78 books like Charms for the Easy Life

By Kaye Gibbons,

Here are 78 books that Charms for the Easy Life fans have personally recommended if you like Charms for the Easy Life. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Cold Mountain

Emerald Dodge Author Of Battlecry

From my list on take place in America’s deep South.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and raised in Virginia, so I am very familiar with America’s southern lands and culture. The South—also known as the Deep South—is a unique part of America’s tapestry of identities, and I love books set in this locale. Southern literature tends to focus on themes such as racial politics, one’s personal identity, and rebellion. When I wrote my book, I knew the story would have to take place in the southern states. 

Emerald's book list on take place in America’s deep South

Emerald Dodge Why did Emerald love this book?

Here’s another book-to-movie entrant on the list. This book follows the exploits of a Confederate soldier who makes his way home to the mountains of North Carolina. It’s like the Odyssey—he has a series of memorable encounters and run-ins along his journey, and things are not as they seem when he eventually returns home. I love the novel's tension and the artfully crafted characters.

By Charles Frazier,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Cold Mountain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1997, Charles Frazier’s debut novel Cold Mountain made publishing history when it sailed to the top of The New York Times best-seller list for sixty-one weeks, won numerous literary awards, including the National Book Award, and went on to sell over three million copies. Now, the beloved American epic returns, reissued by Grove Press to coincide with the publication of Frazier’s eagerly-anticipated second novel, Thirteen Moons. Sorely wounded and fatally disillusioned in the fighting at Petersburg, a Confederate soldier named Inman decides to walk back to his home in the Blue Ridge mountains to Ada, the woman he loves.…

Book cover of The Rescue

J.S. Wik Author Of Habitude

From my list on all of the romance and some of the suspense.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was always in love with love. I had my life all planned out, I was going to marry my high school sweetheart and have a family and live happily ever after. Newsflash, that didn’t happen and I’m glad it didn’t! As I’ve gotten older I still find myself in love with love, but now there are other things included with it such as quiet rebellion and a determination to simply be me. I find that I enjoy the suspense aspect because I know life isn’t perfect. We don’t all have stalkers or physically abusive exes, but books are a safe place to experience the emotions of these situations.

J.S.'s book list on all of the romance and some of the suspense

J.S. Wik Why did J.S. love this book?

This is another one of Nicholas Sparks books that I read at the recommendation of a good friend and I’m so glad I did! Denise is one of my most favorite fictional female main characters, and there was absolutely no surprise that Taylor fell for her despite his best efforts!

I was completely immersed in this book to the point that I stayed up way later than I should have when I needed to work the next morning and then woke up with a book hangover! This one was one that I needed a palette-cleansing book to read after because I was so emotionally invested!

By Nicholas Sparks,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

How do you learn to trust again?

Denise Hilton, a young single mother, is driving through Edenton, North Carolina, when her car skids off the road during a storm.

With her is her four-year-old son, Kyle, a boy with severe learning disabilities for whom she has sacrificed everything. When volunteer fireman Taylor McAden finds her she is unconscious and bleeding, but when she wakes an even more chilling truth becomes clear: Kyle is gone.

When confronted by raging fires or deadly accidents, Taylor feels compelled to take terrifying risks to save lives, and the search for Kyle is no exception.…

Book cover of Bootlegger's Daughter

Cathy Pickens Author Of Triangle True Crime Stories

From my list on for people who think they don’t like true crime.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I started writing mysteries, beginning with St. Martin’s Malice Award-winning Southern Fried, I wanted to get the medical, investigative, and courtroom details right. What better resource than good first-hand accounts from professionals who do those things every day? I love traditional, play-fair mysteries and the puzzles they present. But I also love writers who get the technical details right while also writing engaging novels I can get lost in. Nothing better than curling up with a good mystery.

Cathy's book list on for people who think they don’t like true crime

Cathy Pickens Why did Cathy love this book?

I love this book for many reasons—its rural Southern setting, its lawyer/judge protagonist Deborah Knott, its twisty mystery. But I was particularly intrigued when author Margaret Maron told me that the spark for the book was a real unsolved murder near her North Carolina home. I wrote about the real case when it was finally solved in Triangle True Crime, but Margaret’s version of what might have happened is so much more interesting.

