100 books like A Person of Interest

By Susan Choi,

Here are 100 books that A Person of Interest fans have personally recommended if you like A Person of Interest. 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 Your House Will Pay

Danielle M. Wong Author Of Last Liar Standing

From my list on psychological suspense and thrillers.

Why am I passionate about this?

While I appreciate a variety of genres, my love of psychological suspense and thriller novels has only intensified over time. I often devour these books in one sitting—eyes darting across each page as my mind tries to guess the next pivotal twist! As an author, I aspire to create the same electrifying rush for my readers that my favorite stories give me. My debut novel, Swearing Off Stars, was inspired by my travels and received an Independent Press Award, a Benjamin Franklin Award, and an International Book Award. My writing has appeared in Harper’s BazaarHuffPostPopSugar, and Writer’s Digest. I hope you enjoy the recommendations on this list!

Danielle's book list on psychological suspense and thrillers

Danielle M. Wong Why did Danielle love this book?

While this novel is a suspenseful psychological thriller in its own right, the story also tackles racial tensions and contemporary family dynamics. I admire the way Steph Cha explores grief, revenge, violence, racism, and justice over the course of Your House Will Pay’s fast-paced plot. This is absolutely a must-read.

By Steph Cha,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Your House Will Pay as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Two families. One desperate to remember, the other to forget.

Winner of the LA Times Book Prize, Best Mystery/Thriller
Winner of the California Book Awards' Gold Medal for Fiction
Shortlisted for the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger
Shortlisted for the Macavity Awards, Best Mystery Novel
Shortlisted for the Anthony Awards, Best Novel
Finalist for the NYPL Young Lions Fiction Award

'Masterful.' Ruth Ware

'A searing examination of racial and family politics that is also an immaculately constructed whodunit.' Daily Telegraph, Summer Reads

'Writing a page-turner about racial politics in the U.S. is a delicate enterprise fraught with pitfalls, but Cha…


Book cover of Miracle Creek

Roxana Arama Author Of Extreme Vetting

From my list on voices of immigrants.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Romanian American author who arrived in the US with a job in software development. In more than twenty years as an immigrant, I’ve struggled with the same problems these novels explore: how to build a home in a new land, away from my family; how to fit in or make my peace with not belonging; how to be the parent of American-born children whose culture is different from my native one. I’m familiar with the US immigration system from my yearslong citizenship application, and I also interviewed an immigration lawyer extensively for my thriller.

Roxana's book list on voices of immigrants

Roxana Arama Why did Roxana love this book?

In this gripping courtroom drama, an explosion in Miracle Creek, Virginia, destroys the business of South Korean immigrants Pak and Young Yoo and puts their daughter Mary into a monthslong coma. As arguments mount against the woman accused of starting the fire, Young struggles with a question many immigrants must face. Maybe she shouldn’t have brought her child to the US, where Mary struggles as a teenager and where she was almost killed. The tension between the two generations resonated with me as a parent and immigrant. As Young hopes to discover who caused the explosion that killed two other people, she must also help Mary imagine a future in their adoptive country.

By Angie Kim,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'That wonderful, brilliant sort of book you want to shove at people as soon as you've finished so they can experience it for themselves' Erin Morgenstern

A thrilling debut novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng about how far we'll go to protect our families - and our deepest secrets.

In rural Virginia, Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine - a pressurised oxygen chamber that patients enter for "dives", used as an alternative therapy for conditions including autism and infertility. But when the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes, killing two…


Book cover of Country of Origin

Sung J. Woo Author Of Skin Deep

From my list on mysteries/thrillers by writers of Korean origin.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since my high school days, when I encountered the mystery novels of Dick Francis and Robert B. Parker for the first time, I’ve been hooked on this genre. And yet it took me more than twenty years to finally write my first bona fide work of detective fiction. Why? Because I was chicken. Didn’t think I could cut it. After publishing two works of literary fiction, I figured I had enough practice to make an attempt.  Nope. Still wasn’t ready, writing myself into ugly, impossible corners. So I read Sue Grafton, John D. MacDonald, Dennis Lehane, and I kept failing better – until I failed best.

Sung's book list on mysteries/thrillers by writers of Korean origin

Sung J. Woo Why did Sung love this book?

