100 books like A Time to Dance, No Time to Weep

By Rumer Godden,

Here are 100 books that A Time to Dance, No Time to Weep fans have personally recommended if you like A Time to Dance, No Time to Weep. 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 A House with Seven Windows: Short Stories

Joan Rudd Author Of Building Solid: A Life in Stories

From my list on growing into womanhood in different locations.

Why am I passionate about this?

"Two tickets to ride!Most people get only one life.... and on only one coast. This book is an overview of an era 1948-2020 of cultural shifts and expectations for "girls". At seventeen I left my family and NYC for college, a commune, and then art school on the West coast. Visual artist, woman, mother, and descendant, Joan describes the lifetime challenges that she has met with creativity, humor, and resilience. Two NW cities, two marriages, and two sons born 23 years apart inspire many of her stories. 

Joan's book list on growing into womanhood in different locations

Joan Rudd Why did Joan love this book?

Kadya Molodowsky’s book of stories, A House with Seven Windows are stories mostly set one half of a generation off of my own, just far enough to be recognizable. There is one story about parents investing in a stylish winter coat for their daughter in order to render her more marriageable in appearance for the “market.” My own parents did the same for me when I left for college!

By Kadya Molodowsky, Leah Schoolnik (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A House with Seven Windows as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A House of Seven Windows by Kadya Molodowsky is the famed Yiddish poet's only collection of short stories. Written in simple prose, these stories are subtle portraits - tragic-comic, bittersweet, always generous spirited - of ordinary people: Jews in pre-World War II Eastern Europe and Jews struggling to adjust to life in America. A traditional-minded husband is defeated by his wife who wants only the latest fashion. A community leader's position is supported and maintained by his more energetic and political-minded wife. A couple, ardent supporters of the newly formed state of Israel, nevertheless find themselves at odds with their…


Book cover of How to Make an American Quilt

Joan Rudd Author Of Building Solid: A Life in Stories

From my list on growing into womanhood in different locations.

Why am I passionate about this?

"Two tickets to ride!Most people get only one life.... and on only one coast. This book is an overview of an era 1948-2020 of cultural shifts and expectations for "girls". At seventeen I left my family and NYC for college, a commune, and then art school on the West coast. Visual artist, woman, mother, and descendant, Joan describes the lifetime challenges that she has met with creativity, humor, and resilience. Two NW cities, two marriages, and two sons born 23 years apart inspire many of her stories. 

Joan's book list on growing into womanhood in different locations

Joan Rudd Why did Joan love this book?

How to Make an American Quilt is a novel stringing together wonderful interconnected stories told across a couple of generations and incorporating descriptions of sight, smell, and touch. “I am not the kind of person to throw something away just because it is broken. I would not waste what could still be of use,” says one of the main characters who goes on to explain that quilts are made of “spare time” and “excess materials.”

By Whitney Otto,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Make an American Quilt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Remarkable . . . It is a tribute to an art form that allowed women self-expression even when society did not. Above all, though, it is an affirmation of the strength and power of individual lives, and the way they cannot help fitting together.”—The New York Times Book Review

An extraordinary and moving novel, How to Make an American Quilt is an exploration of women of yesterday and today, who join together in a uniquely female experience. As they gather year after year, their stories, their wisdom, their lives, form the pattern from which all of us draw warmth and…


Book cover of Mothers Matter Too

Joan Rudd Author Of Building Solid: A Life in Stories

From my list on growing into womanhood in different locations.

Why am I passionate about this?

"Two tickets to ride!Most people get only one life.... and on only one coast. This book is an overview of an era 1948-2020 of cultural shifts and expectations for "girls". At seventeen I left my family and NYC for college, a commune, and then art school on the West coast. Visual artist, woman, mother, and descendant, Joan describes the lifetime challenges that she has met with creativity, humor, and resilience. Two NW cities, two marriages, and two sons born 23 years apart inspire many of her stories. 

Joan's book list on growing into womanhood in different locations

Joan Rudd Why did Joan love this book?

