100 books like Bitter Greens

By Kate Forsyth,

Here are 100 books that Bitter Greens fans have personally recommended if you like Bitter Greens. 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 Pride and Prejudice

Rebecca Branch Author Of The Summer of '71: A Romance of Youth in Timeless Rome

From my list on adventure, love, lust, and life’s lessons through time.

Who am I?

I am all the characters in this and every book I have written. I grew up in Rome, teach Roman art and architectural history, and am a practicing architect. My books are suffused with the things I love, from culture to cuisine, pace of life, love of consort, affection for children and animals, to the adventures I have been so fortunate to enjoy through my fifties. Reading has been a big part of my education. I have many interests and loves to share. These five book recommendations are but the tip of the iceberg. I became an author so I could write what remains unwritten and read the stories I wish to tell.

Rebecca's book list on adventure, love, lust, and life’s lessons through time

Rebecca Branch Why did Rebecca love this book?

This classic has been my guide to Victorian gentility, language, thought, and conversation.

Austen is a master of coming to terms with ill-gotten beliefs, false impressions, bad behavior, developing understanding, reversal of fortune, the plight of nineteenth-century women, and burgeoning affection. Austen writes of coming of age, loss of innocence, personal growth, burgeoning sexuality, and battling to be heard in a sea of voices.

Her characters are primarily strong modern women thrust into a world of the past where the patriarchy would slam them down. Elizabeth Bennet will not suffer the fools of her age without close examination, a rebellious counterpoint, and a confident challenge to the norms of her society.

By Jane Austen,

Why should I read it?

28 authors picked Pride and Prejudice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of BBC's 100 Novels That Shaped Our World.

Jane Austen's best-loved novel is an unforgettable story about the inaccuracy of first impressions, the power of reason, and above all the strange dynamics of human relationships and emotions.

Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition is illustrated by Hugh Thomson and features an afterword by author and critic, Henry Hitchings.

A tour de force of wit and sparkling dialogue, Pride and…


Book cover of Good in Bed

Nancy Barone Author Of Storm in a D Cup

From my list on iffy marriages and other adventures.

Who am I?

I can’t remember how many times I thought someone was The One, but I know I’ve had to kiss a lot of frogs before I found my own Prince Charming. The path was riddled with self-doubt, interfering wicked witches, and wondering whether it was all worth the heartache. As it turns out, none of them were until I finally did find my HEA. I’d become an expert on navigating all the Single Lady tropes: moving to another country in search of the elusive happy ending, getting a better job, enduring the gossip about why I was single. I’d recommend all of these if you are having relationship trouble or doubts about yourself. You're not alone!

Nancy's book list on iffy marriages and other adventures

Nancy Barone Why did Nancy love this book?

Added to the difficulties of being good enough for your partner, add weight issues and you have my favourite writing recipe for my own books, which is why I chose this story where columnist Candace Shapiro deals with her ex-boyfriend publicly humiliating her in his column called Good In Bed.

He exposes her frailties and through every article about her she comes to grips with her own faults, including her ‘solidly built body’. Ok, she needs to lose weight. So she joins a programme, a sort of Overeaters Anonymous, and meets Peter, the doctor in charge. He is confident she can be healthier because he sees in her a strength that her ex never saw. But when Candace finds out she’s pregnant by her ex, everything changes.

And when the baby is born prematurely and risks not making it, all the gloves are off and all her anger comes…

By Jennifer Weiner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner brings to life an irresistibly funny and relatable heroine in the novel The Boston Globe called “funny, fanciful, extremely poignant, and rich with insight.”

For twenty-eight years, things have been tripping along nicely for Cannie Shapiro. Sure, her mother has come charging out of the closet, and her father has long since dropped out of her world. But she loves her friends, her rat terrier, Nifkin, and her job as pop culture reporter for The Philadelphia Examiner. She’s even made a tenuous peace with her plus-size body.

But the day she opens…


Book cover of The Keeper of Happy Endings

Sharisse Coulter Author Of The Big If

From my list on to smash patriarchy and still enjoy your vacation.

Who am I?

