of an oral history and was one of former President Obama's favorite books of 2021.

 Daisy Jones and the Six Cover  The Final Revival of Opal & Nev Cover

Add Dawnie Walton's talk at the DSM Book Festival to your itinerary if you like: Fiction that reads like narrative nonfiction Behind the scenes of the music world Historical fiction set in the more recent past Books that include commentary on societal issues like systemic racism

If you liked “Educated” by Tara Westover, then you'll like “Maid” by Stephanie Land.

Stephanie Land's life was turned upside down at 28 when a summer fling turned into an unplanned pregnancy. Her dreams of attending a university and becoming a writer were gone. “Maid” is her account of the years she spent in service to upper-middle class America. Land unflinchingly shares about the reality of working for the myth of the American dream from poverty and the deep-rooted stigma against the working poor she experienced. Her memoir is the inspiration for the recent Netflix limited series by the same name.

 Educated Cover  Maid Cover

Add Stephanie Land's talk at the DSM Book Festival to your itinerary if you like: Memoirs and narrative nonfiction True stories about people prevailing against all odds A window into another world through literature

If you liked “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas and “There, There” by Tommy Orange then you'll like “The Firekeeper's Daughter” by Angeline Boulley.

The world isn't always sunshine and roses, and none of these books shy away from hard truth and exploring trauma in marginalized communities. In “The Firekeeper's Daughter,” Angeline Boulley tackles with the hard topic of being a witness to a murder, getting wrapped up in a police investigation, racism towards the indigenous community, the disproportionate murder of indigenous women and the lack of legal recourse for indigenous women who are victims of violent crimes. “The Firekeeper's Daughter” was included in TIME Magazine's list of the "100 Best YA Novels of All Time," and it has earned that spot on the list.

Angeline Boulley is part of the AViD Series by the Des Moines Public Library. To see a full line up of authors visiting Des Moines this spring visit dmpl.org/avid.

 There There Cover  Fire Keeper's Daughter Cover

Add Angeline Boulley's session to your DSM Book Festival Itinerary if you: Are interested in social justice Enjoy having hard conversations through literature Like a good mystery/thriller

Downtown Des Moines (DSM) is a growing, vibrant community that offers the energy, sophistication, housing and attractions of a burgeoning city with a brilliant future. It’s also easy to visit with plentiful and affordable street and ramp parking options.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership calendar of events is a one-stop resource for activities taking place throughout the region. Find networking information for Greater Des Moines (DSM) businesses or events specific to Downtown DSM.

Kelly Marble

Kelly Marble is an avid reader and the Digital Marketing Specialist at the Des Moines Public Library.