There are some writers I read purely for the pleasure of a well-written sentence. Don is one of those, because he is a Literary Writer™ – he edited one of the premier literary journals for many years. But here’s the thing – he is also one hell of a plotter. This first novel of his caught the letters community by surprise, but not me; the intricate construction of his short stories could only lead to a tale as labyrinthine as this one. Featuring classic mystery tropes, Country of Origin is a missing person case that leads our hero, an American Embassy officer in Tokyo, to seedy strip clubs, dangerous love affairs, and the CIA, all delivered with surgical prose that would make Raymond Chandler blush.

By Don Lee,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this "poignant story of prejudice, betrayal and the search for identity" (Newsweek International), the trials and tribulations of these three remarkable characters are "at turns trenchantly funny and heartbreakingly sad" (Publishers Weekly). "[An] elegant and haunting debut" (Entertainment Weekly), Country of Origin is a "swirl of action, a whirl of love and sex and race and politics, local and international" (Chicago Tribune)-a "quiet literary triumph" (Booklist)

Lisa Countryman is a woman of complex origins. Half-Japanese, adopted by African American parents, she returns to Tokyo, ostensibly to research her thesis on Japan's "sad, brutal reign of conformity." When she vanishes,…


Book cover of Your Republic Is Calling You

Sung J. Woo Author Of Skin Deep

From my list on mysteries/thrillers by writers of Korean origin.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since my high school days, when I encountered the mystery novels of Dick Francis and Robert B. Parker for the first time, I’ve been hooked on this genre. And yet it took me more than twenty years to finally write my first bona fide work of detective fiction. Why? Because I was chicken. Didn’t think I could cut it. After publishing two works of literary fiction, I figured I had enough practice to make an attempt.  Nope. Still wasn’t ready, writing myself into ugly, impossible corners. So I read Sue Grafton, John D. MacDonald, Dennis Lehane, and I kept failing better – until I failed best.

Sung's book list on mysteries/thrillers by writers of Korean origin

Sung J. Woo Why did Sung love this book?

Imagine for a moment that you receive an email that states the following: “Liquidate everything and return immediately.” Now imagine you are a North Korean spy who has lived in South Korea for almost twenty years, and after your handler disappeared more than a decade ago, you’ve heard nothing. Until this email. Is it real? Or has the South Korean CIA found you out and is trying to trick you? What about your wife and your daughter, both completely unaware of your true identity? Your Republic Is Calling You takes place entirely in a single day of this unfortunate spy’s life, and now you’ll have to read it to see how it ends: does he stay or does he go?

By Young-ha Kim, Chi-Young Kim (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Your Republic Is Calling You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A foreign film importer, Gi-yeong is a family man with a wife and daughter. An aficionado of Heineken, soccer, and sushi, he is also a North Korean spy who has been living among his enemies for twenty-one years.
 
Suddenly he receives a mysterious email, a directive seemingly from the home office. He has one day to return to headquarters. He hasn’t heard from anyone in over ten years. Why is he being called back now? Is this message really from Pyongyang? Is he returning to receive new orders or to be executed for a lack of diligence? Has someone in…


Book cover of The Eyes Are the Best Part

Talia Tucker Author Of Rules for Rule Breaking

From my list on characters that break all the rules.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Jamaican and Korean American author of young adult romance, and when crafting my stories, I love to create characters who go against the expectations thrust upon them, whether they’re based on race, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexuality, ability, etc. As a woman, as someone with multiple ethnic identities, as someone who isn’t neurotypical, and someone who doesn’t subscribe to the norms of gender and sexuality, navigating intersectionality has been a large part of my life and, therefore, my work. Rules should be broken when they're the ones telling us we can’t do something based on who we are.

Talia's book list on characters that break all the rules

Talia Tucker Why did Talia love this book?

This book breaks all the rules because, well, Ji-won, a young Korean-American girl, literally breaks the rules (and the law) by becoming a serial killer in the face of societal expectations. I love a woman who’s not concerned with being or acting pretty, and we see that in Ji-won far before she ever gets a bite of her first blue eye.

The commentary in this novel is sharp, and much of what Ji-won experiences resonates with me as a Korean-American. Though she is by no means a role model, it was satisfying to see someone who might typically be overlooked go on a grotesque, revenge-fueled violence spree. This book was intelligent and subversive in all the right ways.

By Monika Kim,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Eyes Are the Best Part as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Crying in H-Mart meets My Sister, the Serial Killer in this feminist psychological horror about the making of a female serial killer from a Korean-American perspective.

Ji-won's life tumbles into disarray in the wake of her Appa's extramarital affair and subsequent departure. Her mother, distraught. Her younger sister, hurt and confused. Her college freshman grades, failing. Her dreams, horrifying... yet enticing.

