100 books like Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

By Gail Honeyman,

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

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Anxious People

By Fredrik Backman,

Book cover of Anxious People

John Young Author Of Getting Huge

From the list on mixing humor with serious topics.

Who am I?

My life carries absurd contradictions. A country kid and athlete, I fell in love with theater and literature. I hated school but became a teacher. An outdoorsman and environmentalist, I became a successful advertising executive and an entrepreneur. My novel Getting Huge has similar surprises: a 6’11” minister who hated basketball. He resented Concord, MA as a boy, but he returns to toil in his father’s church for 12 years. He’s never planted a thing, but discovers a passion for giant pumpkins and starts to be an entrepreneur who dreams way too big. I hope readers see how John Crackstone is (like many of us) humanized by comic contradictions.

John's book list on mixing humor with serious topics

Why did John love this book?

The novel Anxious People is a mostly-comic novel that helped me, as a writer, think through how comedy is delivered.

Frederik Backman has a background as a standup comic and you can see it in the writing of the novel—and sometimes Backman’s clever quips get in the way of the story.

The situation is of a robbery gone wrong with a range of weird and wacky characters, but they are developed in a way that helps us care about them as their stories are revealed and common touchpoints emerge.

The father-son police team, the robber’s pains, the fractured relationships. In the end, I found myself caring about these people.

By Fredrik Backman,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Anxious People as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The funny, touching and unpredictable No. 1 New York Times bestseller, now a major Netflix TV series

'A brilliant and comforting read' MATT HAIG
'Funny, compassionate and wise. An absolute joy' A.J. PEARCE
'A surefooted insight into the absurdity, beauty and ache of life' GUARDIAN
'I laughed, I sobbed, I recommended it to literally everyone I know' BUZZFEED
'Captures the messy essence of being human' WASHINGTON POST

From the 18 million copy internationally bestselling author of A Man Called Ove

It's New Year's Eve and House Tricks estate agents are hosting an open viewing in an up-market apartment when…

A Gentleman in Moscow

By Amor Towles,

Book cover of A Gentleman in Moscow

Karen Samuelson Author Of Weaving Dreams in Oaxaca

From the list on set in beautiful locations.

Who am I?

I have a passion for novels with complex characters and a memorable sense of place. The setting is key to the overall ambiance of a novel: its colors, smells, architecture, terrain, weather, flora, and fauna. My novel, Weaving Dreams In Oaxaca, takes place in Oaxaca, Mexico. The story is unique to the location because it includes the zocalo, cathedrals, outlying pueblos, food, etc. My family and I moved there for six months in 2006, and I fell in love. I sent my mother audio tapes every two weeks describing our adventures as she had become blind. I later transcribed them into twenty-two pages of detailed description of this magical city which I used in my novel.

Karen's book list on set in beautiful locations

Why did Karen love this book?

In terms of a sense of place, most of this book takes place in the Hotel Metropol where Count Alexander is meant to spend the rest of his days as the communist regime has taken over.

His young friend, Nina has a passkey and their days are spent exploring every nook and cranny and the basement of this regal old hotel. Within these walls and his tiny room, the Count keeps up the culture and soul of his lifestyle through conversation, music, poetry, and relationships. The ballroom and stairwells and restaurant reveal secrets, and like the Count, the hotel keeps its dignity and old-world style through it all.

By Amor Towles,

Why should I read it?

26 authors picked A Gentleman in Moscow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The mega-bestseller with more than 2 million readers, soon to be a major television series

From the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Lincoln Highway and Rules of Civility, a beautifully transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and…

Travels with My Aunt

By Graham Greene,

Book cover of Travels with My Aunt

Cookie Boyle Author Of Entitled: Life isn't easy when you're a book

From the list on a unique narrator perspective.

Who am I?

I’m a Canadian author who has been fascinated with how others see the world since I was a child. I was captivated by Charlotte’s Web. If pigs and spiders could be having unheard conversations, what else was I missing? I delight in stories that invite me into the distinct world of the narrator, so it’s no surprise that my novel, Entitled, is written from a unique perspective—that of a book. When done well, these stories let us see life through the eyes of someone else. If we all experienced our surroundings, just for a minute, as others did, perhaps there would be more humanity in this world. 

Cookie's book list on a unique narrator perspective

Why did Cookie love this book?

