Lit-ception: 6 Books Within Books

November 22, 2016
Diego Molano Rodriguez
Riveted Editorial Board

The story of Charlie the Choo-Choo and his best friend Engineer Bob has leapt off the pages of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series and is now available to haunt the dreams of fans of all things creepy! In honor of Charlie the Choo-Choo’s release, the Riveted staff has put together a list of their favorite “lit-ception” moments—fictional books featured in our favorite pieces of literature. Some, like our friend Charlie, have already made the transition to our world – for others, we are still anxiously waiting!


1) Charlie the Choo-Choo | The Waste Lands by Stephen King

During the events of the third book in the Dark Tower series, Jake Chambers acquires this demonic-looking picture book in the Manhattan bookstore “Restaurant of the Mind.” Recounting the heartwarming adventures of Engineer Bob and his trusty train companion at the Mid-World Railway Company, the story itself is great for all ages – the artwork on the other hand, fits right alongside King’s horror stories. Watch out for Charlie’s untrustworthy smile.


2) Fillory and Further | The Magicians by Lev Grossman

The Magicians’ protagonist, Quentin Coldwater, is obsessed with this seven book series. Fillory and Further recounts the exploits of the Chatwin children as they explore a Narnia-esque world filled with benevolent ram-god protectors, mermaids, and sentient trees. The Fillory series is the magical realm that Quentin longs to escape to, a pursuit that ultimately gives him far more than he bargained for. Though The Magicians does bring the reader into a decayed and corrupted Fillory, questions remain about the books Quentin was so enthralled by. If this series ever makes its way into physical form, it would be a perfect addition to the library of any fans of the Harry Potter and Narnia universes.


3) An Imperial Affliction | The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Hazel’s favorite book in the heart-wrenching Fault in Our Stars charts the story of another young girl stricken with cancer as she details her life in central California. The search for An Imperial Affliction’s reclusive author is a central to the plot, as Hazel and love interest Augustus travel to Amsterdam in hopes of getting answers about the book’s ambiguous ending. Though John Green has stated that he does not plan to actually writing this book, sample covers have been created, and they look amazing. Green himself has described Affliction, as a combination of the feeling after reading Infinite Jest and Blood of the Lamb – a challenge some of his fans may want to undertake as they wait and see if this one ever materializes.


4) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them | Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling

– Though this is not the only fictional title from the Harry Potter universe to make its way to our hands, Fantastic Beasts is perhaps the most well-known. Introduced in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone as a textbook that all students at Hogwarts are required to read, the book has been published as an encyclopedia of the magical fauna of the Harry Potter universe – everything from fan favorites like Hippogriffs and Norwegian Ridgebacks to the obscure and lethal Lethifold is profiled. A film exploring the backstory of Newt Scamander, the author of the titular Fantastic Beasts, premiered on 11/10/16, and will be developed into a new film series!

5) Ransom My Heart | The Princess Diaries Volume X, Forever Princess by Meg Cabot

In the tenth book of the Princess Diaries series, Mia Thermopolis’s works on a romance novel as her senior project, keeping the project a secret by telling everyone is is a book about Genovian Oil pressing. While she tries unsuccessfully to publish it under an alias, the novel was later released as Ransom My Heart, and serves as a great follow up for any fans of the original series.

6) Carry On |Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl details the experiences of college freshman Cath Avery as she traverses the social and emotional minefields of young adulthood. Her passion for Simon Snow (a fictional series in the vein of Harry Potter) fan fiction is constant source of comfort through all the wackiness. By the end of the book, Cath completes a fan fiction novel titled Carry On, Simon–the subject matter for the standalone novel Carry On. This fanfic piece on a nonexistent series begs the question, if a fan fiction piece about a fictional series is published, does that mean that the series is no longer fictional? We’ll leave that question to you philosophers out there.

Do you have any favorites that have made the transition to the real world? Are there any other fictional books you wish you could read? Let us know in the comments below! And don’t forget to check out Charlie the Choo-Choo, available now!

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