100 books like After the Parade

By Lori Ostlund,

Here are 100 books that After the Parade fans have personally recommended if you like After the Parade. 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 Aftermath: Life in the Fallout of the Third Reich, 1945-1955

Katja Hoyer Author Of Blood and Iron: The Rise and Fall of the German Empire; 1871-1918

From my list on German history that aren't about the Nazis.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in East Germany and experienced the disappearance of that country and the huge changes that followed as a child. My history teachers reflected this fracture in the narratives they constructed, switching between those they had grown up with and the new version they had been told to teach after 1990. It struck me how little resemblance the neat division of German history into chapters and timelines bears to people’s actual lives which often span one or even several of Germany’s radical fault lines. My fascination with my country’s fractured memory has never left me since. 

Katja's book list on German history that aren't about the Nazis

Katja Hoyer Why did Katja love this book?

Jähner’s Aftermath is one of the best books about post-1945 Germany. Defeated and confronted with the horrors their country had unleashed during the preceding six years of genocidal war in Europe, most ordinary Germans were keen to move on, rebuild and forget. A myth was born that saw 1945 as Germany’s ‘Zero Hour,’ a kind of tabula rasa, from which the nation could start anew. Jähner’s social history of the first ten years after the Second World War shatters this illusion powerfully and definitively. His book is a great foundation for anyone who wants to understand Germany today.

By Harald Jähner, Shaun Whiteside (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

How does a nation recover from fascism and turn toward a free society once more?This internationally acclaimed revelatory history—"filled with first-person accounts from articles and diaries" (The New York Times)—of the transformational decade that followed World War II illustrates how Germany raised itself out of the ashes of defeat and reckoned with the corruption of its soul and the horrors of the Holocaust.

Featuring over 40 eye-opening black-and-white photographs and posters from the period.
 
The years 1945 to 1955 were a raw, wild decade that found many Germans politically, economically, and morally bankrupt. Victorious Allied forces occupied the four zones…


Book cover of Go, Went, Gone

Anne Raeff Author Of Only the River

From my list on looking for and finding refuge.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the child of refugees from the Holocaust, so displacement and the effects of war and violence have been part of my personal experience. My book, Only the River, is loosely based on my mother’s story. She and her family escaped from Vienna in 1938 and spent the war years in Bolivia, the only country that would give them visas. I am also a high school teacher who works with immigrant students, who have fled violence and poverty. It is my vocation to offer them hospitality and help them find a sense of home here, in an environment that is often hostile. These books bring the stories of the displaced and dispossessed alive. 

Anne's book list on looking for and finding refuge

Anne Raeff Why did Anne love this book?

This is a beautiful book about a retired academic and widower who finds himself embroiled in the lives of young African refugees trying to seek asylum in Berlin. What I love about this book, besides the beautiful writing, is that neither the widower nor the refugees are portrayed as saints and neither really finds redemption. It is, rather, a very real story of fragile yet real connections between people who, for entirely different reasons, are very much alone. I love this book because it holds us all accountable as human beings and asks us how we can retain our humanity, our moral center when power is so unequally distributed.

By Jenny Erpenbeck, Susan Bernofsky (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Go, Went, Gone is the masterful new novel by the acclaimed German writer Jenny Erpenbeck, "one of the most significant German-language novelists of her generation" (The Millions). The novel tells the tale of Richard, a retired classics professor who lives in Berlin. His wife has died, and he lives a routine existence until one day he spies some African refugees staging a hunger strike in Alexanderplatz. Curiosity turns to compassion and an inner transformation, as he visits their shelter, interviews them, and becomes embroiled in their harrowing fates. Go, Went, Gone is a scathing indictment of Western policy toward the…


Book cover of Further News of Defeat: Stories

Rachel Swearingen Author Of How to Walk on Water and Other Stories

From my list on debut story collections to read cover to cover.

Why am I passionate about this?

From childhood on, I’ve been drawn to storytellers, especially those who use their imagination to captivate and question. My favorite stories twist and turn, and throw light on the every day to reveal what is inexplicable, weird, wondrous, and often heartrending. My taste runs wide, and I could list dozens of favorite collections. Having released my own debut book of stories during the pandemic, I learned firsthand how difficult it can be to find readers for story collections, especially when those collections are published by smaller presses. For that reason, I’ve chosen five recent debuts from masterful authors I hope more readers will discover. 

Rachel's book list on debut story collections to read cover to cover

Rachel Swearingen Why did Rachel love this book?

