100 books like A Thousand Questions

By Sadiaa Faruqi,

Here are 100 books that A Thousand Questions fans have personally recommended if you like A Thousand Questions. 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 The Poet X

Alexandra V. Méndez Author Of What the Jaguar Told Her

From my list on the power of stories and finding your voice.

Why am I passionate about this?

Stories and the myriad ways they’re told fascinate me. Growing up in Atlanta with Mexican and American heritage, I first learned about Mexican códices—centuries-old books that tell stories through images—on a trip to visit family in Mexico. Later, I studied the history and literature of Latin America at Harvard and got a Ph.D. in Latin American and Iberian Cultures and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. I’ve studied storytelling in many forms, from Mesoamerican maps to early Spanish chronicles of exploration and invasion, to modern Latin American novels. The books listed here celebrate oral storytelling, written traditions, and artistic expression, and they take seriously the perspectives of young people.

Alexandra's book list on the power of stories and finding your voice

Alexandra V. Méndez Why did Alexandra love this book?

In this novel in verse, Elizabeth Acevedo beautifully evokes the landscape and feel of Harlem through the observant character of Xiomara Batista.

Having lived in upper Manhattan for years, I recognized the neighborhood in the vibrant descriptions. I identified with Xiomara’s need to express herself, how she fills the pages of her notebook with what she feels she can’t speak aloud. Her emotions as she confronts the challenges of friendship, romance, and family feel very real.

When a high school teacher opens up for her the world of spoken word poetry and a whole new set of possibilities for self-expression, I find myself rooting for Xiomara to be brave and take the steps she must take on her personal and artistic journey towards sharing her voice.

By Elizabeth Acevedo,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Poet X 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?


'I fell in love at slam poetry. This one will stay with you a long time.' - Angie Thomas, bestselling author of The Hate U Give

'This was the type of book where "I'll just do 50 pages" turned into finishing it in 2 reads. I felt very emotional, not just because the story and…

Book cover of Fish in a Tree

Veronica Fuxa Author Of What Is Normal?

From my list on realistic-fiction defining normal and mental health.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a teacher with passion for history and writing realistic fiction. I published my two books when I was a teenager, and I currently work as a 6th-grade educator teaching writing. I love teaching and working with kids; it keeps me young. When I’m not teaching writing, I love to read realistic fiction, listen to or watch documentaries or horror podcasts, and write short stories.

Veronica's book list on realistic-fiction defining normal and mental health

Veronica Fuxa Why did Veronica love this book?

This book is a great read for parents, teachers, and children. It's breaking down stereotypes in the field of education. It's perfect for book studies or book clubs at any level. I think everyone can get something different from this book.

By Lynda Mullaly Hunt,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Fish in a Tree as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

"Fans of R.J. Palacio's Wonder will appreciate this feel-good story of friendship and unconventional smarts." -Kirkus Reviews

Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be…

Book cover of Book Scavenger

Kim Long Author Of Lexi Magill and the Teleportation Tournament

From my list on competition/game aspects at the heart of the story.

Why am I passionate about this?

Kim Long loves to write stories with a sense of adventure, a dash of magic, and a hint of science. Her debut, Lexi Magill and the Teleportation Tournament, was a 2021-2022 Texas Bluebonnet Master List Selection. She loves board games, scavenger hunts, and puzzles, so books with aspects of those elements have always appealed to her. Every book recommended below has at least one of those elements, and the great news is that it's also the first in its series, so if you fall in love with the first book, there’s a good chance you’ll love the others, too!

Kim's book list on competition/game aspects at the heart of the story

Kim Long Why did Kim love this book?

I love how this book has a game theme but isn’t limited to a specific location. Instead, the main characters travel throughout San Francisco to compete in Book Scavenger (a game where books are hidden in cities all over the country and clues to find them are revealed through puzzles). The reader can play along and there is a deeper mystery to solve—who attacked the game’s creator and can the culprit be caught before another attack is made?

