96 books like All the Pretty Horses

By Cormac McCarthy,

Here are 96 books that All the Pretty Horses fans have personally recommended if you like All the Pretty Horses. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Anxious People

Jason B. Dutton Author Of How To Dance

From my list on choosing joy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have cerebral palsy, but the list of things that I absolutely can’t do is surprisingly short: I can climb a flight of steps or walk the length of a football field, for example, but those tasks are going to take a lot more time and energy for me than they would an able-bodied person. We all choose where to invest in life, but cerebral palsy makes that process much more deliberate, and I’ve been fascinated by it for a long time. I’m always on the hunt for stories that demonstrate that our choices shape our life, not our limitations, and I’m determined to choose joy.

Jason's book list on choosing joy

Jason B. Dutton Why did Jason love this book?

I love this book because it’s a triumph of storytelling—and by that, I mean both the way that the story is narrated, as the audiobook frequently gave me chills, and the way that the story is told by the author. I love this book because it’s realistic enough to draw me in, unusual enough to keep me guessing, and rewarding enough for every single second I spent listening to it to pay off in the end.

I was inspired by this book in the very best way: when an author presents characters with realistic, messy lives and then provides them with happy endings, it’s easy for me as a reader to believe that joy is out there waiting in the mess for me as well.

By Fredrik Backman,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Anxious People as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The funny, touching and unpredictable No. 1 New York Times bestseller, now a major Netflix TV series

'A brilliant and comforting read' MATT HAIG
'Funny, compassionate and wise. An absolute joy' A.J. PEARCE
'A surefooted insight into the absurdity, beauty and ache of life' GUARDIAN
'I laughed, I sobbed, I recommended it to literally everyone I know' BUZZFEED
'Captures the messy essence of being human' WASHINGTON POST

From the 18 million copy internationally bestselling author of A Man Called Ove
_______

It's New Year's Eve and House Tricks estate agents are hosting an open viewing in an up-market apartment when…


Book cover of True Grit

Kim Taylor Blakemore Author Of The Good Time Girls

From my list on fierce women in the American West.

Why am I passionate about this?

The United States Old West is a legend, a myth, a land of contradictions. I grew up and have never left this vast land of scorching deserts, soaring peaks, misty coasts, and redwoods that touch the heavens. I grew up on the myths – Tombstone, Billy the Kid, Calamity Jane, Pearl Hart. What I love most are the stories of the women of the West, who survive with grit, wiles, and no small amount of courage. I love finding the lesser known women through novels and research and seeing their lives bloom before my eyes. Cowgirls, sufragettes, doctors, ex-slaves, Cheyenne, Arapahoe, cattle rustlers, homesteaders, dancehall girls.

Kim's book list on fierce women in the American West

Kim Taylor Blakemore Why did Kim love this book?

One of my all-time favorites, both heartrending and humorous and a must read.

True Grit tells the story of Mattie Ross, a determined and tenacious young girl seeking justice for her father's murder. She hires the relentless U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn to help her track down the killer.

Readers will love this book for its gripping narrative, vivid characters, and Mattie's unwavering resolve and courage, which challenges traditional gender roles in the Wild West.

By Charles Portis,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked True Grit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There is no knowing what lies in a man's heart. On a trip to buy ponies, Frank Ross is killed by one of his own workers. Tom Chaney shoots him down in the street for a horse, $150 cash, and two Californian gold pieces. Ross's unusually mature and single-minded fourteen-year-old daughter Mattie travels to claim his body, and finds that the authorities are doing nothing to find Chaney. Then she hears of Rooster - a man, she's told, who has grit - and convinces him to join her in a quest into dark, dangerous Indian territory to hunt Chaney down…


Book cover of The Sportswriter

Sid Garza-Hillman Author Of Six Truths: Live by These Truths and Be Happy. Don't, and You Won't.

From my list on fiction books that are secretly philosophy books.

Why am I passionate about this?

This list is specifically “secret” philosophy books. There were plenty of novels (Victor Hugo, Milan Kundera, Robert Pirsig) that I love, but they don’t hide the fact that they’re significantly philosophy books. My degree is in philosophy (BA, UCLA), with a special interest in ethics, ethical questions. I still really love the marriage of fiction and philosophy especially when it’s done subtly and beautifully. I am the author of three books: Approaching the Natural, Raising Healthy Parents. and Six Truths. I hold a BA in Philosophy from UCLA, am a public speaker, podcaster (What Sid Thinks Podcast), certified nutritionist & running coach, Oxygen Advantage breathing instructor, and founder of Small Steppers

Sid's book list on fiction books that are secretly philosophy books

Sid Garza-Hillman Why did Sid love this book?

