100 books like Eileen

By Ottessa Moshfegh,

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

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Book cover of My Sister, the Serial Killer

Kate Brody Author Of Rabbit Hole

From my list on books that capture the love/hate relationship of sisters.

Who am I?

Rabbit Hole is about Teddy’s obsession with her sister Angie’s cold-case disappearance. When Angie was alive, she was angry and difficult, but Teddy still misses her. While writing the book, I thought a lot about my relationships with my own sisters and how unique that particular bond is. I love books that capture the at-times-uncomfortable closeness of sisterhood and grapple with its power.

Kate's book list on books that capture the love/hate relationship of sisters

Kate Brody Why did Kate love this book?

This novel follows Ayoola, a beautiful murderer, and her put-upon sister, Korede, who helps clean up her crime scenes. Korede is loyal to a fault, willing to help cover up her sister’s crimes, but what makes the relationship feel authentic and lived-in is the way petty resentment boils around minor slights and the perpetual issue of the sisters’ disparate beauty. 7

The book is a slender, efficient, and funny look at the psychology of sisterhood that happens to take the form of a thriller.

By Oyinkan Braithwaite,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked My Sister, the Serial Killer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sunday Times bestseller and The Times #1 bestseller

Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2019
Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2019
Winner of the 2019 LA Times Award for Best Crime Thriller
Capital Crime Debut Author of the Year 2019
__________

'A literary sensation'
Guardian

'A bombshell of a book... Sharp, explosive, hilarious'
New York Times

'Glittering and funny... A stiletto slipped between the ribs and through the left ventricle of the heart' Financial Times
__________

When Korede's dinner is interrupted one night by a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what's expected of her: bleach, rubber…


Book cover of The Talented Mr. Ripley

Annette Joseph Author Of The Killer Menu: A Delicious Tale of Food, Family and Murder

From my list on mystery books with a beautiful aesthetic.

Who am I?

I am Annette Joseph, a writer and food stylist. I spend most of the year at our twelfth-century fortress in northern Tuscany. I have written six books, three cookbooks, and two memoirs about life in Italy. We run private retreats on the grounds. My book My Italian Guestbook is based on these retreats. Writing about everything around me in Italy gives me great pleasure.

Annette's book list on mystery books with a beautiful aesthetic

Annette Joseph Why did Annette love this book?

A Classic. I have read it three times. I would read it a fourth time. It's a beautifully crafted book. The writing is masterful. As a writer, I can’t get enough.

Set in the most beautiful places in Italy. This book transports you to another time. It’s a delicious read. If you have not read it, you must. If you have read it,  you must reread it; like a fine wine, it only becomes better. 

By Patricia Highsmith,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked The Talented Mr. Ripley as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It's here, in the first volume of Patricia Highsmith's five-book Ripley series, that we are introduced to the suave Tom Ripley, a young striver seeking to leave behind his past as an orphan bullied for being a "sissy." Newly arrived in the heady world of Manhattan, Ripley meets a wealthy industrialist who hires him to bring his playboy son, Dickie Greenleaf, back from gallivanting in Italy. Soon Ripley's fascination with Dickie's debonair lifestyle turns obsessive as he finds himself enraged by Dickie's ambivalent affections for Marge, a charming American dilettante, and Ripley begins a deadly game. "Sinister and strangely alluring"…


Book cover of The Paying Guests

Alison Moore Author Of The Lighthouse

From my list on in which things take a nasty turn.

Who am I?

I find uncomfortable stories comforting. I love fiction that explores eeriness, uncanniness, awkwardness; I love reading it and writing it. I recently published an essay – in Writing the Uncanny: Essays on Crafting Strange Fiction – about the connection between emotional disturbance and the uncanny, focusing on Shirley Jackson’s life and work as well as my own experience of donating a kidney and the pleasure of writing a horror novelette about it. In my most recent novel, a character reads stories ‘in which things take a nasty turn,’ which could describe a number of my own novels and short stories, as well as the five fantastic books I’m going to recommend here.

Alison's book list on in which things take a nasty turn

Alison Moore Why did Alison love this book?

I had the pleasure of hearing Sarah Waters speak at the Derby Book Festival in 2015, bought a signed copy of her latest novel, and have been recommending it ever since. The Paying Guests is set in the wake of World War I, and the historical context is beautifully rendered. Frances Wray and her mother have been living a quiet and orderly life on a street where the houses have ‘a Sunday blankness to them… every day of the week.’ It’s a life stuck in time, in a house whose ‘heart stopped… years ago.’ Then the Wrays’ new lodgers arrive, and they are noisy, gaudy, messy, dramatic, attractive. The two worlds collide with Frances caught between them, and what follows is both a captivating love story and a gripping crime story.

