100 books like Bridget Jones's Diary

By Helen Fielding,

Here are 100 books that Bridget Jones's Diary fans have personally recommended if you like Bridget Jones's Diary. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Anxious People

By Fredrik Backman,

Book cover of Anxious People

John Young Author Of Getting Huge

From the list on mixing humor with serious topics.

Who am I?

My life carries absurd contradictions. A country kid and athlete, I fell in love with theater and literature. I hated school but became a teacher. An outdoorsman and environmentalist, I became a successful advertising executive and an entrepreneur. My novel Getting Huge has similar surprises: a 6’11” minister who hated basketball. He resented Concord, MA as a boy, but he returns to toil in his father’s church for 12 years. He’s never planted a thing, but discovers a passion for giant pumpkins and starts to be an entrepreneur who dreams way too big. I hope readers see how John Crackstone is (like many of us) humanized by comic contradictions.

John's book list on mixing humor with serious topics

Why did John love this book?

The novel Anxious People is a mostly-comic novel that helped me, as a writer, think through how comedy is delivered.

Frederik Backman has a background as a standup comic and you can see it in the writing of the novel—and sometimes Backman’s clever quips get in the way of the story.

The situation is of a robbery gone wrong with a range of weird and wacky characters, but they are developed in a way that helps us care about them as their stories are revealed and common touchpoints emerge.

The father-son police team, the robber’s pains, the fractured relationships. In the end, I found myself caring about these people.

By Fredrik Backman,

Why should I read it?

8 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…

Gone With the Wind

By Margaret Mitchell,

Book cover of Gone With the Wind

Lisa Hall Author Of The Mysterious Double Death of Honey Black

From the list on for fans of Old Hollywood.

Who am I?

I’ve always loved stories, whether on the page or on the screen, and after reading Gone with the Wind I immediately watched the movie, feeling the pull of Old Hollywood drawing me in. My grandfather was a big movie fan, and I spent many an afternoon watching old movies with him – Hobson’s Choice was a favourite. As I got older, Gaslight, Ocean’s Eleven, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane… they all had me gripped. Factor in my self-confessed obsession with celebrity gossip and that was me done for – Old Hollywood is rife with scandal and gossip!

Lisa's book list on for fans of Old Hollywood

Why did Lisa love this book?

I picked this book up in a second-hand bookstore for 50p when I was a teenager, and this was the story that really ignited my love of old movies.

Although some might say that the ideals in the story are dated (and they are, there’s no argument from me there!) this novel is rich in history and is so well-written that it makes it easy to visualise life in the South. While Scarlett O’Hara can be perceived as a bit of a spoilt brat, to me she is the epitome of a strong female character – even when things don’t go as she’s planned.

By Margaret Mitchell,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Gone With the Wind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The story of the tempestuous romance between Rhett Butler and Scarlet O'Hara is set amid the drama of the Civil War.

A Man in Full

By Tom Wolfe,

Book cover of A Man in Full

Cara Bertoia Author Of The Perfect Breasts

From the list on showing life in the big city isn’t all glitz and glam.

Who am I?

When I was a child, I grew up in a very crowded house in suburbia with three sisters. Reading was the best way to escape all the mayhem. By the age of eight I was reading my parents’ novels, whatever books I could find. I wanted to move to a big city like the ones in their novels. At night I would tell myself Cinderella-type stories where I lived in a fabulous apartment and got to be the heroine. I took a class at Harvard Extension, and the professor read my story aloud to the group. From that day on I was hooked.

Cara's book list on showing life in the big city isn’t all glitz and glam

Why did Cara love this book?

I lived in Atlanta for a while and this is a great novel about the New South. Reading this novel is like taking a master class in real estate investing.

As with every Tom Wolfe novel it is a huge sprawling book that explores where all classes and races that inhabit a huge city intersect. Charles Croker a prosperous real estate investor is deeply in debt but that doesn’t stop the demands of his much younger trophy wife. Race relations are shattered when Fareek Fanon a star running back for a local college is accused of raping a girl from a prominent family.

Wolfe’s attention to detail paints a full picture of a city in the midst of change. 

