10 books like A Man Called Ove

By Fredrik Backman,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like A Man Called Ove. Shepherd is a community of 8,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Olive Kitteridge

By Elizabeth Strout,

Book cover of Olive Kitteridge

Randy Kraft Author Of Off Season

From the list on aging friends and lovers.

Who am I?

I never liked children’s books, even as a child. I like words more than pictures and I always preferred literature that presents a more expansive view of the world. I favored myth, classics of urban sophistication, and stories about people whose lives were unknown or unfathomable. After nearly seventy years of reading, and as a writer and book reviewer, I now seek fiction that features the elders. Not just the shrewd witch or the wise auntie, but those still reaching for grand passions as well as grappling with the challenges of aging. In literature as in life, youth is often wasted on the young.

Randy's book list on aging friends and lovers

Discover why each book is one of Randy's favorite books.

Why did Randy love this book?

The Pulitzer-prize winner Olive Kitteridge is a novel told through connected stories, and the sequel is presented the same way.

She’s the character we love to hate and learn to love.

Anyone who has married the wrong man or treated a husband poorly, or attempted to control a child well into his own middle age, or finds herself confused by progress and also struggles with regret, will get Olive. Because we meet her in midlife, we evolve with her into old age, as if an interactive experience.

You'll want to age with Olive in the sequel, Olive Again. I also recommend Strout’s Lucy Barton quartet, which incorporates divorce into the aging process, but I think Olive is the more elegant and the more compelling portrait. [The HBO Olive Kitteridge series was a good translation, but better as a reading.]

Olive Kitteridge

By Elizabeth Strout,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Olive Kitteridge as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE • The beloved first novel featuring Olive Kitteridge, from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Oprah’s Book Club pick Olive, Again
“Fiction lovers, remember this name: Olive Kitteridge. . . . You’ll never forget her.”—USA Today
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post Book World • USA Today • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • Seattle Post-Intelligencer • People • Entertainment Weekly • The Christian Science Monitor • The Plain Dealer • The Atlantic • Rocky Mountain News • Library Journal
At times stern, at…

Book cover of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4

Todd Alexander Author Of Over the Hill and Up the Wall

From the list on the lighter side to aging.

Who am I?

As one of Australia’s bestselling observational comedy authors, I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to write about the fact that I’ve recently become my parents’ go-to expert on just about everything. From solving technological dilemmas to coaching through society’s ever-changing correctness and reminding them to eat their greens, the elders in my life have inspired me to look at the funny side to aging, and to explore how a middle aged child sometimes crosses over from being helpful to just plain interfering.

Todd's book list on the lighter side to aging

Discover why each book is one of Todd's favorite books.

Why did Todd love this book?

Okay, so this book is predominantly about the struggles of a boy going through puberty but its depiction of the magnetic older characters of Bert and Queenie in the Alderman Cooper Sunshine Home are among the funniest scenes in the book. 

Of every book I’ve ever read, it remains one of the most hilarious and if you’ve read it previously, it’s well worth another visit.

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4

By Sue Townsend,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A humorous story first published in 1982, which chronicles the daily life of a teenage boy and all his problems.

A Christmas Carol

By Charles Dickens,

Book cover of A Christmas Carol

Andi Brooks Author Of Ghost Stories For Christmas Volume One

From the list on ghostly Christmas stories.

Who am I?

I am an Anglo Irish writer who is as filled with a wide-eyed wonder of the magic of Christmas in my middle age as I was as a small child. Alongside my lifelong love of Christmas and its traditions, I have enjoyed an equally long love of ghost stories. Combining these two passions, I am the editor of the Ghost Stories For Christmas anthologies of classic Christmas ghost stories, the first of which was published in 2022. I am also the writer of Ghostly Tales of Japan, a collection of original stories set throughout Japanese history.

Andi's book list on ghostly Christmas stories

Discover why each book is one of Andi's favorite books.

Why did Andi love this book?

Out of all of the books I have read, I have read A Christmas Carol more times than any other. An instant phenomenon when it was first published in 1843, it has never been out of print. It is the embodiment of not just a Christmas ghost story, but of a story that encapsulates the very essence of the spirit of Christmas in the popular imagination in a way that no other story ever has. Although I had always loved watching the 1951 classic film Scrooge with the wonderful Alastar Sim in the title role, I didn’t read the book until I was in my teens, when I came across a lovely copy of a 1950 edition in a charity shop. Since then, I have read, and shed a tear over, A Christmas Carol every Christmas – I won't embarrass myself by revealing exactly how many times that is, but…

A Christmas Carol

By Charles Dickens,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked A Christmas Carol as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Tom Baker reads Charles Dickens' timeless seasonal story.