Mothers Matter Too is an extraordinary compendium of stories, thoughts, and statistics about women at home with children. Her helpful chart of the “rules” applicable to each stage and “role” of a woman’s life (from girlhood to cronehood) is still revelatory even years after the resurgence of the Women’s Movement. This book is also about the active listening skills critical to supporting a new mother as she struggles to regain her confidence.

By Jenny Phillips,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of My Grandfather's Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging

Stephanie Chitpin Author Of Keep My Memory Safe: Fook Soo Am, The Pagoda

From my list on expanding perspectives and empathy for others.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Full Professor of Leadership within the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa, Canada. I am the recipient of the 2020 Research Excellence Award. My research, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Ontario Ministry of Education, Canada, is international in scope. I am also the founder of the Equitable Leadership Network at the University of Ottawa. 

Stephanie's book list on expanding perspectives and empathy for others

Stephanie Chitpin Why did Stephanie love this book?

I love the stories presented in Dr. Remen’s book. They are simple yet profound.

Her stories are centered on the concepts of healing, kindness, compassion, love, and living which she learned from her grandfather. She emphasizes the value of helping others as a way to help ourselves and find meaning in the world.

By Rachel Naomi Remen,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked My Grandfather's Blessings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In My Grandfather's Blessings, Rachel Naomi Remen, a cancer physician and master storyteller, uses her luminous stories to remind us of the power of our kindness and the joy of being alive.

Dr. Remen's grandfather, an orthodox rabbi and scholar of the Kabbalah, saw life as a web of connection and knew that everyone belonged to him, and that he belonged to everyone. He taught her that blessing one another is what fills our emptiness, heals our loneliness, and connects us more deeply to life.

Life has given us many more blessings than we have allowed ourselves to receive. My…


Book cover of The Devourers

Alison Levy Author Of Magic By Any Other Name

From my list on a mythical creature’s point of view.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love mythological creatures! I grew up gravitating toward fantasy books but because I have a narcissistic parent, I got teased for reading them. To avoid the teasing, I ended up reading a lot of mythology because that was a “safe” fantasy option; reading mythology was “educational” rather than “silly.”  When I got older, I discovered that there’s a whole category of fantasy books that retell myths from alternative points of view. This subgenre opened new doors of understanding and empathy for me. Reading old stories from new perspectives opens my eyes to a myriad of different types of people and broadens my view of the world. And I’ve been reading them ever since.

Alison's book list on a mythical creature’s point of view

Alison Levy Why did Alison love this book?

In Kolkata, India, a college professor agrees to transcribe a stranger’s collection of notebooks, old parchments, and scribbles on human skins. 

Through his translations, the reader learns about a race of werewolf-like creatures that eat humans and absorb their memories and souls in the process. One such creature, Fenrir, fathers a child by a human woman out of a desire to create life instead of destroying it. 

This book contains a lot of violence but through the eyes of the shapeshifters, the reader gets a sharp look at gender fluidity and relationships between sexes. What I remember most from the book is Fenrir’s point of view being both unnerving and thought-provoking. He’s devoured the knowledge of many humans yet he can’t differentiate between love and hate.

By Indra Das,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The cold day never ends. With nothing but time on his hands, Jake was on a simple drive to visit his brother until he was attacked by a strange convict. Now, he doubts his sanity at every turn as he finds himself decades off course and caged in, with an ancient American evil.


Book cover of Calcutta: A Cultural and Literary History

Tom Vater Author Of Kolkata Noir

From my list on Kolkata (Calcutta India).

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a writer and journalist with an eye on South and Southeast Asia. I first visited Kolkata, or Calcutta as the city was known back then, in 1995 and fell in love with its spirit, culture, architecture, politics, and decrepitude. I have been back regularly reporting on the city’s cultural life for media like CNN and Nikkei Asia. In 2019, I was selected as artist-in-residence for the Indo-European Art Residency by the Goethe Institute and spent 10 weeks writing a crime fiction set in the Bengali capital. Kolkata is, hands down, my favorite city in the world – despite its poverty, systemic injustice, and political cruelty, there is an energy in the place that is hard to beat.