By Tom Wolfe,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A Man in Full as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A dissection of greed-obsessed America a decade after The Bonfire of the Vanities and on the cusp of the millennium, from the master chronicler of American culture Tom Wolfe

Charlie Croker, once a fabled college football star, is now a late-middle-aged Atlanta real estate entrepreneur-turned conglomerate king. His expansionist ambitions and outsize ego have at last hit up against reality. Charlie has a 28,000 acre quail shooting plantation, a young and demanding second wife and a half-empty downtown tower with a staggering load of debt. Wolfe shows us contemporary America with all the verve, wit, and insight that have made…

The Unmumsy Mum

By Sarah Turner,

Book cover of The Unmumsy Mum: The Hilarious Highs and Emotional Lows of Motherhood

Lottie Phillips Author Of Sunshine at Daisy's Guesthouse

From the list on to make you laugh and cry at the same time.

Who am I?

I love romantic comedies with an emphasis on comedy. I’m not in love with sugary-sweet romance because I don’t think it’s true to life. I know that I laugh daily because my life is very 'Bridget Jones'. You know a book genre is strong when you can describe yourself as a character written in the late nineties. My own books are full of awkward moments, endearing observations, and humour that pushes the boundaries. Why? Because what are we if we are not fallible and vulnerable to whatever life throws at us?

Lottie's book list on to make you laugh and cry at the same time

Why did Lottie love this book?

This book is perfect for new mums, mums au fait with being a mum or even those wondering about parenting!

I laughed ridiculously hard at the frank and compelling insight into what it means to be a modern-day mother. I remember reading it when my son was a toddler and feeling comforted by Turner’s stories and anecdotes.

It’s both a comedy but offers great tips at the same time in those moments when you are crying trying to get your child to eat peas.

By Sarah Turner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Creator of the popular blog "The Unmumsy Mum," Sarah Turner offers an uncensored account of her early years of parenting.

Sarah Turner's first few months of parenting were tough. On the darkest of sleep-deprived days, when the baby would not settle and she was irritable and the house was a disaster-zone, she wanted to read about someone who felt the same. Someone who would reassure her that she wasn't a total failure. But she found nothing of the sort. She decided then and there that she would write something herself. She would document parenthood as she found it. Not how…


By Ian McEwan,

Book cover of Atonement

Harper Ford Author Of Divorced Not Dead

From the list on beautifully sad love stories.

Who am I?

I write romcoms as Harper Ford, yet I also write historical fiction as Rebecca Mascull and Mollie Walton. You’ll probably notice that all of my choices are either historical fiction or writers from the past. I just love an old-timey love story! My romcoms are funny (or at least they’re trying to be). But funnily enough, it’s the tragic, heart-rending love stories that stick in my mind when I think about romance in books. I hope you enjoy these novels as much as I have. But don’t forget to have a box of tissues to wipe away the inevitable tears…there aren’t many laughs to be had here! But hopefully a transcendent reading experience instead.

Harper's book list on beautifully sad love stories

Why did Harper love this book?

Atonement is a historical novel by McEwan, also made into a very fine movie with James McAvoy and Keira Knightley. Before you watch the film though (and even if you have), try the book as it’s a different experience (as books to films often are).

This book is really all about stories, narratives, and lies. Set in 1935 and beyond, the protagonist is a young girl Briony – a budding writer from a wealthy family and highly observant kid – who becomes fascinated by her older sister Cecilia’s relationship with local working-class lad Robbie.

The central romance between Cecilia and Robbie is beautifully wrought, passionate, and sexy, especially with its taboo across-the-class-divide vibe. Prepare for some tears though…

By Ian McEwan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On the hottest day of the summer of 1934, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching her is Robbie Turner, her childhood friend who, like Cecilia, has recently come down from Cambridge. By the end of that day, the lives of all three will have been changed for ever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had not even imagined at its start, and will have become victims of the younger girl's imagination. Briony will have witnessed mysteries, and committed a…

Book cover of Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Nancy Crochiere Author Of Graceland

From the list on runaway moms.

Who am I?

