The best books on women with pasts and futures

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve heard stories of the 1918 Influenza pandemic, how the soldiers returning from WWI were infected and then spread the disease to every town throughout the United States, and that most who died were very young. The Twenties were exciting times and came immediately after the pandemic. With so much death among young people, those who survived wanted to live life recklessly.


I wrote...

Dead Eyes In Late Summer

By Renee Ebert,

Book cover of Dead Eyes In Late Summer

What is my book about?

A Fantasy novel where two brothers love the same young woman, Adelyn. One is Innis, her dead former lover and the other is Garnett, her husband and Innis’s brother.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The books I picked & why

Book cover of Outlander

Renee Ebert Why did I love this book?

Claire moving in and out of another world has a similar theme in my own book. The idea of traveling back in time is one of the most favorite themes because it suggests discovering and embracing what once was and can no longer be. That is why Book I is so fascinating for me and Gabaldon has written it so realistically that I found it influenced how my character experienced the Sideways World.

By Diana Gabaldon,

Why should I read it?

31 authors picked Outlander as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The first book in Diana Gabaldon’s acclaimed Outlander saga, the basis for the Starz original series.

One of the top ten best-loved novels in America, as seen on PBS’s The Great American Read!
 
Unrivaled storytelling. Unforgettable characters. Rich historical detail. These are the hallmarks of Diana Gabaldon’s work. Her New York Times bestselling Outlander novels have earned the praise of critics and captured the hearts of millions of fans. Here is the story that started it all, introducing two remarkable characters, Claire Beauchamp Randall and Jamie Fraser, in a spellbinding novel of passion and…


Book cover of Twilight

Renee Ebert Why did I love this book?

This novel and the film captured the imagination of millions of readers and then moviegoers. In my local theater I was told that mature women were among the largest group of fans, which may have inspired me to write a fantasy novel. 

Fantasy allows us to include a "possible" world, satisfying dreams we may have had. The courtship of the sixteen-year-old Bella corresponds to the sixteen-year-old Adelyn. Their suitors are also similar, Edward may be eighteen when he became fixed in time, but he is worldly in his experiences which continued to grow as the years passed by. So Adelyn's first love, the proverbial "older man" in Innis Crawford, attracted her, and knew how to court her and fire her imagination. 

By Stephenie Meyer,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Twilight as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

When 17 year old Isabella Swan moves to Forks, Washington to live with her father she expects that her new life will be as dull as the town.

But in spite of her awkward manner and low expectations, she finds that her new classmates are drawn to this pale, dark-haired new girl in town. But not, it seems, the Cullen family. These five adopted brothers and sisters obviously prefer their own company and will make no exception for Bella.

Bella is convinced that Edward Cullen in particular hates her, but she feels a strange attraction to him, although his hostility…


Book cover of The Great Gatsby

Renee Ebert Why did I love this book?

The Great Gatsby – the novel is thoroughly steeped in the Twenties.

The Great Gatsby celebrates the Roaring Twenties because its writer, Scott Fitzgerald lived through that magical time, when all things became possible; short skirts, girls meeting boys without chaperones, dancing all night; the world was very young. 

A second reason to feature this novel is its recent film with Leonardo DiCaprio playing Gatsby.

By F. Scott Fitzgerald,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked The Great Gatsby as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As the summer unfolds, Nick is drawn into Gatsby's world of luxury cars, speedboats and extravagant parties. But the more he hears about Gatsby - even from what Gatsby himself tells him - the less he seems to believe. Did he really go to Oxford University? Was Gatsby a hero in the war? Did he once kill a man? Nick recalls how he comes to know Gatsby and how he also enters the world of his cousin Daisy and her wealthy husband Tom. Does their money make them any happier? Do the stories all connect? Shall we come to know…


Book cover of Second Glance

Renee Ebert Why did I love this book?

This Picoult novel, written close to the time I began to shape my book, asks whether we can love across time. While the theme is much more grounded in practical and natural circumstances, the fact that the question is teased out in this novel helps shape the same question my character, Adelyn, finds herself embroiled in. Is Innis capable of breaking the barrier using the strength of a first love?

By Jodi Picoult,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Second Glance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
'Compelling, surprising and entertaining' Heat

Since the death of his fiancee Aimee, Ross Wakeman has been unable to fill the hole she has left in his life. Seeking to end his pain, he becomes a ghost hunter, despite never having seen a ghost.

However, when his job leads him to the town of Comtosook, it becomes apparent that Ross isn't the only one haunted by the past. When he meets the mysterious Lia, who brings him to life for the first time in years, redemption seems around the corner.

But the discoveries that await him are beyond…


Book cover of Mrs. Dalloway

Renee Ebert Why did I love this book?

Read this incredibly honest work as it stands as testimony that nothing ever changes in the world, such that WWI and the entitled rich will always be there. They are testimony to the two worlds, one we live in and one we suspect is lived right next door. Mrs. Dalloway's simpering thoughts on what she'll wear at tonight's party stand without apology next to the young man suffering from "battle fatigue" or what we now call Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

By Virginia Woolf,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Mrs. Dalloway as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The working title of Mrs. Dalloway was The Hours. The novel began as two short stories, "Mrs. Dalloway in Bond Street" and the unfinished "The Prime Minister". It describes Clarissa's preparations for a party she will host in the evening, and the ensuing party. With an interior perspective, the story travels forward and back in time and in and out of the characters' minds to construct an image of Clarissa's life and of the inter-war social structure.


In October 2005, Mrs. Dalloway was included on Time's list of the 100 best English-language novels written since Time debuted in 1923.


You might also like...

The Strange Case of Guaritori Diolco

By Bill Hiatt,

Book cover of The Strange Case of Guaritori Diolco

Bill Hiatt Author Of Different Lee

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Insatiable reader English teacher Life-long learner Hiker Webmaster

Bill's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Guaritori awakens from a coma to find that he's lost twenty years--and his entire world.

Fiancée, family, and friends are all missing, perhaps dead. Technology has failed, and magic has risen, leaving society in ruins. Most survivors are at the mercy of anyone who has strong enough magic. Guaritori has none. He finds a protector, but his troubles are far from over.

The new society in which he finds himself is superficially friendly but surrounded by enemies and full of secrets. Guaritori doesn't know it yet, but the biggest secret is his. If his protector knew who he truly was, she would kill him.

The Strange Case of Guaritori Diolco

By Bill Hiatt,

What is this book about?

Coming out of a coma after twenty years, Guaritori--Garth to his friends--discovers that the world he knew no longer exists.

Advanced technology has failed. Magic, which he didn't know even existed, has become much more powerful. Supernatural groups battle for supremacy, forcing human beings to seek shelter wherever they can find it.
Garth's only hope for survival lies with a varied group including a shape-shifter, an alchemist, a tarot card reader, a blacksmith with a flaming sword, and others. But a prophecy foretells that he will bring about the downfall of their leader, the mysterious Ms. M.

Even worse, Garth…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Washington state, the Roaring Twenties, and Vermont?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Washington state, the Roaring Twenties, and Vermont.

Washington State Explore 74 books about Washington state
The Roaring Twenties Explore 14 books about the Roaring Twenties
Vermont Explore 41 books about Vermont