100 books like A Man Called Ove

By Fredrik Backman,

Here are 100 books that A Man Called Ove fans have personally recommended if you like A Man Called Ove. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Olive Kitteridge

Ruth F. Stevens Author Of My Year of Casual Acquaintances

From my list on smart, quirky women facing personal struggles.

Why am I passionate about this?

From the time I was a girl, I’ve loved stories that put a lump in my throat even as I’m laughing. As a fiction writer, that funny-sad tone is the one I go for in my own work. I gravitate toward female protagonists of all ages who break the mold—women who are intelligent and strong but who also have unconventional, quirky personalities. Women who can be hilarious, infuriating, and heartbreaking—sometimes all at once. Because they are complex and unique, these women tend to struggle with life’s challenges more than their contemporaries. That’s what makes their stories so interesting, and why I have chosen the books on this list. 

Ruth's book list on smart, quirky women facing personal struggles

Ruth F. Stevens Why did Ruth love this book?

If I looked up “curmudgeon” in the dictionary, I’d half expect to find Olive’s picture. Perpetually grumpy and disappointed that the people around her don’t live up to her expectations (something I can relate to!), Olive is difficult, demanding, and often outrageous.

Yet her quirky charm has caused millions of readers—including me—to fall under her spell. I followed Olive’s journey with interest, hoping she’d find peace if not happiness.

The highly original, unconventional structure of this book has also made it one of my favorites. I love how Strout weaves Olive in and out of the action in this novel of connected stories, sometimes as a minor character and sometimes as the star.

By Elizabeth Strout,

Why should I read it?

13 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 A Gentleman in Moscow

Daniel J. Barrett Author Of Efficient Linux at the Command Line: Boost Your Command-Line Skills

From my list on quirky people and their adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a nonfiction author, I’ve always been mystified by fictional character development. What qualities make one character fascinating and another a dud? How do great writers make us fall in love with their creations? If I had one wish as an author, it would be to create one truly beloved character. I particularly like quirky nonconformists who forge their own paths, making mistakes along the way, yet they remain sympathetic. When I finish reading the story, I miss their company. My five recommended books include some of my favorite characters in modern literature.

Daniel's book list on quirky people and their adventures

Daniel J. Barrett Why did Daniel love this book?

I found Count Alexander Rostov to be a fascinating character with real depth. Sentenced to house arrest for the rest of his life, he outwits his opponents at every turn. I love how he changes the lives of everyone around him, whether they are his friends or his jailers, and ultimately how he is changed by them.

By Amor Towles,

Why should I read it?

34 authors picked A Gentleman in Moscow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The mega-bestseller with more than 2 million readers, soon to be a major television series

From the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Lincoln Highway and Rules of Civility, a beautifully transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and…

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 my list on the lighter side to aging.

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Todd Alexander 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.

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. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

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.

Book cover of A Christmas Carol

John R. Dougherty Author Of Holy Terror

From my list on Christian action books allegorical references.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have felt a spiritual call in my life from as early as I can remember having memories as a young child. Being a life-long Christian has always drawn me to try to see God in everything around me, from people I encounter, to creation itself, to songs, to movies, etc. So, reading books which contain Christian allegory – symbols, meanings, underlying Biblical references – is very exciting for me. I enjoy trying to decipher that symbolism and try to understand the undertones that the book’s author is trying to communicate indirectly. I find that to be a personal challenge as I read, but also I find it very inspiring as well!

John's book list on Christian action books allegorical references

John R. Dougherty Why did John love this book?

I simply cannot get enough of this book. I read it every December and watch movie adaptations of it every December, too (Patrick Stewart’s 1999 version is by far the best movie rendition, as far as I’m concerned!).

Many people may not realize that Dickens considered himself a Christian writer and many of his books have Christian allegories buried within the storyline. This book is no exception, and I find it also takes me on a rollercoaster of emotions every time I read it, which helps to make it a new story every time I read it!

By Charles Dickens,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked A Christmas Carol as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, 9, and 10.

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…

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

Nancy Peach Author Of Love Life

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

Why am I passionate about this?

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)

Nancy Peach 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. 

By Kathryn Mannix,

Why should I read it?

3 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

Michele DeMarco Author Of Holding Onto Air: The Art and Science of Building a Resilient Spirit

From my list on transforming your mental and spiritual health.

Why am I passionate about this?

Officially, I’m an award-winning author and specialist in the fields of psychology, trauma, and spirituality. I’m also a professionally trained therapist, clinical ethicist, and researcher. Ultimately, I’m an ardent believer that the same life that brings us joy also (sometimes) brings us pain. More importantly, that every aspect of life has a role to play in making us who we are today and who we’ll be tomorrow. We don’t always have control over the events in life, but the script we live by is ours to write—and write it we must, as only we can. I’m also a three-time heart attack survivor.