As a feminist writer, I first gravitated to light female-driven stories in college as a break from the heavy academic tomes I was reading. I tore through the chick lit section of my local bookstores and realized that there was so much more to the genre than I knew or had heard it given credit for. They explored relatable themes— friendship, injustice, love, loss, sex—while being unapologetically feminine and light. For my own writing, I still read a lot of heavy nonfiction about injustice and smashing the patriarchy, but I keep the lightness by blending the heavy stuff with humor—this genre’s specialty.

Sharisse's book list on to smash patriarchy and still enjoy your vacation

Sharisse Coulter Why did Sharisse love this book?

This book found me and took me by surprise by turning out to be exactly what I didn’t know I needed to read. With two storylines in separate timelines it’s a little bit historical fiction, a little bit about the relationships that change and define our lives, a little bit about healing after loss and then a dash of magic to seal in the heartwarming feels. It’s a story that left me wishing I could spend more time with these characters in their world. And really, what more can you ask of a book?

By Barbara Davis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An enchanting novel about fate, second chances, and hope, lost and found, by the Amazon Charts bestselling author of The Last of the Moon Girls.

Soline Roussel is well schooled in the business of happy endings. For generations her family has kept an exclusive bridal salon in Paris, where magic is worked with needle and thread. It's said that the bride who wears a Roussel gown is guaranteed a lifetime of joy. But devastating losses during World War II leave Soline's world and heart in ruins and her faith in love shaken. She boxes up her memories, stowing them away,…


Book cover of Eleven on Top

Sharisse Coulter Author Of The Big If

From my list on to smash patriarchy and still enjoy your vacation.

Who am I?

As a feminist writer, I first gravitated to light female-driven stories in college as a break from the heavy academic tomes I was reading. I tore through the chick lit section of my local bookstores and realized that there was so much more to the genre than I knew or had heard it given credit for. They explored relatable themes— friendship, injustice, love, loss, sex—while being unapologetically feminine and light. For my own writing, I still read a lot of heavy nonfiction about injustice and smashing the patriarchy, but I keep the lightness by blending the heavy stuff with humor—this genre’s specialty.

Sharisse's book list on to smash patriarchy and still enjoy your vacation

Sharisse Coulter Why did Sharisse love this book?

I love Janet Evanovich’s writing and the entire Stephanie Plum series, but this book is my favorite. I laugh-cried more than once (making family members back out of the room slowly, sure I’d finally lost my mind), ignored all other obligations as I read it in one sitting, and developed a real crush on a fictional character (Team Ranger). I love that Stephanie Plum is such an endearing and well-rounded character. She does some badass things, makes a lot of (often gross) mistakes, has a big heart, and gets to have an enviable love life all while figuring out how to be an independent woman who, however blundering, saves herself. It’s fun, sexy, and hilarious.

By Janet Evanovich,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Trouble seems to find Stephanie everywhere she goes, and once again she's struggling with her tangled love life, chaotic family, and her God-given gift for destroying every car she drives. This time, Plum has decided to quit her job as a bounty hunter. She's tired of creeps, weirdos and stalkers. But just when she thinks she's out, they pull her back in! So fasten you seatbelt and hang on - Stephanie's back in town.


Book cover of The Night Tiger

Tam Francis Author Of The Flapper Affair: A 1920s Time Travel Murder Mystery Paranormal Romance

From my list on vintage fashion, passion and dance reads.

Who am I?

I write cross-genre fiction with a pen in one hand and a vintage cocktail in the other, filling the romantic void, writing novels when my husband deployed. When in port, we taught swing dancing and have been avid collectors of vintage sewing patterns, retro clothing, and antiques. All of which make appearances in my stories. I’ve always been fascinated with the paranormal and have had some unexplained experiences, some of those made their way into my stories as well. I live in a 1908 home in Texas that may or may not be haunted. I have book reviews, vintage lifestyle tips, recipes, interviews, giveaways, and games on my site!

Tam's book list on vintage fashion, passion and dance reads

Tam Francis Why did Tam love this book?

I was fascinated with the depiction of the 1930s Malaysian dance halls steeped in music, fashion, and dance. As a writer who dabbles in the paranormal, the cultural spirits and supernatural elements were intriguing. The split narrative appealed to me since my Jitterbug Dress series is a dual narrative set in the 1940s and 1990s. The author also set the narrative apart by telling the story in different tenses and POVs (Ren and William’s story is in third person past, while Ji Lin’s story is first person, present). Choo did a great job of juxtaposing the beast or wild animal inside each person, where the line of who we are inside and what we present to society is drawn all while creating tension and suspense, keeping me guessing on how all these narratives intertwine. 

