10 books like A Doll's House

By Henrik Ibsen,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like A Doll's House. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Dubliners

By James Joyce,

Book cover of Dubliners

Chaucer may have invented the short story collection but James Joyce took them to untouched heights with this visceral and poignant work. Never a fan of his novels which I found way too dense, I think his lyrical style works best when tightly focused and restrained as in this book. Includes both "Araby" and "The Dead" - two of the five best short stories ever written (the other three are: The Lottery by Shirley Jackson; A Clean, Well-Lighted Place by Hemingway; and Murder in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe)

Dubliners

By James Joyce,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A definitive edition of perhaps the greatest short story collection in the English language

James Joyce's Dubliners is a vivid and unflinching portrait of "dear dirty Dublin" at the turn of the twentieth century. These fifteen stories, including such unforgettable ones as "Araby," "Grace," and "The Dead," delve into the heart of the city of Joyce's birth, capturing the cadences of Dubliners' speech and portraying with an almost brute realism their outer and inner lives. Dubliners is Joyce at his most accessible and most profound, and this edition is the definitive text, authorized by the Joyce estate and collated from…


The Lover

By Marguerite Duras, Barbara Bray (translator),

Book cover of The Lover

This classic of illicit passion is so beautifully written, so mesmeric in its poetic prose and recreation of a long-gone world, it blew my mind when I first read it and changed my ideas about the possibilities of writing. The young Duras meets a Chinese man on a ferry crossing the Mekong at the start of this autobiographical novel. Their differences in age, wealth, class, race, and expectations, all play out, and it’s a novel as much about exploitation as sexual desire. It’s multi-layered, experimental, but has a real narrative tug. I love it!

The Lover

By Marguerite Duras, Barbara Bray (translator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Lover as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A sensational international bestseller, and winner of Frances' coveted Prix Goncourt, 'The Lover' is an unforgettable portrayal of the incandescent relationship between two lovers, and of the hate that slowly tears the girl's family apart.

Saigon, 1930s: a poor young French girl meets the elegant son of a wealthy Chinese family. Soon they are lovers, locked into a private world of passion and intensity that defies all the conventions of their society.

A sensational international bestseller, 'The Lover' is disturbing, erotic, masterly and simply unforgettable.


The Piano Teacher

By Elfriede Jelinek, Joachim Neugroschel (translator),

Book cover of The Piano Teacher

Elfriede Jelinek has many anti-heroines in novels and plays, but I pick Erika Kohut, a repressed Austrian piano teacher who in her late thirties is still living under the power of her stifling elderly mother. Vienna, the city of music and great composers like Franz Schubert, is seen not only through the Vienna Conservatory but inside peep-shops that Erika frequently visits to escape from her mother. Although she is a masochist and self-mutilates, she begins a relationship with Walter, a new student, and gives him the instructions through an atypical letter. Jelinek's work makes me feel many things, not only due to her stories and characters but also the depth of her writing! The importance of her voices in novels and plays is extraordinary, her prose is satirical and very critical. She looks at their characters psychologically, from the deep of human behavior.

The Piano Teacher

By Elfriede Jelinek, Joachim Neugroschel (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Piano Teacher as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of Elena Ferrante's Top 40 Best Books by Women

Erika Kohut teaches piano at the Vienna Conservatory by day. By night she trawls the city's porn shows while her mother, whom she loves and hates in equal measure, waits up for her. Into this emotional pressure-cooker bounds music student and ladies' man Walter Klemmer.

With Walter as her student, Erika spirals out of control, consumed by the ecstasy of self-destruction. A haunting tale of morbid voyeurism and masochism, The Piano Teacher, first published in 1983, is Elfreide Jelinek's Masterpiece.

Jelinek was awarded the Nobel Prize For Literature in 2004…


Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

By Olga Tokarczuk, Antonia Lloyd-Jones (translator),

Book cover of Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

Janina is an older Polish woman. She speaks her mind—even if few listen—foments conflict and spends her days translating the poetry of William Blake and studying astrology, which she believes underlies everything. How could I not fall under her spell? But it was her deep affinity and affection for animals, even beyond that for her fellow humans—far beyond—that made me walk beside her in sympathy. When the dead bodies start piling up, all men, she utterly convinces me that these are acts of revenge, not by humans, but by animals on the local hunters. 

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

By Olga Tokarczuk, Antonia Lloyd-Jones (translator),

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With DRIVE YOUR PLOW OVER THE BONES OF THE DEAD, Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Olga Tokarczuk returns with a subversive, entertaining noir novel. In a remote Polish village, Janina Duszejko, an eccentric woman in her sixties, recounts the events surrounding the disappearance of her two dogs. She is reclusive, preferring the company of animals to people; she's unconventional, believing in the stars; and she is fond of the poetry of William Blake, from whose work the title of the book is taken. When members of a local hunting club are found murdered, Duszejko becomes involved in the investigation. By…


The End of Average

By Todd Rose,

Book cover of The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World That Values Sameness

We are primed to measure things against the yardstick of averages, judged according to how closely we come to it or how far we deviate from it. It affects our own self-confidence, how we view and grade our performance and worth.

The assumption that metrics comparing us to an average--like GPAs, personality test results, and performance review ratings--reveal something meaningful about our potential is so ingrained in our consciousness that we don't even question it. That assumption is spectacularly—and scientifically—wrong. 

Together with great stories about the folly of averages (the one about pilot chairs really got me) and many research facts and stats it conveys a very important message about how we view the world.