By Margaret Maron,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Attorney Deborah Knott is running for district judge in good-old-boy-ruled Colleton County, N.C.

Book cover of Blanche on the Lam

Joan L. Kelly Author Of Notions of Murder

From my list on cozy mysteries to snuggle up with now and then.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a person who likes to nibble on poetry and taste history and non-fiction. But I love to devour fiction, especially mysteries. Reading a feel-good adventure with an excellent plot and engaging characters is my way of relaxing. My philosophy is that life can often be difficult, and fiction stories, such as cozy mysteries, are good therapy. When I’m not reading, quilting, or spending time with my grandkids, I’m writing stories. As a former teacher, I try to live up to the saying: Writing is painting pictures with words.

Joan's book list on cozy mysteries to snuggle up with now and then

Joan L. Kelly Why did Joan love this book?

I get a kick out of a story that presents a main character who doesn’t fit the expected norms of a hero or heroine. A feisty, middle-aged African-American housekeeper/cook is not your typical amateur sleuth. When her checks bounce because her rich employer fails to pay her, Blanche goes on the lam. Hiding as a maid for a wealthy family, things look bleak when a murder occurs in the home.  Blanche calls on her savvy and wit to discover the truth. As the story unfolds, the author uses humor and biting sentences to present a glimpse into the foibles of southern society toward domestic help. This is the first of this cozy mystery series featuring a very memorable character, Balance White. An enjoyable read!  

Once you read Blanche on the Lam, I believe you won’t hesitate to search out book two of the series to see what further adventures…

By Barbara Neely,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Blanche on the Lam as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Award-winning author Barbara Neely presents the first in a series of novels featuring Blanche White, bla ck domestic worker extraordinaire and accidental sleuth. '

Book cover of In West Mills

Ciera Horton McElroy Author Of Atomic Family

From my list on historical fiction featuring strong women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I may be only 27, but I’ve spent years researching the Cold War. Mostly because it’s very personal to me…my grandfather was a scientist at a top-secret hydrogen bomb plant in the 1960s. I began researching to understand his work and how it affected my family. I didn’t expect to become so consumed by the sixties. The more I learned about the nuclear arms race and the protests that were led, largely, by women, the more I felt convinced that there was a story here. I’m passionate about the often untold stories of resistance—resilience—endurance. Especially women’s stories. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I do! 

Ciera's book list on historical fiction featuring strong women

Ciera Horton McElroy Why did Ciera love this book?

When I started a book club in 2019, this was one of the first books we read! In West Mills is set in rural North Carolina and follows Azalea “Knot” who refuses to let her town dictate how she’s going to live. She has a mind of her own. She has spunk. But her life of wild choices is leading to some difficult consequences: ostracization from her family, living as an outcast in her own community. What I loved about this book was how lived-in it felt—all of the characters are flawed, and their dialogue and domestic scenes are so fully realized and believable. I highly recommend this book for fans of historical fiction and family dramas!

By De'shawn Charles Winslow,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"A bighearted novel about family, migration, and the unbearable difficulties of love. Here's a cast of characters you won't soon forget." -Ayana Mathis, author of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

"Winslow's impressive debut novel introduces readers to both a flawed, fascinating character in fiction and a wonderful new voice in literature." -Real Simple, Best Books of 2019

A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
Winner of the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize

Named a Most Anticipated Novel by

Book cover of Klansville, U.S.A.: The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights-Era Ku Klux Klan

Daniel Byman Author Of Spreading Hate: The Global Rise of White Supremacist Terrorism

From my list on understanding white supremacy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first became interested in extremism and terrorism when I was young, following the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. As a student and then as an intelligence analyst, I became deeply immersed in terrorism emanating from the Middle East and later served with the 9/11 Commission. In the last decade, I focused on the white supremacist threat, motivated both by its growing lethality and its political impact during the Trump era and today. In this book, I share my insights on the movement’s modern history, global dimensions, presence on social media, and numerous vulnerabilities.

