100 books like Carry On

By Various Contributors, Rogé Girard (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that Carry On fans have personally recommended if you like Carry On. 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 Everything Sad is Untrue (A True Story)

Andrea Christenson Author Of How Sweet It Is: A Deep Haven Novel

From my list on when you’re in the mood for food.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an aspiring foodie and a huge lover of books with a great food subplot (or main plot!). I’ve been known to read cookbooks for fun and probably the most thumbed book in our house is my copy of The Joy of Cooking. I’m a firm believer in reading books at the lunch table and that no book should be read without a cup of coffee and a cookie (at the minimum) near one’s elbow. Hopefully you find these books to be as drool-worthy as I did!

Andrea's book list on when you’re in the mood for food

Andrea Christenson Why did Andrea love this book?

Okay, as a middle grade novel, this one may seem a little strange to have on this list, but bear with me.

The protagonist, Khosrou, tells the story of his Iranian family stretching back decades. Woven throughout the story are descriptions of the foods they enjoyed, many of which, as refugees to America, they cannot find anymore. Several times throughout this book I turned to the internet to tell me how to make something Daniel Naveri described.

A beautiful book that also contained more about using the bathroom than I ever expected!

By Daniel Nayeri,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Everything Sad is Untrue (A True Story) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

At the front of a middle school classroom in Oklahoma, a boy named Khosrou (whom everyone calls "Daniel") stands, trying to tell a story. His story. But no one believes a word he says. To them he is a dark-skinned, hairy-armed boy with a big butt whose lunch smells funny; who makes things up and talks about poop too much.

But Khosrou's stories, stretching back years, and decades, and centuries, are beautiful, and terrifying, from the moment his family fled Iran in the middle of the night with the secret police moments behind them, back to the sad, cement refugee…

Book cover of When Stars Are Scattered

Alison Prowle Author Of Strength-based Practice with Children and Families

From my list on finding hope following childhood adversity.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in the South Wales Valleys during the 1970s and 80s, I witnessed firsthand the effects of multiple adversities on the lives of those around me. Life was difficult for many families in the area as they battled with poverty, ill health, and lack of opportunity. I watched many amazing, creative, and talented young people fail to realise their potential. This sparked a passion and a career for supportive intervention with families and young children. It is my aim to help equip the workforce to better understand and respond to childhood adversity, be trauma aware, advocate for children’s rights, and make a positive difference in the lives of children and young people.

Alison's book list on finding hope following childhood adversity

Alison Prowle Why did Alison love this book?

It is difficult to imagine a more adverse childhood experience than growing up in a refugee camp.

In 2016 and 2017, I was privileged to spend some time working with children and families in a refugee camp in North France. The living conditions were very difficult, with regular food shortages, ill health, uncertainty, and ever-present danger. However,  I was continually amazed by the resilience, creativity, generosity, and humour shown by the children, even in the face of such difficulties.

When Stars Are Scattered is a beautiful children’s book that tells the true story of Omar and his brother Hassan as they grow up in a Kenyan refugee camp. Filled with beautiful illustrations and thoughtful insights into daily life in the camp, this book exemplifies hope in the face of adversity. 

By Omar Mohamed, Victoria Jamieson,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked When Stars Are Scattered as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

A National Book Award Finalist, this remarkable graphic novel is about growing up in a refugee camp, as told by a former Somali refugee to the Newbery Honor-winning creator of Roller Girl.

Omar and his younger brother, Hassan, have spent most of their lives in Dadaab, a refugee camp in Kenya. Life is hard there: never enough food, achingly dull, and without access to the medical care Omar knows his nonverbal brother needs. So when Omar has the opportunity to go to school, he knows it might be a chance to change their future . . . but it would…

Book cover of Other Words for Home

Rachel Bithell Author Of Brave Bird at Wounded Knee: A Story of Protest on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

From my list on middle grade that feature inspiring teachers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Teachers and children’s writers are some of each other’s biggest fans, and I have been both, so I couldn’t resist putting a teacher in my book. Besides that, teachers are very useful characters because they can make kids in books do things like write reports or keep a journal. Initially, my main character, Patsy, doesn’t especially like her teacher, Miss Ashman. Patsy thinks she’s too strict. But by the end of the book, she realizes that challenging students and having high expectations are some of the things that make a great teacher. If you’ve ever had a teacher you loved, you’ll want to check out the books on this list. 

Rachel's book list on middle grade that feature inspiring teachers

Rachel Bithell Why did Rachel love this book?