As a young working mom, I occasionally longed to follow the example of columnist Erma Bombeck and hide from my family in the car. Instead, I channeled the mayhem of family life into a humor column called “The Mother Load,” which detailed the day-to-day challenges of running a business while caring for two daughters, one husband, two guinea pigs, and a dancing rabbit. When I decided to pursue my life-long dream to write fiction, my debut novel was a humorous story about a mother-daughter-grandmother road trip/chase from Boston to Memphis. Although my writing doesn’t shy away from serious issues, I choose to see the world through a humorous and ultimately hopeful lens.

Nancy's book list on runaway moms

Why did Nancy love this book?

How can you not love a novel about an agoraphobic mother who somehow promises her 15-year-old daughter that she’ll take her to Antarctica?

The mom, Bernadette, knows she can’t handle that kind of trip, but in her desperate attempts to make it work, things get out of hand, and Bernadette disappears. It’s up to 15-year-old Bee to play detective and find her. Set in Seattle, Where’d You Go, Bernadette? is a delightful mix of comedy and satire with a wonderful message about the need to face up to the disappointments in one’s past.

By Maria Semple,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Where'd You Go, Bernadette as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A misanthropic matriarch leaves her eccentric family in crisis when she mysteriously disappears in this "whip-smart and divinely funny" novel that inspired the movie starring Cate Blanchett (New York Times).

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect; and to 15-year-old Bee, she is her best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette vanishes. It all began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle --…

Animal Husbandry

By Laura Zigman,

Book cover of Animal Husbandry

Mary Carlomagno Author Of Best Friend for Hire

From the list on girl power books that leaped from page to screen.

Who am I?

I'm a publishing executive turned self-help expert who frequents national morning shows to talk about clutter. Full disclosure, I'm a recovering shopaholic with an obsessive need to tidy up people’s homes and offices. My philosophy is simple, I bring order to everything I do, because life shouldn’t be a mess. I've written non-fiction books based on my organizing expertise that has been featured on Oprah, The Today Show, and NPR. I learned that it's never really about the stuff but the journey of self-discovery, a journey that is made easier with a best friend at your side. This journey of the flawed and strong heroine in my latest book, a novel called Best Friend for Hire.

Mary's book list on girl power books that leaped from page to screen

Why did Mary love this book?

I would argue that this novel set up the formula for fresh funny self-deprecating women characters that become heroines of their own stories. Later made into a movie with Ashley Judd and titled Someone Like You, the heroine compares modern-day dating to the rituals of mating in the animal kingdom to hilarious results.  

By Laura Zigman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

New cow...

Ray makes the move. Jane feels the rush. Ray says the L-word. Jane breaks her lease. Then suddenly, inexplicably, he dumps her. Just. Like. That.

...old cow.

Now black is the only color in Jane's closet and Kleenex is clinging to her nose. Why did it happen? How could it have happened?


Jane is going to get an answer. Not from Ray. Not from her best friends, David and Joan. But from an astounding new discovery of her own: The Old-Cow-New-Cow theory.

Forced to move into the apartment of a womanizing alpha male named Eddie, Jane is…

In Her Shoes

By Jennifer Weiner,

Book cover of In Her Shoes

Kelly McClymer Author Of The Fairy Tale Bride

From the list on celebrating sisterhood through time.

Who am I?

I’ve made a study of being the “big sister” since I was three. I remember standing up in the back seat (pre-seatbelt days), pelting my father with questions as he drove me to my Aunt Florence’s house. The memory is cloudy (maybe faulty, although I can smell that old car and feel the rattle of my dad’s nerves). My little sisters shaped me more than my parents (why did they demand I always be the teacher, no matter my protests of fairness?). Sisterhood was everywhere, from my mom and her twin sister to my dad’s two younger sisters. And so, my fiction often explores the sister bond.

Kelly's book list on celebrating sisterhood through time

Why did Kelly love this book?

Rose and Maggie Feller are so different I immediately related. And yet, beneath it all these two flawed and magnificent sisters are shaped and bonded by the childhood tragedy they experienced. This book is a reminder that a strong shared sense of humor mixed with a genuine desire that the other succeed can help mend any sisterly rift caused by rivalry, betrayal, or a good old-fashioned calling out. Humor is one way my sisters and I always bridged the gap of our differences and learned to walk in each other's shoes, even if only briefly before they pinched.

