A lot of what we read and watch comes to us through recommendation algorithms. Amazon tells us: People who bought this book also bought this other book, and Netflix says: Because you watched this movie, we think you should watch this other movie. And we welcome our new recommendation robot overlords!
But this summer, we're going old school — because we haven't found an algorithm that says: If you loved this movie, you'll devour this graphic novel. (Or like this podcast, enjoy this short story ... you get the idea.)
So we've called in some human help. Here are more than 100 recommendations, courtesy of the living, breathing staff and critics at NPR.
Like The Hunger Games? You might also like ...
The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell (short story) because it's also a dark, worst-case-scenario tale of a battle for survival that's entered into involuntarily. — Linda Holmes, Pop Culture Happy Hour host
Battle Royale by Koushun Takami (novel) because they're the same story except the earlier Japanese version is more graphic and more distressed about the consequences of violence. — Neda Ulaby, arts reporter
Like 12 Years A Slave? You might also like ...
Delicious Foods by James Hannaham (novel) because it's an audacious, aesthetically complex look at U.S. slavery in different eras. — Neda Ulaby, arts reporter
Kindred by Octavia Butler (novel) because it's a fantasy about a modern-day woman, kidnapped through time to become a slave in the American South, who uses all her education and pride to survive. — Tasha Robinson, book critic
Like Spotlight? You might also like ...
The Journalist And The Murderer by Janet Malcolm (nonfiction) because it's a serious look at how journalism is practiced and how we as the audience should feel about consuming it ... plus, it has a terrific opening line. — Rose Friedman, arts editor
The Hour (TV series) because it's also about a tightknit group of journalists working to unravel a conspiracy. — Margaret Willison, book critic
Reveal (podcast) because it delivers deep-dive investigations on a variety of topics — kids crossing borders, the prevalence of feral cats, the perils of the night shift and much more. — Nicole Cohen, arts producer
Like Trainwreck? You might also like ...
How To Build A Girl by Caitlin Moran (novel) because it's a funny, unsentimental story about deciding who you're going to be as a woman. — Petra Mayer, books editor
You're The Worst (TV series) because it's another bawdy, frank and sneakily romantic comedy. — Margaret Willison, book critic
The Misadventures Of Awkward Black Girl (Web series) because it's a painfully funny, yet relatable examination of one woman's career, love life and friendships. — Jessica Reedy, Pop Culture Happy Hour producer
Like Zootopia? You might also like ...
Watership Down by Richard Adams (novel) because it's a marvelous, moving, social-allegory-packed story about a determined bunny who changes his world. — Petra Mayer, books editor
The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss (children's book) because it's a cute cartoon allegory about the serious topic of racism. — Petra Mayer, books editor
The Muppet Show (1976 TV series) because it's an ostensibly kid-oriented thing that's often slyly adult. Also, it's the Muppets, and you can't go wrong with vintage Muppets. — Petra Mayer, books editor
Like Brooklyn? You might also like ...
My Ántonia by Willa Cather (novel) because it's also the story of a young woman finding herself in a new, strange environment. — Lynn Neary, arts correspondent
Call The Midwife (TV series) because it's about midwives in London's East End in the 1950s coming of age, experiencing homesickness and finding their place in the world. — Margaret Willison, book critic
Like Popstar? You might also like ...
The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger (novel) because it's a depiction of life spent at the beck and call of a rich and powerful personality. — Rose Friedman, arts editor
Kill The Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky (novel), in which a group of teenage girls kidnaps a member of the girls' favorite boy band, because it's a wickedly funny roast of pop music stars. — Jessica Reedy, Pop Culture Happy Hour producer
Veep (TV series) because it's a similarly irreverent look at a person in a position of (... let's call it "power") and the fawning staff she depends on for daily validation. — Rose Friedman, arts editor
Like The Lego Movie? You might also like ...
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (novel) because it's a pop-culture-packed story of a team of adventurers at play in a created world. — Petra Mayer, books editor
Brick By Brick by David C. Robertson and Bill Breen (nonfiction) because it's a look at some creative decisions the company made (ones you might not have noticed) that contributed to Legos becoming a cultishly popular toy. — Rose Friedman, arts editor
Minecraft (video game) because you get to channel your inner Master Builder and create a kinetic cubist universe. — Jessica Reedy, Pop Culture Happy Hour producer
Like Boyhood? You might also like ...
