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Imagining Life on Mars: A Reading List

Imagining life on Mars - a reading list
Kelly and Zach Weinersmith's A City on Mars discusses what a space colony on that planet might look like. Science fiction authors, though, have been imagining life on the Red Planet for well over a century (some coming closer to reality than others).

The concept of intelligent life on Mars was likely sparked in the late 19th century. Improved telescopes allowed scientists to notice long, straight lines on its surface (first described by Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli in 1877). Some speculated that these channels or canals were engineered by some sort of native creature. Although this notion was debunked in the early 20th century, it triggered the idea that there could be intelligent life on Mars, which over the ensuing decades became a staple of science fiction.


Interview Insights: The 8 Best Author Q&As of 2023

author images

At BookBrowse, we regularly bring you author interviews that offer insight into the origins, processes and intentions behind our featured works. As we look back over 2023, we would like to take the opportunity to share with you our favorite writer Q&As of the year. We invite you to explore Eleanor Shearer's inspiration and research for her historical novel River Sing Me Home, Costanza Casati's fascination with the subject of her Greek myth retelling Clytemnestra, how Anne Berest's family history informed the writing of her memoir-tinged work of fiction The Postcard and much more.


Six Books Set in Magical Libraries

Books set in magical libraries
For book lovers, reading about magical libraries can have a special appeal—a place that, in the real world, already feels enchanted and full of possibility can literally be so in fantasy. Below are six books set in extraordinary enchanted libraries.


Bountiful BookBrowse Reading Lists

BookBrowse's beyond the book article category for reading lists

In addition to browsing by genre, time period, setting and a wide range of themes, BookBrowse offers specialized reading lists in our "beyond the book" section. These lists are curated by our professional reviewers to accompany featured works, and they can help you familiarize yourself with many fascinating niches of the book world.

Below are just a few examples of the hundreds of articles available in our Reading Lists category.


World War II Novels for Adults with Child Protagonists

World War II novels for adults with child protagonists

Once We Were Home Unsurprisingly, stories featuring the circumstances of child or teenage protagonists during World War II tend to appear prominently in the category of young adult literature, with classics like Lois Lowry's Number the Stars existing as staples of historical fiction in schools and libraries all over. But as is the case with Jennifer Rosner's Once We Were Home, which follows grown-up characters reckoning with how they were displaced away from their Jewish families during the Holocaust, some books written for adults also center the specific viewpoints of those who experienced the war as children. Below are just a few.


Trends in Cover Art for YA Fantasy Novels

Covers of young adult fantasy novels mentioned in article, all portraying a colorful illustration of a single character with the title in stylized font belowThe cover of the young adult fantasy novel Nightbirds by Kate J. Armstrong reliably hints at the promise and magic of the story that lies within while also seeking to differentiate itself in a saturated market. Not only is the artwork attractively rendered, but it shows the emotion and supernatural abilities of the character Matilde with symbolism attached to the particular bird associated with her in the novel: the goldfinch. This portrayal of Matilde brings the reader's attention to her beauty and lips — the main characters' kisses are the means by which they convey their magic to others. At the same time, her eyes are drawn in a way that evokes the sadness and yearning she feels as she comes of age and fights to establish her own power against years of entrenched oppression. This imagery and the cover as a whole reflect many current trends in young adult fantasy.


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