I’m not a sports fan. My good friend, Ryan Harty (author of one of my favorite short story compilations: “Bring me your saddest Arizona”) recommended this book to me many years ago. I’m not a sports fan but he assured me it had very little if anything to do with sports. He was right about that! I gave it a shot and was immediately transported into the narrative. It’s still in my top 5 all-time favorite book list. Ford’s ability to communicate existential crises in deeper but simple ways is so, so good. Frank Bascombe, the protagonist is detached in a way that is both beautiful and unsettling.

By Richard Ford,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

As a sportswriter, Frank Bascombe makes his living studying people--men, mostly--who live entirely within themselves. This is a condition that Frank himself aspires to. But at thirty-eight, he suffers from incurable dreaminess, occasional pounding of the heart, and the not-too-distant losses of a career, a son, and a marriage. In the course of the Easter week in which Ford's moving novel transpires, Bascombe will end up losing the remnants of his familiar life, though with his spirits soaring.


Book cover of Moonglow

Sid Garza-Hillman Author Of Six Truths: Live by These Truths and Be Happy. Don't, and You Won't.

From my list on fiction books that are secretly philosophy books.

Why am I passionate about this?

This list is specifically “secret” philosophy books. There were plenty of novels (Victor Hugo, Milan Kundera, Robert Pirsig) that I love, but they don’t hide the fact that they’re significantly philosophy books. My degree is in philosophy (BA, UCLA), with a special interest in ethics, ethical questions. I still really love the marriage of fiction and philosophy especially when it’s done subtly and beautifully. I am the author of three books: Approaching the Natural, Raising Healthy Parents. and Six Truths. I hold a BA in Philosophy from UCLA, am a public speaker, podcaster (What Sid Thinks Podcast), certified nutritionist & running coach, Oxygen Advantage breathing instructor, and founder of Small Steppers

Sid's book list on fiction books that are secretly philosophy books

Sid Garza-Hillman Why did Sid love this book?

This is a memoir of sorts, but a fiction book nevertheless. Again, the philosophy of life is shown through the dying grandfather. The book highlights the sometimes blurry lines between right and wrong, but also standing up for what is right, questions of personal sacrifice for the common good, and more.

By Michael Chabon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * A Telegraph Book of the Year * A New York Times Notable Book of the Year * A Washington Post Book of the Year * A Wall Street Journal Book of the Year * A Slate Book of the Year

'Probably Chabon's greatest, a piece of sustained writing that will be hard to see outdone in 2017' The Times

'Entirely sure footed, propulsive, the work of a master at his very best. The brilliance of Moonglow stands as a strident defence of the form itself, a bravura demonstration of the endless mutability and versatility…


Book cover of The Darling

Sid Garza-Hillman Author Of Six Truths: Live by These Truths and Be Happy. Don't, and You Won't.

From my list on fiction books that are secretly philosophy books.

Why am I passionate about this?

This list is specifically “secret” philosophy books. There were plenty of novels (Victor Hugo, Milan Kundera, Robert Pirsig) that I love, but they don’t hide the fact that they’re significantly philosophy books. My degree is in philosophy (BA, UCLA), with a special interest in ethics, ethical questions. I still really love the marriage of fiction and philosophy especially when it’s done subtly and beautifully. I am the author of three books: Approaching the Natural, Raising Healthy Parents. and Six Truths. I hold a BA in Philosophy from UCLA, am a public speaker, podcaster (What Sid Thinks Podcast), certified nutritionist & running coach, Oxygen Advantage breathing instructor, and founder of Small Steppers

Sid's book list on fiction books that are secretly philosophy books

Sid Garza-Hillman Why did Sid love this book?

At times a difficult (but great) read, The Darling tackles some big ethical and political subjects. Banks addresses the power of speech (and silence), the separation of emotions from choice, and the sometimes necessity of compartmentalizing traumatic experiences in order to survive. I found the protagonist’s voice compellingly detached with just the right amount of compassion and engagement (similar, in fact to Frank’s voice in The Sportswriter).