My Struggle: Book 1 by Karl Ove Knausgaard (nonfiction) because of its intensely close focus on a boy's youth and adolescence and the remarkable magnitude of its ambition. — Colin Dwyer, digital news producer
The Lone Ranger And Tonto Fistfight In Heaven by Sherman Alexie (short stories) because both share a kind of dream logic and a malleable sense of time. — Genevieve Valentine, book critic
The Up Series (TV documentary series) because it also intermittently tracks a group of children as they grow and change with time. — Beth Novey, arts producer
Like Straight Outta Compton? You might also like ...
The Rap Year Book by Shea Serrano and Arturo Torres (nonfiction) because obviously. — Juan Vidal, book critic
Hip Hop Family Tree by Ed Piskor (comic) because it offers a lively historical examination of the rap revolution — and its evolution. — Glen Weldon, Pop Culture Happy Hour panelist
Song Exploder (podcast) because in each episode a musician offers a look inside the creative process by dissecting a single song. (Imagine N.W.A. breaking down the expletive-filled recording process for "Boyz-N-the-Hood.") — Jessica Reedy, Pop Culture Happy Hour producer
Like Fifty Shades Of Grey? You might also like ...
Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey (novel) because it's got BDSM erotica for days, but in this one, there's also a genuinely epic fantasy plot, a total badass heroine and way kinkier sex. — Camila Domonoske, Two-Way blogger
The Fall (TV series) because its star Jamie Dornan is amazing in this series in the role of a serial killer. — Neda Ulaby, arts reporter
My Dad Wrote A Porno (podcast) because it's a funny British show in which three people dissect a piece of self-published erotica by the host's father and analyze what is and isn't sexy in print. — Tasha Robinson, book critic
Like Blackfish? You might also like ...
Beneath The Surface by John Hargrove (nonfiction) because it's an account of a SeaWorld trainer and about one man's concerns over orcas in captivity. — Tasha Robinson, book critic
The Great Penguin Rescue by Dyan deNapoli (nonfiction) because if you care about animals that live in the water, this is a vastly happier tale. — Neda Ulaby, arts reporter
Harvest Of Shame (TV documentary) because like Blackfish, this famous 1960 documentary about poverty was designed to shock and to inspire action. — Petra Mayer, books editor
Like Selma? You might also like ...
March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell (comic) because it's a firsthand, down in the trenches account of the civil rights movement that's not afraid to be irreverent about the big names. — Petra Mayer, books editor
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander (nonfiction) because it's also a story about American civil rights and the tragic, systematic discrimination that emerged since Selma against some of this country's most vulnerable citizens. — Neda Ulaby, arts reporter
John Adams (TV miniseries) because it's an intimate look at the defining moments (and inner conflicts) of an American historical figure. — Nicole Cohen, arts producer
Like The Fault In Our Stars? You might also like ...
Anne Frank: The Biography by Melissa Müller (nonfiction) because it will deepen and enhance your sense of the memorable visit to the Anne Frank house in The Fault in Our Stars. — Neda Ulaby, arts reporter
When We Collided by Emery Lord (novel) because it tells a similarly compelling tale about two smart kids falling passionately in love under challenging circumstances. — Margaret Willison, book critic
Rent (musical) because in addition to a tragic romance, it boasts a gorgeous pop-rock score by Jonathan Larson and a tragic backstory (the composer died just before the show's opening). — Bob Mondello, movie critic
Like Chi-Raq? You might also like ...
Lysistrata by Aristophanes (play) because it's basically the same story, invented 2,400 years ago. Knowing how at least one Greek viewed sexual relations in a male-dominated society is fascinating. — Ted Robbins, arts editor
The Wire (TV series) because it also talks about an unorthodox solution to a deadly urban problem: In The Wire, a renegade Baltimore police lieutenant made drug dealing "legal" in a small part of his district; in Chi-Raq, women in Chicago's South Side have their own, um, personal solution for stopping gang violence. — Eric Deggans, TV critic
Like Frozen? You might also like ...
Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale, illustrated by Nathan Hale (graphic novel) because it reimagines Rapunzel as an Annie Oakley-type figure out to save her parents from a witch in the Wild, Wild West. — Margaret Willison, book critic
Avatar: The Last Airbender (TV series) because it's a beautiful story about families and relationships you don't usually get to see in media, with bonus elemental superpowers and gorgeous animation. — Amal El-Mohtar, book critic
Brothers (video game) because it's a moving story about two brothers who rely on each other to make it through a fantasy realm. — Glen Weldon, Pop Culture Happy Hour panelist
(And one bonus!) The Raven And The Reindeer by T. Kingfisher (novel) because it's also a fantasy story derived from Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen, and dealing with close female friendships and personable animals. — Tasha Robinson, book critic
Like Anomalisa? You might also like ...
The Story Of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli (novel) because it tackles similar themes, like authenticity and the meaning of heritage. — Juan Vidal, book critic
Adventure Time (TV series) because it's a surreal, playful and irreverent reinvention of something dismissed as a medium for kids. — Neda Ulaby, arts reporter
Like Hail, Caesar!? You might also like ...
The Day Of The Locust by Nathanael West (novel) because it offers a mordant take on the underbelly of old Hollywood. — Glen Weldon, Pop Culture Happy Hour panelist
Hollywood Babylon by Kenneth Anger (nonfiction-ish) because it's a more or less nonfictional look at the seedy secrets of cinema's Golden Age and the way the studios covered up scandal and massaged stars' reputations. — Tasha Robinson, book critic
You Must Remember This (podcast) because of its series on MGM in the 1930s, '40s and '50s all about the scandals of stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Spencer Tracy and Judy Garland and the machinactions of fixers like Eddie Mannix and studio executives like Louis B. Mayer. — Margaret Willison, book critic
Like Gone Girl? You might also like ...
The Engagement by Chloe Hooper (novel) because both play with the knife-thin edge between romance and ownership and between lover and jailer. — Annalisa Quinn, book critic
UnREAL (TV series) because it follows a compelling female antihero who puts her manipulative talents toward making sensational reality TV instead of framing her cheating husband. — Margaret Willison, book critic
The Last Five Years (musical) because it tells the story of a troubled relationship in alternating perspectives, though perhaps with less crime. — Petra Mayer, books editor
Like Captain America: Civil War? You might also like ...
The Story Of Hong Gildong translated by Minsoo Kang (novel) because he's one of the original superheroes, right down to the convoluted backstory and giant supporting cast. — Genevieve Valentine, book critic
Young Justice (TV series) because it's also about superhero teams who frequently come into conflict with moral and ethical dilemmas and ultimately have to fight each other. — Tasha Robinson, book critic
Like Bridge Of Spies? You might also like ...
Operation Mincemeat by Ben Macintyre (nonfiction) because it's also a high-tension, high-stakes tale of espionage. — Petra Mayer, books editor
Wolf Hall (TV miniseries) because if you fell for Mark Rylance's performance in Bridge of Spies, you'll love him as the scheming Thomas Cromwell. — Petra Mayer, books editor
Like Inside Out? You might also like ...
The Giver by Lois Lowry (novel) because it also features an imaginative depiction of the way memories are formed and stored. — Beth Novey, arts producer
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (novel) because it's an exploration of a child's feelings that will resonate with readers of any age. — Elizabeth Blair, arts reporter
Like What We Do In The Shadows? You might also like ...
Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin (novel) because it's also about a contentious, small-time group of vampires living together. — Tasha Robinson, book critic
The Young Ones (TV series) because it has surreal, awkward dysfunctional roommate comedy, cool music, and you could argue that Neil is a vampire. A sad one. — Petra Mayer, books editor
Hello From The Magic Tavern (podcast) because it infuses a modern comedic sensibility into a classic genre (instead of horror, it's high fantasy). — Glen Weldon, Pop Culture Happy Hour panelist
Like The Imitation Game? You might also like ...
Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson (novel) because it's an inventive glimpse into the lives and work of World War II-era code breakers. — Colin Dwyer, digital news producer
The Bletchley Circle (TV series) because they both feature World War II code breakers in England. And mysteries! — Tanya Ballard Brown, digital news editor
Like 20 Feet From Stardom? You might also like ...
