100 books like A Doll's House

By Henrik Ibsen,

Here are 100 books that A Doll's House fans have personally recommended if you like A Doll's House. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Dubliners

David W. Berner Author Of The Islander

From my list on the essence of the Irishman’s melancholic emotions.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dugan was my grandmother’s maiden name. Her family was from County Wexford, Ireland near Rosslare on the island’s east coast. In recent years I have extensively studied my Irish heritage and have discovered much about my family, and about the DNA running through my own Irish blood. The inquiry has revealed much about my love of storytelling, good conversation, and generally about the way I move through the world. As a writer of several books of personal narrative and fiction, I have tried to write books that capture a certain emotion, and now through my own ancestral discoveries, I understand how those emotions and familial ties are so tightly linked. 

David's book list on the essence of the Irishman’s melancholic emotions

David W. Berner Why did David love this book?

What can one say about this classic? It is the quintessential story of old Dublin.

Published in 1914, the collection of fifteen short stories takes the reader on a journey through middle-class Ireland, touching on Irish nationalism and country pride, but also on the forces that were slowing changing Ireland at the time. The stories move chronologically from boyhood to manhood and culminate with what some critics say is the finest short story ever written, “The Dead.”

This story, like many others in Dubliners is both a meditation on everyday urban life and a study of human relationships, including how we live with our memories, our heritage, and how we find ways to manifest our personal emotions.

By James Joyce,

Why should I read it?

5 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…


Book cover of The Lover

Brett Dakin Author Of Another Quiet American: Stories of Life in Laos

From my list on books about living abroad in Asia.

Why am I passionate about this?

Right after college, I lived abroad in Asia, in the small, landlocked country of Laos. A key theme of the book is the role of the U.S. in the world. During the Vietnam War, Laos was subject to a massive bombing campaign by the U.S., and decades later, the country was still coping with the effects. As unexploded bombs continued to kill people every year, how would my colleagues and neighbors react to an American living among them? The book is mainly about the joys of navigating another culture, and while Laos is unique, I’ve read a lot of books about living abroad in Asia, and common themes certainly emerge.

Brett's book list on books about living abroad in Asia

Brett Dakin Why did Brett love this book?

I guess that this book doesn’t really count, as Duras was born and grew up in Vietnam; a Frenchwoman in Indochina, she wasn’t living abroad.

Her portrayal of her own coming of age and sexual awakening (still rather controversial to many) illuminates not only the way colonial society was structured but also larger themes of love and loss.

It was one of the first things I read before moving to Laos, and her voice, singular and astonishing, has never left me. 

By Marguerite Duras, Barbara Bray (translator),

Why should I read it?

5 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.


Book cover of The Piano Teacher

Núria Añó Author Of The Salon of Exiled Artists in California

From my list on female anti-heroes.

Why am I passionate about this?

Núria Añó is a Spanish novelist and biographer. She writes on authors like Elfriede Jelinek, Patricia Highsmith, Salka Viertel, Alexandre Dumas fils, Franz Werfel or Karen Blixen. Her writing centers on the characters’ psychology, often through the use of anti-heroes. The characters stand out most about her work; they are more relevant than the topic itself. With an introspection, a reflection, not sentimental, but feminine, she finds a unique balance between the marginal worlds of parallels. Her novels deal with important social and current themes like injustice or lack of communication between individuals.

Núria's book list on female anti-heroes

Núria Añó Why did Núria love this book?

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.

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…


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

Sabrina Reeves Author Of Little Crosses

From my list on a fierce female protagonist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Boston and New York and currently live in Montreal. I have worked primarily in writing performance texts and plays. I founded the performance company Bluemouth Inc., with whom I have written and staged over a dozen works. In 2018, I completed an MFA in Creative Writing at Concordia University, where I was awarded the Dean of Arts and Sciences Award for Excellence in Creative Writing. As for my expertise in compiling this list, I am the daughter of a strong force-of-nature woman who fought for what she had and taught her kids they can get through anything as long as they have humor, music, and books.

Sabrina's book list on a fierce female protagonist

Sabrina Reeves Why did Sabrina love this book?

I remember an awards ceremony where Bjork described herself as “a musical scientist.” Most likely accepting some well-deserved award, she spoke in this odd sing-song way that made her seem genuinely like a mad scientist.

I think Olga Tokarczuk is a bit like Bjork. Her voice is utterly unique, with a texture and humor perfectly suited to this book's marvelous protagonist. I loved Janina Dusezjko, a cranky old Polish woman wandering the hills of her village trying to solve a mystery. I could have listened to her for the whole book even if there was no mystery, so the unraveling felt like an added bonus! 

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

Why should I read it?

9 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…


Book cover of The Wolf Suit

Lauren Stohler Author Of Gnome and Rat

From my list on early graphic novels with unique vibes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an author/illustrator of picture books and early graphic novels! I love stories that are immersive, transformative, and moody. Some of my favorite vibes come from: smelling freshly-shaved pencils in autumn, hearing a great song for the first time, and finding exactly the right book when you need it!

Lauren's book list on early graphic novels with unique vibes

Lauren Stohler Why did Lauren love this book?

The vibe is: foreboding folklore with a comforting twist!

The Wolf Suit wends through a dark wood, illustrated in a stark folk-art style that is in turns haunting and verdant. The story takes its time, building a deeply delicious atmosphere of suspense before revealing a completely unexpected ending that turns a fearful forest into a much friendlier place.

Keep a bowl of blackberries handy (and maybe a blanket to clutch), and relish the page turns! While The Wolf Suit is long in pages, the text is concise and flavorful, making this book a conquerable challenge for young readers!

