85 books like Contacts

By Mark Watson,

Here are 85 books that Contacts fans have personally recommended if you like Contacts. 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 Other People's Houses

Nicola Moriarty Author Of You Need To Know

From my list on strong leads with mental illness or neurodiversity.

Why am I passionate about this?

Mental illness has been such a huge part of my life for so long now that it has become second nature for me to incorporate it into my work. After suffering postnatal depression, anxiety, and panic attacks, I’ve been on anti-depressants for 11 years and regularly see a wonderful psychologist. Recently, I added a psychiatrist into the mix who diagnosed me with ADHD, so now I’m learning to juggle ADHD meds alongside the antidepressants. I’ve always been passionate about talking and writing openly and honestly about my own personal experiences because if there is any chance that I can help someone else with my words, then I’m going to take it.

Nicola's book list on strong leads with mental illness or neurodiversity

Nicola Moriarty Why did Nicola love this book?

The thing I love about this book is that the reader is hooked from the start by a thrilling mystery as Kate starts investigating the secrets hidden within a seemingly perfect family; but at the same time, you’re also drawn into Kate’s struggles with her past. As you discover the unspeakable tragedy that Kate is attempting to shut out through alcoholism and by spending her weekends taking voyeuristic visits through open homes for sale – which she has no intention of buying; you slowly realise that you’re experiencing an unreliable view of the world, which means you start to doubt everything you read, in the same way that Kate is doubting everything she sees.

By Kelli Hawkins,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A dark, twisting tale of guilt and obsession which will leave you gasping' Petronella McGovern, author of Six Minutes

The stunningly tense, page-turning top 10 bestseller for all fans of The Woman in the Window and The Girl on the Train.


The perfect house. The perfect family. Too good to be true.

Kate Webb still grieves over the loss of her young son. Ten years on, she spends her weekends hungover, attending open houses on Sydney's wealthy north shore and imagining the lives of the people who live there.

Then Kate visits the Harding house - the perfect house with,…


Book cover of The Good Sister

Michelle Stimpson Author Of Sisters with a Side of Greens

From my list on tumultuous relationships between siblings.

Why am I passionate about this?

My mom says I always had my head in a book. In fact, I got in trouble once for reading a questionable book while sitting in the choir stand at church. I’ve always been a reluctant rule-follower. Reading allowed me to explore worlds that I wasn’t allowed to talk about, let alone visit. Even now, as an adult, my life is pretty boring. But the books I read and the stories I write—that’s where it all goes down, baby!

Michelle's book list on tumultuous relationships between siblings

Michelle Stimpson Why did Michelle love this book?

I adore quirky characters, and the author nails it with the main character, Fern Castle. (Fern immediately reminded me of Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant.)

The author dropped hints of a super-dark secret between Fern and her sister, Rose, in the very first chapters, and I was hooked from that moment on. I love complex relationships in the middle of a flashback mystery.

By Sally Hepworth,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"A stunningly clever thriller made doubly suspenseful by not one, but two unreliable narrators." — People

Sally Hepworth, the author of The Mother-In-Law delivers a knock-out of a novel about the lies that bind two sisters in The Good Sister.

There's only been one time that Rose couldn't stop me from doing the wrong thing and that was a mistake that will haunt me for the rest of my life.

Fern Castle works in her local library. She has dinner with her twin sister Rose three nights a week. And she avoids crowds, bright…


Book cover of Grace Under Pressure

Nicola Moriarty Author Of You Need To Know

From my list on strong leads with mental illness or neurodiversity.

Why am I passionate about this?

Mental illness has been such a huge part of my life for so long now that it has become second nature for me to incorporate it into my work. After suffering postnatal depression, anxiety, and panic attacks, I’ve been on anti-depressants for 11 years and regularly see a wonderful psychologist. Recently, I added a psychiatrist into the mix who diagnosed me with ADHD, so now I’m learning to juggle ADHD meds alongside the antidepressants. I’ve always been passionate about talking and writing openly and honestly about my own personal experiences because if there is any chance that I can help someone else with my words, then I’m going to take it.

Nicola's book list on strong leads with mental illness or neurodiversity

Nicola Moriarty Why did Nicola love this book?