(Side note, Banks’ Rule of the Bone almost made this list as well…)

By Russell Banks,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Hannah Musgrave has always been on the run: from her adoring parents, her many lovers, even from herself. As a young woman, she dropped out of her privileged Boston world to work for the terrorist group the Weathermen. Her activities put Hannah on the FBI's most wanted list forcing her to flee to Liberia in West Africa. There she marries an ambitious, young politician and settles down to being a wife and mother. Liberia, in the meantime, is a country waiting to explode. A century of American exploitation has created a corrupt elite and a fragile military state where the…


Book cover of Skinny Legs and All

Lynda Allen Author Of Grace Reflected

From my list on life-changing world-rocking books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I think of myself as a listener and life in progress. As a poet and author, I’m always listening to the words that move through my heart. I’m also a spiritual seeker, always looking for the Divine in the world around me and almost always surprised by the ways it shows up when I’m paying attention. Yet, there’s another part of me that is a Jersey girl through and through, looking for humor or irreverence in the face of life’s challenges. All these aspects come together in an unusual harmony, creating an openness to being changed by the things that come into my life. Hence, a list of life-changing books.

Lynda's book list on life-changing world-rocking books

Lynda Allen Why did Lynda love this book?

What a world-rocking, mind-blowing journey reading Skinny Legs and All was! I read it in my twenties, and it truly was life-changing. It is imaginative and thought-provoking. It expanded my perspective on life and what might be happening right in front of my eyes that I’m missing with my limited imagination.

It’s wickedly funny and irreverent and yet addresses difficult issues that are relevant today, such as the conflict between Israel and Palestine. The storytelling is so unique, I’ve never read another book like it. It’s a book that leaves me envying someone else’s first read of it.

It also served as a source of inspiration for me as an author many years later. There was a scene in the movie Finding Forrester, where a young writer (Rob Brown) is facing writer’s block. His instructor (Sean Connery) suggests he start typing the content of a book he loves word for…

By Tom Robbins,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An Arab and a Jew open a restaurant together across the street from the United Nations....

It sounds like the beginning of an ethnic joke, but it's the axis around which this gutsy, fun-loving, and alarmingly provocative novel spins, in which a bean can philosophizes, a dessert spoon mystifies, a young waitress takes on the New York art world, and a rowdy redneck welder discovers the lost god of Palestine-while the illusions that obscure humanity's view of the true universe fall away, one by one, like Salome's veils.

Skinny Legs and All deals with today's most sensitive issues: race, politics,…


Book cover of Out of Africa

B.W. Powe Author Of These Shadows Remain: A Fable

From my list on vistas and fantasias of the subconscious.

Why am I passionate about this?

My name is B.W. Powe—and I’m a writer, poet, teacher, mentor, and musician. I’ve written since I was a boy, when I began to dream of beautiful sentences, and finding a way to turn music into literary expression. I live in Stouffville, a small edge town near Toronto, Canada—and a portion of the year in Cordoba, Spain, where my wife is from. I was encouraged by my mother, an amateur pianist, and my father, a politician, and novelist. We lived in Toronto through the 60s-90s and witnessed how the city sprawled. I’ve written about the Genesis Overdrive that informs culture and lives. My latest book, Ladders Made of Water, will be available on February 14th, 2023.

B.W.'s book list on vistas and fantasias of the subconscious

B.W. Powe Why did B.W. love this book?

A poignant, perceptive memoir of the author’s time in Africa—and her experiences there, her discovery of love and the loss of that love; evocations of people and sky, contemplations of weather and landscape unlike any other I’ve read.

It should be read (and always honoured) because it’s as close to a reverie on sorrow and wonder, the mystery of stark wildernesses and solitudes, as I’ve found. It’s the book I wish I’d written, above so many others.

By Isak Dinesen,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Out of Africa as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1914 Karen Blixen arrived in Kenya with her husband to run a coffee-farm. Drawn to the exquisite beauty of Africa, she spent her happiest years there until the plantation failed. A poignant farewell to her beloved farm, "Out of Africa" describes her friendships with the local people, her dedication for the landscape and wildlife, and great love for the adventurer Denys Finch-Hatton.


