100 books like House of Glass

By Hadley Freeman,

Here are 100 books that House of Glass fans have personally recommended if you like House of Glass. 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 The Glass Castle

Robin van Eck Author Of Rough

From my list on jaw-dropping books about family connections that will make you laugh, cry and scream.

Why am I passionate about this?

Someone once said I can’t believe you didn’t end up in a ditch with a needle in your arm. It sounds harsh, but they meant it with love. In spite of my broken home, familial dysfunction, trauma, and bad decisions, I found a way to be okay and share my life experiences through words and stories rather than a bottle. I am the Executive Director of a non-profit organization specializing in developing authors who want to publish and use writing for therapy and healing. I live in Calgary, AB, Canada, with my teenage daughter and act as the emotional support human for an anxious dog. 

Robin's book list on jaw-dropping books about family connections that will make you laugh, cry and scream

Robin van Eck Why did Robin love this book?

This is quite possibly my favourite memoir ever written. It made me laugh, cry and scream. Never have I seen such a clearly dysfunctional family that didn’t even realize they were dysfunctional.

I loved them because they embraced life no matter what and hated them because they didn’t see how bad what they were doing to one another was. Full of elements and emotions from my own childhood, this book made me feel deeply and emotionally.  

By Jeannette Walls,

Why should I read it?

21 authors picked The Glass Castle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now a major motion picture starring Brie Larson, Naomi Watts and Woody Harrelson.

This is a startling memoir of a successful journalist's journey from the deserted and dusty mining towns of the American Southwest, to an antique filled apartment on Park Avenue. Jeanette Walls narrates her nomadic and adventurous childhood with her dreaming, 'brilliant' but alcoholic parents.

At the age of seventeen she escapes on a Greyhound bus to New York with her older sister; her younger siblings follow later. After pursuing the education and civilisation her parents sought to escape, Jeanette eventually succeeds in her quest for the 'mundane,…


Book cover of Lowborn

Ruth Badley Author Of Where are the grown-ups?

From my list on troubled families and the secrets they keep.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a journalist with a background in performing arts and have spent much of my work life as a storyteller, fascinated by the process of knocking a narrative into shape, either for print or stage performance. My mother’s death prompted me to use those same skills to tell my own stories and the process has been the most satisfying of my professional life. As a memoirist of two books, my dreams have come true. My work has been shortlisted for awards, featured in national newspapers, special interest magazines, and by the BBC. I regularly speak to family history societies, book clubs, writer’s groups, and at literature festivals.   

Ruth's book list on troubled families and the secrets they keep

Ruth Badley Why did Ruth love this book?

The author’s account of grinding, unrelentless poverty and neglect, set against her eventual, miraculous escape to a different life made me cheer.

Bravely, Kerry Hudson returns to the scenes of many crimes committed against her to really understand why the past refuses to let her go and whether anything has changed for deprived families in those rundown British towns she grew up in.

In an early chapter the author recalls being pushed between two adults across a table. She thought it was a game, but her parents were in fact arguing over who should keep her. Neither was willing.

This is an important and shameful piece of British social history and an unflinching examination of a dysfunctional family with different recollections of the past. 

By Kerry Hudson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Totally engrossing and deliciously feisty' Bernardine Evaristo

A powerful, personal agenda-changing exploration of poverty in today's Britain.

'When every day of your life you have been told you have nothing of value to offer, that you are worth nothing to society, can you ever escape that sense of being 'lowborn' no matter how far you've come?'

Kerry Hudson is proudly working class but she was never proudly poor. The poverty she grew up in was all-encompassing, grinding and often dehumanising. Always on the move with her single mother, Kerry attended nine primary schools and five secondaries, living in B&Bs and…


Book cover of The Holocaust: A New History

Boaz Dvir Author Of Saving Israel: The Unknown Story of Smuggling Weapons and Winning a Nation’s Independence

From my list on 21st century nonfiction about the Holocaust.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started conducting primary research about the Holocaust in the 1990s, when I spent a week interviewing my grandfather, a Holocaust survivor and a pious Hasid, about his life. Fascinated with the survival of his faith, I applied for and received a grant from the Religion News Service to explore spiritual aspects of the Holocaust. I also sought to answer my saba’s question: How did Israelis end up fighting their 1948 War of Independence with Nazi weapons such as the Mauser he had received? I answered it in the 2015 PBS documentary I directed and produced, A Wing and a Prayer, and the 2020 nonfiction book I wrote, Saving Israel.

