10 books like A Slipping-Down Life

By Anne Tyler,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like A Slipping-Down Life. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

Lolita

By Vladimir Nabokov,

Book cover of Lolita

This book is an astounding and disturbing look into the mind and heart of a pedophile. Humbert Humbert, with his pretensions of literary brilliance, his ornate use of the French language, and his justification of his illegal and immoral actions, will fascinate the reader. What makes a man make terrible choices? Why can’t he fit into the mold of human respectability? And the victim, Lolita, what makes her go along with his depravity? Written in 1958, Lolita is heavy with internal ramblings but still fascinating.

Lolita

By Vladimir Nabokov,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of my tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.'

Humbert Humbert is a middle-aged, frustrated college professor. In love with his landlady's twelve-year-old daughter Lolita, he'll do anything to possess her. Unable and unwilling to stop himself, he is prepared to commit any crime to get what he wants.

Is he in love or insane? A silver-tongued poet or a pervert? A tortured soul or a monster? Or is he all…


Atonement

By Ian McEwan,

Book cover of Atonement

McEwan is a modern master, one of the few we have. And like most true masters, he’s often flawed. Not every sentence is perfect, his plots sometimes have potholes, and he’s been accused, at times, of borrowing without attribution. But I’ve been reading him for forty years and I think Atonement has a fair claim to be his masterpiece. The novel takes place in three time periods – 1935, the Second World War, and 1999 – and traces the implications of child’s misapprehension in witnessing a sexual encounter. The novel was published in 2001 and I suspect that some ideologically-minded contemporary readers might protest its inclusion on a best of list. But for those who still have a taste for nuance and ambiguity, It’s a devastating story about families, class, and literature. 

Atonement

By Ian McEwan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On the hottest day of the summer of 1934, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching her is Robbie Turner, her childhood friend who, like Cecilia, has recently come down from Cambridge. By the end of that day, the lives of all three will have been changed for ever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had not even imagined at its start, and will have become victims of the younger girl's imagination. Briony will have witnessed mysteries, and committed a…


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

By Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows,

Book cover of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

 Most war novels are concerned quite naturally with the actions of the participants. This story, written in retrospect, concerns itself with the impact on the civilian population.

As the only part of the UK occupied by Nazi Germany,  Channel Islanders experienced the constant demands and dangers of occupation. Post-war, these issues gradually surface again after an exchange of letters leads to a visit to the Society and its members by an interested writer, where slowly and gently the brutality, hardship, treachery, survival, courage, and dark secrets of wartime are once again reluctantly revealed. It is also a reminder of the power of human relationships and of the consequences that can arise when love is stronger than national interests.

It is also a novel that certainly makes you consider what your own actions might have been if you had been similarly tested.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

By Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The beloved, life-affirming international bestseller which has sold over 5 million copies worldwide - now a major film starring Lily James, Matthew Goode, Jessica Brown Findlay, Tom Courtenay and Penelope Wilton 'I can't remember the last time I discovered a novel as smart and delightful as this one ... Treat yourself to this book, please - I can't recommend it highly enough' Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love To give them hope she must tell their story It's 1946. The war is over, and Juliet Ashton has writer's block. But when she receives a letter from Dawsey Adams of…


The One-In-A-Million Boy

By Monica Wood,

Book cover of The One-In-A-Million Boy

I’m recommending this because it will break your heart, and everyone needs that experience now and again with a book. It tells the story of a unique and unlikely love that blossoms slowly between a 104-year-old woman (whom you will learn to adore) and a young boy scout who calls to her house to fulfill one of his tasks. There’s a tragic twist early on that introduces us to the boy’s parents, and there are some lovely subsequent turns in this most magical tale. It’s the first Monica Wood book that I read, but I must hunt her down and read more. 

The One-In-A-Million Boy

By Monica Wood,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The One-In-A-Million Boy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

She may be 104 years old, but Ona Vitkus is on a mission and it's all because of THE ONE-IN-A-MILLION-BOY...

Monica Wood's unforgettable novel about a boy in a million and the 104-year-old woman who saves his family is not to be missed by readers who loved THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY, ELIZABETH IS MISSING or THE SHOCK OF THE FALL.

'A lovely, quirky novel about misfits across generations' Daily Mail

'A bittersweet story about finding friendship in the most unlikely of places' Good Housekeeping.

The story of your life never starts at the beginning. Don't they teach you…


The Rich Man's Table

By Scott Spencer,

Book cover of The Rich Man's Table

This novel by the author of Endless Love (fabulous novel, terrible movie adaptations) isn't a mystery novel in the strictest terms. But it's about one of the greatest human mysteries, Bob Dylan, represented by fictional singer-songwriter Luke Fairchild, and considering how little we know about Dylan, how can we not seize the chance to see him through the eyes of a great novelist? The novel is narrated by Fairchild's illegitimate son, who obsessively searches for his father after discovering he is a legendary artist. In an act of considerable nerve, Spencer punctuates the pages with Dylanesque lyrics. 


The Rich Man's Table

By Scott Spencer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Rich Man's Table as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A man’s impassioned search for his legendary rock star father becomes a journey of self-discovery in this masterful novel from bestselling author Scott Spencer

Billy Rothschild’s obsession with legendary ’60s folksinger Luke Fairchild could be considered fanatic, if not for the fact that Luke is actually Billy’s father. Raised by his beautiful, charismatic, former–flower child mother, Billy is a lost soul. Determined to learn something—anything—about his origins, he sets out on an illuminating quest to find and confront the father he always knew of but never knew.