Hit Me, Fred by Fred Wesley Jr. (nonfiction) because it's a great memoir by a guy who, as James Brown's sideman, definitely knew what it was like to be 20 feet from stardom. — Petra Mayer, books editor
Extras (TV series) because Ricky Gervais and his self-spoofing guest stars make snarky and riotous the supporting-role frustrations that those backup singers make so poignant. — Bob Mondello, movie critic
I Was There Too (podcast) because it's all about the experience of the extras — people who were in the room, but not necessarily the spotlight — for great moments in film and television. — Beth Novey, arts producer
Like The Lobster? You might also like ...
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (novel) because it's a tale of people in an odd dystopian society, under intense pressure to live up to gender and societal standards. — Petra Mayer, books editor
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (novella) because it's another bleak but humorous absurdist saga of broken humans who get transformed into nonhuman creatures. — Beth Novey, arts producer
The Taming Of The Shrew by William Shakespeare (play) because it's about people forced into marriages and taking drastic, nonsensical measures to get what society expects them to want. — Kim Bryant, director of operations and project management, Digital Media
Like The Grand Budapest Hotel? You might also like ...
The Elegance Of The Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (novel) beacuse it's about a different secretive, classy concierge in a different quirky, upscale European building. — Tasha Robinson, book critic
Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick DeWitt (novel) because you may be hankering for another implicitly Eastern European, explicitly ridiculous adventure tale about a very dedicated servant. — Colin Dwyer, digital news producer
Fawlty Towers (TV series) because it's a classic comedy series about eccentrics in a crumbling hotel. — Petra Mayer, books editor
Like Independence Day: Resurgence? You might also like ...
The Passage Trilogy by Justin Cronin (novels) because it is a big, epic story about an incomprehensibly powerful adversary that is supposedly defeated. Supposedly. — Petra Mayer, books editor
V (1983 TV miniseries) because it's a classic story of an alien takeover — with a distinctly less hopeful ending. — Petra Mayer, books editor
Like Her? You might also like ...
Steel Beach by John Varley (novel) because it's a big utopia story about a technologically freeing future where people's closest, most personal relationships are often with AIs. — Tasha Robinson, book critic
I Dream Of Jeannie (TV series) because you might like a lower-tech love story about an enticing lady genie who lives to serve her master, with a better sense of humor. — Neda Ulaby, arts reporter
D4VE by Ryan Ferrier and Valentin Ramon (comic) because it deals with the future of robot intelligence — which looks hilariously and disquietingly similar to our human present. — Glen Weldon, Pop Culture Happy Hour panelist
Like The Martian? You might also like ...
My Side Of The Mountain by Jean Craighead George (novel) because it's also a straightforward, first-person story about self-reliance and creativity while alone in a wild and often hostile environment. — Neda Ulaby, arts reporter
Don't Starve (video game) because it's about a dapper scientist trying to survive in a deadly world with precious little food.
— Tasneem Raja, Code Switch editor
Like Room? You might also like ...
An Untamed State by Roxane Gay (novel) because it's an incredible portrayal of a woman fighting against the forces — and the men — that keep her trapped. — Kat Chow, Code Switch producer
The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time by Mark Haddon (novel) because it's about a child with a unique narrative voice and a unique view of the world, dealing with a threatening new thing in his environment. — Tasha Robinson, book critic
Jessica Jones (TV series) because it's about a badass woman controlled by a psychopath who fights to save herself and others. — Shereen Marisol Meraji, Code Switch reporter
Like The Nice Guys? You might also like ...
L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy (novel) because seeing Russell Crowe and Kim Basinger back together on screen made me want to revisit this gritty tale of corrupt cops and dangerous women. — Petra Mayer, books editor
Police Woman (TV series) because it's got that vintage, smog-hazed 1970s Los Angeles vibe. Definitely a product of its time, though. — Petra Mayer, books editor
Like The Big Short? You might also like ...
Bad Paper by Jake Halpern (novel) because it's an accessible, funny dive into a seemingly complex (and alarmingly ill-managed) industry — in this case, debt buying. — Colin Dwyer, digital news producer
Billions (TV series) because it's a fast-moving, star-studded finance story. — Nicole Cohen, arts producer
Like Birdman? You might also like ...