Boaz's book list on 21st century nonfiction about the Holocaust

Boaz Dvir Why did Boaz love this book?

As a nonfiction storyteller who often explores the Holocaust and as the director of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education Initiative at Penn State, I’m sometimes asked to recommend books about the Third Reich’s murder of 6 million Jews and millions of Romany, homosexuals, people with disabilities, and others. A New History is the tome I often suggest. In a deceivingly simple linear approach, Laurence Rees, who conducted 25 years of primary research to construct this historical account, methodically walks us through the Holocaust’s origins and unfolding, from Hitler’s novice-Nazi days to the Allies’ death-camp liberations. But Rees avoids neat narratives, peeling away complex layers of madness. For instance, he demonstrates that boiled-over antisemitism extended far beyond Germany’s borders in the 1930s and that the Final Solution to the Jewish Question was messier than we may imagine. Only a lucid voice like Rees’ can clue us into and…

By Laurence Rees,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP 10 BESTSELLER AND THE FIRST AUTHORITATIVE ACCOUNT FOR 30 YEARS.

'By far the clearest book ever written about the Holocaust, and also the best at explaining its origins and grotesque mentality, as well as its chaotic development' Antony Beevor

'Groundbreaking. You might have thought that we know everything there is to know about the Holocaust but this book proves there is much more' Andrew Roberts, Mail on Sunday

Two fundamental questions about the Holocaust must be asked:

How did it happen? And why?

More completely than any other single work of history yet published, Laurence Rees's…


Book cover of Ravenous: Otto Warburg, the Nazis, and the Search for the Cancer-Diet Connection

Boaz Dvir Author Of Saving Israel: The Unknown Story of Smuggling Weapons and Winning a Nation’s Independence

From my list on 21st century nonfiction about the Holocaust.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started conducting primary research about the Holocaust in the 1990s, when I spent a week interviewing my grandfather, a Holocaust survivor and a pious Hasid, about his life. Fascinated with the survival of his faith, I applied for and received a grant from the Religion News Service to explore spiritual aspects of the Holocaust. I also sought to answer my saba’s question: How did Israelis end up fighting their 1948 War of Independence with Nazi weapons such as the Mauser he had received? I answered it in the 2015 PBS documentary I directed and produced, A Wing and a Prayer, and the 2020 nonfiction book I wrote, Saving Israel.

Boaz's book list on 21st century nonfiction about the Holocaust

Boaz Dvir Why did Boaz love this book?

My Polish-Hasidic grandfather, Ozer Grundman, survived several Nazi labor and death camps in his teens but succumbed to cancer in his early 70s. Reading about another Central European Jew (Otto Warburg) who outlasted Hitler, albeit through radically different means, made me wish my saba had been familiar with this German biochemist’s research. Had he heard the Nobel Laureate’s argument that metabolic factors propel cancer’s growth and spread, my saba might have cut down on his unchecked sugar consumption. Then again, despite the recent reevaluation and, in many cases, reappreciation of Warburg’s work, the jury is still out on sugar’s portrayal as the puppet master of America’s No. 2 killer. What is certain is Sam Apple’s assured Ravenous portraiture of a puzzling protagonist who capitalized on the Nazis’ cancer fears to such an extent that he carried on his experiments at Berlin’s Kaiser Wilhelm Society throughout World War II and lived…

By Sam Apple,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Nobel laureate Otto Warburg was widely regarded as one of the most important biochemists of the twentieth century. A Jewish homosexual living openly with his partner, he was also among the most despised figures in the Third Reich. Yet top Nazi officials-perhaps even Hitler himself-dreaded cancer and protected Warburg in the hope he could cure it.