I cannot think of a more perfect title for Michael Wang’s Further News of Defeat. Imminent loss haunts the edges of each story, ready to pounce on Wang’s indelible characters. In America, we’re often uncomfortable with this kind of storytelling. We prefer our characters to be redeemed, to either prevail over calamity or to fail due to their own weaknesses. Wang’s characters are both at the mercy of outside events and circumstances and participants in their own fates. Most of the stories are set in fictional cities and rural villages in China. War, regime and societal changes, poverty, immigration, and identity are running themes. Several of these stories are so gripping I could imagine them as longer works. Further News of Defeat is a beautifully rendered and well-researched book. 

By Michael X. Wang,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Steeped in a long history of violence and suffering, Michael X. Wang's debut collection of short stories interrogates personal and political events set against the backdrop of China that are both real and perceived, imagined and speculative. Wang plunges us into the fictional Chinese village of Xinchun and beyond to explore themes of tradition, family, modernity, and immigration in a country grappling with its modern identity. Violence enters the pastoral when Chinese villagers are flung down a well by Japanese soldiers and forced to abandon their crops and families to work in the coal mines, a tugboat driver dredges up…


Book cover of Good to a Fault

Anne Raeff Author Of Only the River

From my list on looking for and finding refuge.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the child of refugees from the Holocaust, so displacement and the effects of war and violence have been part of my personal experience. My book, Only the River, is loosely based on my mother’s story. She and her family escaped from Vienna in 1938 and spent the war years in Bolivia, the only country that would give them visas. I am also a high school teacher who works with immigrant students, who have fled violence and poverty. It is my vocation to offer them hospitality and help them find a sense of home here, in an environment that is often hostile. These books bring the stories of the displaced and dispossessed alive. 

Anne's book list on looking for and finding refuge

Anne Raeff Why did Anne love this book?

This book by Canadian writer Marina Endicott is quirky in all the best ways—smart, tender, heart-wrenching, and quietly hopeful. It is about a lonely, divorced accountant who takes in a homeless family after crashing into their car. The book is gorgeous on the sentence level and the way Endicott writes about the connections and lack of connections between the characters in the book is full of wisdom and pathos. Though the premise is quite simple, the book is full of surprises. 

By Marina Endicott,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Good to a Fault as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Absorbed in her own failings, 43-year-old Clara Purdy crashes her life into a sharp left turn, taking the young family in the other car along with her. When bruises on the mother, Lorraine, prove to be late-stage cancer, Clara moves the three children and their terrible grandmother into her own house while Lorraine undergoes treatment at the local hospital.

We know what is good, but we don't do it. In Good to a Fault, Clara decides to give it a try, and then has to cope with the consequences : exhaustion, fury, hilarity, and unexpected love. But she questions her…


Book cover of Tales of the City

Christopher DiRaddo Author Of The Family Way

From my list on uplifting and celebrating queer kinship and chosen family.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a queer author based in Montreal. When I came out in the early 1990s, at the age of 21, I remember feeling concerned about my future. Family has always been important to me, but I couldn’t imagine what mine would look like as I got older. I knew I wasn't going to have a traditional family like my parents, but I didn’t know what else was possible. Thankfully, I found the answer in books… As queer people, we must seek out and learn our traditions and history. We’re not taught them from birth. Finding books that demonstrate and uplift the bonds that queer people share provides a roadmap for those of us seeking community.

Christopher's book list on uplifting and celebrating queer kinship and chosen family

Christopher DiRaddo Why did Christopher love this book?

There were only three Tales of the City books when I picked up my first copy. There are now nine of them, spanning 40 years.

First written as a newspaper serial, the collected Tales explore the lives and loves of a diverse group of folks living in the same boarding house at 28 Barbary Lane in San Francisco. Among them is landlord Anna Madrigal, an early trans icon, and gay everyman Michael ‘Mouse’ Tolliver, a hopeless romantic looking for love in the Castro.

The book is an easy read with short chapters, lots of dialogue, and zany plot twists. What I love most is how much these characters – some of whom are estranged from their biological families – start to feel like close friends whose lives you get to follow. 

By Armistead Maupin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NAMED AS ONE OF THE BBC'S 100 MOST INSPIRING NOVELS

Now a Netflix series starring Elliot Page and Laura Linney . . .

'It's an odd thing, but anyone who disappears is said to be seen in San Francisco.' Oscar Wilde

Mary Ann is twenty-five and arrives in San Francisco for an eight-day holiday.

