100 books like A Pocketful of Happiness

By Richard E. Grant,

Here are 100 books that A Pocketful of Happiness fans have personally recommended if you like A Pocketful of Happiness. 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 Tribute

Melinda De Ross Author Of Celebrity

From my list on romance, chick-lit, and women’s fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love women’s fiction, romantic comedies, and chick-lit because they are a fun slice of escapism, a guilty pleasure that pushes our problems on the back burner for a bit. A good women’s fiction novel has everything, from romance, to drama, to self-discovery, to a happy ever after. If it’s delivered with a large dose of humor, it’s the recipe for success. That’s what I try to do in my novels, to offer a unique experience and help readers relax, laugh, dream, hope, and most of all, escape reality when they need it. In my opinion, that’s the purpose of a good book, no matter the genre.

Melinda's book list on romance, chick-lit, and women’s fiction

Melinda De Ross Why did Melinda love this book?

Cilla McGowan has always been fascinated by her grandmother, Hollywood star Janet Hardy, whose untimely death was ruled a suicide. A former actress herself, Cilla chooses a life away from the big screen and starts a business flipping houses. Her first major project is a farm owned by Janet herself. While restoring the house, Cilla begins to uncover the starlet’s secrets, while falling in love with her new sexy neighbor.

This book is a tribute to Nora Roberts’s unmistakable style, an odyssey of witty dialogue, and beautiful storytelling. Cilla’s quest to find her own path in life is entwined with her drive to learn more about her grandmother, which leads to serious danger when she uncovers a decades-old secret. Romance, mystery, humor, danger, suspense—this book has it all!

By Nora Roberts,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A young woman gets caught up in the secrets and shadows of a big-screen legend and a small-town scandal in this #1 New York Times bestseller from Nora Roberts.

Cilla McGowan, a former child star, has found a more satisfying life restoring homes. So she comes to Virginia's Shenandoah Valley to save the dilapidated farmhouse of her grandmother-a legendary actress who died of an overdose there more than thirty years ago.

Plunging into the project with gusto, Cilla's almost too busy and exhausted to notice her neighbor, graphic novelist Ford Sawyer. Determined not to carry on the family tradition of…

Book cover of Memoirs and Misinformation

Ryan Uytdewilligen Author Of He's No Angel

From my list on satire and parody on Hollywood to make you laugh.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a classic Hollywood fanatic. I can name you every Best Picture Oscar Winner on command. I’ve written screenplays and seen the industry firsthand, but if I had my choice, I’d go live through the Hollywood Golden Age. I've published numerous non-fiction film history books and have a whole lot more classic-film-inspired novels coming. And I do it all simply for the single reason that writing a book is the closest thing to time travel that I can find. Immersing myself in this world with actors that have lived, and even a few that I’ve made up, is pure heaven that transports me back to the days of the silver screen. 

Ryan's book list on satire and parody on Hollywood to make you laugh

Ryan Uytdewilligen Why did Ryan love this book?

Anything to do with Jim Carrey, I’m in. In fact, when teachers would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d reply “Be Jim Carrey.” As a longtime fan, I was excited to learn that he would finally be charting his life in an autobiography. As it turns out, the book was mostly wild fiction. What’s so engaging about this book is how he blends real-life occurrences like his body of film work and relationship with Renee Zellweger with completely off-the-wall fantasy like mentor Rodney Dangerfield returning as a Rhino, Kelsey Grammar leading a cult, and Carrey struggling with his career as his entire essence goes virtual. It’s extremely experimental, but the inclusion of celebrities will leave you grinning.     

By Jim Carrey, Dana Vachon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • "None of this is real and all of it is true." —Jim Carrey

Meet Jim Carrey. Sure, he's an insanely successful and beloved movie star drowning in wealth and privilege—but he's also lonely. Maybe past his prime. Maybe even ... getting fat? He's tried diets, gurus, and cuddling with his military-grade Israeli guard dogs, but nothing seems to lift the cloud of emptiness and ennui. Even the sage advice of his best friend, actor and dinosaur skull collector Nicolas Cage, isn't enough to pull Carrey out of his slump.

But then Jim meets Georgie: ruthless…

Book cover of Breathing Room

Maggie Wells Author Of Love Game

From my list on sexy/steamy romance with characters in their prime.

Why am I passionate about this?