I loved the language in this novel-in-verse and the valuable insights from an “outsider” experiencing American culture.

As a refugee fleeing war-torn Syria, Jude, the main character, finds one of the only places she feels safe and accepted is in her class for English learners. The example of her teacher, Mrs. Ravenswood, shows how sometimes one person can’t change the world, but they might change the world for one person. It made me think about how small things I do and say impact people around me. 

By Jasmine Warga,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Other Words for Home as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

New York Times bestseller and Newbery Honor Book!

A gorgeously written, hopeful middle grade novel in verse about a young girl who must leave Syria to move to the United States, perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Aisha Saeed.

Jude never thought she'd be leaving her beloved older brother and father behind, all the way across the ocean in Syria. But when things in her hometown start becoming volatile, Jude and her mother are sent to live in Cincinnati with relatives.

At first, everything in America seems too fast and too loud. The American movies that Jude has always…

Book cover of Mexique: A Refugee Story from the Spanish Civil War

Mary Beth Leatherdale Author Of Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees

From my list on what it’s like to be a refugee.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up on a farm in Southwestern Ontario, Canada that my family had owned for six generations, my world was small. That all changed when I moved to Toronto and met my husband, the Canadian-born son of Polish Jews who survived death camps and the Holocaust. His family taught me what it means to find yourself in the crosshairs of history, to be forced to make impossible choices under dire circumstances. I’m passionate about sharing stories that build understanding and celebrating those forced by fate to be fighters — their strong yet often surprising personalities, their unique journeys, and their inspiring grit. 

Mary's book list on what it’s like to be a refugee

Mary Beth Leatherdale Why did Mary love this book?

I’m a big fan of picture books for older readers that tackle tough subjects. Before I read Mexique, I knew nothing about the 456 Spanish children who were sent to Mexico by ship to escape the Spanish Civil War in 1937. Yet, what I love about this book is how it goes beyond the historical facts to share the truth of the story in a moving and memorable way. The lyrical narrative is written in 1st person from the perspective of a child on the ship. And, the artwork, based on actual photographs, with its child-like style, somber colours, and graphic-novel style panels is stunning. You feel like you’re on the journey with the children. Waiting and wondering when you can return home. 

By María José Ferrada, Ana Penyas (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On May 27, 1937, over four hundred children sailed for Morelia, Mexico, fleeing the violence of the Spanish Civil War. Home was no longer safe, and Mexico was welcoming refugees by the thousands. Each child packed a suitcase and boarded the Mexique, expecting to return home in a few months. This was just a short trip, an extra-long summer vacation, they thought. But the war did not end in a few months, and the children stayed, waiting and wondering, in Mexico. When the war finally ended, a dictator—the Fascist Francisco Franco—ruled Spain. Home was even more dangerous than before. 


Book cover of The Canadian Connection

John Allore Author Of Wish You Were Here

From my list on to fall down a rabbit hole.

Why am I passionate about this?

I chose these books because a theme in my writing is standing up, and being a champion for things that get forgotten – books, music, events, people. Also, for anyone who has done investigative reporting, the sense is always like you’re going down a rabbit hole and penetrating a dark, undiscovered country. Also – and I don’t think many people know this – I was an English Lit major in college at the University of Toronto. In my early days I did a lot of reading, on a disparate field of interests. 

John's book list on to fall down a rabbit hole

John Allore Why did John love this book?

The Canadian Connection is an expose of the mafia in Canada and its implications for international crime operations. It was first published in French in the mid-1970s and immediately went on to become a national bestseller. There was a time in Quebec when you couldn’t turn the page of a newspaper without seeing an ad with an order form urging you to buy this “Shocking! Chilling!” book that revealed “Names! Dates! Locations!” Jean-Pierre Charbonneau is today considered one of the godfathers of Quebec writings on organized crime. The Canadian Connection is largely forgotten in English-speaking Canada and widely unknown to the rest of the world. It is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the history of the mafia, and connections to the New York Five Families of organized crime. 

By Jean-Pierre Charbonneau,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Text: English, French (translation)

Book cover of 400 Years in 365 Days: A Day by Day Calendar of Nova Scotia History

Bruce Bishop Author Of Unconventional Daughters: An Engrossing Family Saga on Two Continents

From my list on Nova Scotia, Canada.

Why am I passionate about this?