The End of Average

By Todd Rose,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The End of Average as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Must the tyranny of the group rule us from cradle to grave? Absolutely not, says Todd Rose in a subversive and readable introduction to what has been called the new science of the individual ... Readers will be moved' Abigail Zuger, The New York Times

'Groundbreaking ... The man who can teach you how not to be average' Anna Hart, Daily Telegraph

'Fascinating, engaging, and practical. The End of Average will help everyone - and I mean everyone - live up to their potential' Amy Cuddy, author of Presence

'Lively and entertaining ... a cheering story of how the square…


Convenience Store Woman

By Sayaka Murata, Ginny Tapley Takemori,

Book cover of Convenience Store Woman

This contemporary, quirky tale centers around the life of Keiko, a young woman who has never done anything in a conventional way and has her mother very worried that her daughter will never find a man and settle down into a conventional life. No, Keiko’s ways of thinking are startling and odd in ways that are both amusing and somewhat horrifying, as she really does fall outside the realm of conventional thinking and socially rewarded behavior. The reader comes to love her as she grows into womanhood (and personhood) as a worker in a fast-paced convenience store, where she memorizes hundreds of products and practices behaving more “normally” by mimicking the actions and words of her co-workers. Then a man named Shiraha enters the picture, for a new twist.

Convenience Store Woman

By Sayaka Murata, Ginny Tapley Takemori,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Convenience Store Woman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Meet Keiko.

Keiko is 36 years old. She's never had a boyfriend, and she's been working in the same supermarket for eighteen years.

Keiko's family wishes she'd get a proper job. Her friends wonder why she won't get married.

But Keiko knows what makes her happy, and she's not going to let anyone come between her and her convenience store...


Thick

By Tressie McMillan Cottom,

Book cover of Thick: And Other Essays

A National Book Award finalist, Tressie McMillan Cottom’s Thick is a brilliantly written compendium of essays that should be read by everyone. This awe-inspiring collection tackles beauty standards, media, capitalism, and white supremacy all with a fierce wit and through a Black feminist lens. You will count yourself lucky to read these essays by one of the most important thinkers of our time. Cottom is wildly sharp and funny. She is an academic and profound but this book is accessible and readable. If you are like me you will want to read this twice.  

Thick

By Tressie McMillan Cottom,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In eight highly praised treatises on beauty, media, money, and more, Tressie McMillan Cottom - award-winning professor and acclaimed author of Lower Ed - is unapologetically 'thick': deemed 'thick where I should have been thin, more where I should have been less,' McMillan Cottom refuses to shy away from blending the personal with the political, from bringing her full self and voice to the fore of her analytical work.In eight highly praised treatises on beauty, media, money, and more, Tressie McMillan Cottom - award-winning professor and acclaimed author of Lower Ed - is unapologetically 'thick': deemed 'thick where I should…


The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State

By Friedrich Engels,

Book cover of The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State

Engels provides the canonical theoretical framework for understanding how capitalism uniquely impacts women’s lives and how a more collectivized economy lays the foundation for women’s full emancipation. While many subsequent feminist and socialist scholars have disagreed with this book, The Origin of the Family is a classic that has inspired countless generations of theorists and activists. 

The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State

By Friedrich Engels,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State: in the Light of the Researches of Lewis H. Morgan (German: Der Ursprung der Familie, des Privateigenthums und des Staats) is an 1884 historical materialist treatise by Friedrich Engels. It is partially based on notes by Karl Marx to Lewis H. Morgan's book Ancient Society (1877). The book is an early anthropological work and is regarded as one of the first major works on family economics.

Following the death of his friend and co-thinker Karl Marx in 1883, Friedrich Engels served as his literary executor, actively organizing and preparing for…


The New and Improved Romie Futch

By Julia Elliott,

Book cover of The New and Improved Romie Futch

I love this novel because it mixes Southern Gothic with speculative fiction in a hilarious epic struggle between man and hog. When middle-aged taxidermist Romie Futch becomes a research subject in the shady Center for Cybernetic Neuroscience, he becomes both super genius and guinea pig, his middle-aged brain now brilliant beyond comprehension. Troubled by errant downloads that track his thoughts and actions, Romie turns taxidermy into pop art as he hunts down the legendary super pig “Hogzilla.” This is the funniest, wittiest book I’ve read in a long time. 

The New and Improved Romie Futch

By Julia Elliott,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The New and Improved Romie Futch as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of The Wilds, which Publishers Weekly called “a brilliant combination of emotion and grime, wit and horror,” comes a debut novel that is part dystopian satire, part Southern Gothic tall tale: a disturbing yet hilarious romp through a surreal New South where newfangled medical technologies change the structure of the human brain and genetically modified feral animals ravage the blighted landscape.


Down on his luck and still pining for his ex-wife, South Carolina taxidermist Romie Futch spends his evenings drunkenly surfing the Internet before passing out on his couch. In a last-ditch attempt to pay his mortgage,…


The Brit

By Jodi Ellen Malpas,

Book cover of The Brit

I want to include a fellow British writer in my list and JEM is my favorite for suspenseful steamy stories. The Brit is the first in the Unlawful Men series. Dark and broken, mafia anti-hero Danny Black is brooding and bad. He is not supposed to fall in love with the women he takes as ‘collateral’ in a deadly game of power. Rose Cassidy has learnt to be tough to survive. Danny sees her as the mirror of himself. Their twisted attraction is not for the feint-hearted but I loved it!

The Brit

By Jodi Ellen Malpas,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Brit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Pleasure has never been so deadly.

Rose Cassidy doesn't truly live; she just exists. Numbing herself to fear and pain is the only way she can survive in this cruel world. So when she's taken as collateral by the notorious Danny Black in a deadly game of power, she's thrown by the deep fear she feels rising within her. And, worse than fear, a profound desire. She's heard tales of The Brit. He's callous. Coldblooded. But no one ever said he was wickedly beautiful and darkly captivating. He sees past her mask, giving her a cruel sense of hope. But…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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