Tom's book list on Kolkata (Calcutta India)

Tom Vater Why did Tom love this book?

Another nonfiction similar in scope and outlook to Kushanava Choudhury’s The Epic City, this title dispenses with the personal narrative and offers a highly structured rundown of the main attractions/points of history/social and cultural issues, etc of the Bengali capital. Not quite a guidebook, Calcutta offers short texts on particular aspects of life in the city, then and now. Well written, the book suffers from the same issue as all other recent books on Kolkata – the British get away with way too much and the post-independence period is seen through the eyes of Calcutta’s privileged elite. That said, this title does well at dissecting cultural currents, and the section on artistic Kolkata is especially rewarding. A great, practical introduction for the first-time visitor.

By Krishna Dutta,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Book by Dutta, Krishna


Book cover of The Middleman

Tom Vater Author Of Kolkata Noir

From my list on Kolkata (Calcutta India).

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a writer and journalist with an eye on South and Southeast Asia. I first visited Kolkata, or Calcutta as the city was known back then, in 1995 and fell in love with its spirit, culture, architecture, politics, and decrepitude. I have been back regularly reporting on the city’s cultural life for media like CNN and Nikkei Asia. In 2019, I was selected as artist-in-residence for the Indo-European Art Residency by the Goethe Institute and spent 10 weeks writing a crime fiction set in the Bengali capital. Kolkata is, hands down, my favorite city in the world – despite its poverty, systemic injustice, and political cruelty, there is an energy in the place that is hard to beat.

Tom's book list on Kolkata (Calcutta India)

Tom Vater Why did Tom love this book?

The Middleman was first published in 1973. The book recounts the story of Somnath, a young poet who is unemployed despite being middle-class and well-qualified. Frustrated by a fruitless search for a job and expected to become something by his family, Somnath becomes a middleman, a corrupt businessman, and a pimp. His dreams as well as his morality are crushed by the harsh rules of survival in Kolkata. Grim, relentless, and uncompromising, The Middleman discusses India’s too-much-of-everything and in some ways remains as pertinent to life in Indian metros today as it was then.

By Mani Shankar Mukherji,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Unable to find a job despite his qualifications, Somnath decides to go into the order - supply business as a middleman. His ambition drives him to prostitute an innocent girl for a contract that will secure the future of Somnath Enterprises. As Somnath grows from an idealistic young man into a corrupt businessman, the novel becomes a terrifying portrait of the price the city extracts from its youth. Sankar's The Middleman is the moving story of a man torn between who he is and what he wants to be. Stark and disquieting, the novel deftly exposes the decaying values and…


Book cover of Days and Nights in Calcutta

Peggy Payne Author Of Sister India

From my list on sensuous literature of India.

Why am I passionate about this?

About thirty years ago, I spent three months on an Indo-American Fellowship in Varanasi taking notes on daily life in this holy city where my novel Sister India is set. That winter felt like a separate life within my life, a bonus. Because all there was so new to me, and it was unmediated by cars, television, or computers, I felt while I was there so much more in touch with the physical world, what in any given moment I could see, hear, smell…. It was the way I had felt as a child, knowing close-up particular trees and shrubs, the pattern of cracks in a sidewalk.

Peggy's book list on sensuous literature of India

Peggy Payne Why did Peggy love this book?

Days and Nights in Calcutta is a fascinating dual view of the same time and place by a husband and wife, both highly esteemed writers. The couple has returned to her family home in the famously complex and crowded Indian city and this is the account-in-two-voices of their year there. His feels full of wonder and surprise; it has a sunlit quality. Hers feels full of intensity and concern; it is tightly wrought. The book shows me not just India, a place I love to see and feel, but the importance of everyone’s story and view.