Charles Dickens' story of solitary miser Ebenezer Scrooge, who is taught the true meaning of Christmas by the three ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, has become one of the timeless classics of English literature. First published in 1843, it introduces us not only to Scrooge himself, but also to the memorable characters of underpaid desk clerk Bob Cratchit and his poor family, the poorest amongst whom is the ailing and crippled Tiny Tim.

In this captivating recording, Tom Baker delivers a tour-de-force performance as he narrates the story. The listener…

With the End in Mind

By Kathryn Mannix,

Book cover of With the End in Mind: Dying, Death, and Wisdom in an Age of Denial

Nancy Peach Author Of Love Life

From the list on on death and dying (without being terminally depressing).

Who am I?

I’m a doctor working in the NHS and for a national cancer charity. I’m particularly interested in the care of the terminally ill. I‘ve worked closely with hospice teams, feeling enormously privileged to be with patients considering their options at the end of life. I’ve noticed how often people die without having even mentioned their wishes to loved ones, they are reluctant to speak of their fears, and as a result, these discussions never occur. I believe we need to open up the conversation about dying by bringing it into the public domain, dragging it into popular culture, and making it a feature of our films, television, and books.

Nancy's book list on on death and dying (without being terminally depressing)

Discover why each book is one of Nancy's favorite books.

Why did Nancy love this book?

Mannix is a retired Palliative Care Consultant, and this wonderful book takes case studies from her long career and presents them as vignettes designed to reassure a readership who may be anxious about the process of dying. She relates each story with candour and humility, acknowledging how much she has learnt from her patients and their families whilst glossing over the enormous impact that she has evidently had on their care.

This is an incredibly useful book for those working with people at the end of life, but it is also a really lovely read for anyone fearful of death, anyone who has felt the impact of a family bereavement, and anyone who will one day face death themselves, i.e., every single one of us. 

With the End in Mind

By Kathryn Mannix,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked With the End in Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'Impossible to read with dry eyes or an unaltered mindset' Sunday Times

'Illuminating and beautiful' Cathy Rentzenbrink

What if everything you thought you knew about death was wrong?

How should we prepare for the facts of dying and saying our goodbyes?

And what if understanding death improved your life?

By turns touching and tragic, funny and wise, With the End in Mind brings together Kathryn Mannix ' s lifetime of medical experience to tell powerful stories of life and death.

Book cover of The Year of Magical Thinking

Mikkael A. Sekeres Author Of Drugs and the FDA: Safety, Efficacy, and the Public's Trust

From the list on the good, bad, beautiful, and ugly in medicine.

Who am I?

As a cancer doctor, I have spent two decades dedicated to understanding the causes and therapy of cancer, how my patients experience their diagnosis and treatment, and how meaningful improvements in their experience should be reflected in the criteria we use to approve cancer drugs approval in the U.S., to improve their lives. In over 100 essays published in outlets like The New York Times and The Washington Post and in two books, I sing the stories of my patients as I learn from their undaunted spirits and their utter humanity, as I try to figure out how to be a better doctor, and a better person.

Mikkael's book list on the good, bad, beautiful, and ugly in medicine

Discover why each book is one of Mikkael's favorite books.

Why did Mikkael love this book?

While your daughter is hospitalized, on the brink of death, your husband dies suddenly. How do you make sense of it all?

In The Year of Magical Thinking, Didion iteratively revisits the events that occurred over the few days before and after her husband (the writer John Dunne) suffers a cardiac arrest as she explores the notion of illness, grief, and our medical system.

This book taught me about how my own patients and their families navigate death, and prepared me for when my own father died.

The Year of Magical Thinking

By Joan Didion,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The Year of Magical Thinking as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From one of America's iconic writers, a portrait of a marriage and a life - in good times and bad - that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child. A stunning book of electric honesty and passion.

Several days before Christmas 2003, John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion saw their only daughter, Quintana, fall ill. At first they thought it was flu, then pneumonia, then complete sceptic shock. She was put into an induced coma and placed on life support. Days later - the night before New Year's Eve -the Dunnes were just…

Book cover of Assassin's Apprentice: The Farseer Trilogy Book 1

Larry Sydow Author Of Parallel Missions: The Journey Begins

From the list on capturing the imagination and making you think.