By Yangsze Choo,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | REESE BOOK CLUB PICK | BBC BIG JUBILEE BETWEEN THE COVERS READ

'It reminds me of Where the Crawdads Sing . . . it's an amazing book' Rhys Stephenson on BBC's Between the Covers

'You won't be able to put this one down!' Reese Witherspoon

They say a tiger that devours too many humans can take the form of a man and walk among us...

In 1930s colonial Malaya, a dissolute British doctor receives a surprise gift of an eleven-year-old Chinese houseboy. Sent as a bequest from an old friend, young Ren has a…


Book cover of Anya's Secret Society

Carolyn Watson Dubisch Author Of Andy and the Mask of the Dead

From my list on open your child's eyes to cultures around the world.

Who am I?

I moved to New York City for school when I was 18 years old and found myself surrounded by people from all over the world. Every fourth person in New York City is an expat. It was fascinating to me and since then I have lived in three countries and done months-long artist residences in Morocco and Ireland. I also read books and stories about cultures from around the world and am particularly enchanted by Africa. Currently, I live on the Pacific coast of Mexico in the city of Mazatlán and have written two children’s books about Mexico. 

Carolyn's book list on open your child's eyes to cultures around the world

Carolyn Watson Dubisch Why did Carolyn love this book?

The illustrations are marvelous and the story is a peek into what it’s like for a child that is different in Russian culture. As a left-handed child she is forced to write and do nearly everything with her right hand except draw. This is the author’s personal story and you can see from the art that her drawing is amazing. I added this book to my list as Russia tops the headlines these days and remembering that children in Russia are just children with their own stories to tell feels important. Also, it’s an incredible book. 

By Yevgenia Nayberg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Anya's Secret Society as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Left-handed Anya draws with great passion . . . but only when she's alone.

In Russia, right-handedness is demanded--it is the right way. This cultural expectation stifles young Anya's creativity and artistic spirit as she draws the world around her in secret.

Hiding away from family, teachers, and neighbors, Anya imagines a secret society of famous left-handed artists drawing alongside her. But once her family emigrates from Russia to America, her life becomes less clandestine, and she no longer feels she needs to conceal a piece of her identity.


Book cover of Apothecary

Douglas Phillips Author Of Quantum Space

From my list on hard science fiction published this century.

Who am I?

As a scientist, I love hard science fiction, especially when the story makes me think about the true nature of reality or takes me on an adventure to places unknown. We’ve all read the classics from Clarke, Heinlein, Bear, or Asimov. But books written decades ago are becoming increasingly dated as society progresses into a new century. (Will people of the future really chain smoke? And why are all the characters men?) Never fear, modern hard sci-fi is alive and well. Here are five recent books that tell an intriguing, uplifting, or awe-inspiring story. Even better than the classics, it’s hard sci-fi for the 21st century!

Douglas' book list on hard science fiction published this century

Douglas Phillips Why did Douglas love this book?

Peter Cawdron has written a whole series based on various first-contact scenarios, each an independent novel.

Apothecary is one of my favorites. Set in 16th-century England, it follows a young apprentice named Anthony, who works at a London apothecary (a pharmacy). When his blind friend Julia is accused of witchcraft and set to burn at the stake, Anthony seeks help from a member of the aristocracy who harbors a deep secret about her arrival in this medieval land.

The story is accurate, fascinating, and fun, as superstition and primitive technology clashes with advanced alien science. But like all Peter Cawdron stories, at its heart Apothecary is a story of characters struggling to do what’s right.

Book cover of Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition

Bruce M. Hood Author Of SuperSense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable

From my list on magical thinking and superstition.

Who am I?

When I was a child, I was fascinated by the supernatural and wanted to believe in the paranormal. On reaching university, I discovered there was no reliable evidence for such phenomena but rather there was a much more satisfying explanation based on the weaknesses and wishes of human psychology. Development is critical to human psychology and as I specialized in children’s thinking, I found more reasons to understand the natural origins of the peculiarities of our reasoning. SuperSense was my first popular science book to expound my ideas, but all of my subsequent books apply similar novel ways of explaining human behaviour from surprising perspectives. 