By Jennifer Chambliss Bertman,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Book Scavenger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

For twelve-year-old Emily, the best thing about moving to San Francisco is that it's the home city of her literary idol: Garrison Griswold, book publisher and creator of the online sensation Book Scavenger (a game where books are hidden in cities all over the country and clues to find them are revealed through puzzles). Upon arriving, however, Emily learns that Griswold has been attacked, and no one knows anything about the epic new game he had been poised to launch. Then Emily and her new friend James discover an odd book, which they come to believe is from Griswold himself.…

Book cover of The Anti-Book

Jennifer A. Nielsen Author Of Words on Fire

From my list on middle-grade books about the power of words.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up on books, every page filling my mind with words. I have since written many novels, but WORDS ON FIRE is my love letter to books and the power of words. From the moment I first discovered the story of the Lithuanian Book Smugglers, I wanted to better understand why these brave people risked their lives to save their books. I came to understand that books were their way to preserve their language, their culture, even the very existence of their country. If it was so important to them, would it not be just as important for us to ensure that children – all children – have access to books.

Jennifer's book list on middle-grade books about the power of words

Jennifer A. Nielsen Why did Jennifer love this book?

Mickey is angry about nearly everything in his life, which makes the ad for the Anti-Book even more tempting. When it comes, it has only one line of instruction: To erase it, write it. He fills the book with everything he dislikes, and soon it begins to change. But is that really what he wants? This is a darkly funny book about life, struggle, and learning to accept change.

By Raphael Simon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Anti-Book 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?

Mickey is angry all the time: at his divorced parents, at his sister, and at his two new step-mums, both named Charlie. And so he can't resist the ad inside his pack of gum: "Do you ever wish everyone would go away? Buy The Anti-Book! Satisfaction guaranteed." He orders the book, but when it arrives, it's blank - except for one line of instruction: To erase it, write it. He fills the pages with all the things and people he dislikes...

Next thing he knows, he's wandering an anti-world, one in which everything and everyone familiar is gone. Or are…

Book cover of Boy of Fire and Earth

Helen Grant Author Of Too Near the Dead

From my list on thrillers with a strong sense of place.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write Gothic novels and short ghost stories, nearly always with a very vivid setting. One reviewer observed of my debut novel that the German town where it was set, Bad Münstereifel, almost felt like one of the characters in the book. For the last ten years I have lived in Scotland and much of my recent work is set here. I love to explore the derelict mansions that are dotted about the countryside, walk along the old railway line, or swim in the river. I'm fascinated by the way that traces of Scotland's history are visible in the landscape, and I write this into my books. 

Helen's book list on thrillers with a strong sense of place

Helen Grant Why did Helen love this book?

I bought this book after reading Sami Shah's standout story "Reap" in the anthology The Djinn Falls In Love And Other Stories. It's set in Karachi, Pakistan, and follows the adventures of Wahid Hasain, as he attempts to recover the soul of the girl he loves, which was stolen by a djinn. It is a book full of horror and wonder, gore and lyricism, and I was glued to every single page. It brings Karachi to life in all its gritty glory: the traffic, the university, auto rickshaws, chai cafés, mithai shops, and lemon juice sellers. Shah peoples the city with characters like Badshah, the youthful 'King of Karachi', Kamran, the sadistic killer, and above all the djinn – many different types of them, from the vaguely pitiful to the outright terrifying. A read that will take you far from home. 

By Sami Shah,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

‘Sami Shah’s imagination is a place of wonder and terror’ Kamila Shamsie ‘Bold, compelling fantasy with a truly original setting’ Saladin Ahmed Born of a smokeless fire, and raised in Karachi, Wahid’s life comes apart when he loses the girl he loves to vengeful djinns. Setting out on a journey to recover her soul and find out the truth of his own origins, he is accompanied by Iblis, the Devil himself. Together, they traverse a city infested with corrupt cops and hustling beggars, and discover deathly creatures lurking under its sinister surface, even as the threat of Judgement Day looms…

Book cover of Magnificent Delusions: Pakistan, the United States, and an Epic History of Misunderstanding

Aparna Pande Author Of From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India's Foreign Policy

From my list on history and foreign policy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Foreign policy has been my passion since I was a child. My father was a civil servant and growing up in India, I always wanted to follow in his footsteps but instead of working on domestic issues, I wanted to work on international affairs. History was another passion of mine and I wanted to combine the two of them in such a way that I studied the past in order to explain the present and help the future. This passion led me to enroll in a PhD program in the United States and then work at a think tank. I have written three books, two of which focus exclusively on foreign policy. I hope you enjoy reading the books I have listed and read my book.  

