89 books like I Don't Forgive You

By Aggie Blum Thompson,

Here are 89 books that I Don't Forgive You fans have personally recommended if you like I Don't Forgive You. 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 Arsenic and Adobo

Amy Suiter Clarke Author Of Lay Your Body Down

From my list on amateur sleuths who have no idea what they’re doing.

Why am I passionate about this?

I like to write about everyday people who—whether by overconfidence or desperation—are motivated to solve crimes that hit close to home. My first novel Girl, 11 is about a true crime podcaster investigating a serial killer who terrorized her town decades earlier, and my newest book Lay Your Body Down is about an ex-fundamentalist Christian who returns to her insular community to expose the church’s secrets and uncover the truth of who killed the man she once loved. Normal people can and do solve mysteries before police—and even when detectives are involved, they rely on members of the community. Those are the stories I love to tell.

Amy's book list on amateur sleuths who have no idea what they’re doing

Amy Suiter Clarke Why did Amy love this book?

Oh my goodness, first of all: this book will make you so hungry. So, be prepared for that.

Taking place in a warm, intimate Filipino restaurant outside Chicago, Arsenic and Adobo forces recently dumped Lila Macapagal into action after a brutal restaurant critic (who just so happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead while eating her aunt’s food.

She and Tita Rosie are the main suspects, so Lila has to put on her amateur sleuth hat and figure out what really happened to stay out of jail and save her aunt’s business. Arsenic and Adobo is funny, charming, and layered with enough sweetness and spice to keep you devouring it until the last crumb. 

By Mia P. Manansala,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A RUSA Award-winning novel!

The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes—one that might just be killer....

When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She's tasked with saving her Tita Rosie's failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves…


Book cover of Hollywood Homicide: The First Detective by Day Humorous Mystery

Rob Osler Author Of Devil's Chew Toy

From my list on whodunits with highly entertaining amateur sleuths.

Why am I passionate about this?

My first book love was Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. The game between author and reader that centers a whodunit has always delighted me. The breadcrumb trail of clues, the misdirection, the inevitable I should have seen it! are my jam. Now an author of whodunits—I have one series published and a second on the way, along with several short stories – I read mysteries with greater scrutiny—in admiration and with a selfish desire to learn from other authors’ envious talents. Each of the books on my list excited me for their excellent storytelling. In the end, I found them just plain entertaining. I hope you do too!

Rob's book list on whodunits with highly entertaining amateur sleuths

Rob Osler Why did Rob love this book?

As much as I love this book’s hero, former television commercial star Dayna Anderson, her tight circle of got-your-back friends is what made this mystery really shine.

To say the cast has big personalities is like calling Hollywood’s Dolby Theater a quaint venue. I laughed out loud throughout and wished I could ride along with these ladies (there are some guys involved, a love interest in particular) as they doggedly unravel the deftly plotted mystery.

I am grateful to Garrett that there is a sequel to this first in the series, Hollywood Ending.

By Kellye Garrett,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Hollywood Homicide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Dayna Anderson doesn t set out to solve a murder. All the semi-famous, mega-broke black actress wants is to help her parents keep their house. After witnessing a deadly hit-and-run, she figures pursuing the fifteen-grand reward isn t the craziest thing a Hollywood actress has done for some cash. But what starts as simply trying to remember a speeding car soon blossoms into a full-on investigation. As Dayna digs deeper into the victim s life, she wants more than just reward money. She s determined to find the poor woman's killer too. When she connects the accident to a notorious…


Book cover of Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers

Amy Suiter Clarke Author Of Lay Your Body Down

From my list on amateur sleuths who have no idea what they’re doing.

Why am I passionate about this?

I like to write about everyday people who—whether by overconfidence or desperation—are motivated to solve crimes that hit close to home. My first novel Girl, 11 is about a true crime podcaster investigating a serial killer who terrorized her town decades earlier, and my newest book Lay Your Body Down is about an ex-fundamentalist Christian who returns to her insular community to expose the church’s secrets and uncover the truth of who killed the man she once loved. Normal people can and do solve mysteries before police—and even when detectives are involved, they rely on members of the community. Those are the stories I love to tell.

Amy's book list on amateur sleuths who have no idea what they’re doing

Amy Suiter Clarke Why did Amy love this book?

I was lucky enough to read an early copy of this book, and I am blown away at how Jesse Sutanto continues to smash both her novel concepts and character voices out of the park!

Vera Wong herself is the ultimate amateur sleuth, but she is not reluctant whatsoever. When a dead body turns up in her tea shop, Vera Wong—the most wonderfully grandmotherly non-grandmother—decides the police aren’t up to the task of realizing the young man was murdered, obviously, and so she decides to hunt down the suspects and interview them herself.