Reading and writing romance about characters who are beyond the first blush of youth is important to me because these characters represent who I am and the people I know. We live in an unapologetically youth-centric culture. When I wrote my first book, I wrote about a 40-year-old heroine, not realizing that in traditional romance publishing, no one over 30, maybe 35, gets to fall in love. Well, I had news for them. I joined forces with some other like-minded readers and writers and we created a group on Facebook called Seasoned Romance, where we say you’re never too old to fall in love.  

Maggie's book list on sexy/steamy romance with characters in their prime

Maggie Wells Why did Maggie love this book?

This is one of my comfort reads. It’s been out a while, so it may be a little dated in terms of technology, but the heat is still there. One of the things I love most about this book is that it blows the perception that we should have everything figured out by the time we reach a certain age or level of success. Isabel thought she had a fool-proof guide to living a successful life free of messes. Well, you know that had to blow up in her face. But I also like Lorenzo Gage’s story as much. As one of the world’s most bankable movie stars, he should be riding high, but he finds himself inexplicably discontented with his career and life choices. This book reminds me it’s okay if I don’t have a handle on every little thing.

By Susan Elizabeth Phillips,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Isabel Favor is a life-style coach whose life is falling apart. Her accountant has run off with her money, her reputation is in tatters and her fiance has just dumped her for an older woman. Isabel needs to escape so she heads for Tuscany determined to find a little perspective - breathing room - and start over.

Instead she ends up in a hotel room with Hollywood bad boy, Lorenzo Gage. He makes his living killing people on the screen at least. Ren's reputation is blacker than black. But when you're everyone's favourite villain, it goes with the territory. Isabel's…

Book cover of The Glamorous Dead

Margaret Porter Author Of The Limits of Limelight

From my list on set in golden age Hollywood.

Why am I passionate about this?

My interest in Golden Age Hollywood dates to my childhood of watching classic movies on television. It definitely inspired my career as an actress, which began when I was only ten and later expanded into tv and film. After the publication of twelve historical novels, I decided to write biographical fiction about actresses—famous and obscure—of the 1930s and 1940s. I regularly seek out Hollywood fiction for entertainment, and for research I rely on nonfiction (biographies, histories, sociological studies). I also collect ephemera, so at my author events I can share physical artifacts as well as Hollywood legend and lore!

Margaret's book list on set in golden age Hollywood

Margaret Porter Why did Margaret love this book?

This murder mystery novel is one that really stayed with me. It has a noir quality that fits the 1940s era, and a realistic depiction of the difficulties of employment at various levels in Hollywood. Suspicion falls on the protagonist when her roommate turns up dead on the set of a Barbara Stanwyck film, and through the course of the novel various scandals, mysteries, and cover-ups collide. Though the main character isn’t herself a star, far from it, she offers a particular perspective on the stars she knows and the industry as a whole. Stanwyck is one of Hollywood’s great talents and true survivors, as forceful on the page and as desperate to salvage her personal life as any of her movie characters.

By Suzanne Gates,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Set in the dream factory of the 1940s, this glittering debut novel follows a young Hollywood hopeful into a star-studded web of scandal, celebrity, and murder . . .
The chipped pink nail polish is a dead giveaway—no pun intended. When a human thumb is discovered near a Hollywood nightclub, it doesn’t take long for the police to identify its owner. Miss Penny Harp would recognize that pink anywhere: it belongs to her best friend, Rosemary. And so does the rest of the body buried beneath it. Rosemary, with the beauty and talent, who stood out from all other extras…

Book cover of Hedy Lamarr's Double Life: Hollywood Legend and Brilliant Inventor

Debbie Dadey Author Of Never Give Up: Dr. Kati Kariko and the Race for the Future of Vaccines

From my list on women who wouldn’t give up.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer, I’ve been tempted many times to stop writing. After all, it’s hard. Will anyone ever read this? Maybe I don’t know what I’m doing after all. Then I read stories like the ones I’ve mentioned here. Four of them are about real women who would not give up, even in the face of much adversity. I admire people who have that conviction and strength. It gives me the courage to keep trying-just like they did.

Debbie's book list on women who wouldn’t give up

Debbie Dadey Why did Debbie love this book?

I love reading about women who break the mold-who do something everyone says they can’t.

Hedy Lamar was a famous actress, but she said herself, “People seem to think because I have a pretty face...I’m stupid.” She wasn’t! Among her many inventions was a glow-in-the-dark dog collar. Her most famous scientific work came from designing a frequency hopping system, that is still used in many electronics today.