Henry Pulling, a reluctantly retired bank manager, meets his 70-ish-year-old Aunt Augusta for the first time in more than 50 years at his mother’s funeral. His Aunt is vibrant, even outrageous, and he is anything but—a man whose only hobby is growing dahlias. An Aunt myself, I love a story about a wild, non-traditional Aunt, and her relationship with her nephew. As the title suggests, the story is told through the eyes of Henry. His views of his life and their travels are filled with humor and insight. The joy of this novel follows the challenges that arise when two generations confront their expectations of each other and themselvesexpectations that are never more alive than when we travel. 

By Graham Greene,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Travels with My Aunt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Henry Pulling, a retired bank manager, meets his septuagenarian Aunt Augusta for the first time in over fifty years at his mother's funeral. Soon after, she persuades Henry to abandon Southwood, his dahlias and the Major next door to travel her way, through Brighton, Paris, Istanbul, Paraguay... Accompanying his aunt, Henry joins a shiftless, twilight society: mixing with hippies, war criminals, CIA men; smoking pot, breaking all the currency regulations and eventually coming alive after a dull suburban lifetime.

Book cover of On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

Lori Henriksen Author Of The Winter Loon

From the list on LGBTQ+ themes about the healing power of love.

Who am I?

As a retired family therapist, I find that writing and reading stories about emotional journeys no matter our sexual identity, ethnicity, or class has the potential to transform us. A protagonist under threat of persecution who finds healing in the power of love, of family, of community can help us fix ourselves where we are broken. I believe stories can help us sever unhealthy ties to the patterns of past generations. My mother was a closeted lesbian with no family who died when I was nine. Writing how I wished her life could have been helped me heal from childhood trauma. Our ancestors passed the talking stick. We have books.

Lori's book list on LGBTQ+ themes about the healing power of love

Why did Lori love this book?

This is my all-time favorite book for the use of language.

A history of Viet Nam and the aftermath of war unravels along with a story of Little Dog navigating poverty and survival, and wrestling with sexuality and opioid addiction. The prose can break your heart—FAG is written in red letters on mother and son’s door at Christmas: “What’s it mean Little Dog?” “It says Merry Christmas from the neighbors ma.” The subject matter can sting and bruise but rewards the pain with the beauty of the words.

Some say this is both novel and memoir—and so it must be. Who, unless they have walked the path, can empty the contents of their heart with such raw emotion. 

By Ocean Vuong,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An instant New York Times Bestseller!

Longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award for Fiction, the Carnegie Medal in Fiction, the 2019 Aspen Words Literacy Prize, and the PEN/Hemingway Debut Novel Award

Shortlisted for the 2019 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize

Winner of the 2019 New England Book Award for Fiction!

Named one of the most anticipated books of 2019 by Vulture, Entertainment Weekly, Buzzfeed, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Oprah.com, Huffington Post, The A.V. Club, Nylon, The Week, The Rumpus, The Millions, The Guardian, Publishers Weekly, and more.

"A lyrical work of self-discovery that's shockingly intimate and insistently…

Book cover of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4

Todd Alexander Author Of Over the Hill and Up the Wall

From the list on the lighter side to aging.

Who am I?

As one of Australia’s bestselling observational comedy authors, I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to write about the fact that I’ve recently become my parents’ go-to expert on just about everything. From solving technological dilemmas to coaching through society’s ever-changing correctness and reminding them to eat their greens, the elders in my life have inspired me to look at the funny side to aging, and to explore how a middle aged child sometimes crosses over from being helpful to just plain interfering.

Todd's book list on the lighter side to aging

Why did Todd love this book?

Okay, so this book is predominantly about the struggles of a boy going through puberty but its depiction of the magnetic older characters of Bert and Queenie in the Alderman Cooper Sunshine Home are among the funniest scenes in the book. 

Of every book I’ve ever read, it remains one of the most hilarious and if you’ve read it previously, it’s well worth another visit.

By Sue Townsend,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A humorous story first published in 1982, which chronicles the daily life of a teenage boy and all his problems.

The Marrow Thieves

By Cherie Dimaline,

Book cover of The Marrow Thieves

Rebecca Rosenblum Author Of These Days Are Numbered: Diary of a High-Rise Lockdown

From the list on community and connection.

Who am I?

