100 books like Elizabeth Is Missing

By Emma Healey,

Here are 100 books that Elizabeth Is Missing fans have personally recommended if you like Elizabeth Is Missing. 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 Olive Kitteridge

Ellen Baker Author Of The Hidden Life of Cecily Larson

From my list on books with quirky, strong women at their heart.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved reading novels about strong, quirky women since childhood (Nancy Drew, Ramona Quimby, Harriet the Spy, the heroines of Judy Blume novels, just for starting examples!). As I grew into writing my own stories, I also started studying women’s history. I merged these two interests to begin writing historical novels with strong women protagonists. I love the challenge of researching to figure out the details of women’s day-to-day lives–so many unrecorded stories!–and I love to advocate for the idea (fortunately not as revolutionary as it once was) that a woman can be the hero of her own story and that each woman’s story is important to tell.  

Ellen's book list on books with quirky, strong women at their heart

Ellen Baker Why did Ellen love this book?

I found this book absolutely riveting.

Outspoken, cantankerous, deep-hearted Olive Kitteridge is a character unlike any other, and I loved how the interconnected stories let us see her, her family, and her community at various points in time and how their decisions and ways of being affect the arcs of their lives.

I loved the complexity and uniqueness of all the characters, as well as the insights that this book offers about the intricacies, nuances, difficulties, and joys of being human. 

By Elizabeth Strout,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE • The beloved first novel featuring Olive Kitteridge, from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Oprah’s Book Club pick Olive, Again
 
“Fiction lovers, remember this name: Olive Kitteridge. . . . You’ll never forget her.”—USA Today
 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post Book World • USA Today • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • Seattle Post-Intelligencer • People • Entertainment Weekly • The Christian Science Monitor • The Plain Dealer • The Atlantic • Rocky Mountain News • Library Journal
 
At times stern, at…


Book cover of Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

Alice McIlroy Author Of The Glass Woman

From my list on books featuring unreliable narrators.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved unreliable narrators and how they place us as readers into the role of detectives, piecing the "truth" of a story together. The narrators I’ve picked below vary in their intent: some deliberately deceive, and others do so unconsciously or through omission. In several, the twist hinges on the use of an unreliable narrator, while in others, narrative unreliability poses a moral dilemma for the reader. In a few, an added layer of unreliability emerges: the narrator’s perception is distorted by technology. In an age of AI, simulations, and deep fakes, the unreliable narrator is arguably more needed than ever, holding a mirror up to the unreliability of our own world. 

Alice's book list on books featuring unreliable narrators

Alice McIlroy Why did Alice love this book?

This book features a brilliant narrative voice. The title paraphrases William Blake’s Proverbs of Hell. Protagonist Janina’s neighbour, nicknamed Big Foot, is found dead in the first of a number of local murders as hunters become the hunted. 65-year-old Janina has a greater affinity with the local deer than the victims and their love of hunting.

It is Janina’s perspective that makes the narrative so gripping. Set in a remote Polish village, it has the pace of a thriller, and her voice combines humour with deeply troubled questions about humanity’s place in the world. On watching a pregnant woman reading a newspaper, she wonders: "How could one possibly know all this and not miscarry?" Janina’s first-person narration enables us to see how far she is misjudged and overlooked by her community.

By Olga Tokarczuk, Antonia Lloyd-Jones (translator),

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With DRIVE YOUR PLOW OVER THE BONES OF THE DEAD, Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Olga Tokarczuk returns with a subversive, entertaining noir novel. In a remote Polish village, Janina Duszejko, an eccentric woman in her sixties, recounts the events surrounding the disappearance of her two dogs. She is reclusive, preferring the company of animals to people; she's unconventional, believing in the stars; and she is fond of the poetry of William Blake, from whose work the title of the book is taken. When members of a local hunting club are found murdered, Duszejko becomes involved in the investigation. By…


Book cover of The Last House on Needless Street

Kelley Skovron Author Of No Filter

From my list on deliciously dark horror novels that are more sad than scary.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm the author of over 15 novels written for kids, teens, and adults across several genres. The thing all my books have in common is that they are sad and they are dark. My most recent novel is my most distilled, compressed delivery of deliciously dark sadness yet! Oddly, I'm rarely sad in real life. My daughter suggested that I write books to get the darkness out of my head and onto the page, which I think is very insightful (she is my kid, after all). I enjoy the beauty in the breakdown, I savor the sublime catharsis of tragedy, and I want to share that perspective with everyone.