Book cover of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Rhys Bowen Author Of The Paris Assignment

From my list on brave women in WWII.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am Rhys Bowen, New York Times best selling author of two historical mystery series and several Internationally best selling historical novels. Many of these take place in and around World War II. I have particularly focused on the bravery of ordinary women, the unsung heroines who risked their lives against impossible odds. My stories take place in France, Italy, as well as, England so these books resonated with me.

Rhys' book list on brave women in WWII

Rhys Bowen Why did Rhys love this book?

This book is perhaps my favorite of all the WWII novels.

Full of warm, eccentric characters and so true to what happened on the Channel Islands (where I have been conducting my own research!) Again it is set in the present and the past, with a present-day heroine going to Guernsey to meet with survivors of the Nazi occupation.

What starts off as a light-hearted mission gradually peels back layers of brutality and betrayal.

By Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows,

Why should I read it?

13 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…


Book cover of My Brilliant Friend

Ama Asantewa Diaka Author Of Someone Birthed Them Broken: Stories

From my list on the inner lives of women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am invested in how women juxtapose the day-to-day with the bizarre. I am curious about how women balance their lives with the insoluble and how this contributes to the fluidity of their identities. I live with women, I work with women, I shop with them, eat with them, sit next to them on the bus, I am friends with women, laugh with them, I pray with them, I am these women. In whichever format my work takes shape–whether subtle or direct, either as a performer, writer, designer, or community catalyst, I am committed to intentionally making space for womanhood. Please enjoy my book list.

Ama's book list on the inner lives of women

Ama Asantewa Diaka Why did Ama love this book?

I am convinced nobody writes about female friendships in an aching, warm, and complex way better than Elena Ferrante. I have returned to pages of this book again and again.

The relatability, the precision with which you can see yourself so clearly on certain pages. It has helped me find language in navigating my own friendships.

By Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein (translator),

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked My Brilliant Friend as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

OVER 5 MILLION COPIES SOLD IN ENGLISH WORLDWIDE

OVER 1 MILLION COPIES SOLD IN THE UK

OVER 14 MILLION COPIES OF THE NEAPOLITAN QUARTET SOLD WORLDWIDE

NOW A MAJOR TV SERIES

GUARDIAN 100 BEST BOOKS OF THE 21st CENTURY

58 WEEKS ON THE BOOKSELLER'S TOP 20 ORIGINAL FICTION BESTSELLERS LIST

SHORTLISTED FOR WATERSTONES BOOK OF THE YEAR 2015

43 INTERNATIONAL RIGHTS DEALS

Now in B-format Paperback

From one of Italy's most acclaimed authors, comes this ravishing and generous-hearted novel about a friendship that lasts a lifetime. The story of Elena and Lila begins in the 1950s in a poor but…


Book cover of Shane

Mark Warren Author Of Indigo Heaven

From my list on Westerns that don’t thrive off of gunfights.

Why am I passionate about this?

Because I grew up in the 1950s and ’60s, my supply of heroes was liberally doled out by the 130+ Western series that dominated nighttime television in those decades. My parents allowed me one program per week. It was a Western. I was soon interested in history, to know what really did happen in the American West, and so I came to understand the great discrepancies between fact and TV. The truth, for me, is so much more interesting than the myth. As a Western historian, I've done my share of historical research, but I still gravitate toward fiction as a writer. I love the freedom to engage my characters’ thoughts and emotions.

Mark's book list on Westerns that don’t thrive off of gunfights

Mark Warren Why did Mark love this book?

Since I was a young boy without the influence of a loving father, I’ve always appreciated a “hero” in a story.

Someone I can look up to and perhaps want to emulate. Shane is the ultimate role model inside the category of “gunfighters.”

What he does not say or do defines him as well as what he does say and do.

By Jack Schaefer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Shane 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?

'If you read only one western in your life, this is the one' Roland Smith, author of Peak

He rode into our valley in the summer of 1889, a slim man, dressed in black. 'Call me Shane,' he said. He never told us more. There was a deadly calm in the valley that summer, a slow, climbing tension that seemed to focus on Shane.

Seen through the eyes of a young boy, Bob Starrett, SHANE is the classic story of a lone stranger. At first sight, the boy realises there is something unusual about the approaching man, but as Bob…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the USA Mexico border, Texas, and coming of age?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the USA Mexico border, Texas, and coming of age.

The USA Mexico Border Explore 25 books about the USA Mexico border
Texas Explore 197 books about Texas
Coming Of Age Explore 1,211 books about coming of age