But then her Mood Ring turns blue.

So obviously she decides to stay. It is the 1970s after all.

Fresh out of Cleveland, naive Mary Ann tumbles headlong into a brave new world of pot-growing landladies, cut throat debutantes, spaced-out neighbours and outrageous parties. Finding a…


Book cover of Fadeout

Gregory Ashe Author Of The Same Breath

From my list on gay mysteries (from a gay mystery writer).

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer of gay mystery, I try to read as widely as I can—both to learn from writers who have gone before me and for the pleasure of the books themselves. I’m always thrilled when I find writers like the ones I’ve shared in this list: people who think deeply and carefully about the complexities (and, occasionally, the agonies) of being a gay man, while, at the same time, weaving in the suspense and puzzles inherent in mysteries.

Gregory's book list on gay mysteries (from a gay mystery writer)

Gregory Ashe Why did Gregory love this book?

Fadeout is the first book in Hansen’s Dave Brandstetter mysteries. The protagonist, an openly gay insurance investigator in 1970s California, is convinced that a man who has been reported dead is actually still alive, and he must hurry to find him. Another classic in the gay mystery canon, Fadeout is vividly noir, grittily honest, and rejects cliches and stereotypes in a way that is still shocking over fifty years later.

By Joseph Hansen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'After forty years, Hammett has a worthy successor' The Times

Radio personality Fox Olsen seemed to have it all: devoted wife, adoring fans, perfect life. When his car is found crashed in a dry river bed, all of California mourns. But there is no body...

Insurance investigator Dave Brandstetter is hired to dig a little deeper. And the more he looks into Fox Olsen's life, the more it seems as if he had good reason to disappear.

Fadeout is the first novel starring Dave Brandstetter - one of the best fictional PIs in the business, and one of the first…


Book cover of My Brother's Husband, Volume 1

Emmarie Bee Author Of A Twist of Fate

From my list on LGBTQ+ manga/graphic novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved cartoons and anime. I’m also bisexual and non-binary. Growing up, gay representation was hard to come by, so when we did get it, we were always super excited, whether it was good or not so good. Luckily, I’ve gotten to watch the world change and grow more accepting, but sometimes it’s still difficult to find good rep when you don’t know where to look. I try to fill my books with good representation so that my readers can feel seen in a way I didn’t, and I want to spread the word about some great LGBT manga that I love and made an impact on me.

Emmarie's book list on LGBTQ+ manga/graphic novels

Emmarie Bee Why did Emmarie love this book?

I still remember when this book came out my senior year of high school, and how ridiculously excited my friends and I were to find out about it. It was probably one of my first times finding some good, wholesome gay representation in manga.

An unknown brother-in-law traveling from Canada to Japan to meet his husband’s family, with personal character growth about gay acceptance? Sign me up!

I feel like I’m always down to read more about family dynamics that aren’t your typical nuclear setup, so this is just a win-win for me.

By Gengoroh Tagame, Anne Ishii (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Brother's Husband, Volume 1 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of Amazon.com's Top 10 Graphic Novels of the year

'[My Brother's Husband] arrives in the UK garlanded with praise from, among others, Alison Bechdel. It's not hard to see why. Not only is it very touching; it's also, for the non-Japanese reader, unexpectedly fascinating' Rachel Cooke, Observer, Graphic Novel of the Month

'When a cuddly Canadian comes to call, Yaichi - a single Japanese dad - is forced to confront his painful past. With his young daughter Kana leading the way, he gradually rethinks his assumptions about what makes a family. Renowned manga artist Gengoroh Tagame turns his stunning…


Book cover of At the Center of All Beauty: Solitude and the Creative Life

Bella DePaulo Author Of Single at Heart: The Power, Freedom, and Heart-Filling Joy of Single Life

From my list on joyfull single people at heart.

Why am I passionate about this?

For too long, single life has been characterized as a lesser life. As a 70-year-old who has been happily single my whole life, I want that to end. As I said in my book, “In the enlightened world that I envision, every child will understand, as a matter of course, that living single is a life path that can be just as joyful and fulfilling as any other—and for some people, the best path of all. Every adult will forsake forever the temptation to pity or patronize single people and will instead appreciate the profound rewards of single life." 

Bella's book list on joyfull single people at heart

Bella DePaulo Why did Bella love this book?