Kelley's book list on deliciously dark horror novels that are more sad than scary

Kelley Skovron Why did Kelley love this book?

I really don't know how Catriona Ward manages to balance the languid sadness and unrelenting tension so well.

Ward's profound empathy for every single character, no matter how flawed, is what twists your heart. At the same time, you feel as though you're on a roller coaster barreling at breakneck speed through pitch-black tunnels.

I wasn't always sure I understood what was going on from moment to moment, and that seems very much by design because, wow, what a twist! And the deeply felt depiction of the characters never made me feel like I was truly lost. I will indulge a great deal of mystery as long as it is presented by such a steady and skillful hand.

By Catriona Ward,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Last House on Needless Street as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"The buzz...is real. I've read it and was blown away. It's a true nerve-shredder that keeps its mind-blowing secrets to the very end." ―Stephen King

Winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Horror Novel!
A World Fantasy Award Finalist!
An Indie Next Pick! A LibraryReads Top 10 Pick!
A Library Journal Editors' Pick! STARRED reviews from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly!
Named one of the "50 Best Horror Books of All Time" by Esquire!

"Brilliant....[a] deeply frightening deconstruction of the illusion of the self." ―The New York Times

Catriona Ward's The Last House on Needless Street is a shocking…


Book cover of Big Little Lies

Robin Peguero Author Of One In The Chamber

From my list on friends guarding a killer secret.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in a Spanish-speaking household, there was a saying: “Dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres.” That is, the company you keep says a lot about you. The sense of belonging that comes from being a part of a group is something we have chased since we were kids. I remember the close-knit friends’ group I joined in the eighth grade, and the core four of us are still best friends to this day (just about 25 years later!). I’m fascinated by what those strong bonds can make you do–including leading you to bend or break your moral compass. 

Robin's book list on friends guarding a killer secret

Robin Peguero Why did Robin love this book?

Don’t mess with mamas and their babies. I loved how this group of women were flawed, petty, and mean but protective over their children and even each other.

It’s set amid beauty and wealth, but the baseness of human nature still manages to tarnish what is otherwise a picturesque life. I am a fan of that juxtaposition, lest we covet and pine for those same trappings, only to realize we all fall short of the glory.

By Liane Moriarty,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Big Little Lies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*Published as BIG LITTLE LIES in Australia and the United States*

Liane Moriarty, million copy selling author of The Husband's Secret brings us another addictive story of secrets and scandal.

Jane hasn't lived anywhere longer than six months since her son was born five years ago. She keeps moving in an attempt to escape her past. Now the idyllic seaside town of Pirriwee has pulled her to its shores and Jane finally feels like she belongs. She has friends in the feisty Madeline and the incredibly beautiful Celeste - two women with seemingly perfect lives . . . and their…


Book cover of Before I Go to Sleep

Mallika Narayanan Author Of In the Dark I See You

From my list on Suspense/thriller books with great plot twists.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer of suspense/thrillers and psychological thrillers, I’ve always loved thrillers and suspense books where I can’t guess the ending. And this list of books is additionally close to my heart because of the way they made me feel when I read them: breathless; restless to know how they were going to end; and most of all, they made me think about and question the psychology of the characters. I hope you will like them as much as I did!

Mallika's book list on Suspense/thriller books with great plot twists

Mallika Narayanan Why did Mallika love this book?

This book kept me on the edge of my seat, biting my nails, and err… made me forget to go to sleep. This book to me is the epitome of books that make you go wait, what??

I want to highlight the menacing ambiance and constant edge in the tone of the story by giving the character such vulnerability that made me squirm. I loved the pacing of this story as the main character is hurled from the one bad situation into another.

Yet again, this book taught me to re-think assumptions, because it proved all of them wrong. I love the uniqueness of this trope especially when it first came out but the originality of it captivated me entirely.

By S.J. Watson,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Before I Go to Sleep as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Mesmerising and unsettling . . . The best debut thriller for years' Sunday Times

Now a major film starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong

Over 7 million copies sold worldwide
____________

Memories define us.

So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep?

Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love - all forgotten overnight.

And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story.

Welcome to Christine's life.

____________

Readers are obsessed with Before I Go To Sleep:

***** 'A genius plot with an incredible twist. Before…


Book cover of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Richard Scrimger Author Of At the Speed of Gus

From my list on neurodivergent voices, quirky, heartbreaking.

Why am I passionate about this?