Vera is at turns heartwarming and hilarious, infuriating, and delightful. Told through the perspective of Vera and all her murder suspects, this book will keep you guessing until the end—and might just charm your socks off.

By Jesse Q. Sutanto,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A lonely shopkeeper takes it upon herself to solve a murder in the most peculiar way in this captivating mystery by Jesse Q. Sutanto, bestselling author of Dial A for Aunties.

Vera Wong is a lonely little old lady—ah, lady of a certain age—who lives above her forgotten tea shop in the middle of San Francisco’s Chinatown. Despite living alone, Vera is not needy, oh no. She likes nothing more than sipping on a good cup of Wulong and doing some healthy detective work on the Internet about what her Gen-Z son is up to.

Then one morning, Vera trudges…


Book cover of Behind the Red Door

Amy Suiter Clarke Author Of Lay Your Body Down

From my list on amateur sleuths who have no idea what they’re doing.

Why am I passionate about this?

I like to write about everyday people who—whether by overconfidence or desperation—are motivated to solve crimes that hit close to home. My first novel Girl, 11 is about a true crime podcaster investigating a serial killer who terrorized her town decades earlier, and my newest book Lay Your Body Down is about an ex-fundamentalist Christian who returns to her insular community to expose the church’s secrets and uncover the truth of who killed the man she once loved. Normal people can and do solve mysteries before police—and even when detectives are involved, they rely on members of the community. Those are the stories I love to tell.

Amy's book list on amateur sleuths who have no idea what they’re doing

Amy Suiter Clarke Why did Amy love this book?

Megan has been transparent about the fact that Behind the Red Door is not the most popular of her books, but it’s my personal favorite!

Fern Douglas is out of the loop: a missing woman shows up on the news whose famous kidnapping two decades ago—and subsequent return—everyone seems to have heard about. But Fern has no memory of that story; she only knows that she has seen the woman’s face before, and she comes to fear that she might have somehow been involved in what happened to her.

This book has one of the best portrayals of chronic anxiety I’ve read, and one of the most twisted and f-ed up stories, which I absolutely tore through. Read it, and prepare to be chilled to the bone.

By Megan Collins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Behind the Red Door as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A haunting thriller" (PopSugar) about a woman who believes that she has a connection to a decades old kidnapping and begins a frantic investigation to find out what really happened when the victim goes missing again.

When Fern Douglas sees the news about Astrid Sullivan, a thirty-four-year-old missing woman from Maine, she is positive that she knows her. Fern's husband is sure it's because of Astrid's famous kidnapping-and equally famous return-twenty years ago, but Fern has no memory of that, even though it happened an hour outside her New Hampshire hometown. And when Astrid appears in Fern's recurring nightmare, one…


Book cover of Shapely Ankle Preferr'd: A History of the Lonely Hearts Ad [1695-2010]

Marcia A. Zug Author Of Buying a Bride: An Engaging History of Mail-Order Matches

From my list on the history of love and marriage.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a family law professor, I spend a lot of time thinking about marriage. Although it is an extremely personal decision, the legal, social, and even political ramifications can be tremendous. Marriage is not just an individual choice. Each year, I teach my family law students that there are three parties to every marriage, the two spouses, and the state. The books on this list reveal how the state has influenced marital decision-making and also, how individual marital decisions have influenced the state. These books show that marriage can protect and benefit spouses, but that it can also harm them through the promotion and acceptance of society’s biases and prejudices. As the actress Mae West once stated, “Marriage is a great institution, but I’m not ready for an institution.” The following books highlight the wisdom of West’s words.

Marcia's book list on the history of love and marriage

Marcia A. Zug Why did Marcia love this book?

Tinder and other dating sites may seem like a very modern way to meet a spouse but, as Francesca Beauman’s book Shapley Ankle Preferred demonstrates, people have been advertising for love almost since the first newspaper advertisement was invented. Shapley Ankle shows how matrimonial advertising dramatically changed marriage and courtship. With the invention of these ads, single men and women were no longer dependent on friends and family for their marital futures. Suddenly, they could advertise for the kind of spouse they wanted and thousands did so -- many with amusing specificity.

Some examples include the man looking for a wife with “but one leg” and the woman who requested her future husband not drink “above two bottles of claret in a sitting.” Nevertheless, other advertisements were less humorous and revealed authors hoping marriage could save them from penury, cruel families, or simply loneliness. These motivations remain highly relevant today.…

By Francesca Beauman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Shapely Ankle Preferr'd as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What do women look for in a man? And what do men look for in a woman? And how and why has this changed over the centuries?