Who am I?

I grew up on a small Nebraska farm where a grove of trees was a vast forest, a cow pasture was an endless desert, and a corn cob pile was the tallest mountain in the world. Our horse barn doubled as a castle and fortress for fighting every evil bad guy—including aliens from outer space. I was mortally wounded dozens of times, conducted my first wedding in a grain bin-cathedral at age eight, and read every book our country school could borrow. In college I majored in sociology, minored in history, and receive a Master of Divinity in seminary. My reading list reflects my love of adventurous variety.

Larry's book list on capturing the imagination and making you think

Discover why each book is one of Larry's favorite books.

Why did Larry love this book?

Hobb had me rooting for “the Bastard” from the first chapter. With everything against him, Fitz grew up with palace intrigue, was taught by the master assassin, and learned the art of “skilling – despite the efforts of a “legitimate” prince and his followers to prevent it. However, loyalty, determination, and persistence flowed throughout the book. I had trouble putting the book down.

Assassin's Apprentice

By Robin Hobb,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Assassin's Apprentice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Voyager Classics - timeless masterworks of science fiction and fantasy.

A beautiful clothbound edition of Assassin's Apprentice, the first book in the critically acclaimed Farseer Trilogy.

In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.

Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals - the old art known as the Wit - gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if…

Missing, Presumed

By Susie Steiner,

Book cover of Missing, Presumed

Marcy McCreary Author Of The Disappearance of Trudy Solomon

From the list on memorable female detectives/investigators.

Who am I?

I'm the author of two police procedural mysteries, a series that features a father/daughter detective team. I write in the traditional mystery genre for the simple reason that I'm a passionate reader of this genre, and always have been. I enjoy the structure of a whodunnit—the pacing, red herrings, clues, plot twists, reveals—and love constructing a multi-layered mystery that is both engaging and suspenseful. I’m a big fan of the masters of this genre: Agatha Christie, PD James, Dick Francis, and Val McDermid. I’m also an avid watcher of police procedural television series, and I’m especially drawn to the darker investigative stories you find in programs like The Killing, Mare of Easttown, and The Wire.

Marcy's book list on memorable female detectives/investigators

Discover why each book is one of Marcy's favorite books.

Why did Marcy love this book?

Unlike most police procedurals, where the action starts with a crime, Missing, Presumed’s first chapter gives us a glimpse of the main character, detective sergeant Manon Bradshaw, on a disastrous blind date. You know from the get-go you are in the hands of a talented writer who will introduce you to complex, flawed, but relatable characters, not just a plot of twists and turns. This novel is the first in a standalone series featuring DS Manon Bradshaw, and all three novels are equally compelling in both the crimes that need solving and the way in which Manon and her team must overcome their personal flaws and missteps to crack the case. Manon is a curmudgeonly train wreck, but she possesses a big heart, making her an endearing and enduring character. Sadly, Susie Steiner passed away this year after a battle with brain cancer.   

Missing, Presumed

By Susie Steiner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?



'Hits the sweet spot between literary and crime fiction - Gripping' ERIN KELLY

'For those who love their crime fiction rich in psychology, beautifully written and laced with dark humour. Dive in' LUCIE WHITEHOUSE

Mid-December, and Cambridgeshire is blanketed with snow. Detective Sergeant Manon Bradshaw tries to sleep after yet another soul-destroying Internet date - the low murmuring of her police radio her only solace.

Over the airwaves come reports of a missing woman - door ajar, keys and phone left behind, a spatter of blood on the kitchen floor.…

Pride and Prejudice

By Jane Austen,

Book cover of Pride and Prejudice

Abigail Burdess Author Of Mother's Day

From the list on terrifying female villains.

Who am I?

I started out as a sketch writer, (writing for TV sketch shows like Tracy Ullman’s Show and That Mitchell and Webb Look) but I’ve always been drawn to big, exciting thrillers and high-concept speculative fiction. Sketch writing is kind of high-concept fiction in micro. Ultimately, these stories are all about vanquishing evil. These female villains embody the protagonist’s worst fears, and in doing so, the story contains and defeats those fears. Since I have a lot of fears, I don’t imagine I’ll get bored of this type of story any time soon. There’s nothing like a truly amazing villain to keep you reading deep into the three o’clock dark.

Abigail's book list on terrifying female villains

Discover why each book is one of Abigail's favorite books.

Why did Abigail love this book?