By Clark Blaise, Bharati Mukherjee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Days and Nights in Calcutta as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book by Blaise, Clark, Mukherjee, Bharati


Book cover of Complete Adventures of Feluda Vol. 1

Vikas Prakash Joshi Author Of My Name Is Cinnamon

From my list on YA from India with a great slice of Indian culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a writer for kids and YA based in Pune, India and it’s been my passion to read books for this age group, from the time I was that age. Unfortunately, when I borrowed books from my library as a boy, so many kids and YA books were either not at all “story like” (moralistic or preachy) or we had to read books from abroad. Fortunately, Indian kids and YA literature has blossomed and provided us many excellent writers, some of whom are now household names. I interviewed some of them for my podcast on books Literary Gupshup. It's my desire to make readers outside India more aware of the wonderful kids’ books in India. 

Vikas' book list on YA from India with a great slice of Indian culture

Vikas Prakash Joshi Why did Vikas love this book?

As a child, I loved—and still love—reading the stories of Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, and the Hardy Boys.

But my favorite was Feluda, a series of mystery stories or novellas created by ace filmmaker Satyajit Ray.

Ray’s Feluda stories revolve around a fictional detective called Feluda, who travels across India’s vibrant landscapes, from the caves of Ajanta Ellora in the west, to Jaipur in the north, to Chennai in the south, to many more, and outside India too.

Ray’s detective stories are well rooted in Indian culture, very clean, and virtually without any “Adult” content, and only a bit of violence but make for interesting and gripping reading despite it. 

Written originally in Bengali language, it is translated very well. It is eminently suitable for readers of all age groups.  

By Satyajit Ray,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Complete Adventures of Feluda Vol. 1 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This omnibus edition features the ever-popular adventures of Satyajit Ray's enduring creation, the professional sleuth Pradosh C. Mitter (Feluda). In his escapades, Feluda is accompanied by his cousin Topshe and the bumbling crime writer Lalmohan Ganguly (Jatayu). From Jaisalmer to Simla, from the Ellora Caves to Varanasi, the trio traverse fascinating locales to unravel one devious crime after another.


Book cover of The Calcutta Chromosome: A Novel of Fevers, Delirium & Discovery

Tom Vater Author Of Kolkata Noir

From my list on Kolkata (Calcutta India).

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a writer and journalist with an eye on South and Southeast Asia. I first visited Kolkata, or Calcutta as the city was known back then, in 1995 and fell in love with its spirit, culture, architecture, politics, and decrepitude. I have been back regularly reporting on the city’s cultural life for media like CNN and Nikkei Asia. In 2019, I was selected as artist-in-residence for the Indo-European Art Residency by the Goethe Institute and spent 10 weeks writing a crime fiction set in the Bengali capital. Kolkata is, hands down, my favorite city in the world – despite its poverty, systemic injustice, and political cruelty, there is an energy in the place that is hard to beat.

Tom's book list on Kolkata (Calcutta India)

Tom Vater Why did Tom love this book?

The Calcutta Chromosome is part thriller, part science investigation, part cult conspiracy, and part homage to the West Bengal Capital. Set across several time periods, the novel explores how Malaria was first linked to the mosquito and how this discovery by the Britisher Ronald Ross may have been manipulated by a shadowy movement invested in immortality. Not Gosh’s best, but his evocation of Calcutta is fantastic.

By Amitav Ghosh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this extraordinary novel, Amitav Ghosh navigates through time and genres to present a unique tale. Beginning at an unspecified time in the future and ranging back to the late nineteenth century, the reader follows the adventures of the enigmatic L. Murugan. An authority on the Nobel Prize-winning scientist Sir Ronald Ross, who solved the malaria puzzle in Calcutta in 1898, Murugan is in search of the elusive 'Calcutta Chromosome'.

With its astonishing range of characters, advanced computer science, religious cults and wonderful portraits of Victorian and contemporary India, The Calcutta Chromosome expands the scope of the novel as we…


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11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Kolkata, childhood, and authors.

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