I absolutely love being a mother – but becoming a mum wasn’t the simple experience I thought it would be. I suffered from post-natal depression after the birth of both of my daughters and it was a shock for me to discover that motherhood wasn’t as easy and natural as I’d imagined. That’s why I loved reading Grace Under Pressure – it perfectly captures the ups and downs of motherhood and the terrifying loneliness, while simultaneously incorporating humour, heart, and comradery between women.

By Tori Haschka,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Ignore everything you think you’re meant to be doing, and bunker down with this.’ Better Reading

Big Little Lies meets Marian Keyes with a dash of Donna Hay; a deliciously hilarious, honest and heartfelt portrayal of modern-day motherhood and the saving grace of female friendship.

Grace Harkness looks like she has it all – two beautiful children, four cookbooks under her belt and an idyllic beachside home #blessed. But add another baby on the way (oops), a spouse that is nowhere to be seen and a relentless list of things she ‘should’ be doing, and Grace is starting to unravel.…


Book cover of The Mystery of Mercy Close

Nicola Moriarty Author Of You Need To Know

From my list on strong leads with mental illness or neurodiversity.

Why am I passionate about this?

Mental illness has been such a huge part of my life for so long now that it has become second nature for me to incorporate it into my work. After suffering postnatal depression, anxiety, and panic attacks, I’ve been on anti-depressants for 11 years and regularly see a wonderful psychologist. Recently, I added a psychiatrist into the mix who diagnosed me with ADHD, so now I’m learning to juggle ADHD meds alongside the antidepressants. I’ve always been passionate about talking and writing openly and honestly about my own personal experiences because if there is any chance that I can help someone else with my words, then I’m going to take it.

Nicola's book list on strong leads with mental illness or neurodiversity

Nicola Moriarty Why did Nicola love this book?

I adore every single word written by Marian Keyes, but the reason I’m including this book in this particular list is because the story centers around Helen Walsh, a private investigator who is severely depressed – and yet the book is not at all depressing to read. It’s clever, funny, and warm. So many of Helen’s thoughts and experiences rang true for me, which made it such a satisfying and validating read.

By Marian Keyes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A compelling tale of mystery, romance, and the irrepressible Walsh family from the internationally bestselling author Marian Keyes

Helen Walsh doesn't believe in fear-it's just something men invented to get all the money-and yet she's sinking. Her private investigator business has dried up, her flat has been repossessed, and now some old demons are resurfacing. Chief among them is her charming but dodgy ex-boyfriend Jay Parker, who offers Helen a lucrative missing-persons case. Wayne Diffney from boyband Laddz vanished from his house in Mercy Close-and the Laddz have a sellout comeback gig in five days.
Helen has a new boyfriend,…


Book cover of Rules

Sara Leach Author Of Slug Days

From my list on neurodivergent characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been an elementary school classroom teacher and teacher-librarian for over 25 years and I’ve had the privilege of teaching many amazing students with neurodiversity. I was inspired to write the Slug Days book when I was teaching a student with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I wrote the book to imagine what life might be like for that student so I could be a better teacher. I believe a school library should represent all our students and I’m always on the lookout for excellent books that feature neurodiverse characters.

Sara's book list on neurodivergent characters

Sara Leach Why did Sara love this book?

12-year-old Catherine’s feelings toward her younger, autistic brother are complicated. She’s protective of him and also appears to be embarrassed by his behaviour. All she wants is a “normal” life. When she becomes friends with a paraplegic boy she’s forced to think about what “normal” really means. This book is hopeful, humourous, thoughtful, and explores what it means to interact with someone who is neurodivergent. The author is the mother of a child with autism and the complex relationships and friendships in the book felt real and captured the mixed-up emotions of middle-graders. 

By Cynthia Lord,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Rules 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?

This Newbery Honor Book is a heartfelt and witty story about feeling different and finding acceptance -- beyond the rules.

Twelve-year-old Catherine just wants a normal life. Which is near impossible when you have a brother with autism and a family that revolves around his disability. She's spent years trying to teach David the rules from "a peach is not a funny-looking apple" to "keep your pants on in public" -- in order to head off David's embarrassing behaviors.But the summer Catherine meets Jason, a surprising, new sort-of friend, and Kristi, the next-door friend she's always wished for, it's her…


Book cover of Breathless

Brandi Reeds Author Of Trespassing

From my list on starring empowered women.