By Sarah Waters,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Paying Guests as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE

This novel from the internationally bestselling author of The Little Stranger, is a brilliant 'page-turning melodrama and a fascinating portrait of London of the verge of great change' (Guardian)

It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned, the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.

For with the arrival of…


Book cover of A Beautiful Crime

John Copenhaver Author Of The Savage Kind

From my list on slow burn psychological suspense.

Who am I?

I’m a historical mystery writer, English teacher, and book reviewer for Lambda Literary. I love to write and explore buried and forgotten histories, particularly those of the LGBTQ+ community. Equally, I’m fascinated by the ways in which self-understanding eludes us and is a life-long pursuit. For that reason, as a reader, I’m attracted to slow burn psychological suspense in which underlying, even subconscious, motivations play a role. I also love it when I fall for a character who, in life, I’d find corrupt or repulsive.


John's book list on slow burn psychological suspense

John Copenhaver Why did John love this book?

In Bollen’s fourth novel, the boyishly handsome, 25-year-old Nick Brink meets the older and more remote Clay Guillory at the funeral of Clay’s boyfriend/benefactor, Freddy Van der Haar. Freddy, whose name is synonymous with American royalty, was one of the few remaining vestiges of the old New York gay scene. House poor, Freddy bequeathed Clay his shambling Venetian palazzo and a collection of counterfeit antiques. Nick falls for Clay, and they escape to Venice. To fund their new Continental lifestyle, they cook up a plan to con Richard West, a wealthy American retiree who has a sentimental affection for the Van der Haar name and fondness for acquiring antiques. Even as their criminal behavior begins to accrue a body count, we’re seduced by that all-too-recognizable outsider’s desire to belong to a place. For these men, Venice isn’t just a city but a way of seeing themselves, of imagining their futures.

By Christopher Bollen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An L.A. Times Book Prize Finalist | An O Magazine Best Book of the Year

“Stylish… a compelling take on the eternal question of how good people morph into criminals. Terrific.”—People, Book of the Week

From the author of The Destroyers comes an "intricately plotted and elegantly structured" (Newsday) story of intrigue and deception, set in contemporary Venice and featuring a young American couple who have set their sights on a risky con.

When Nick Brink and his boyfriend Clay Guillory meet up on the Grand Canal in Venice, they have a plan in mind—and it doesn’t involve a vacation.…


Book cover of Carved in Bone

John Copenhaver Author Of The Savage Kind

From my list on slow burn psychological suspense.

Who am I?

I’m a historical mystery writer, English teacher, and book reviewer for Lambda Literary. I love to write and explore buried and forgotten histories, particularly those of the LGBTQ+ community. Equally, I’m fascinated by the ways in which self-understanding eludes us and is a life-long pursuit. For that reason, as a reader, I’m attracted to slow burn psychological suspense in which underlying, even subconscious, motivations play a role. I also love it when I fall for a character who, in life, I’d find corrupt or repulsive.


John's book list on slow burn psychological suspense

John Copenhaver Why did John love this book?

One of the qualities of mystery fiction that continues to draw me to the genre is the complex interplay between past and present. Nava’s 8th Rios novel utilizes separate narrative lines that resonate and then, like a parallel perspective drawing, converge in a powerful emotional twist. The first line is the story of Bill Ryan, a young gay man who, after being cast out of his home in Illinois, flees to 1970s San Francisco to discover himself and the gay community. The second line is Rios’s recovery from alcoholism and his investigation of Ryan’s suspicious death during the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. Ryan and Rios serve as foils: Ryan is a man losing the war with his self-loathing. Rios, in contrast, is winning his war.

By Michael Nava,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

November, 1984. Criminal defense lawyer Henry Rios, fresh out of rehab and picking up the pieces of his life, reluctantly accepts work as an insurance claims investigator and is immediately is assigned to investigate the apparently accidental death of Bill Ryan. Ryan, part of the great gay migration into San Francisco in the 1970s, has died in his flat of carbon monoxide poisoning from a faulty gas line, his young lover barely surviving. Rios’s investigation into Ryan’s death–which Rios becomes convinced was no accident–tracks Ryan’s life from his arrival in San Francisco as a terrified 18-year-old to his transformation into…


Book cover of The Plot

Rachana Vajjhala Author Of Kinetic Cultures: Modernism and Embodiment on the Belle Epoque Stage

From my list on dazzlingly written books from the past five years with both style and substance.