Aparna's book list on history and foreign policy

Aparna Pande Why did Aparna love this book?

The book takes the reader through seven decades of a tumultuous history of relations between the two countries. I love this book because it is an easy and fun read, the writing style is light, and there are lots of anecdotes. As a student of history and international relations, the book appealed to me at multiple levels. The book will appeal to practitioners, academics, and the average reader.

By Husain Haqqani,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The relationship between America and Pakistan is based on mutual incomprehension and always has been. Pakistan,to American eyes,has gone from being a quirky irrelevance, to a stabilizing friend, to an essential military ally, to a seedbed of terror. America,to Pakistani eyes,has been a guarantee of security, a coldly distant scold, an enthusiastic military enabler, and is now a threat to national security and a source of humiliation.The countries are not merely at odds. Each believes it can play the other,with sometimes absurd, sometimes tragic, results. The conventional narrative about the war in Afghanistan, for instance, has revolved around the Soviet…

Book cover of Tomb of Sand

Cyril Wong Author Of This Side of Heaven

From my list on tackling surrealism, memory, and desire.

Why am I passionate about this?

Mortality, desire, memory, and time are my favourite themes, not just in my writing but in my life. I also love anything—music, art, literature—that is evocative, bizarre, and surreal. As a meditator, lover, and writer of poetry and poetic prose, I love books that expand our minds and hearts in ways that conventional acts of writing and creative expressions fail to do.

Cyril's book list on tackling surrealism, memory, and desire

Cyril Wong Why did Cyril love this book?

Set in India, the central story traces the transformation of 80-year-old Ma, who is depressed after the death of her husband. Suddenly she decides to travel to Pakistan, confronting past traumas connected to the Partition riots. She is accompanied by Rosie, a hijra who is her best and wisest friend. The book is not just about its protagonists, but full of divertissements that tackle the meaning of relationships, memory, and time. There are also talking crows and a sequence of “performance art” when writers of the Partition take the page-as-stage.

By Geetanjali Shree, Daisy Rockwell (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


A playful, feminist, and utterly original epic set in contemporary northern India, about a family and the inimitable octogenarian matriarch at its heart.

“A tale tells itself. It can be complete, but also incomplete, the way all tales are. This particular tale has a border and women who come and go as they please. Once you’ve got women and a border, a story can write itself . . .”

Eighty-year-old Ma slips into a deep depression after the death of her husband. Despite her family’s cajoling, she refuses to leave her bed. Her…

Book cover of 1971: A People's History from Bangladesh, Pakistan and India

Sayeed Ferdous Author Of Partition as Border-Making: East Bengal, East Pakistan and Bangladesh

From my list on South Asian history and culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

I teach anthropology but find my niche in the blurred zone of history and anthropology. My research interests include South Asian Studies; Historiography; Memory/Forgetting, and Postcolonial Nation, State, and Nationalism. My book Partition as Border-Making draws upon ethnographic details, using oral historical accounts from the Bengal borderland and archival materials. Focusing upon the significance of the mundane in history and its presentness, this research contributes to understanding postcolonial South Asia beyond “indocentrism.” At present, I am co-editing a Bangladesh Reader. In 2021, I jointly conducted a research project on the Partition migrants to Dhaka in partnership with Goethe Institute, Bangladesh.

Sayeed's book list on South Asian history and culture

Sayeed Ferdous Why did Sayeed love this book?

This book is probably among the first ones written by a Pakistani author on the history of the 1971 war, aka Liberation War of Bangladesh, which thrilled me as a reader. It challenges not only the statist-nationalist accounts of Pakistan but those from India and Bangladesh as well.

Anam, the author, accomplished commendable work by talking to people across the cartographies and bringing up diverse and contradictory perspectives about the pretexts and events of 1971-related politics. While after all these years, both the state and society of Pakistan and Bangladesh remained taboo to each other, such a venture appears to be the silver lining of knowledge sharing between the entities in the two territories.

Unsettling for the conformists, nationalists, and statists, this piece of work is a must-read for everyone interested in the region.