By Laurie Wallmark, Katy Wu (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Hedy Lamarr's Double Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Age range 5+

To her adoring public, Hedy Lamarr was a glamorous movie star. But in private, she was something more: a brilliant inventor. Now Laurie Wallmark and Katy Wu, who collaborated on Sterling's critically acclaimed picture-book biography Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code, tell the inspiring story of how, during World War Two, Lamarr developed a groundbreaking communications system that still remains essential to the security of today's technology.

'Even readers who don't know Hedy Lamarr, 'the world's most beautiful woman,' will become fans after learning how she balanced her fame as a 1930s movie star with a passion…

Book cover of Wishful Drinking

Lukas Klessig Author Of Words with My Father: A Bipolar Journey Through Turbulent Times

From my list on famous (and dead) figures with bipolar disorder.

Why am I passionate about this?

I do not have bipolar disorder like my father did and other relatives do, but have dealt with OCD, anxiety, and depression off and on from age thirteen forward. Throughout my (and my father's) mental illness journey and in the course of writing WWMF, countless hours have succumbed to the duties of researching and exploring bipolar and other mental illnesses. I am not a medical expert but I do think my compass and intentions point true on bringing light to these realities of life. If you disagree with my selections, commentary, or something you find askance in WWMF, please tell me! We all learn from discussion and dialogue.

Lukas' book list on famous (and dead) figures with bipolar disorder

Lukas Klessig Why did Lukas love this book?

Though her style has always struck me as danger-close to tabloid and disjointed, nobody ever said those traits couldn't result in coffee-through-nostrils hilarity and knockout via punchline.

Fisher's particular brand of sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll certainly didn't help with her bipolar management. All the same, her unhinged lifestyle did deliver a bevy of dramatic and somewhat instructive anecdotes.  

She captures the chaos with such wit and bite in Postcards from the Edge and Shockaholic, but if you have to choose just one book, go with Wishful Drinking.

By Carrie Fisher,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In WISHFUL DRINKING, Carrie Fisher tells the true and intoxicating story of her life with inimitable wit. Born to celebrity parents, she was picked to play a princess in a little movie called Star Wars when only 19 years old. "But it isn't all sweetness and light sabres." Alas, aside from a demanding career and her role as a single mother (not to mention the hyperspace hairdo), Carrie also spends her free time battling addiction, weathering the wild ride of manic depression and lounging around various mental institutions. It's an incredible tale - from having Elizabeth Taylor as a stepmother,…

Book cover of Tender Comrades: A Backstory of the Hollywood Blacklist

Brian Neve Author Of Film and Politics in America: A Social Tradition

From my list on Hollywood blacklist.

Why am I passionate about this?

Years ago, as part of my research, I interviewed Elia Kazan and Abraham Polonsky, two key figures in the blacklist story, and two men who were on different sides in terms of how they responded to the postwar Congressional investigations. These personal encounters – in New York and Los Angeles – fed a fascination with the anti-Communist purge in Hollywood, its dramaturgy, and the way filmmakers of that generation were caught up in it in different ways. There are more specialized works but the books recommended provide a substantive introduction to this still globally resonant topic, calling attention to the problematic and still difficult relationships between citizenship and cultural identity.

Brian's book list on Hollywood blacklist

Brian Neve Why did Brian love this book?

In Tender Comrades, those with experience of the Blacklist tell their stories, prompted expertly by the editors. The book explores the experiences of around forty individuals who were part of the left-wing and liberal community that thrived in Hollywood from the 1930s and 1940s. They involved themselves in political causes and issues, while contributing to some of the key films of that era. The book also captures first-hand accounts of the dynamics of the ‘naming’ process, and how people responded to it – some of them by leaving the country. It is a fascinating story of the impact of these events on private lives and political choices.

By Patrick McGilligan, Paul Buhle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This text offers an account of the McCarthy era in Hollywood. Using oral history techniques, the authors involve 30 of those who were suppressed and unable to talk at the time, owing to the prevailing anti-Communist witch-hunt.

Book cover of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Ann O’Loughlin Author Of Escape to the Irish Village

From my list on strong women and female friendship.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am fascinated by the extraordinary things ordinary people do, particularly women. Women show such strength; they juggle so many things every day, and they can draw on huge reserves of power in a crisis. Time and time again, I see how when women pull together, they can conquer anything. A woman on her own can do many things, but when we band together, nothing can stop us. So often, others concentrate on the negative aspects of a group of women together, but I have seen the power of female friendship and how we can reach the stars when we hold each other up. 