Using new archival sources and interviews with current cancer authorities, Sam Apple depicts a relentless figure, hungry for fame, who pursued his research even as the world around him disintegrated. Remarkably, Warburg's theory about the metabolic origins of cancer has been revived in…


Book cover of X Troop: The Secret Jewish Commandos of World War II

Boaz Dvir Author Of Saving Israel: The Unknown Story of Smuggling Weapons and Winning a Nation’s Independence

From my list on 21st century nonfiction about the Holocaust.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started conducting primary research about the Holocaust in the 1990s, when I spent a week interviewing my grandfather, a Holocaust survivor and a pious Hasid, about his life. Fascinated with the survival of his faith, I applied for and received a grant from the Religion News Service to explore spiritual aspects of the Holocaust. I also sought to answer my saba’s question: How did Israelis end up fighting their 1948 War of Independence with Nazi weapons such as the Mauser he had received? I answered it in the 2015 PBS documentary I directed and produced, A Wing and a Prayer, and the 2020 nonfiction book I wrote, Saving Israel.

Boaz's book list on 21st century nonfiction about the Holocaust

Boaz Dvir Why did Boaz love this book?

While I direct Penn State’s Holocaust Education Initiative and produce and write documentaries, books, and articles that involve the Holocaust, I am not an expert on this topic. I am a student of it. Studying the Holocaust for 30 years, I gaze in awe at the frontiers that remain to be explored. X Troop offers one of the latest examples. Prior to reading it, I’d never heard of the German and Austrian Jews who became British commandos during World War II. One of the lessons I picked up: We should follow these men’s examples of turning weaknesses—in their case, coming from enemy territories and facing suspicion and persecution—into strengths. This is far from a perfect book. As I read it, I found myself time and again wishing it showed more and told less. In several key spots, I wanted to better understand what these commandoes did and how they did.…

By Leah Garrett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE UNTOLD STORY OF BRITAIN'S MOST SECRETIVE SPECIAL FORCES UNIT

June 1942. The shadow of the Third Reich falls across Europe. In desperation, Winston Churchill and his chief of staff form an unusual plan - a new commando unit made up of Jewish refugees. This top secret unit becomes known as X Troop. Others simply call them a suicide squad.

From British internment camps, to the beaches of Normandy, the battlefields of Italy and Holland, and the hellscape of Terezin concentration camp, Leah Garrett follows this band of brothers who will stop at nothing to defeat the Nazis.

'A thrilling,…


Book cover of Verdict On Vichy: Power and Prejudice in the Vichy France Regime

Boaz Dvir Author Of Saving Israel: The Unknown Story of Smuggling Weapons and Winning a Nation’s Independence

From my list on 21st century nonfiction about the Holocaust.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started conducting primary research about the Holocaust in the 1990s, when I spent a week interviewing my grandfather, a Holocaust survivor and a pious Hasid, about his life. Fascinated with the survival of his faith, I applied for and received a grant from the Religion News Service to explore spiritual aspects of the Holocaust. I also sought to answer my saba’s question: How did Israelis end up fighting their 1948 War of Independence with Nazi weapons such as the Mauser he had received? I answered it in the 2015 PBS documentary I directed and produced, A Wing and a Prayer, and the 2020 nonfiction book I wrote, Saving Israel.

Boaz's book list on 21st century nonfiction about the Holocaust

Boaz Dvir Why did Boaz love this book?