I’ve always been deeply interested in how people connect to those around them—it is something I write about constantly. My first novel, So Much Love, was about how a community reacts to terrible loss and uncertainty, and my recent book of nonfiction, These Days Are Numbered, is about how my own community—and I—reacted to the Covid-19 pandemic. I am always looking at how humans human, separately and especially together. That is one of the joys of narrative fiction for me—the way we can use it to examine our behaviour and interactions, and how we form relationships and communities. I hope these books enthrall you as much as they did me.

Rebecca's book list on community and connection

Why did Rebecca love this book?

There are so many things to love about this extremely beloved YA adventure novel about a futuristic world where a pandemic has ravaged most people’s ability to dream…except for Indigenous people, who are hunted for their bone marrow, which is believed to contain their dreaming ability.

It’s a haunting, exciting, eerie, and important book, but of the many things it underlines is the importance of found family, of learning to trust and find solace and protection and strength from the people we choose to be with. A beautiful lesson in a book full of good ones. 

By Cherie Dimaline,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Marrow Thieves as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Humanity has nearly destroyed its world through global warming, but now an even greater evil lurks. The indigenous people of North America are being hunted and harvested for their bone marrow, which carries the key to recovering something the rest of the population has lost: the ability to dream. In this dark world, Frenchie and his companions struggle to survive as they make their way up north to the old lands. For now, survival means staying hidden-but what they don't know is that one of them holds the secret to defeating the marrow thieves.

"Miigwans is a true hero; in…

Book cover of The Once and Future Witches

Virginia Watts Author Of Echoes from The Hocker House

From the list on leaving you spellbound.

Who am I?

I was an unusual child. My favorite stories were fairytales, no tale was too tall for me. On Christmas Eve, my father always read a story called “Giant Grummer’s Christmas” because it was my favorite. Giant Grummer lived in a huge castle made of limburger cheese. He threatened to reach his long arm down chimneys to steal the presents Santa left but Santa saved the day by giving Giant Grummer presents too. Folklore, legends, and magic are important. We need to believe more in the “make believe.” Everyone should read stories about ghosts and witches and cheese-eating giants, anything fantastical to open their worlds and set their imaginations free.

Virginia's book list on leaving you spellbound

Why did Virginia love this book?

Alix Harrow writes that “behind every witch is a women wronged.”

Here are three sisters wronged by an abusive father who have hurt and betrayed each other in the past, but the bonds of love and sisterhood and witchcraft are stronger.

This book is for every woman because every woman has felt powerless. Every woman has been marginalized and dismissed but these three sisters prove to all of us that there is great power when women come together as they have throughout history.

I was rooting like crazy for these the sisters to prevail. I was charmed by the spells they cast based on fairy tales, nursery rhymes, lullabies. This is a book rooted in feminist tradition told in the tradition of great folklore. 

By Alix E. Harrow,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Once and Future Witches as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'Glorious . . . a tale that will sweep you away' Yangsze Choo, New York Times bestselling author of The Night Tiger

'A gorgeous and thrilling paean to the ferocious power of women' Laini Taylor, New York Times bestselling author of Strange the Dreamer

In 1893, there's no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.

But when…

The Book of Daniel

By E.L. Doctorow,

Book cover of The Book of Daniel

Andrew Altschul Author Of The Gringa

From the list on to make you rethink America.

Who am I?

Growing up in a comfortable suburb, I was never encouraged to examine my privilege or to ask questions about our country’s social and economic arrangements. I knew shockingly little about U.S. history beyond the triumphalist narratives of great men and military victories; the dark side of that history usually came in footnotes, and always with the implication that our country’s sins are mere aberrations from its good intentions. I had to learn the most important truths about our history from literature, which shows us the impact that events have on individuals, painting a fuller picture of how America became the country it is, and the terrible price so many people have had to pay.

Andrew's book list on to make you rethink America

Why did Andrew love this book?

In 1953, a working-class Jewish couple from Brooklyn was executed for allegedly selling nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union. Their two young children were orphaned. E. L. Doctorow’s novel about the Rosenbergs is an excruciating examination of these events from the fictionalized perspective of one of those children. Daniel’s point of view—naïve, angry, traumatizedbrilliantly illustrates the absurdity and cruelty of American culture when it turns against those who, for reasons of class, race, or religion, have never been fully included in it. I’ve read it a dozen times and still find myself sobbing at the realization of how all the country’s history, all its dreams and delusions about itself and its destiny, were stacked up against this poor pair of nobodies. Their real crime lay in demanding that the United States live up to its ideals, something it has never been able to do.