Daniel's book list on understanding white supremacy

Daniel Byman Why did Daniel love this book?

To understand white supremacy today, it’s vital to understand how it changed from a set of ideas embedded in law as well as society to a fringe belief scorned by right-thinking people. Klansville, USA is set in the Civil Rights era deep inside the Klan in North Carolina, probably the most important state for the Klan at the time. Sociologist David Cunningham explains why the Klan was so strong in North Carolina and why it was weaker in many states where racism was also deeply entrenched. Cunningham shows how ordinary and embedded the Klan was in many parts of North Carolina and also reveals the tough, and incredibly effective, FBI campaign to crush the Klan, which included an array of dirty tricks against various Klan chapters that ultimately devastated many white supremacist organizations.

By David Cunningham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Klansville, U.S.A. as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the 1960s, on the heels of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision and in the midst of the growing Civil Rights Movement, Ku Klux Klan activity boomed, reaching an intensity not seen since the 1920s, when the KKK boasted over 4 million members. Most surprisingly, the state with the largest Klan membership-more than the rest of the South combined-was North Carolina, a supposed bastion of southern-style progressivism.

Klansville, U.S.A. is the first substantial history of the civil rights-era KKK's astounding rise and fall, focusing on the under-explored case of the United Klans of America (UKA) in North Carolina.…

Book cover of You Can't Go Home Again

Grant Carrington Author Of Down in the Barraque

From my list on non-sci-fi that a sci-fi writer likes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a computer programmer (BA and MA in math) for several organizations, including NASA and the Savannah River Ecology Lab before retirement, went to the Clarion and Tulane SF&F Workshops, and read the slush pile for Amazing/Fantastic. I’ve done a lot of theatre as actor and lighting tech, have always liked to hike in the woods, have written 11 novels (including 3 published SF novels), had 5 plays given full production, and have 2 CDs of my original songs. In my copious spare time, I sleep.

Grant's book list on non-sci-fi that a sci-fi writer likes

Grant Carrington Why did Grant love this book?

Being a New Englander, I don’t care much about Southern literature but Wolfe transcends it and also influenced Jack Kerouac, who would be my sixth choice. It was recommended to me by Joe Fineman, son of novelist Irving Fineman, after I flunked out of Caltech (Joe didn’t), saying “This is your book.” I have no idea who my influences are but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone told me that they thought Thomas Wolfe was one of them. He probably is. 

By Thomas Wolfe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked You Can't Go Home Again as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

You Can't Go Home Again is a novel by Thomas Wolfe published posthumously in 1940. The novel tells the story of George Webber, a fledgling author, who writes a book that makes frequent references to his home town of Libya Hill. The book is a national success but the residents of the town, unhappy with what they view as Webber's distorted depiction of them, send the author menacing letters and death threats. (Wikipedia)

Book cover of Where All Light Tends to Go

James Wade Author Of River, Sing Out

From my list on Southern novels with prose.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m from East Texas, which is closer in culture and climate to the South than the Southwest. The southern voice in American literature has given us countless classics, specifically when it comes to dealing with our very dark, very human nature. Violence, racism, religion, and redemption are all explored under the Southern Gothic umbrella. My own upbringing exposed me to much of the darkness that still exists in these shadowed pockets of the country. I want to illuminate some of those places, and each of these books serves as a massive spotlight. 

James' book list on Southern novels with prose

James Wade Why did James love this book?

I don’t read many current authors. It’s not their fault I’m a slow reader and have so many older novels to work through. But there are exceptions and David Joy is certainly one of those. I’d recommend starting at his beginning with Where All Light Tends to Go. His voice helped (and is still helping) usher in a new generation of southern authors. Joy, unlike the other authors on this list, tends to lean toward spare prose, which creates a bingeable quality to his work. Bonus points for a perfect ending. 