Ann's book list on strong women and female friendship

Ann O’Loughlin Why did Ann love this book?

I love the way this novel brought us behind the scenes in Hollywood. Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life, and the story falls into the lap of reporter Monique.

I read this book during a time of all sorts of revelations about Hollywood’s casting couch. The novel perfectly encapsulates the glamour of film and the tragedy of life, and I also felt a strong woman’s will to keep going.

Interestingly, it moved across two timelines, Evelyn's and Monique’s, but this did not slow the book down. There were also beautiful, poignant moments. I savoured dipping into a world I knew very little about, and I so enjoyed it. 

By Taylor Jenkins Reid,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


"If you're looking for a book to take on holiday this summer, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo has got all the glitz and glamour to make it a perfect beach read." -Bustle

From the New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & the Six-an entrancing and "wildly addictive journey of a reclusive Hollywood starlet" (PopSugar) as she reflects on her relentless rise to the top and the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready…

Book cover of The Garden on Sunset

Lisa Hall Author Of The Mysterious Double Death of Honey Black

From my list on for fans of Old Hollywood.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved stories, whether on the page or on the screen, and after reading Gone with the Wind I immediately watched the movie, feeling the pull of Old Hollywood drawing me in. My grandfather was a big movie fan, and I spent many an afternoon watching old movies with him – Hobson’s Choice was a favourite. As I got older, Gaslight, Ocean’s Eleven, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane… they all had me gripped. Factor in my self-confessed obsession with celebrity gossip and that was me done for – Old Hollywood is rife with scandal and gossip!

Lisa's book list on for fans of Old Hollywood

Lisa Hall Why did Lisa love this book?

Martin Turnbull is somewhat of an expert on Old Hollywood and I found his incredible website in my research for Honey Black.

His website is full of original photos of LA throughout the decades and these were invaluable for me when I was writing certain scenes. I then discovered he had written a series of books based in Hollywood, following three friends who come together to navigate their way through the movie business, starting with The Garden of Allah set in the late 1920s. It’s a fascinating look at the seedier side of Old Hollywood. 

By Martin Turnbull,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Have you ever wanted to climb into a time machine and visit Hollywood during its heyday?

Right before talking pictures slug Tinsel Town in the jaw, a luminous silent screen star converts her private estate into the Garden of Allah Hotel. The lush grounds soon become a haven for Hollywood hopefuls to meet, drink, and revel through the night. George Cukor is in the pool, Tallulah Bankhead is at the bar, and Scott Fitzgerald is sneaking off to a bungalow with Sheilah Graham while Madame Alla Nazimova keeps watch behind her lace curtains.

But the real story of the Garden…

Book cover of Harpo Speaks!

Adam Wallace Author Of How to Catch a Leprechaun

From my list on kids living a great life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am obsessed with personal development, having attended seminars to walk across hot coals and jump from crazy heights to test my limits, and I have read hundreds of books and watched hundreds of videos on self-improvement. But sometimes the best lessons come in fiction, and kid’s books do this so wonderfully. And they are a lot quicker to read and absorb! They also teach with humour, rhythm, and joy, and can change a child’s life simply by letting them escape into a world of laughter and joy, expanding their imaginations, and letting them absorb the lessons, sometimes without even realising it.

Adam's book list on kids living a great life

Adam Wallace Why did Adam love this book?

Okay, I am totally cheating here. Harpo Speaks! is not specifically a kid’s book at all (although it would be wonderful to read with and to upper primary and older), but it is my favourite book of all time, and I couldn’t not include it here. Harpo Speaks! is the autobiography of Harpo Marx. I have read it at least ten times, and every time I learn something new. 

The Marx Brothers show how life can and should be fun, but that the fun comes after and while you are working incredibly hard towards a dream. And of all of them, Harpo’s attitude to and joy of life is a lesson to us all. I can’t recommend this highly enough.

By Harpo Marx, Rowland Barber,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Facsimile of 1961 Edition.  “Adolph Marx [Harpo] squashed his formal education at the age of eight when he was dumped out of the 2nd grade window at P.S. 86 for the last time by two Irish classmates. He never went back. But his informal education blossomed on the streets of New York's Upper East Side; as a piano player in the Happy Times Tavern, on the vaudeville circuit of the early 1900's, at all-night poker games in the Algonquin Hotel. This is a racy autobiography by the mute Marx Brother with the rolling eyes, oversized pants and red wig who…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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