What If Luna Lovegood Had a Book Club?
by Andreea Voicu
If you’re anything like me, you often contemplate your favorite characters’ backstories, interests, and lives outside of what you can read in the pages of a book or see on the screen. One of my favorite imagination exercises is thinking about the books these characters would recommend if they had a book club.
Luna Lovegood was more of a challenge for me than anyone I’ve ever done this with because she’s so unique and eccentric that no book seems to be it for her. But that’s also what made writing this so enjoyable in the end. Without further ado, in honor of Book Lovers Day, here are seven unique book recommendations from our favorite Ravenclaw.
Luna may be direct and often unfiltered, but if there’s one thing she has plenty of, it’s kindness. She always has something kind to say, whether it’s reassuring Harry that he’s not the only one who sees the Thestrals or wishing Ron good luck before his first game as a Keeper (while also wearing a huge Gryffindor lion hat).
Not only her words but also her gestures of kindness stand out in the books. I particularly liked the moment when she helped Neville into his chair at Dumbledore’s funeral when he was overcome by emotion – not to mention when she gently closed Dobby’s eyes to make him look like he was sleeping.
There are obviously many reasons why The Little Book of Kindness is a perfect Luna Lovegood book recommendation. The author of the book, Bernadette Russell, spends a full year being kind to strangers every day. I feel like Luna would be a champion of random acts of kindness toward people you don’t even know but whose day you can make better with a simple gesture. She would probably recommend this book to all her friends to teach them to be kinder and gentler.
To represent Luna’s Ravenclaw-ness, I chose Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. This book is perfect for Luna not just because it’s full of riddles and witty inventions but also because it is imaginative and quirky. I can definitely see Luna as Alice, falling down a rabbit hole and being enchanted by the new world she discovers.
The fact that the book is representative of the literary nonsense genre adds to my conviction that it belongs in Luna’s imagined book club. She would probably read it as a little kid and identify herself with the protagonist to the point where she wished she were part of that world – kind of like how most of us feel about the Harry Potter books.
This is a book featuring strange inventions from all over the world (some that worked, others that didn’t). The best part about it is that it’s presented in the form of a quiz – so it’s up to you to guess the functions of these inventions. Now tell me you can’t imagine Luna reading this and using her rich imagination to come up with the answers.
The same way she told Harry that Nargles stole her shoes and papers or tried to convince the rest that the Crumple-Horned Snorkack exists, she would probably champion at least some of these inventions and understand what makes them useful.
One of the many things I love about Luna is her sense of humor and how she always finds something to laugh about in the most unexpected of situations. I’d be willing to bet all my Galleons that Weird and Wacky Inventions would make Luna laugh out loud.
While this might not be officially stated in the books or movies, I think it’s safe to say that Luna is an animal lover. She doesn’t discriminate against creatures, treating them all with the same care, respect, and sense of wonder. That’s why this book would fascinate her and quickly become one of her favorites.
The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating is the story of a woman who, while bedridden, watches a snail on her nightstand. While this small animal might be overlooked by most, she finds many things that intrigue her about it and ultimately learns a lot from watching it. I believe her journey would not only fortify Luna’s beliefs but also help her understand herself and the world around her better, which is why she would add it to her book club.
Luna is spiritual and focused on self-discovery. This is why I think one of her book club recommendations would be Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a fable about a seagull who’s an outcast because he loves to fly. Instead of conforming, he adventures to places where he finds other seagulls like him.
One of the things I most admire about Luna is her refusal to conform just because she is different, and that makes her an outcast. We know other Hogwarts students (including the trio, unfortunately) often make fun of her, are dismissive of her beliefs, or simply don’t want to be her friend. Even when her possessions are stolen, Luna remains wonderfully herself, and she does so with such dignity and grace that it’s impossible not to be in awe of her.
In those moments when she feels insecure and unsure of whether she should change who she is, picking up this book would strengthen her belief that there’s nothing wrong with her and that she will eventually find her people, which brings me to the next book on this list.
Luna is undoubtedly a wallflower. This is not to say that she doesn’t stand out, but she clearly isn’t who she is because she wants to stand out. She stands out because she wants to be true to herself. The book The Perks of Being a Wallflower is about people who don’t fit in but who ultimately find a group of people where they feel like they belong, which is exactly what happens to Luna at Hogwarts.
Granted, the trio still doesn’t consider her a close friend, which is something that bothers me to this day, especially when I think about the painting Luna did on her bedroom ceiling, but they aren’t her only friends. She’s also friends with Ginny and Neville, and while they may not be as quirky as she is, they are kindred spirits in some ways, the ways that count.
Luna would enjoy this book because it’s all about devoted friendships and she is one of the most devoted characters in the entire Harry Potter series. She’s always there for her friends, no questions asked, agreeing to dangerous adventures without batting an eyelash, and she is thoughtful and considerate as well.
7. I Am Malala
I Am Malala is, above all, a story of bravery. Malala’s activism for female education nearly got her killed, as did Luna’s fight against injustice and terror during Voldemort’s rule. The reason I want to highlight her bravery is that I think it is often overlooked when people talk about what makes Luna Luna.
She may be kind, quirky, and goofy, but she is also incredibly strong-willed, strong-minded, and brave. Let us not forget she was one of the first people to join Dumbledore’s Army and volunteered to go to the Ministry with the trio fully aware of the danger she was putting herself in.
I think I Am Malala would inspire Luna, even more, to stand out for what she believes in even if it’s dangerous if the cause is important and just. I also think seeing other women do the same would strengthen her belief in the inherent goodness of humanity.
These were seven books I think Luna would love and include in her potential book club. Have you read any of them? Do you have other suggestions of books our favorite Ravenclaw might enjoy? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @andreeaa_voicu.