I developed a love for James A. Michener’s sweeping novels as a young man, which coincided with an early stage of my career as a travel journalist. I was fortunate to find myself in places all over the globe that he had written about, and these countries were somehow made more vivid to me because of his words. It wasn’t until the onset of Covid-19 in 2020 that I switched from writing non-fiction to fiction. In doing so, I realized that the small part of the world in which I had been born and raised – Nova Scotia, Canadawas as fascinating and interesting as any place I had visited. 

Bruce's book list on Nova Scotia, Canada

Bruce Bishop Why did Bruce love this book?

I received this handsome hardcover book as a gift, and I’ve been entertained and educated every time I’ve opened it.

It contains over 1,000 entries and 300 visuals that not only depict notable Nova Scotians but also scandals, newsworthy events, and celebrations. I’ve been inspired by some of the daily entries to research them further, which has enhanced my three novels that are set in Nova Scotia.

By Leo Deveau,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 400 Years in 365 Days as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

400 Years in 365 Days gives readers a fun, trivia-filled record which reflects the communities and peoples of Nova Scotia spanning the past 400+ years. Leo Deveau has assembled over a thousand entries that reflect events in the lives and histories of virtually every settlement and group in the province, covering a range of interests from military history to arts and sports. Illustrating the entries are 300+ visuals including full colour paintings, drawings, photos, and archival objects. This informative, entertaining and illuminating volume is a great reference book and a great gift for anyone interested in Nova Scotia's colourful past…

Book cover of This Woman's Work

François Vigneault Author Of Titan

From my list on graphic novels from Quebec no matter your taste.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an American-born cartoonist who’s been living and working in Montreal since 2015. My mother is from Quebec, and when I immigrated here I was looking to reconnect with my cultural roots. Reading graphic novels from here was a huge part of how I got to know my adopted community. I might be a bit biased, but I have to say Quebec has one of the world’s most vibrant comic arts scenes; a blend of American comic books mixed with Franco-Belgian bande dessinée. With more and more graphic novels from Quebec getting translated into English you’re sure to find something you’ll dig, whether you’re looking for slice-of-life or science fiction.

François' book list on graphic novels from Quebec no matter your taste

François Vigneault Why did François love this book?

This raw, experimental, poetic, and challenging graphic memoir began as an exploration of the work of artist/writer Tove Jannson (the creator of the Moomin novels and comics), but Julie Delporte goes well beyond the confines of criticism or biography to examine deep and difficult questions of gender and the challenge of creating a space to exist as a woman in a world haunted by the legacy of traumas past and present. Delporte’s colored pencil artwork is disarming in its beauty and simplicity, and her spare, intimate insights will stay with you for years to come. An essential read for our times.

By Julie Delporte,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Woman's Work as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This Woman s Work is a powerfully raw autobiographical work that asks vital questions about femininity and the assumptions we make about gender. Julie Delporte examines cultural artefacts and sometimes traumatic memories through the lens of the woman she is today a feminist who understands the reality of the women around her, how experiencing rape culture and sexual abuse is almost synonymous with being a woman, and the struggle of reconciling one s feminist beliefs with the desire to be loved. She sometimes resents being a woman and would rather be anything but. Told through beautifully evocative coloured pencil drawings…

Book cover of The Beautiful Mystery

Phyllis Entis Author Of The Green Pearl Caper

From my list on the setting woven into the story.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my own writing, the setting always is an important backdrop to the novel. Sometimes, it is the element that drives the plot forward. The seedy nature of Atlantic City, where most of my first mystery takes place, is essential to the story. I want my readers to be able to feel that they are witnessing a scene first-hand, whether on the Boardwalk, in a pawn shop on Atlantic Avenue, or in Damien’s favourite hangout. I also want them to identify with the characters. To root for the good guy in spite of his flaws–or for the bad guy if that is their preference.

Phyllis' book list on the setting woven into the story

Phyllis Entis Why did Phyllis love this book?

The abbey of St.-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups and its immediate surroundings is so much a part of this mystery novel that it almost becomes a character in its own right. Louise Penny has woven a complex plot in the tradition of Agatha Christie (isolated location, every inhabitant a suspect), and has infused the narrative with her own trademark attention to character development. Even those readers who are unfamiliar with Chief Inspector Gamache and his side-kick, Inspector Beauvoir will quickly come to care about their relationship and their futures. 

I am a great fan of Louise Penny’s Gamache series, and this book is one of my favourites. I have lost count of the number of times I’ve read it.

By Louise Penny,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Beautiful Mystery as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Anthony Award for Best Crime Novel
Winner of the Macavity Award for Best Crime Novel
Winner of the Agatha Award for Best Crime Novel

There is more to solving a crime than following the clues.
Welcome to Chief Inspector Gamache's world of facts and feelings.