Who am I?

I’m a music historian who loves to read novels. Most of my childhood was spent either playing the piano or devouring whatever books I could get my hands on. Now, I try to share my love of music and good writing with my students at Boston University. When not at school, you can usually find me exploring the trails of New England with my dog.     

Rachana's book list on dazzlingly written books from the past five years with both style and substance

Rachana Vajjhala Why did Rachana love this book?

Whether trying to finish an email or a book, I feel Dorothy Parker’s words deeply: “I hate writing,” she is purported to have said, but “I love having written.” 

In this book, protagonist Jacob Finch Bonner does Parker one better. Stuck after his well-received first novel, he takes someone else’s story and passes it off as his own. Korelitz unravels the dire consequences, though with fizzy, suspenseful glee rather than scared-straight preachiness.

Bonner may not be, as he tells himself, “a great writer,” but Korelitz certainly is. It made me want to try to write again: hate, love, and all other feelings welcome. 

By Jean Hanff Korelitz,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The Plot as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

** NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! ** The Tonight Show Summer Reads Winner ** A New York Times Notable Book of 2021 **

"Insanely readable." ―Stephen King

Hailed as "breathtakingly suspenseful," Jean Hanff Korelitz’s The Plot is a propulsive read about a story too good not to steal, and the writer who steals it.

Jacob Finch Bonner was once a promising young novelist with a respectably published first book. Today, he’s teaching in a third-rate MFA program and struggling to maintain what’s left of his self-respect; he hasn’t written―let alone published―anything decent in years. When Evan Parker, his most arrogant student,…


Book cover of Gone Girl

Dana Perry Author Of The Nowhere Girls

From my list on books that are ripped from the headlines by a headline writing journalist.

Who am I?

I know a lot about “ripped from the headlines” news stories because I’ve been around a lot of news stories and headlines most of my life. I’m a longtime New York City journalist who has worked as a top editor at both the NY Post and the NY Daily News. Believe me, I’ve seen a lot of wild headlines in these places (e.g., Headless Body in Topless Bar!). So you can understand why I now like ripping from news headlines for fiction books as an author. 

Dana's book list on books that are ripped from the headlines by a headline writing journalist

Dana Perry Why did Dana love this book?

I loved reading this book like millions of others who made it such a blockbuster, best-selling book.

Many people assume this book was based on the sensational real-life case of missing Laci Peterson and her husband Scott (later convicted of murder.) Author Gillian Flynn–although agreeing there were parallels between the two stories has said her gripping, page-turning fictional novel about a cheating husband and a missing wife was not directly drawn from the Peterson story.

But she was still clearly inspired by that and other high-profile media cases like this that she covered as a journalist before becoming a crime fiction author.   

By Gillian Flynn,

Why should I read it?

24 authors picked Gone Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE ADDICTIVE No.1 BESTSELLER AND INTERNATIONAL PHENOMENON
OVER 20 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE
THE BOOK THAT DEFINES PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER

Who are you?
What have we done to each other?

These are the questions Nick Dunne finds himself asking on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they weren't made by him. And then there are the persistent calls on…


Book cover of Adèle

Madeline Stevens Author Of Devotion

From my list on in protest of women’s “likability”.

Who am I?

“I didn’t like the characters.” “I couldn’t relate.” Whenever I hear someone bring up the matter of “likability” a single thought roars through my head: How ‘likable’ do you really think you are? A main purpose of fiction is to illuminate those nasty thoughts we all have but are rarely willing to admit. A book should be intimate, uncomfortably so, just as to actually occupy another person’s mind and body would be. It also seems to me “the characters” referenced by these kinds of critiques are always women. We expect fictional men to shock us and to struggle with their own desires; why should we expect women to only charm?

Madeline's book list on in protest of women’s “likability”

Madeline Stevens Why did Madeline love this book?

Our protagonist, Adèle, is a sex addict in a sexless marriage, longing to escape the quotidian boredom of motherhood. Her desires are clear. “She wants to be devoured, sucked, swallowed whole.” She also wants to not want this. The interesting question the novel poses indirectly: What do we want of this character? Slimani (of The Perfect Nanny fame) writes so deliciously about Adèle’s desires the answer is clear—we long to watch Adèle falter, we want to hear every terrible thought in her head.