As an erstwhile comedy writer, I had to include one comic novel, and this is the best of all time.

If you don’t think Mrs. Bennett is a truly horrifying, you’ve never been embarrassed by your mother! This book is perfectly put together, the plot is a structure masterclass and Mrs. Bennett: hysterical, gossipy, nosy, and a massive hypochondriac is one of the funniest characters ever put to paper.

On the page, it’s even better than Colin Firth in a wet shirt.

Pride and Prejudice

By Jane Austen,

Why should I read it?

23 authors picked Pride and Prejudice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of BBC's 100 Novels That Shaped Our World.

Jane Austen's best-loved novel is an unforgettable story about the inaccuracy of first impressions, the power of reason, and above all the strange dynamics of human relationships and emotions.

Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition is illustrated by Hugh Thomson and features an afterword by author and critic, Henry Hitchings.

A tour de force of wit and sparkling dialogue, Pride and…

Book cover of Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction

Nora Zelevansky Author Of Competitive Grieving

From the list on to make you laugh and cry.

Who am I?

In 2017, I lost one of my best friends. He was one of those magical people—charismatic, impossibly talented, hilariously funny. So, in the aftermath of his death, I noticed many people in his life competing for recognition of their bond with him. Unfortunately, he wasn’t there to recognize anyone. Though the stories are completely different, that experience inspired me to write Competitive Grieving, spotlighting the common—but rarely discussed—process of navigating someone’s life and relationships in their absence. For me, humor is the ultimate coping mechanism, as is the promise of brighter days, so the book attacks this serious topic with levity, honesty, and a bit of hope.

Nora's book list on to make you laugh and cry

Discover why each book is one of Nora's favorite books.

Why did Nora love this book?

Okay. Fine. Maybe I only think this book is about loss because I know that, in later books, the same Glass family suffers losses and this sets the stage. But this is a story about a promise that is never realized and a relationship that is becoming progressively distant—and, in it, there is a sense of being lost if not having experienced a loss, specifically. In it, Buddy Glass takes Army leave to attend his brother’s wedding, but his brother never shows up. Somehow, Buddy winds up stuck in a limo with a group of disgruntled guests from whom he tries to hide his identity. In his sense of isolation, but also his awareness of the situation’s absurdity, we find humor and also sadness.

Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour

By J.D. Salinger,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Note from the Author: The two long pieces in this book originally came out in The New Yorker - RAISE HIGH THE ROOF BEAM, CARPENTERS in 1955, SEYMOUR - An Introduction in 1959. Whatever their differences in mood or effect, they are both very much concerned with Seymour Glass, who is the main character in my series about the Glass family. Oddly, the joys and satisfactions of working on the Glass family peculiarly increase and deepen for me with the years. I can't say why, though. Not, at least, outside the casino proper of my fiction.

'The Glasses are…

Book cover of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Jo Johnson Author Of Surviving Her

From the list on book club reads with depth and all the feels.

Who am I?

I’m Jo Johnson, by day I work as a clinical psychologist and by night I write psychological suspense. I chose this title because I love belonging to my book group. Over the last twenty years we’ve read the good, the bad, and the ugly. But, the novels that have kept us chatting are the fast-paced novels that have touched our minds, hearts, and souls. The books that made us cry and laugh in equal measure. The books that introduced us to characters so real we spoke of them like friends. I love books that have changed me into a better person for having read them. 

Jo's book list on book club reads with depth and all the feels

Discover why each book is one of Jo's favorite books.

Why did Jo love this book?

Eleanor Oliphant is a socially awkward, spiky misfit, an interesting mixture of naïve and worldly wise. She tells us of her comforting but rather odd routines. We see how alcohol is her only friend. He numbs her pain and enables her to function at work.

When we meet Eleanor, she's infatuated with a singer she's never met. As the plot deepens, we come to understand Eleanor Oliphant is not completely fine.

There are some emotionally heavy themes but the author manages to keep the narrative light and witty. Eleanor is a rich and complex character positioned perfectly to tell her story. The book is uplifting and inspiring with an ending that was not unexpected but sufficiently powerful to shock. 

The Joy is in the depth of character. It’s a story of love and friendship against the odds. 

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

By Gail Honeyman,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


A Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

"Beautifully written and incredibly funny, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is about the importance of friendship and human connection. I fell in love with Eleanor, an eccentric and regimented loner whose life beautifully unfolds after a chance encounter with a stranger; I think you will fall in love, too!" -Reese Witherspoon

No one's ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of…

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