By Sid Sharp,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Wolf Suit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 6, 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?

"Gorgeous."-The New York Times * Best Books of 2022 lists: NYPL, School Library Journal, The Globe and Mail, Indigo * JLG Gold Standard Selection * Moonbeam Children's Book Award Winner * Kids Indie Next Pick

Bellwether Riggwelter is, once again, out of blackberries. This time, rather than tiptoe through a forest full of predators, he comes up with a new plan. He will keep himself safe by blending in-he will sew a Wolf Suit! The disguise works perfectly . . . sort of. Bellwether realizes he can't enjoy the forest in a bulky suit, and he may not be the…


Book cover of The End of Average: Unlocking Our Potential by Embracing What Makes Us Different

Ruchira Chaudhary Author Of Coaching: The Secret Code to Uncommon Leadership

From my list on uncommon/exceptional leadership.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an executive coach, adjunct faculty at several top-tier business schools, and run a boutique firm consulting firm focused on organizational strategy solutions. My diverse and eclectic background in mergers & acquisitions, organization effectiveness, and strategy execution, coupled with two decades of experience in emerging markets in Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa, helps me grasp challenging people issues. I'm passionate about the topic of leaders as coaches having written several papers and columns. My research, and writing led Penguin to commission my book Coaching: The Secret Code to Uncommon Leadership that, released globally in late 2021 to much acclaim, is recommended by several academics as an essential read for aspiring and experienced managers. 

Ruchira's book list on uncommon/exceptional leadership

Ruchira Chaudhary Why did Ruchira love this book?

A few years ago at my son’s annual townhall in school, the principal outlined the school’s strategic game plan on a powerpoint presentation.

One of the slides that stayed with me projected a visual from the book The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World That Values Sameness.

I went back and read the book, only to realize that it resonated deeply with how we in the corporate world today (not just in schools at the elementary, middle, or senior levels) are quick to pronounce verdicts: below average, average, exceeds expectations.

The book poses some pertinent questions, and rightly so: Who came up with this principle of average? Why are we following it everywhere?

How often have we as managers just given up on people that we perceive are not ‘leadership’ material. Often these same average or poor performers can be great performers in different contexts.

Todd Rose…

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?

Are you above average? Is your child an A student? Is your employee an introvert or an extrovert? Every day we are measured against the yardstick of averages, judged according to how closely we come to it or how far we deviate from it.

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, says Harvard’s Todd Rose, is spectacularly—and scientifically—wrong.

In The End of Average, Rose, a rising star in the new field…


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

Gil Winch PhD Author Of Winning with Underdogs: How Hiring the Least Likely Candidates Can Spark Creativity, Improve Service, and Boost Profits for Your Business

From my list on workplace social justice with true-life stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

Most of the one billion people with disabilities in the world are chronically unemployed. Years ago, I set out on a mission to research why that is, and to then attempt to prove that people with disabilities and others are not unemployed for lack of ability. I discovered that we all lack understanding regarding what they need in order to bring their considerable abilities to bare. Fifteen years ago, I founded CY, a for-profit company as a proving ground and showcase for the solutions I found. Over 1,500 employees, 5 weddings, and two court cases later – I have quite a story to tell.   

Gil's book list on workplace social justice with true-life stories

Gil Winch PhD Why did Gil love this book?

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.

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…


Book cover of Convenience Store Woman

Marian Frances Wolbers Author Of Rider

From my list on a sweet journey into Japan.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been enjoying Japanese stories from the moment I first found them, a direct result of living, studying, and working in Japan for five years, from Imari City (in Kyushu Island) to Tokyo (on Honshu). The pacing of Japanese novels—starting out slowly and deliberately, then speeding up like a tsunami out of nowhere—totally appeals to me, and feels infinitely more connected to exploring the subtleties, complexity, and beauty of relationships. This is especially true when compared to Western novels, which seem overly obsessed with splashing grand, dramatic action and injury on every other page. I just love revisiting Japan through reading.

Marian's book list on a sweet journey into Japan

Marian Frances Wolbers Why did Marian love this book?

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.

By Sayaka Murata, Ginny Tapley Takemori (translator),

Why should I read it?

9 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...


Book cover of Thick: And Other Essays

Tracy Dawson Author Of Let Me Be Frank: A Book about Women Who Dressed Like Men to Do Shit They Weren't Supposed to Do

From my list on by funny, feminist, truth-telling women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a writer, actor, and comedian. I began on the Second City mainstage in Toronto. I was a writer and an actor on the Canadian television series, Call Me Fitz and I won the Gemini Award and the Canadian Screen Award for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for my work opposite Jason Priestley on that show. Let Me Be Frank is my first book and it brings together so much of what I love to write and read: feminism, women, history, underdogs, and humor.

Tracy's book list on by funny, feminist, truth-telling women

Tracy Dawson Why did Tracy love this book?

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.  

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…


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

Kristen R. Ghodsee Author Of Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism: And Other Arguments for Economic Independence

From my list on women and socialism.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an ethnographer, I have been studying the lives of ordinary women in socialist and post-socialist countries in Eastern Europe for over twenty-five years. I have always been fascinated by the differences in women’s life options in the presence or absence of robust social safety nets. As a scholar, I’ve spent decades working in archives and interviewing people across the region, and I have written eight books about the various gendered experiences of everyday life in Eastern Europe. As a professor, I have taught a course called “Sex and Socialism,” almost every year for eighteen years and I am always reading widely in this field to look for new material for my syllabi.

Kristen's book list on women and socialism

Kristen R. Ghodsee Why did Kristen love this book?

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. 

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…


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