By Leila Slimani,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Fascinating . . . Adele has glanced at the covenant of modern womanhood--the idea that you can have it all or should at least die trying--and detonated it." --The New York Times Book Review

"[A] fierce, uncanny thunderbolt of a book." --Entertainment Weekly

From the bestselling author of The Perfect Nanny--one of the 10 Best Books of the Year of The New York Times Book Review--as well as Sex and Lies and In the Country of Others, her prizewinning novel about a sex-addicted woman in Paris

She wants only one thing: to be wanted.

Adele appears to have the perfect…


Book cover of Bad Marie

Madeline Stevens Author Of Devotion

From my list on in protest of women’s “likability”.

Who am I?

“I didn’t like the characters.” “I couldn’t relate.” Whenever I hear someone bring up the matter of “likability” a single thought roars through my head: How ‘likable’ do you really think you are? A main purpose of fiction is to illuminate those nasty thoughts we all have but are rarely willing to admit. A book should be intimate, uncomfortably so, just as to actually occupy another person’s mind and body would be. It also seems to me “the characters” referenced by these kinds of critiques are always women. We expect fictional men to shock us and to struggle with their own desires; why should we expect women to only charm?

Madeline's book list on in protest of women’s “likability”

Madeline Stevens Why did Madeline love this book?

I was working as a nanny in New York City when I discovered this wild novel, and I consumed it in short order. Marie, fresh from prison, is hired out of pity to watch a high school friend’s daughter. “The situation would’ve been humiliating had Marie any ambition in life. Fortunately, Marie was not in any way ambitious.” Marie is instead selfish, culpable, hungry, and smitten—first with her friend’s life, then her friend’s husband, and most dangerously, her friend’s daughter. Dermansky’s novel could easily slip into thriller territory, and while it is as fast-paced and compulsively readable, instead we discover unpredictably that Bad Marie is really a love story.

By Marcy Dermansky,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Bad Marie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Bad Marie" is the story of Marie, tall, voluptuous, beautiful, thirty years old, and fresh from six years in prison for being an accessory to murder and armed robbery. The only job Marie can get on the outside is as a nanny for her childhood friend Ellen Kendall, an upwardly mobile Manhattan executive whose mother employed Marie's mother as a housekeeper. After Marie moves in with Ellen, Ellen's angelic baby Caitlin, and Ellen's husband, a very attractive French novelist named Benoit Doniel, things get complicated, and almost before she knows what she's doing, Marie has absconded to Paris with both…


Book cover of The New Me

Vanessa Cuti Author Of The Tip Line

From my list on a divisive/polarizing main character.

Who am I?

I’m a sucker for unlikeable. A charged word that’s sometimes used about protagonists but mostly only about female protagonists. When they don’t fit a template. When they are imperfect. When they push back. When they are too emotional or too distant or too interior or too driven or too obsessed or too mean or too nice or too smart or not smart enough. The protagonists in these novels are flawed—period. But flawed is complex and perfect is simple and simple is boring and no one wants to read a boring novel.

Vanessa's book list on a divisive/polarizing main character

Vanessa Cuti Why did Vanessa love this book?

“I wonder how I would have to behave, how many changes I would have to make, to tip myself over the edge into this endless abyss of perm.”

Millie is a temp and she wants to find a permanent job. Or so she says. Her real goal? “It should be easier to feel good.” Millie is snarky, sometimes bordering on cruel, recounts minutiae, revels in loneliness, and savors her own dark side. She knows she wants to be a better version of herself but only needs to find her way.

The New Me masterfully paints the frustration brought on by the inevitable passage of time and being unable to see a tangible change in oneself. 

By Halle Butler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Terrific. So funny' Zadie Smith

'Monstrously depressing but so comic and well observed that I didn't really mind .... It is great' Dolly Alderton

'A dark comedy of female rage' Catherine Lacey

'Brilliant. For fans of Ottessa Moshfegh's My Year of Rest and Relaxation' Pandora Sykes

'Funny, shocking, clever, and hugely entertaining' Roddy Doyle

'A definitive work of milennial literature' Jia Tolentino

'The best thing I've read in years' Emma Jane Unsworth

'Vicious ... hilariously spot on' Guardian



In a windowless office, a woman explains something from her real, nonwork life - about the frustration and indignity of returning her…


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