By Anam Zakaria,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 1971 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The year 1971 exists everywhere in Bangladesh-on its roads, in sculptures, in its museums and oral history projects, in its curriculum, in people's homes and their stories, and in political discourse. It marks the birth of the nation, its liberation. More than 1000 miles away, in Pakistan too, 1971 marks a watershed moment, its memories sitting uncomfortably in public imagination. It is remembered as the 'Fall of Dacca', the dismemberment of Pakistan or the third Indo-Pak war. In India, 1971 represents something else-the story of humanitarian intervention, of triumph and valour that paved the way for India's rise as a…

Book cover of Unmarriageable

Chika Unigwe Author Of The Middle Daughter

From my list on re-imaginings of history, classics and myths.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love reading adaptations of classics which complicate the original texts in interesting ways, I have just written one myself, The Middle Daughter. Transcultural adaptations, particularly remind us that we are all members of one human family, dealing with the same kind of problems across time and space and cultures. In these times of deepening polarization, it's important to see that there's more that unites us than not.

Chika's book list on re-imaginings of history, classics and myths

Chika Unigwe Why did Chika love this book?

This is an adaptation of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice set in contemporary Pakistan.

I love Austen adaptations and this is one of my favorites. Funny, witty, and incisive, Kamal explores love, family, and the challenges women face in 21st-century Pakistan.

If you’re an Austen adaptation fan and you haven’t read this, you’re missing out. Also read if you enjoy brilliant storytelling.   

By Soniah Kamal,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“This inventive retelling of Pride and Prejudice charms.”—People
“A fun, page-turning romp and a thought-provoking look at the class-obsessed strata of Pakistani society.”—NPR

Alys Binat has sworn never to marry—until an encounter with one Mr. Darsee at a wedding makes her reconsider.

A scandal and vicious rumor concerning the Binat family have destroyed their fortune and prospects for desirable marriages, but Alys, the second and most practical of the five Binat daughters, has found happiness teaching English literature to schoolgirls. Knowing that many of her students won’t make it to graduation before dropping out to marry and have children, Alys…

Book cover of Moth Smoke

Stephen E. Eisenbraun Author Of Danger and Romance in Foreign Lands

From my list on South Asia and East Africa to keep you awake.

Why am I passionate about this?

From my days as a student in India in the early 1970s through my years in the U.S. Foreign Service with postings in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Kenya, as well as assignments to the India, Kenya, and Uganda desks at the Department of State, I learned something of the cultures of South Asia and East Africa and gained an appreciation for the peoples of those countries. During the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, I had the time to write. I developed a novel that was part autobiography and part fiction, and most of which was set in South Asia and East Africa. The result is Danger and Romance in Foreign Lands.

Stephen's book list on South Asia and East Africa to keep you awake

Stephen E. Eisenbraun Why did Stephen love this book?

In the early 1980s, when I lived in Lahore, Pakistan, and served on the board of the Lahore American School—an institution that catered to rich Pakistanis and expats whose commercial companies paid the high tuition—I talked to a fourth-grade class whose Pakistani teacher was a close friend. She alerted me twenty years later that one of those students had just published his first novel, describing the fast life of the affluent and often decadent Pakistanis who lived in mansions, partied till dawn, drank heavily, and engaged, it was rumored, in romantic liaisons with each other’s spouses.

Moth Smoke describes this life, with a main character who falls in love with a friend’s wife while losing his job and turning to the sale of heroin and hashish to survive.  Mohsin takes the reader through a bittersweet recounting of life in the fast lane in modern Pakistan, a life I observed for…

By Mohsin Hamid,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The debut novel from the internationally bestselling author of Exit West and The Reluctant Fundamentalist, both shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize

Moth Smoke, Mohsin Hamid’s deftly conceived first novel, immediately marked him as an uncommonly gifted and ambitious young literary talent to watch when it was published in 2000. It tells the story of Daru Shezad, who, fired from his banking job in Lahore, begins a decline that plummets the length of Hamid’s sharply drawn, subversive tale.

Fast-paced and unexpected, Moth Smoke was ahead of its time in portraying a contemporary Pakistan far more vivid and complex than the…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Pakistan, culture, and presidential biography?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Pakistan, culture, and presidential biography.

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