Making Cojot, a documentary about a Parisian business consultant who hunted down former Gestapo commander Klaus Barbie, prompted me to closely examine Vichy. This French national administration went out of its way to appease its Nazi occupiers during World War II. But the more answers I dug up, the more questions I had. Verdict on Vichy filled in many of the gaps. For instance, it provided a possible explanation as to why the judges presiding over Barbie’s 1987 trial in Lyon granted his request to sit out the proceedings, thus depriving his victims’ families the opportunity to look him in the eyes as they recounted some of his crimes against humanity. The judges might have pounced at the chance to hide Barbie, who was reportedly ready to spill the beans about French leaders such as then-President François Mitterrand who collaborated with the Nazis. Michael Curtis went to great lengths…

By Michael Curtis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This masterful book is the first comprehensive reappraisal of the Vichy France regime for over 20 years. France was occupied by Nazi Germany between 1940 and 1944, and the exact nature of France's role in the Vichy years is only now beginning to come to light. One of the main reasons that the Vichy history is difficult to tell is that some of France's most prominent politicians, including President Mitterand, have been implicated in the regime. This has meant that public access to key documents has been denied and it is only now that an objective analysis is possible. The…


Book cover of The Life of Stuff

Ruth Badley Author Of Where are the grown-ups?

From my list on troubled families and the secrets they keep.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a journalist with a background in performing arts and have spent much of my work life as a storyteller, fascinated by the process of knocking a narrative into shape, either for print or stage performance. My mother’s death prompted me to use those same skills to tell my own stories and the process has been the most satisfying of my professional life. As a memoirist of two books, my dreams have come true. My work has been shortlisted for awards, featured in national newspapers, special interest magazines, and by the BBC. I regularly speak to family history societies, book clubs, writer’s groups, and at literature festivals.   

Ruth's book list on troubled families and the secrets they keep

Ruth Badley Why did Ruth love this book?

In the aftermath of a parent’s death, sifting through their possessions is a necessary but painful rite of passage. It can feel overwhelming and confrontational, especially if the relationship was difficult, as is the case here.

I loved how the author highlights specific objects from the detritus of her mother’s hoarding to piece together the hurts and distress of a woman she hardly knew. A complex mother and daughter story that comments authoritatively on the psychology behind hoarding and raises important questions about our material world and what our possessions reveal about our interior life.

I have written about some of these things in my own book and found this memoir at roughly the same period in my life. It stayed with me a long time after the final page. 

By Susannah Walker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shortlisted for the James Tait Black biography prize 2019

'This extraordinary, beautiful memoir gripped me from the first page.' Clover Stroud, author of The Wild Other

What do our possessions say about us? Why do we project such meaning onto them?

Only after her mother's death does Susannah Walker discover how much of a hoarder she had become. Over the following months, she has to sort through a dilapidated house filled to the brim with rubbish and treasures, in search of a woman she'd never really known or understood in life. This is her last chance to piece together…


Book cover of A Book of Untruths

Ruth Badley Author Of Where are the grown-ups?

From my list on troubled families and the secrets they keep.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a journalist with a background in performing arts and have spent much of my work life as a storyteller, fascinated by the process of knocking a narrative into shape, either for print or stage performance. My mother’s death prompted me to use those same skills to tell my own stories and the process has been the most satisfying of my professional life. As a memoirist of two books, my dreams have come true. My work has been shortlisted for awards, featured in national newspapers, special interest magazines, and by the BBC. I regularly speak to family history societies, book clubs, writer’s groups, and at literature festivals.   

Ruth's book list on troubled families and the secrets they keep

Ruth Badley Why did Ruth love this book?

Miranda Doyle makes sense of her life through a series of lies told to her and by her. It’s a fabulously original and shocking approach.

One of several siblings at the mercy of an explosive father and passive mother, her truth, as she admits, is also unreliable. I enjoyed how the writer breaks free to question the idea of truthfulness in memoir and her astute observations made me look a little closer at her family photos for the subtext, and to question their veracity. Terrifying episodes are recounted with verve and urgency, akin to a rollercoaster ride.

In an age of post-truth, fake news, and false narratives, the science behind lying sheds further light on the dynamics of this family and the narrator’s quest for closure.      

By Miranda Doyle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Book of Untruths is a family story told through a series of lies. Each short chapter features one of these lies and each lie builds to form a picture of a life-Miranda Doyle's life as she struggles to understand her complicated family and her own place within it.