Bruce's book list on magical thinking and superstition

Bruce M. Hood Why did Bruce love this book?

This book examines the psychology of superstition from the perspective of cognitive science and fallibility of human reasoning. Rather than dismissing superstitious behaviour, Vyse provides a comprehensive explanation of why we continue to hold such beliefs as a function of the way our minds work. This was the book that really inspired me to examine the developmental origins of magical thinking.

By Stuart A. Vyse,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

While we live in a technologically and scientifically advanced age, superstition is as widespread as ever. Not limited to just athletes and actors, superstitious beliefs are common among people of all occupations, educational backgrounds, and income levels.

In this fully updated edition of Believing in Magic, renowned superstition expert Stuart Vyse investigates our tendency towards these irrational beliefs. Superstitions, he writes, are the natural result of several psychological processes, including our human sensitivity to coincidence, a penchant for developing rituals to fill time (to battle nerves, impatience, or both), our efforts to cope with uncertainty, the need for control, and…


Book cover of The Silent One

Mandy Hager Author Of The Crossing

From my list on feature indigenous Pacific or Māori characters.

Who am I?

As a writer from Aotearoa New Zealand who cares deeply about social issues and human rights, I believe fiction has the power to change hearts and minds and bring us all together with greater compassion and understanding. When I was growing up here, there were few books published by Pacific or Māori writers and we were taught little about their customs or mythologies. I’ve loved watching this change over the last forty-odd years (and particularly the last ten years) and can see how access to these stories has not only empowered Māori and Pacific youth and brought them closer to their culture but enriched everyone who lives in our pacific paradise! 

Mandy's book list on feature indigenous Pacific or Māori characters

Mandy Hager Why did Mandy love this book?

Another classic title by one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most-loved storytellers. This moving story follows the special friendship forged between Jonasi, a lonely deaf-mute pacific islander, and a huge white turtle. It’s a book about isolation and prejudice, and how love can heal all. One review describes it as ‘somewhere between fact and fiction, superstition and the supernatural.’ It’s another that’s been made into a fabulous film.

By Joy Cowley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Silent One is Jonasi, sent from the sea as a baby to grow up in an isolated Pacific village. Separated from the villagers by his silence and their prejudices, Jonasi finds solace in his underwater world where he develops a special relationship with a huge white turtle. However, the superstitious villagers see both Jonasi and the turtle as evil spirits. A series of natural disasters and a struggle for leadership within the village sweep Jonasi toward his strange destiny.


Book cover of The Good People

Katrina Monroe Author Of Graveyard of Lost Children

From my list on changeling lore.

Who am I?

Most people don’t realize how deeply ingrained folklore is to our daily lives. Superstitious habits like tossing spilled salt over the shoulder seem silly now, but had grave implications a hundred or more years ago. I love books that draw lines between folklore and reality, that weave tales laced with superstition, especially through the lens of modern issues. Stories like these have always helped me to not only understand myself better, but the world around me. The things people do and say aren’t nearly as important as why. Folklore, like changeling stories, I’ve found, is the key to human understanding.

Katrina's book list on changeling lore

Katrina Monroe Why did Katrina love this book?

Though Kent’s first novel, Burial Rites, was an absolute triumph, The Good People broke me in ways I am still discovering.

Based on a true story in Ireland, this book places a child at the center, surrounded by superstition and fear. He doesn’t speak or walk, which makes some folks believe he is a changeling. But the women who protect him demonstrate immense empathy as they try to navigate this world plucked out of a Grimm fairy tale.

Reading this book made me more deeply understand the power of kindness.

By Hannah Kent,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the author of Burial Rites, "a literary novel with the pace and tension of a thriller that takes us on a frightening journey towards an unspeakable tragedy" (Paula Hawkins, bestselling author of The Girl on the Train and Into the Water).

Based on true events in nineteenth century Ireland, Hannah Kent's startling new novel tells the story of three women, drawn together to rescue a child from a superstitious community.

Nora, bereft after the death of her husband, finds herself alone and caring for her grandson Micheal, who can neither speak nor walk. A handmaid, Mary, arrives to help…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in superstitions, Italy, and women?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about superstitions, Italy, and women.

Superstitions Explore 17 books about superstitions
Italy Explore 369 books about Italy
Women Explore 571 books about women