Evocative and lyrical, The Rich Man’s Table is a moving portrait of a…


The Midnights

By Sarah Nicole Smetana,

Book cover of The Midnights

One book that I really recommend reading is the novel The Midnights by Sarah Nicole Smetana. The main character, Susannah, is a seventeen-year-old girl who plays a mean guitar like her former rock star father whose attention she craves very much. She is driven with passion to pursue her dream even after her father suddenly dies unexpectedly, and must uproot to a new city where she eagerly takes on the challenge. The story is an emotionally charged coming-of-age novel involving loss, creativity, and feeling confident in your voice, while feeling confident in your choices to define who you are. 

The Midnights

By Sarah Nicole Smetana,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This voice-driven coming-of-age YA novel is perfect for fans of Katie Cotugno and Playlist for the Dead.

Susannah Hayes has never been in the spotlight, but she dreams of following her father, a former rock star, onto the stage. As senior year begins, she's more interested in composing impressive chord progressions than college essays, certain that if she writes the perfect song, her father might finally look up from the past long enough to see her. But when he dies unexpectedly, her dreams--and her reality--shatter.

While Susannah struggles with grief, her mother uproots them to a new city. There, Susannah…


The Last Song

By Nicholas Sparks,

Book cover of The Last Song

Ronnie is everything a teenage girl should be—independent, sharp, and fierce. Will, the local guy who has it all, is drawn to her unique spirit. He sees through her defiance as they bond over Ronnie’s desire to save a sea turtle’s nest from predators. Over the course of their summer romance, Ronnie learns that Will’s life is not what she expected. In return, Will helps Ronnie make some discoveries of her own. This book is close to my heart in that you see how Ronnie learns how to channel her spirit from being rebellious to guiding her life in a more positive direction. She is similar to Jess in that she rises to the challenges presented to her and we see what a difference her decisions make in getting her to where she belongs.

The Last Song

By Nicholas Sparks,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Seventeen-year-old Veronica 'Ronnie' Miller's life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wilmington, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alienated from her parents, especially her father . . . until her mother decides it would be in everyone's best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him. Ronnie's father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church.

The tale that unfolds is an…


Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville (33 1/3)

By Gina Arnold,

Book cover of Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville (33 1/3)

When I was 15, Liz Phair’s album Exile in Guyville completely turned me on to indie rock. Until then, everything I heard was baked for the radio. Liz’s dry, quivering voice, slipping in and out of key, singing candidly about sex and the unspeakable aspects of relationships, challenged the boys club and spoke to me in a way that Courtney Love and Shirley Manson hadn’t. I think it was her ability to tell a story, or maybe it was that nothing seemed “over-produced.” Either way, many years later, this book gave me important insights on the way Chicago indie-rock functioned in the ‘90s and how much bullshit Liz Phair had to put up with just for being herself.  

Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville (33 1/3)

By Gina Arnold,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville (33 1/3) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Although Exile in Guyville was celebrated as one of the year's top records by Spin and the New York Times, it was also, to some, an abomination: a mockery of the Rolling Stones' most revered record and a rare glimpse into the psyche of a shrewd, independent, strong young woman. For these crimes, Liz Phair was run out of her hometown of Chicago, enduring a flame war perpetrated by writers who accused her of being boring, inauthentic, and even a poor musician. With Exile in Guyville, Phair spoke for all the girls who loved the world of indie rock but…


Storms

By Carol Ann Harris,

Book cover of Storms: My Life with Lindsey Buckingham and Fleetwood Mac

Four weeks after its release, Fleetwood Mac's Rumours album hit number one on Billboard and remained there for thirty-one weeks. But the band itself was disintegrating. John and Christine McVie's seven-year marriage was on the edge of divorce as recording started. And the ethereal Stevie Nicks and mercurial Lindsey Buckingham's relationship had fractured explosively, only ceasing when the mics were on for recording. Mick Fleetwood had discovered that his wife and mother of his two children was having an affair. And if that wasn't enough, Fleetwood and Nicks would soon begin a fleeting dalliance. If this album didn't hit, Fleetwood Mac would implode, but its extraordinary success, despite the emotional maelstrom surrounding the band, kept them together: everybody desperately needed the money.

The author of this book, an audio engineer in training at Producer's Workshop, a Hollywood studio where my own band recorded a few years earlier, fell in love…

Storms

By Carol Ann Harris,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Fleetwood Mac were recording and then touring with their classic Rumours - at the time the fastest-selling album in history - they were one of the biggest music acts in the world. But behind the facade of their tuneful, breezy, memorable pop songs was a world of internal animosity and strife, drug use, incestuous sexual shenanigans and wild partying which, as the band took a new direction with the follow-up album Tusk, inexorably spiralled into darkness and chaos. One might expect such excess from Aerosmith - but...Fleetwood Mac? Carol Ann Harris was the girlfriend of Fleetwood Mac's singer and…


Who I Am

By Pete Townshend,

Book cover of Who I Am: A Memoir

I found this to be one fo the best of the never-evening parade of rockstar autobiographies. Townshend is very honest about his complex personality and his shortcomings, and reading this, you can easily trace how this informed so much of The Who’s amazing music — and the stories of all the craziness of the early days of The Who are a blast, to boot.

Who I Am

By Pete Townshend,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Raw and unsparing...as intimate and as painful as a therapy session, while chronicling the history of the band as it took shape in the Mod scene in 1960s London and became the very embodiment of adolescent rebellion and loud, anarchic rock ‘n’ roll.”   — Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

One of rock music's most intelligent and literary performers, Pete Townshend—guitarist, songwriter, editor—tells his closest-held stories about the origins of the preeminent twentieth-century band The Who, his own career as an artist and performer, and his restless life in and out of the public eye in this candid autobiography, Who I…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in rock music, North Carolina, and bildungsroman?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about rock music, North Carolina, and bildungsroman.

Rock Music Explore 149 books about rock music
North Carolina Explore 85 books about North Carolina
Bildungsroman Explore 220 books about bildungsroman