10 books like Eileen

By Ottessa Moshfegh,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Eileen. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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My Sister, the Serial Killer

By Oyinkan Braithwaite,

Book cover of My Sister, the Serial Killer

The title and all the glowing reviews made me pick this book up, but the sisters Korene and Ayoola kept me reading. This book actually made me wonder exactly how far I’d go for one of my sisters. It also made me think about how much many women give up to be the caretakers (as Korene the nurse is), especially of the men in our lives. Korene not only figuratively has to clean up after her little sister, she has to literally don plastic gloves and grab the bleach. Is it horrible to think a little Ayoola-style “self-defense” would make the world a better place? Yes. Yes, it is. But I’m so glad this book took me there, right to the darkest edge of that thought…fictionally.

My Sister, the Serial Killer

By Oyinkan Braithwaite,

Why should I read it?

8 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…


The Talented Mr. Ripley

By Patricia Highsmith,

Book cover of The Talented Mr. Ripley

This suspense novel is a leader in the field of deceptive protagonists. Ripley adapts another’s persona alongside his own, but even as he plays both roles he knows that it will all have to end at some point. He is aware of what he’s doing, yet this is coupled with great self-deception: ‘I’m a good person really.’ His vulnerability is shown in his fear of being judged. At heart he is a lonely man, driven by obsession and jealousy. Ripley is a complex, well-drawn character - I’d love to see his personality profile!

The Talented Mr. Ripley

By Patricia Highsmith,

Why should I read it?

12 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"…


The Paying Guests

By Sarah Waters,

Book cover of The Paying Guests

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.

The Paying Guests

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…


A Beautiful Crime

By Christopher Bollen,

Book cover of A Beautiful Crime

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.

A Beautiful Crime

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.…


Carved in Bone

By Michael Nava,

Book cover of Carved in Bone: A Henry Rios Novel

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.

Carved in Bone

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…


We Have Always Lived in the Castle

By Shirley Jackson, Thomas Ott (illustrator),

Book cover of We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Last, but most important to me, is Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle, an awesomely deceptive novel about two outcast sisters in a decaying mansion. Murder, resentful villagers, and a love interest who threatens the status quo power this tale. It’s funny as hell, its devious narrator is a genius at revelation, and the story itself is gripping and true to human nature. A small gift that constantly reveals new layers and complexity, and a fantastic read to boot. 

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

By Shirley Jackson, Thomas Ott (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked We Have Always Lived in the Castle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Her greatest book ... at once whimsical and harrowing, a miniaturist's charmingly detailed fantasy sketched inside a mausoleum ... the deeper we sink, the deeper we want to go' Donna Tartt

Living in the Blackwood family home with only her sister Constance and her Uncle Julian for company, Merricat just wants to preserve their delicate way of life. But ever since Constance was acquitted of murdering the rest of the family, the world isn't leaving the Blackwoods alone. And when Cousin Charles arrives, armed with overtures of friendship and a desperate need to get into the safe, Merricat must do…


Adèle

By Leila Slimani,

Book cover of Adèle

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.

Adèle

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…


Bad Marie

By Marcy Dermansky,

Book cover of Bad Marie

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.

Bad Marie

By Marcy Dermansky,

Why should I read it?

1 author 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…


The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner

By Alan Sillitoe,

Book cover of The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner

A non-runner begins running in prison and discovers its therapeutic benefits that help him do his time and start him on a journey of self-discovery. Having been an early morning runner for many years, I appreciated the protagonist’s descriptions of frosty early morning runs, which I think are some of the best in literature.

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner

By Alan Sillitoe,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Perhaps one of the most revered works of fiction in the twentieth-century, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner is a modern classic about integrity, courage, and bucking the system. Its title story recounts the story of a reform school cross-country runner who seizes the perfect opportunity to defy the authority that governs his life. It is a pure masterpiece. From there the collection expands even further from the touching “On Saturday Afternoon” to the rollicking “The Decline and Fall and Frankie Buller.” Beloved for its lean prose, unforgettable protagonists, and real-life wisdom, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner…


The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly

By Stephanie Oakes,

Book cover of The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly

Minnow is a fascinating character having narrowly escaped the cult she’s been living in for twelve years. They took her hands, but she’s alive and away from the daily cruelties the cult subjected her to. The authorities want her to tell them everything, but Minnow wants her freedom and won’t give up her secrets for anything less. So she’s stuck in a detention center with too much time to remember the events that led to her escape and the carnage she left behind.

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly

By Stephanie Oakes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Brought to the Community at age five, the cult has taken so much from Minnow: her childhood, her family, her ability to trust. And when she rebelled, they took her hands, too. Now their Prophet has been murdered and their camp set aflame, and it's clear that Minnow knows something -but she's not talking. Sent to juvie, Minnow must learn how to survive in a new situation, and she struggles to make sense of the events that have landed her there


5 book lists we think you will like!

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