The stars of this book are “solitaries,” people who choose to live alone or spend substantial stretches of time alone. Upending the demeaning caricatures of people who spend a lot of time alone, Johson shows that some of the most renowned artists and authors have been solitaries.

They have rich inner lives and contribute meaningfully to society. Even unknown solitaries are artists–they design their own lives. Solitaries value friendship and do not see romantic relationships as sitting atop a relationship hierarchy. Free of a conventional focus on The One, they are more open to more different people and the world.

By Fenton Johnson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked At the Center of All Beauty as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fenton Johnson's lyrical prose and searching sensibility explore what it means to choose solitude and to celebrate the notion that solitude is a legitimate and dignified calling. He delves into the lives and works of nearly a dozen iconic solitaries he considers his kindred spirits, from Thoreau at Walden Pond and Emily Dickenson in Amherst, to the fiercely self-protective Zora Neale Hurston. The bright wakes these figures have left behind illuminate Fenton Johnson's journey from his childhood in rural Kentucky to his solitary travels in America, France, and India. Woven into his musings about better-known solitaries are stories of friends…


Book cover of Something Fabulous

Sylvia Barry Author Of Lessons in Timing

From my list on grumpy/sunshine romance with a healthy side of yearning.

Why are we passionate about this?

Sylvia Barry is our invention, a solitary witch who writes queer romance from her lighthouse keep. As a pair of co-authors, one of us grew up with the dry humor of Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams, and the other grew up with fanfiction and romance tropes. We came together to write quirky, queer romances that are playful and ironic but also deal with deeper themes of self-discovery, trauma healing, and community. Rivals-to-lovers and grumpy/sunshine are our favorite tropes to write, especially in dual (or more!) POV, because the Yearning is always juicy, and we play off each other’s energy as we write our opposing characters.

Sylvia's book list on grumpy/sunshine romance with a healthy side of yearning

Sylvia Barry Why did Sylvia love this book?

It’s Oscar Wilde and the cast of Monty Python having an orgy on the set of Bridgerton–what’s not to love? 

Alexis Hall is an auto-buy author for us, and Something Fabulous is one of our favorites. It’s a hysterical romp–sexy and romantic but also deeply irreverent and laugh-out-loud funny. Chock full of shenanigans, relatable and diverse characters, and a fresh reimagining of Regency romance.

We love a grumpy duke. We love a chaotic, wide-eyed ward. We LOVE Sir Horley Comewithers and his questionable cabin in the woods. There’s a scene with a bee that has caused irreparable damage to our lungs and ribs. 

By Alexis Hall,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the acclaimed author of Boyfriend Material comes a delightfully witty romance featuring a reserved duke who’s betrothed to one twin and hopelessly enamoured of the other.

Valentine Layton, the Duke of Malvern, has twin problems: literally.

It was always his father’s hope that Valentine would marry Miss Arabella Tarleton. But, unfortunately, too many novels at an impressionable age have caused her to grow up…romantic. So romantic that a marriage of convenience will not do and after Valentine’s proposal she flees into the night determined never to set eyes on him again.

Arabella’s twin brother, Mr. Bonaventure “Bonny” Tarleton, has…


Book cover of The Gay Best Friend

KC Carmichael Author Of Boystown Heartbreakers

From my list on lighthearted gay romance books about men in their thirties.

Why am I passionate about this?

On paper, it would be easy to think I’m the wrong person to recommend these books and write my own, which would fit easily onto this list. But as a lover of love and someone who has always enjoyed the company of men, particularly gay men, this is an area I have passion for - seeing hopeful and authentic love stories written for the masses. 

KC's book list on lighthearted gay romance books about men in their thirties

KC Carmichael Why did KC love this book?

This is another book with a very relatable main character. I’ve been in Dom’s shoes, trying to navigate complicated friendships while also dealing with my own life struggles and insecurities.

Being able to connect with the main character so deeply made the payoff at the end incredibly satisfying. And his love interest, Bucky, was truly swoon-worthy. 

By Nicolas DiDomizio,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

He's always been the token gay best friend. Now, stuck between a warring bride and groom hurtling toward their one perfect day, he's finally ready to focus on something new: himself.

Domenic Marino has become an expert at code-switching between the hypermasculine and ultrafeminine worlds of his two soon-to-be-wed best friends. But this summer-reeling from his own failed engagement and tasked with attending their bachelor and bachelorette parties-he's anxious over having to play both sides.

The pressure is on. The bride wants Dom to keep things clean. The groom wants Dom to "let loose" with the guys. And Dom just…


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