In them, Ji-won walks through bloody rooms full of eyes. Succulent blue eyes. Salivatingly blue eyes. Eyes the same shape and shade as George's, who is Umma's obnoxious new boyfriend. George has already overstayed his welcome in her family's…


Book cover of On Beauty

Janice Weizman Author Of Our Little Histories

From my list on family dramas in a multi-generational perspective.

Why am I passionate about this?

For me, writing fiction is a way of tackling issues of fate and identity through storytelling. I believe we’re each the result of an intersection between personality and history and I’m interested in the way our time and place impacts us and creates a backdrop for our lives. My first novel, The Wayward Moon, is historical fiction set in the 9th-century Middle East. My second novel follows a Jewish family back six generations to Belarus. But no matter what period I’m writing about, the most important thing is always to tell a good story.

Janice's book list on family dramas in a multi-generational perspective

Janice Weizman Why did Janice love this book?

Smith is a master at depicting multi-racial families (something she knows all about, as she grew up in one).

Her narratives take up the complex nature of the relationships between parents, children, and siblings, while delving into issues of race, class, politics, infidelity, and self-knowledge. Smith is expert with her use of voice, as she composes character through idiosyncratic styles of language and expression.

Life in this novel is colorful and messy, as it cleverly investigates the impossibility of really knowing those closest to you.

By Zadie Smith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION

SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE

SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLER

From the acclaimed author of Swing Time, White Teeth and Grand Union, discover a brilliantly funny and deeply moving story about love and family

Why do we fall in love with the people we do? Why do we visit our mistakes on our children? What makes life truly beautiful?

Set between New England and London, On Beauty concerns a pair of feuding families - the Belseys and the Kipps - and a clutch of doomed affairs. It puts low morals among high…


Book cover of Lucky Jim

Andrew Pessin Author Of Nevergreen

From my list on the college campus and its craziness.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a professor myself who writes novels, so am especially drawn to novels about campus life! I really do value the life of the mind, but am also aware of just how strange a life that is within contemporary culture. At the same time, campuses are hotbeds of ideas, ranging from the deep and the true to the shallow and the crazy, and young passionate impressionable students simmer in those ideas for several years and then go on to shape our future. What could be more important than novels which bring all that to light? 

Andrew's book list on the college campus and its craziness

Andrew Pessin Why did Andrew love this book?

Start with the classic, this legendary British satire about cloistered college life and the darker side of the academic way of life. The story of a hapless lecturer in medieval history trying to secure his job (and get his dream girl), the book works for me on every level: it’s funny, it’s insightful, it can be scathing, and it manages to simultaneously value this strange way of life (what can be stranger than dedicating your life to study within the bubble of the academy?) while also skewering its foibles and flaws. Come for the comedy; stay for the insight and skewering. As an academic myself, this book hits very close to home.

By Kingsley Amis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Penguin Decades bring you the novels that helped shape modern Britain. When they were published, some were bestsellers, some were considered scandalous, and others were simply misunderstood. All represent their time and helped define their generation, while today each is considered a landmark work of storytelling.

Kingsley Amis's Lucky Jim was published in 1954, and is a hilarious satire of British university life. Jim Dixon is bored by his job as a medieval history lecturer. His days are only improved by pulling faces behind the backs of his superiors as he tries desperately to survive provincial bourgeois society, an unbearable…


Book cover of Reservation Road

Lynne Hugo Author Of The Testament of Harold's Wife

From my list on families struggling to cope after sudden death.

Why am I passionate about this?

All my work--as a novelist and a licensed clinical therapist--deals with what happens in families, which sometimes includes overwhelming grief. But now, it hasn’t been long since I lost my own son. In these novels, I recognize a piece of myself as I, like any survivor, have struggled to cope. Like few other events in our lives, death has the possibility of completely derailing us with its brutality, and often surviving family cast about blindly, searching for sense, for meaning. Sometimes we can’t find any; sometimes we do, and sometimes we create it ourselves. These novels put different approaches into story, and that, too, is a way to search out direction--and hope.

Lynne's book list on families struggling to cope after sudden death

Lynne Hugo Why did Lynne love this book?