Why am I passionate about this?

My life, in particular, has been a series of challenges to overcome, from an attempted kidnapping at age eight to surviving breast cancer (twice!) before the age of forty-five. I believe in a world of equal opportunity, but I know the pursuit of happiness takes hard work. As a general contractor in the male-dominated construction industry, I’m well aware of gender biases in our world and the dedication it takes to overcome them. However, the struggle empowers us all, and even small victories inspire us to overcome adversity. Life is a survival story, and art imitates life. So I crave, read, and write novels starring empowered women.

Brandi's book list on starring empowered women

Brandi Reeds Why did Brandi love this book?

Breathless is Warman’s first full-length novel, perhaps lesser known than some of her others, and it’s a brilliant example of coming to age. Warman’s style is propulsive and character-driven. Katie, often overlooked due to the attention her older brother requires, is forced to make her own way in the world. She attends boarding school and finds family among people to whom she has no biological relation.

I first met Warman while earning a master’s degree in writing alongside her.  Needless to say, I learned as much from her as from our instructors. Her ability to throw a reader into immediate conflict, as well as her talent to put one at ease, is notable—especially here, where her young protagonist navigates a crooked path to the promise of happiness.

By Jessica Warman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Breathless as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

When Katie Kitrell is shipped off to boarding school, it doesn't take her long to become part of the It Crowd. She's smart, she's cute, and she's a swimming prodigy who has a first-class ticket to any Ivy League school of her choice. But what her new friends, roommate, and boyfriend don't know is that Katie is swimming away from the secrets of her past, and from the schizophrenic older brother, Will, who won't let her go. As Katie's star rises, Will descends deeper into insanity. And when he does the unthinkable, it's all Katie can do to keep her…


Book cover of Oh, Brother... Oh, Sister!: A Sister's Guide to Getting Along

Dawn Huebner Author Of The Sibling Survival Guide: Surefire Ways to Solve Conflicts, Reduce Rivalry, and Have More Fun with Your Brothers and Sisters

From my list on for siblings who squabble.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Child Psychologist and Author turned Parent Coach who often hears about the bickering, put-downs, jealousy, and conflict sapping families with multiple children. Telling them to “cut it out” clearly does nothing. Kids need not only the skills (how to talk, how to listen, how to manage feelings and resolve conflict) but also the motivation to use them, a combination I have spent my career thinking about, writing about, and teaching. All of the books I have written, and all that I recommend, include this winning combination of skills and motivation with the aim of helping children live happier lives.

Dawn's book list on for siblings who squabble

Dawn Huebner Why did Dawn love this book?

Pitched to 9-11-year-old girls, Oh Brother…Oh Sister! is a practical guide kids can read on their own or together with a younger sibling (of either gender). There are activities for siblings to do with one another, and plenty of humor to keep kids laughing as they absorb important lessons about getting along. A surprising number of children are motivated to sign the Sibling Constitution at the back of the book, and to honor the agreements they’ve made. The only downside is that the book is clearly written for girls. It’s a pity, boys could use a book like this, too.

By Brooks Whitney, Laura Cornell (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Oh, Brother... Oh, Sister! 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 girl's guide to getting along with siblings and surviving sticky situations offers advice on everything from teasing to tattling to sharing a room and includes tips, quizzes, and a special section of tear-outs. Original.


Book cover of Six Feet Below Zero

Linda Joy Singleton Author Of The Curious Cat Spy Club

From my list on for young readers on puzzling and magical mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

My love for magical and mysterious books was inspired by Harriet the Spy, Nancy Drew, Judy Bolton, and Harry Potter. Since I was 8 years old, I longed to write my own mystery series—SO I DID! My latest mystery series, The Curious Cat Spy Club, is based on my own childhood club. My friends and I played cryptic games, spied on suspicious neighbors, and helped abandoned kittens. I love writing about mysteries + animals. And I’m excited to share my favorite mysterious and magical books with you!!

Linda's book list on for young readers on puzzling and magical mysteries

Linda Joy Singleton Why did Linda love this book?