This is a book about love, family and marriage. It is about the fallibility of human beings and the terrible things we do to one another. It is about the ways we get at-or avoid-the truth. And it is about storytelling itself: how we build a sense of ourselves and our…


Book cover of The Journey That Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey

Karen Gray Ruelle Author Of The Grand Mosque of Paris: A Story of How Muslims Rescued Jews During the Holocaust

From my list on courage during the holocaust.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the author/illustrator of over 20 books for children, ranging from whimsical fiction about anthropomorphic cats and rambunctious dogs to serious nonfiction about hidden children, unusual heroes and surprising spies of WWII and the Holocaust. Several of my nonfiction books, including The Grand Mosque of Paris, were created in collaboration.

Karen's book list on courage during the holocaust

Karen Gray Ruelle Why did Karen love this book?

When Paris was taken over by the Nazis in 1940, Hans and Margret Rey were forced to flee. The author and illustrator of beloved children’s book classic Curious George headed out on their bicycles, taking with them their most precious possessions, notably the manuscripts and illustrations for their books. This delightful picture book traces their journey by bike, train, and boat from France to Spain to Portugal to Brazil and then, finally, to New York.

Presented in a scrapbook style, Drummond’s energetic illustrations work well alongside the many photos, documents, and excerpts from some of the original manuscripts and artwork. All the visual elements blend beautifully to accompany the upbeat, free verse text.

By Louise Borden, Allan Drummond (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Journey That Saved Curious George as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1940, Hans and Margaret Rey fled their Paris home as the German army advanced.They began their harrowing journey on bicycles, pedaling to Southern France with children's book manuscripts among their few possessions. Louise Borden combed primary resources, including Hans Rey's pocket diaries, to tell this dramatic true story. Archival materials introduce readers to the world of Hans and Margaret Rey while Allan Drummond dramatically and colorfully illustrates their wartime trek to a new home. Follow the Rey's amazing story in this unique large format book that resembles a travel journal and includes full-color illustrations, original photos, actual ticket stubs…


Book cover of France Under Fire: German Invasion, Civilian Flight and Family Survival During World War II

Austin Denis Johnston Author Of 33 Days: A Memoir

From my list on the refugee crisis in Western Europe in WW2.

Why am I passionate about this?

Twenty years ago I nearly married a French woman and emigrated. I prepared vigorously to become an honorary Frenchman, cramming French history, language, and culture. Ultimately, I neither married nor emigrated, but the passion for that cultural acquisition project never left me, meaning many years of trips, reading, and language study. For the last decade, I've supplemented that interest by looking for historically significant French texts to translate (primarily contemporaneous texts about the World Wars and the interwar period). I have degrees in history and international affairs, plus professional experience in military affairs (including the Office of Secretary of Defense) and editing magazines (for Time, Inc.).

Austin's book list on the refugee crisis in Western Europe in WW2

Austin Denis Johnston Why did Austin love this book?

A more specialized account focused on the role of women, who made up the vast majority of refugees, in petitioning government for civilian protection and assistance before and after the crisis, and their unique experiences on the road. Dombrowski Risser finds that women initiated an expansion of universal human rights in wartime to include refugees' rights. Her insightful and masterfully informed analysis of primary source materials—women's letters to government officials—brings them to life, adding illuminating, and heartrending, substance and texture.

By Nicole Dombrowski Risser,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'We request an immediate favour of you, to build a shelter for us women and small children, because we have absolutely no place to take refuge and we are terrified!' This French mother's petition sent to her mayor on the eve of Germany's 1940 invasion of France reveals civilians' security concerns unleashed by the Blitzkrieg fighting tactics of World War II. Unprepared for air warfare's assault on civilian psyches, French planners were among the first in history to respond to civilian security challenges posed by aerial bombardment. France under Fire offers a social, political and military examination of the origins…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in refugees, France, and the Holocaust?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about refugees, France, and the Holocaust.

Refugees Explore 142 books about refugees
France Explore 892 books about France
The Holocaust Explore 389 books about the Holocaust