I can’t count the number of conversations where I’ve been asked to slow down, or take a breath, or talk in a straight line. My neurodivergent heroes are versions of me: me if I were an alien, or a dying old lady, or a zombie. Gus is the closest I’ve come yet to writing my true self. He’s just me. I want readers who identify with Gus to feel seen and accepted and those who don’t—to understand what it’s like to live like this. And, just maybe, to have a little fun along the way. 

Richard's book list on neurodivergent voices, quirky, heartbreaking

Richard Scrimger Why did Richard love this book?

I love story remixes: new takes on an existing genre. This book takes a conventional mystery plotline and gives it bright new coloring thanks to the narrator’s autism.

As is often the case with neurodivergent folks, Christopher doesn’t know much about the world, but he understands himself. A quiet masterpiece. No sentimentality, thank heavens.

By Mark Haddon,

Why should I read it?

21 authors picked The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Whitbread Book of the Year

'Outstanding...a stunningly good read' Observer

'Mark Haddon's portrayal of an emotionally dissociated mind is a superb achievement... Wise and bleakly funny' Ian McEwan

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a murder mystery novel like no other. The detective, and narrator, is Christopher Boone. Christopher is fifteen and has Asperger's Syndrome. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns and the truth. He hates the colours yellow and brown and being touched. He has never gone further than the…


Book cover of Somebody I Used to Know: A Memoir

Vered Neta Author Of Things We Do For Love

From my list on the light side of Alzheimer’s.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like the Bach sisters in my novel Things We Do For Love, my sisters and I have cared for our mother, who battles Alzheimer's. Witnessing her transformation from a vibrant powerhouse to someone resembling the Walking Dead has been heart-wrenching. Despite the emotional rollercoaster, this journey has deeply connected us with our mother. Delving into the depths of her being has been a privilege, offering profound insights into her true essence. This challenging experience has unfolded as a disguised blessing. In this journey, we've discovered the beauty of unconditional love that binds our family together. It reflects the central question of my novel: What truly makes a happy family?

Vered's book list on the light side of Alzheimer’s

Vered Neta Why did Vered love this book?

Receiving a dementia diagnosis at just 58 years old can be paralysing, but Wendy Mitchell chose a different path. Instead of preparing for the end, she embraced life with newfound determination.

Wendy became a passionate advocate and speaker for dementia awareness. Her remarkable journey includes earning two honorary doctorates and achieving many of her life's dreams, including becoming a published author to share her deeply personal story.

With engaging wit and unwavering courage, Wendy candidly narrates her daily battle with the illness. Her story is both heartwarming and inspirational, as she shows us that despite the challenges, dementia can also bring unexpected gifts alongside sorrow.

Wendy's character is endearing, and her resilience shines through, leaving readers with a profound sense of hope and a deeper understanding of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

By Wendy Mitchell,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Somebody I Used to Know as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE RICHARD AND JUDY BOOK CLUB PICK THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER A BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK CHOSEN AS A 2018 SUMMER READ BY THE SUNDAY TIMES, FINANCIAL TIMES, DAILY TELEGRAPH, THE TIMES AND THE MAIL ON SUNDAY 'Revelatory' Guardian 'A miracle' Telegraph 'A landmark book' Financial Times Brave, illuminating and inspiring, Somebody I Used to Know gets to the very heart of what it means to be human. What do you lose when you lose your memories? What do you value when this loss reframes how you've lived, and how you will live in the future? How…


Book cover of Still Alice

Vered Neta Author Of Things We Do For Love

From my list on the light side of Alzheimer’s.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like the Bach sisters in my novel Things We Do For Love, my sisters and I have cared for our mother, who battles Alzheimer's. Witnessing her transformation from a vibrant powerhouse to someone resembling the Walking Dead has been heart-wrenching. Despite the emotional rollercoaster, this journey has deeply connected us with our mother. Delving into the depths of her being has been a privilege, offering profound insights into her true essence. This challenging experience has unfolded as a disguised blessing. In this journey, we've discovered the beauty of unconditional love that binds our family together. It reflects the central question of my novel: What truly makes a happy family?

Vered's book list on the light side of Alzheimer’s

Vered Neta Why did Vered love this book?

Still Alice is an unforgettable emotional journey that defies stereotypes and touches the hearts of all. Alice, a vibrant fifty-year-old lecturer at the height of her career, challenges the frumpy old lady image associated with dementia.