By Jennifer Weiner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Rose Feller is thirty years old, a high-powered attorney, with a secret passion for romance novels, an exercise regime she's going to start next week, and dreams of a man who will slide off her glasses, gaze into her eyes, and tell her that she's beautiful.

Meet Rose's sister Maggie. Twenty-eight years old, drop-dead gorgeous and only occasionally employed, Maggie is a backing singer in a band called. She dreams of fame and fortune -- and of getting her dowdy big sister to stick to a skin-care regime.

These two women with nothing in common but a childhood tragedy, shared…

The Devil Wears Prada

By Lauren Weisberger,

Book cover of The Devil Wears Prada

Clark T. Carlton Author Of A Bitch for God

From the list on full of intimate self-revelations.

Who am I?

I’ve always been drawn to artists who expose their lives in a way that makes you feel you know them. The best of them have a raw honesty that shows their flaws, their wounds and struggles and hopefully the lessons they learned. Nobody likes bragging, but we’re captivated by accounts that echo our own secrets, embarrassments, and darker emotions, especially if told with a sense of humor. For decades, I’ve been addicted to the confessional lyrics of Joni Mitchell and have always been drawn to the unguarded openness of certain memoirs and the roman-à-clef or thinly disguised autobiography. In showing us their vulnerabilities, these authors have been heroic.  

Clark's book list on full of intimate self-revelations

Why did Clark love this book?

Anyone who ever had a cold, demanding, and impossible boss can relate to Andrea Sachs, a young intern who needs to work for one year for Miranda Priestly, a character based on Vogue’s Anna Wintour.

Andrea is a well-adjusted young woman from a privileged background but she’s not without deceptions in her ambition. She takes a job at a fashion magazine even though she has little interest in fashion and it’s a job that “a million other girls would die for.” She also becomes like the boss she detests as her star rises and her personal life falters.

This fun and indulgent popular novel is a roman-a-clef about a young woman who chooses her own suffering and eventually finds her better self. She also gets revenge when she writes a successful novel about her ex-boss.

By Lauren Weisberger,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Devil Wears Prada as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

High fashion, low cunning - and the boss from hell

When Andrea first sets foot in the plush Manhattan offices of Runway she knows nothing. She's never heard of the world's most fashionable magazine, or its feared and fawned-over editor, Miranda Priestly - her new boss.

A year later, she knows altogether too much:

That it's a sacking offence to wear anything lower than a three-inch heel to work.

That you can charge cars, manicures, anything at all to the Runway account, but you must never, ever, leave your desk, or let Miranda's coffee get cold.

And that at 3…

Book cover of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Rebecca Rosenblum Author Of These Days Are Numbered: Diary of a High-Rise Lockdown

From the list on community and connection.

Who am I?

I’ve always been deeply interested in how people connect to those around them—it is something I write about constantly. My first novel, So Much Love, was about how a community reacts to terrible loss and uncertainty, and my recent book of nonfiction, These Days Are Numbered, is about how my own community—and I—reacted to the Covid-19 pandemic. I am always looking at how humans human, separately and especially together. That is one of the joys of narrative fiction for me—the way we can use it to examine our behaviour and interactions, and how we form relationships and communities. I hope these books enthrall you as much as they did me.

Rebecca's book list on community and connection

Why did Rebecca love this book?

This novel is a sometimes funny and sometimes grim depiction of what it is like to be extremely lonely, and what it takes to move from that loneliness into friendship.

It starts out as something pretty simple and goofy—a socially challenged young woman develops a crush on a singer in a local band and tries to pursue him, but that’s just a jumping-off point for Honeyman to show Eleanor Oliphant in all her prickly, strange, smart, hurting glory.

This book is a quick-witted slow burn and it takes a while for Eleanor to finally let her defenses down and allow people—both within the book and the readers—to see what she’s struggling with—but is it ever worth it to go on the journey with this fascinating character.

By Gail Honeyman,

Why should I read it?

22 authors picked Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


A Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

"Beautifully written and incredibly funny, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is about the importance of friendship and human connection. I fell in love with Eleanor, an eccentric and regimented loner whose life beautifully unfolds after a chance encounter with a stranger; I think you will fall in love, too!" -Reese Witherspoon

No one's ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of…

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