I love a thrilling mystery with secrets, humor, and surprises. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out if anyone would realize Rosie and Baker were hiding their Great-Grandma in a freezer. It was all Great-Grandma's idea! The kids race against time to piece together clues to find a missing will and save the family home from destruction. Reminiscent of an Alfred Hitchcock story with unexpected twists and heart-pounding danger. Fun mystery!

By Ena Jones,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Six Feet Below Zero 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?

A dead body. A missing will. An evil relative. The good news is, Great Grammy has a plan. The bad news is, she's the dead body.

Rosie and Baker are hiding something. Something big. Their great grandmother made them promise to pretend she's alive until they find her missing will and get it in the right hands. The will protects the family house from their grandmother, Grim Hesper, who would sell it and ship Rosie and Baker off to separate boarding schools. They've already lost their parents and Great Grammy--they can't lose each other, too.

The siblings kick it into…


Book cover of Savvy

A.W. Downer Author Of Best Friends Playbook

From my list on The best books about friendship and family with homeschooled characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was homeschooled from the beginning until I graduated from high school, and I’m now homeschooling my family. I also teach writing and English to kids from around the world, many of whom are homeschooled. As a kid, I loved fantasy and adventure stories, but I didn’t really like realistic stories because I wasn’t familiar with things like homeroom or class periods. I have loved finding books with characters who are homeschooled, especially if homeschooling is portrayed accurately. I also love stories about relationships, so stories with strong family ties and deep friendships are meaningful to me. I hope that both homeschoolers and other schoolers can enjoy these book picks!

A.W.'s book list on The best books about friendship and family with homeschooled characters

A.W. Downer Why did A.W. love this book?

Mibs (the main character) isn’t homeschooled yet, but she is about to be homeschooled with her older siblings. The characters felt like ones I would meet in my homeschool or church life. They felt comfortable.

But more than that, this book is just fun. I love the story and the characters so much, as well as the struggle to find what makes a person unique. The family bonds in Savvy are strong, and Mibs develops deep friendships with characters of all ages. It’s a special story, and one of my favorites. I am not doing it justice by half.

By Ingrid Law,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Savvy 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?

But just before the big day, Poppa is in a terrible accident. And now all Mibs wants is a savvy that will save him. In fact, Mibs is so sure she'll get a powerful savvy that she sneaks a ride to the hospital on a rickety bus with her sibling and the preacher's kids in tow. After this extraordinary adventure - full of talking tattoos and a kidnapping - not a soul on board will ever be the same.


Book cover of The Inheritance

Rachel Fordham Author Of A Lady in Attendance

From my list on historical romance that transport you in time.

Why am I passionate about this?

My fascination for historical novels began long before I ever penned one of my own. As a child, I often sought out books that took me back in time. Before I was even a teenager I began gravitating toward historical novels with romantic threads (give me all the sweet romance). My love of all things historical has only grown through the years. My children have come to expect our vacations to include stops at museums and historical sites. I have four published novels (as of 2021), files of future ideas, and stacks of novels beside my bed ready to take me for a historical ride.

Rachel's book list on historical romance that transport you in time

Rachel Fordham Why did Rachel love this book?

Tamara Alexander is a prolific writer, any of her novels could have made this list. They are all rich in history, full of character development, and feature sweet romances. The Inheritance stands out to me for a couple of reasons. One, the main theme of this book is tough love. An older sister who is forever rescuing her brother has to learn that love can look a lot of different ways and sometimes love requires letting consequences follow actions. This message is rarely featured in a book! It’s not an in-your-face moral, but a gentle thought-provoking takeaway. Another reason this book is exemplary in its well-crafted love story. Alexander expertly weaves her story threads together, giving you bits of history and romance like a weaver of a great tapestry.

By Tamera Alexander,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From USA TODAY bestselling author Tamera Alexander comes an award-winning historical romance. Desperate for a fresh start, McKenna Ashford accepts her cousin's invitation to move west with her rebellious younger brother to the rugged wilds of the Colorado Territory, but what she finds there will be the greatest challenge of her life.

Determined to tame her fourteen-year-old younger brother's rebellious streak, twenty-three-year-old McKenna Ashford accepts her cousin's invitation to move west and start over. McKenna arrives only to find that her cousin and her cousin's husband have died, leaving their five-year-old daughter an orphan-and that life in Copper Creek, Colorado,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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