The compelling first-person narration in Still Alice immerses readers in her emotional odyssey, allowing them to share her confusion and the poignant loss of memories. With sensitivity and accuracy, the narrative mirrors Alice's cognitive decline, tracing her transition from a sharp Psychology Professor to a fading mind.

The movie adaptation of Still Alice holds a special place in my heart. Taking my mother, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and had begun to show signs of decline two years prior, created a profoundly touching and memorable experience. The film resonated with our emotions and experiences, making it a truly heartfelt watch.

By Lisa Genova,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Still Alice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A moving story of a woman with early onset Alzheimer's disease, now a major Academy Award-winning film starring Julianne Moore and Kristen Stewart.

Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty, she's a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a renowned expert in linguistics, with a successful husband and three grown children. When she begins to grow forgetful and disoriented, she dismisses it for as long as she can until a tragic diagnosis changes her life - and her relationship with her family and the world around her - for ever.

Unable to…


Book cover of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Vered Neta Author Of Things We Do For Love

From my list on the light side of Alzheimer’s.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like the Bach sisters in my novel Things We Do For Love, my sisters and I have cared for our mother, who battles Alzheimer's. Witnessing her transformation from a vibrant powerhouse to someone resembling the Walking Dead has been heart-wrenching. Despite the emotional rollercoaster, this journey has deeply connected us with our mother. Delving into the depths of her being has been a privilege, offering profound insights into her true essence. This challenging experience has unfolded as a disguised blessing. In this journey, we've discovered the beauty of unconditional love that binds our family together. It reflects the central question of my novel: What truly makes a happy family?

Vered's book list on the light side of Alzheimer’s

Vered Neta Why did Vered love this book?

As a latecomer to long-distance hiking, this book is now one of my all-time favourites. It explores regrets and life's lessons, going beyond Alzheimer's.

One morning, Harold receives a letter from a long-lost woman, informing him of her impending death and wanting to bid farewell. Believing that walking the entire 600-mile journey and answering her in person could save her life, he embarks on this quest wearing only the clothes on his back.

With each step, Harold's past is peeled back, revealing deep wounds and losses that shaped his life and bringing him closer to healing. Along the way, he opens himself to the world, embracing not only others' vulnerabilities but also coming to terms with his own.

Driven by regret and the search for redemption, Harold's journey, both physically and emotionally, turns out to be a heartening one, narrated with a perfect blend of humour and pathos.

By Rachel Joyce,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Impossible to put down' TIMES
'Life-affirming delight. A comic pleasure' WOMAN AND HOME
'Profoundly moving' RICHARD MADELEY

OVER 4 MILLION COPIES SOLD. SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOVIE STARRING JIM BROADBENT AND PENELOPE WILTON
____________________

When Harold Fry nips out one morning to post a letter, leaving his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other.

He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof or mobile phone. All he knows is that he must keep walking. To save someone else's life.

Harold…


Book cover of The Thursday Murder Club

Ben Forta Author Of Captain Code: Unleash Your Coding Superpower with Python

From my list on when you really need to get away, without actually getting away.

Why am I passionate about this?

I read and write lots and love doing so. So when I need a break, the last thing I want is another book, right? Wrong! I take a break with books, and I love fun books that are an escape from the normal day-to-day, ones that won’t lull you to sleep, ones that end too quickly. It’s a sickness, I know, and I’ll deal with it as soon as I have worked through this pile of books on my desk.

Ben's book list on when you really need to get away, without actually getting away

Ben Forta Why did Ben love this book?

It’s a whodunnit with a twist; the heroes are retiring community residents. This is a smart, funny, fast-paced, good old British humor.

I picked this up in Heathrow airport to read on the plane, and judging by the looks from fellow passengers I think I may have been literally laughing out loud. This is upscale guilty pleasure, and it’s being turned into a movie so now is the time to read it.

By Richard Osman,

Why should I read it?

22 authors picked The Thursday Murder Club as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New York Times bestseller | Soon to be a major motion picture from Steven Spielberg at Amblin Entertainment

"Witty, endearing and greatly entertaining." -Wall Street Journal

"Don't trust anyone, including the four septuagenarian sleuths in Osman's own laugh-out-loud whodunit." -Parade

Four septuagenarians with a few tricks up their sleeves
A female cop with her first big case
A brutal murder
Welcome to...
THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet weekly in the Jigsaw Room to discuss unsolved crimes; together they call themselves the Thursday Murder Club.

When a local developer is found dead…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in missing persons, dementia, and unreliable narrators?

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