By E.L. Doctorow,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Based on the trial and execution of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, convicted of delivering information about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union E.L. Doctorow's The Book of Daniel includes a new introduction by Jonathan Freedland in Penguin Modern Classics.

As Cold War hysteria inflames America, FBI agents pay a surprise visit to a Communist man and his wife in their New York apartment. After a trial that divides the country, the couple are sent to the electric chair for treason. Decades later, in 1967, their son Daniel struggles to understand the tragedy of their lives. But while he is…

Book cover of Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Nancy Crochiere Author Of Graceland

From the list on runaway moms.

Who am I?

As a young working mom, I occasionally longed to follow the example of columnist Erma Bombeck and hide from my family in the car. Instead, I channeled the mayhem of family life into a humor column called “The Mother Load,” which detailed the day-to-day challenges of running a business while caring for two daughters, one husband, two guinea pigs, and a dancing rabbit. When I decided to pursue my life-long dream to write fiction, my debut novel was a humorous story about a mother-daughter-grandmother road trip/chase from Boston to Memphis. Although my writing doesn’t shy away from serious issues, I choose to see the world through a humorous and ultimately hopeful lens.

Nancy's book list on runaway moms

Why did Nancy love this book?

How can you not love a novel about an agoraphobic mother who somehow promises her 15-year-old daughter that she’ll take her to Antarctica?

The mom, Bernadette, knows she can’t handle that kind of trip, but in her desperate attempts to make it work, things get out of hand, and Bernadette disappears. It’s up to 15-year-old Bee to play detective and find her. Set in Seattle, Where’d You Go, Bernadette? is a delightful mix of comedy and satire with a wonderful message about the need to face up to the disappointments in one’s past.

By Maria Semple,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Where'd You Go, Bernadette as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A misanthropic matriarch leaves her eccentric family in crisis when she mysteriously disappears in this "whip-smart and divinely funny" novel that inspired the movie starring Cate Blanchett (New York Times).

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect; and to 15-year-old Bee, she is her best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette vanishes. It all began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle --…

Bridget Jones's Diary

By Helen Fielding,

Book cover of Bridget Jones's Diary

Cara Bertoia Author Of The Perfect Breasts

From the list on showing life in the big city isn’t all glitz and glam.

Who am I?

When I was a child, I grew up in a very crowded house in suburbia with three sisters. Reading was the best way to escape all the mayhem. By the age of eight I was reading my parents’ novels, whatever books I could find. I wanted to move to a big city like the ones in their novels. At night I would tell myself Cinderella-type stories where I lived in a fabulous apartment and got to be the heroine. I took a class at Harvard Extension, and the professor read my story aloud to the group. From that day on I was hooked.

Cara's book list on showing life in the big city isn’t all glitz and glam

Why did Cara love this book?

I remember reading this novel and laughing out loud. It inspired a decade of chick lit and inspired three movies.

Bridget Jones first appeared in Bridget Jones’s Diary Column in The Independent newspaper. A modernization of Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice. It convinced a generation of women that if they moved to London, they could meet their own Mr. Darcy. This famous line from the book sums up life in the big city, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces.”

Follow Bridget as she changes careers, falls in and out of love, loses and gains weight, and has a jolly old time, you will too.

By Helen Fielding,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Bridget Jones's Diary as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The multi-million copy number one Bestseller

A dazzlingly urban satire on modern relationships?
An ironic, tragic insight into the demise of the nuclear family?
Or the confused ramblings of a pissed thirty-something?

As Bridget documents her struggles through the social minefield of her thirties and tries to weigh up the eternal question (Daniel Cleaver or Mark Darcy?), she turns for support to four indispensable friends: Shazzer, Jude, Tom and a bottle of chardonnay.

Welcome to Bridget's first diary: mercilessly funny, endlessly touching and utterly addictive.

Helen Fielding's first Bridget Jones novel, Bridget Jones's Diary, sparked a phenomenon that has seen…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in isolation, friendships, and school?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about isolation, friendships, and school.

Isolation Explore 19 books about isolation
Friendships Explore 1,240 books about friendships
School Explore 239 books about school