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver (short story) because it's the story Michael Keaton is attempting to adapt in Birdman. — Juan Vidal, book critic
Batman (TV series), the 1960s version, because you kind of imagine that the life Adam West was leading wasn't all that far from the plot imagined in Birdman. — Eric Deggans, TV critic
Wannabe by the Spice Girls (music video) because, like Birdman, it was made to look as if it was all one take. — Petra Mayer, books editor
Like Star Wars: The Force Awakens? You might also like ...
Enchantress From The Stars by Sylvia Engdahl (novel) because it tells the story of three different societies, each at a different level of technological development, coming into conflict on an Earth-like planet, and the three narrators who must come together to prevent catastrophe. — Margaret Willison, book critic
Cowboy Bebop (TV series) because it's about a rag-tag band of adventurers in a rattletrap spaceship (no Wookiee, but there is a great dog). — Petra Mayer, books editor
Like Interstellar? You might also like ...
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson (novel) because it's a tale of humanity turning to space as the clock counts down to the end of the world. — Nicole Cohen, arts producer
Doctor Who (TV series) because it's got space travel, crazy science and saving humanity (not to mention cool robot acronyms). — Petra Mayer, books editor
Like Creed? You might also like ...
Art Of Fielding by Chad Harbach (novel) because it explores how an athlete can shape a community — in this case, it's a star baseball player at a small liberal arts college. — Jessica Reedy, Pop Culture Happy Hour producer
Friday Night Lights (TV series), which is set in a football-loving Texas high school, because it mines the paternalistic bond between coaches and athletes. Plus, it features a young Michael B. Jordan in a similar role. — Jessica Reedy, Pop Culture Happy Hour producer
Like Ex Machina? You might also like ...
Stories Of Your Life And Others by Ted Chiang (short stories) because it's science fiction that asks tough questions about the humanity and ethics behind our science. — Genevieve Valentine, book critic
Battlestar Galactica (TV series) because it asks many of the same questions about consciousness and our relationship with machines. — Glen Weldon, Pop Culture Happy Hour panelist
Like Into The Woods? You might also like ...
The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter (short stories) because it's also a darkly revisionist look at fairy tales. — Neda Ulaby, arts reporter
Once Upon A Mattress (musical) because it plays less-fraught games with fairy tales, and it was composed by Stephen Sondheim's teenage pal Mary Rodgers (daughter and mother, respectively, of Broadway composers Richard Rodgers and Adam Guettel). — Bob Mondello, movie critic
Fables by Bill Willingham, Lan Medina, Mark Buckingham and Steve Leialoha (comic) because they're all about what happens after happily-ever-after. — Glen Weldon, Pop Culture Happy Hour panelist
Like Snowpiercer? You might also like ...
The Children's Hospital by Chris Adrian (novel) because it's about the last remnants of the human race trying to survive by building a community. (In Snowpiercer, they're on a train; in The Children's Hospital, they're on a floating hospital.) — Glen Weldon, Pop Culture Happy Hour panelist
Inverted World by Christopher Priest (novel) because you'll find yourself back on a railway on which mankind's future depends — albeit amid post-apocalyptic vistas that look quite a bit different. — Colin Dwyer, digital news producer
Like Deadpool? You might also like ...
Prepare To Die! by Paul Tobin (novel) because it is a wry, genre-savvy novel about a troubled superhero who's tired of all the fighting, with other heroes as well as the villain who's about to kill him. — Tasha Robinson, book critic
The Thick Of It (TV series) because the main character is also someone who is foul-mouthed and utterly unafraid to offend. Blankety-bye! — Petra Mayer, books editor
Like Mad Max: Fury Road? You might also like ...
Black Canary Vol. 1 by Brenden Fletcher, Annie Wu, Pia Guerra and Lee Loughridge (comic) because it's full of action-heavy shenanigans with spare characterization and badass women — one hell of a band on one hell of a road trip. — Genevieve Valentine, book critic
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (TV series) because I'm convinced Imperator Furiosa is secretly a Terminator. — Petra Mayer, books editor
Whiteout Vol. 1 by Greg Rucka and Steve Lieber (comic) because both feature fierce women surviving in — and triumphing against — bleak, unyielding landscapes. — Amal El-Mohtar, book critic
This is the first of three lists we'll be publishing this summer. Here, we're using recent movies as our jumping-off points. In July, we'll jump off from recent books, and in August, we'll do TV. If you have recommendations of your own, please leave them for us in the comments.