Michele's book list on transforming your mental and spiritual health

Michele DeMarco Why did Michele love this book?

Joan Didion’s book is heralded for its bravery, clarity, and confessional witness about grief and loss. Indeed, it’s all these things, but for me, more importantly, this book paints a masterful depiction of the loss of innocence that comes when you lose something meaningful—like a loved one.

Particularly, it shows, with exhilarating force, the fragmented sense of time of such an experience, moving from Didion’s darkest moments of despair at the loss of her husband in the present to treasured memories of her life before his passing and musings about what comes now—in the future.

This book is not for the faint of heart, but it is for the savoring soul who, like Didion, possesses an inherent human desire for a sense of coherence and wholeness after life has torn it asunder.

By Joan Didion,

Why should I read it?

14 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

Liam Lombard Author Of The Calling

From my list on fantasy great world building relatable characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always loved the intricacies and secrets our world has to offer. In pursuing knowledge, I delved deep into the ‘magic’ of science to learn about its mysteries. The more I learned, the more I wanted to experiment with the laws of our world. After much schooling and reading many fantasy books, I eventually wrote about a fantastical world where science has been tweaked just enough to make things interesting. I hope you enjoy my list of books and that they excite you as much as they have excited me. 

Liam's book list on fantasy great world building relatable characters

Liam Lombard Why did Liam love this book?

I really enjoyed the magic system in this book. It made me want to be part of the world and gain the powers/bonds of the characters. As Fitz is unwittingly pulled from relationships and put into difficult situations, I felt so much empathy and wanted to reach out and help him.

As I wanted these things, Robin Hobb granted me some of my wishes, but not always in the way I expected. The character development is superb, and each character is believable and has good motivation. 

By Robin Hobb,

Why should I read it?

11 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…

Book cover of The Magician's Nephew

J Igarashi Author Of Wilde World

From my list on children’s books with magical realms, that let you bring back treasure.

Why am I passionate about this?

My favorite books as a child were the ones where kids went off on wild, impossible adventures alone, figuring things out, learning important lessons, and finding they were more capable than they thought. Wisdom, truth, insight, inspiration… those are the treasures found in these fantastical places. I’ve written (and told) stories all my life, but it wasn’t until I was in my fifties that my goal of publishing a book was realized. And now I have four more coming out (Lord willing!) within the next year and a half. It’s never too late. Unless you’re dead, then you blew it. So don’t stop trying, whatever your goals are.

J's book list on children’s books with magical realms, that let you bring back treasure

J Igarashi Why did J love this book?

Let’s face it. Narnia was the gateway drug for many of us. The brevity. The beautiful simplicity of the storytelling. The way the author talks to the reader, not as a clueless little kid, but as a human who has the capacity to understand big ideas. Betrayal, Sacrifice, Honor and Redemption–deep subjects you would think a kid’s book would shy away from.

It was the first time I read a book meant for kids that didn’t feel condescending. And then Lewis is also just plum funny. 

By C. S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Magician's Nephew as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

A beautiful paperback edition of The Magician's Nephew, book one in the classic fantasy series, The Chronicles of Narnia. This edition is complete with cover and interior art by the original illustrator, Pauline Baynes.

On a daring quest to save a life, two friends are hurled into another world, where an evil sorceress seeks to enslave them. But then the lion Aslan's song weaves itself into the fabric of a new land, a land that will be known as Narnia. And in Narnia, all things are possible.

The Magician's Nephew is the first book in C. S. Lewis's classic fantasy…

Book cover of Missing, Presumed

Marcy McCreary Author Of The Disappearance of Trudy Solomon

From my list on memorable female detectives/investigators.

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Marcy McCreary 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.   

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.…

Book cover of Pride and Prejudice

R.K. Scott Author Of Choosing Season

From my list on characters displaying inner strength.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a large family and was often forgotten since I wasn’t the loud and rebellious child, but I was often pushed over because I wouldn’t stand up for myself in fear of anger. My only escape was walking the seven blocks to my local library and reading about heroic deeds, beautiful ladies falling in love with the dashing prince, and wishing I could be brave like the characters in my books. In my late teens, I realized there’s more to a person than physical strength. 

R.K.'s book list on characters displaying inner strength

R.K. Scott Why did R.K. love this book?

This one is the queen of romance novels. I loved this when I read it in high school, and whenever I decide to pick it up again, I remember why. Elizabeth Bennet must overcome many obstacles before finally finding love with Mr. Darcy. It takes courage to say no to the societal expectations of her time, like marrying the first man who asks just because they aren’t wealthy or who her mother tells her to because her cousin could take their home away.

What I love most about her is that she’s virtuous but isn’t a pushover; she stands up for herself. Something I’m constantly working on in my personal life.

By Jane Austen,

Why should I read it?

35 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…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in neighbourhoods, old man, and presidential biography?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about neighbourhoods, old man, and presidential biography.

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