Hidden deep in the wilderness are the cloisters of two dozen monks - men of prayer and music, famous the world over for their glorious voices. But a brutal death throws the monastery doors open to the world. And through them walks the only man who can shine light upon the dark…

Book cover of The Main

Max China Author Of The Night of The Mosquito

From my list on serial killers to stay with you long after you’ve read them.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was fascinated by American True Crime magazines from an early age. I used to buy them with my pocket money from a second-hand bookstore near my home. I graduated to reading novels by the age of ten, sneaking my father’s book collection into my bedroom one at a time to read after lights out. His books covered everything from The Carpetbaggers by Harold Robbins to The Devil Rides Out by Dennis Wheatley. By seventeen, I promised myself I’d write a novel one day. Most of my books are crime themed with a supernatural flavour. My debut, The Sister was published in 2013 and since then I’ve completed three more novels and several short stories.

Max's book list on serial killers to stay with you long after you’ve read them

Max China Why did Max love this book?

I must have read this book at least half a dozen times over the years. Trevanian was the author of The Eiger Sanction, which became a film starring Clint Eastwood and served as my introduction to Trevanian.

Set in Montreal, this character-driven novel centres around a world-weary detective named LaPointe and the characters on his beat. Close to retirement, Lapointe finds himself on the trail of a killer. Will he catch him before his own past catches up with him? It’s a great story.

By Trevanian,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Masterpiece' WASHINGTON POST--'The Main held me from the opening page' CHICAGO TRIBUNE--'The only writer of airport paperbacks to be compared to Zola, Ian Fleming, Poe and Chaucer' NEW YORK TIMES--'A literary jester, a magnificent tale-teller, whose range of interests was vast and whose scope for bafflement was formidable.' INDEPENDENT--'Trevanian's sharply tuned sense of character and milieu gives the book a vivid life granted to only the finest of serious fiction.' WASHINGTON POST The Main is Montreal's teeming underworld, where the dark streets echo with cries in a dozen languages, with the quick footsteps of thieves and the whispers of prostitutes.…

Book cover of Becoming Native in a Foreign Land: Sport, Visual Culture, and Identity in Montreal, 1840-85

Jason Wilson and Richard M. Reid Author Of Famous for a Time: Forgotten Giants of Canadian Sport

From my list on the impact of sport on social history.

Why are we passionate about this?

Between the two of us, we have written over a dozen books and won numerous prizes. Wilson, when not writing critically-acclaimed music or explaining how to catch a haggis, has received the Ontario Historical Association’s Joseph Brant Award for King Alpha’s Song in a Strange Land. Reid, who wisely passed up the chance of a law career in order to play an extra year of soccer, received the C. P. Stacey Award for African Canadians in Union Blue. Both writers believe that sports offer a valuable lens by which to examine a society’s core values.

Jason's book list on the impact of sport on social history

Jason Wilson and Richard M. Reid Why did Jason love this book?

Canadians have long worried about their national identity. Indeed, some have considered whether or not there even is one.

Poulter, in her innovative and stimulating book, examines an early attempt in the mid-nineteenth century to create an imagined Canadian identity. Wishing to distance themselves from a quintessential “British” identity, second-generation Montreal Anglophones were searching for a new way to identify. They saw themselves as “native Canadians”.

To solidify this identity, they pursued, as Poulter explained, “national attributes, or visual icons, that came to be recognized at home and abroad as distinctly “Canadian.’” It meant, in practice, taking up propriate costumes and sports such as snowshoeing, tobogganing, winter hunting, and lacrosse. All of these activities – undertaken in sartorially correct attire – had previously been the preserve of the Indigenous and French Canadians. Here, was an Englishness reimagined on a frozen landscape.

By imposing perceived British attributes of order, discipline, and…

By Gillian Poulter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Becoming Native in a Foreign Land as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How did British colonists in Victorian Montreal come to think of themselves as "native Canadian"? This richly illustrated work reveals that colonists adopted, then appropriated, Aboriginal and French Canadian activities such as hunting, lacrosse, snowshoeing, and tobogganing. In the process, they constructed visual icons that were recognized at home and abroad as distinctly "Canadian." This new Canadian nationality mimicked indigenous characteristics but ultimately rejected indigenous players, and championed the interests of white, middle-class, Protestant males who used their newly acquired identity to dominate the political realm. English Canadian identity was not formed solely by emulating what was British; this book…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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