One of the common reactions to the death of a loved family member–especially any death we perceive to be unnecessary or unnatural–is extreme anger. We have to blame someone, and yes, there’s plenty of reproach and self-recrimination in John Burnham Schwartz’s novel, Reservation Road. But there’s a clear culprit–a hit and run driver–and it seems the police are hardly bothering to investigate, and in a case like that, anyone would have a target for their helpless rage. We see Ethan, a father who witnessed his ten-year-old son killed, become obsessed with tracking down the perpetrator himself to accomplish some justice. I understand that kind of anger and frustration, and I know many others do, too. I think it’s useful to both accept that it’s normal, but to look at how destructive it can become to carry it, and to consider how to let it go. 

Reservation Road is also…

By John Burnham Schwartz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A tragic accident sets in motion a cycle of violence and retribution in John Burnham Schwartz's riveting novel "Reservation Road". Two haunted men and their families are engulfed by the emotions surrounding the unexpected and horrendous death of ten-year-old Josh in a hit and run accident. Ethan, a respected professor of literature at a small New England college and father of Josh, is wracked by an obsession with revenge that threatens to tear his family apart. Dwight, a man at once fleeing his crime and hoping to get caught, wrestles with the overwhelming guilt and his sense of obligation to…


Book cover of Campusland

Andrew Pessin Author Of Nevergreen

From my list on the college campus and its craziness.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a professor myself who writes novels, so am especially drawn to novels about campus life! I really do value the life of the mind, but am also aware of just how strange a life that is within contemporary culture. At the same time, campuses are hotbeds of ideas, ranging from the deep and the true to the shallow and the crazy, and young passionate impressionable students simmer in those ideas for several years and then go on to shape our future. What could be more important than novels which bring all that to light? 

Andrew's book list on the college campus and its craziness

Andrew Pessin Why did Andrew love this book?

And then there was Campusland… Fast, funny, and brutal in its satirical account of today’s campuses, with their “safe spaces” and identity politics and administrators and students alike running amok, this is a book with an agenda (be forewarned) but which executes that agenda extremely well. Johnston really nails certain character types present on many liberal arts colleges and elite campuses, as well as the dynamics as those characters execute their own agendas. If you share the author’s agenda you will lap it up; if not, you will be enraged; but either way you will be entertained. And if you haven’t been paying attention to the campus scene for a while—prepare to be shocked.  

By Scott Johnston,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Eph Russell is an English professor up for tenure. He may look and sound privileged, but Eph is right out of gun-rack, Bible-thumping rural Alabama. His beloved Devon, though, has become a place of warring tribes, and there are landmines waiting for Eph that he is unequipped to see. The cultural rules are changing fast.

Lulu Harris is an entitled freshman - er, first year - from Manhattan. Her singular ambition is to be a prominent socialite - an "It Girl." While most would kill for a place at Devon, to her college is a dreary impediment. She is pleasantly…


Book cover of The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe

Catherine Lundoff Author Of Silver Moon: A Wolves of Wolf's Point Novel

From my list on fantasy tales about women over 40.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started writing a series about menopausal werewolves eleven years ago, right before my fiftieth birthday. I wanted to see more women like me in science fiction and fantasy: middle-aged and older women who had led full lives but were still up for more adventure, new worlds, eager to see what came next. I also started a bibliography project on older women protagonists in speculative fiction and began proposing and speaking on convention programming about older women in the genre. We’ve had a lot of great discussions and agree that the needle is slowly moving toward more and better representation. I’m thrilled to be a part of that.

Catherine's book list on fantasy tales about women over 40

Catherine Lundoff Why did Catherine love this book?

In a genre full of stories of almost infinite variety, this is one that caught my eye.

A middle-aged female professor of mathematics goes on a quest with her cat to track down a former student who is the only one who can save their world from destruction. Sounds cozy, doesn’t it? Except for the world-ending part.

And the fact that Vellitt’s path lies straight through a dreamscape out of the Lovecraftian mythos in this critique/homage to H.P. Lovecraft’s The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. But you don’t have to have read the latter to enjoy the journey.

Vellitt is a marvelous character, the world-building is brilliant and the cat is the perfect addition that helps set the tone for a new and different kind of quest fantasy.

By Kij Johnson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

World Fantasy Award winner, Hugo, Nebula, John W. Campbell, and Locus Award finalist for Best Novella, and one of NPR's Best Books of 2016

Professor Vellitt Boe teaches at the prestigious Ulthar Women’s College. When one of her most gifted students elopes with a dreamer from the waking world, Vellitt must retrieve her.
d"Kij Johnson's haunting novella The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe is both a commentary on a classic H.P. Lovecraft tale and a profound reflection on a woman's life. Vellitt's quest to find a former student who may be the only person who can save her community takes her…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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