By David Joy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Where All Light Tends to Go as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Finalist for the Edgar Award for Best First Novel

“Remarkable . . . This isn’t your ordinary coming-of-age novel, but with his bone-cutting insights into these men and the region that bred them, Joy makes it an extraordinarily intimate experience.”—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

"Lyrical, propulsive, dark and compelling. Joy knows well the grit and gravel of his world, the soul and blemishes of the place."--Daniel Woodrell

In the country-noir tradition of Winter's Bone meets 'Breaking Bad,' a savage and beautiful story of a young man seeking redemption.

The area surrounding Cashiers, North Carolina, is home…

Book cover of Look Homeward, Angel

Beverly A. Li Author Of The Elbow Grease Legacy

From my list on seeking to unravel dysfunctional family cycles.

Why am I passionate about this?

It took a career as a librarian to help me understand my need for order, instead of the emotional chaos I grew up with in a large family. Being the child of an alcoholic father and a codependent mother gave me little personal value. After gaining some sense of worth in college, I wanted to give my kids the stability and support every child deserves, but I had to learn how to do this. I used my resources: education, self-scrutiny, honesty, art, nature, and the good Lord of the universe.

Beverly's book list on seeking to unravel dysfunctional family cycles

Beverly A. Li Why did Beverly love this book?

As a leader in autobiographical fiction, Wolfe writes of a large family dominated by an alcoholic, authoritarian father who is highly dramatic in words and behavior.

His wife’s determination to survive by running a boarding house and investing in real estate leaves little time for parental attention to the needs of their children.

While most grow to repeat the dysfunctional family habits that hinder healthy development, the youngest child, with the help of his teachers, struggles enough to finally take steps away from the pain, and out of the cycle, as I did with my own life.

By Thomas Wolfe,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The spectacular, history-making first novel about a young man’s coming of age by literary legend Thomas Wolfe, first published in 1929 and long considered a classic of twentieth century literature.

A legendary author on par with William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor, Thomas Wolfe published Look Homeward, Angel, his first novel, about a young man’s burning desire to leave his small town and tumultuous family in search of a better life, in 1929. It gave the world proof of his genius and launched a powerful legacy.

The novel follows the trajectory of Eugene Gant, a brilliant and restless young man whose…

Book cover of The Flaming Ship of Ocracoke and Other Tales of the Outer Banks

Jennifer Bean Bower Author Of Winston & Salem: Tales of Murder, Mystery and Mayhem

From my list on North Carolina murders, mysteries, and legends.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jennifer Bean Bower is an award-winning writer and native Tar Heel. A passionate student of North Carolina history, Bower seeks to document the lesser-known people, places, and events of her state's past. She is the author of four books: North Carolina Aviatrix Viola Gentry: The Flying Cashier; Animal Adventures in North Carolina; Winston & Salem: Tales of Murder, Mystery, and Mayhem; and Moravians in North Carolina.

Jennifer's book list on North Carolina murders, mysteries, and legends

Jennifer Bean Bower Why did Jennifer love this book?

Once the first page has been turned, Judge Whedbee’s book (much like Roberts’ and Wellman’s) cannot be put down. His lively tales of shipwrecks, pirates, murders, and ghostly occurrences, are a must-read when visiting a North Carolina beach. In his book you will learn about ships like the Crissie Wright that sank near Beaufort, North Carolina, and a ghost ship that sails the waters of Ocracoke. After my first read of the book, I visited the common grave of the Crissie Wright victims inside Beaufort’s Old Burying Ground and it was there that Whedbee’s words—and my imagination—truly brought the story to life. I can’t imagine going to a North Carolina beach and not being aware of these intriguing tales.

By Charles Harry Whedbee, Virginia Ingram (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Flaming Ship of Ocracoke and Other Tales of the Outer Banks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Every September, on the first night of the new moon, there are those who vow they see a flaming ship sail three times past the coast of Ocracoke. No matter the direction or velocity of the wind, this fiery vessel moves swiftly toward the northeast, they say, always accompanied by an eerie wailing sound. The story of this ship is but one of the colorful legends intrinsic to the charm of North Carolina's historic coastland. From the northern tip of the Outer Banks to the lower end of the sweeping shoreline, there are stories to be found . . .…

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