Every week thousands of people advertise for love either in newspapers, magazines or online. But if you think this is a modern phenomenon, think again - the ads have been running for over three hundred years. In 1695, a popular London pamphlet published the brave plea of a young gentleman who 'would willingly Match himself to some Good Young Gentlewoman, that has a Fortune of GBP3000 or thereabouts'.

This was just the beginning.…


Book cover of Liberty: Rethinking an Imperiled Ideal

John G. Stackhouse Jr. Author Of Woke: An Evangelical Guide to Postmodernism, Liberalism, Critical Race Theory, and More

From my list on overlooked books on the culture wars.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent my life in North American higher education as a student and professor, so I have experienced many of the cultural shifts associated with “woke” culture. These books share the virtues of deep scholarship, sensible advice, and sprightly writing—virtues I have tried to emulate in my own writing. I have tried hard over my career (I’m in my 60s now) to be open and fair toward even the most diverse of my students and colleagues. These books have helped me do so—and I hope they have improved my teaching and writing along the way. 

John's book list on overlooked books on the culture wars

John G. Stackhouse Jr. Why did John love this book?

Political scientists don’t always write with verve and insight, but the late Glenn Tinder did. This book takes the ever-challenging theme of liberty and shows me how to understand it as more than an Independence Day slogan.

Tinder provoked me to consider how my freedom should be about more than me but used instead to assist others less resourced than I am. I found this book a refreshing change from the selfish agenda of so many authors writing about liberty and freedom without also considering responsibility and community.

By Glenn Tinder,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Liberty is a dangerous concept. It's sure to be misused and, if left unchecked, will likely bring not social harmony and happiness but their opposites. Nonetheless, liberty is absolutely necessary: without it there can be no authentic community. People are not free to do the right thing unless they are free to do the wrong thing; if they can't be wrong, they can't be right.
Thus does Glenn Tinder argue emphatically for "negative liberty" - the liberty that wants primarily to be left alone, with the authorities interfering as little as possible in the lives of people - and against…


Book cover of Under the Sky We Make: How to Be Human in a Warming World

Kathryn Kellogg Author Of 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste

From my list on sustainability focused.

Why am I passionate about this?

Kathryn Kellogg is the founder of Going Zero Waste, a lifestyle website dedicated to helping others live a healthier and more sustainable life. She’s a spokesperson for plastic-free living for National Geographic, Chief Sustainability Officer at the One Movement, and author of 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste which breaks eco-friendly, sustainable living down into an easy step by step process with lots of positivity and love. She’s a spokesperson for plastic-free living for National Geographic and Chief Sustainability Officer at the One Movement. 

Kathryn's book list on sustainability focused

Kathryn Kellogg Why did Kathryn love this book?

I can’t stand it when people say individual actions don’t matter – because they do. And Kimberly Nicholas gets that. In this book, she acknowledges yes, companies and governments are hugely responsible for the mess we’re in. But individuals can create real, significant, and lasting change to solve this problem.  She also explores finding purpose in a warming world, both reflecting on her scientific finds and her life experiences. 

By Kimberly Nicholas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Under the Sky We Make as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

** Los Angeles Times bestseller **

It's warming. It's us. We're sure. It's bad. But we can fix it.

After speaking to the international public for close to fifteen years about sustainability, climate scientist Dr. Nicholas realized that concerned people were getting the wrong message about the climate crisis. Yes, companies and governments are hugely responsible for the mess we're in. But individuals CAN effect real, significant, and lasting change to solve this problem. Nicholas explores finding purpose in a warming world, combining her scientific expertise and her lived, personal experience in a way that seems fresh and deeply urgent:…


Book cover of Little Children

Brandi Reeds Author Of Trespassing

From my list on starring empowered women.

Why am I passionate about this?

My life, in particular, has been a series of challenges to overcome, from an attempted kidnapping at age eight to surviving breast cancer (twice!) before the age of forty-five. I believe in a world of equal opportunity, but I know the pursuit of happiness takes hard work. As a general contractor in the male-dominated construction industry, I’m well aware of gender biases in our world and the dedication it takes to overcome them. However, the struggle empowers us all, and even small victories inspire us to overcome adversity. Life is a survival story, and art imitates life. So I crave, read, and write novels starring empowered women.

Brandi's book list on starring empowered women

Brandi Reeds Why did Brandi love this book?

I love a book rich with flawed characters; this one is full of them. Perrotta’s peek into the mundane life of a stay-at-home mother at war with her lot in life is delicious. Sarah once coined herself a feminist, and now, she’s wiping noses. It’s a struggle many mothers of little children face, and while most don’t go to the lengths Perrotta’s characters explore, it’s a valiant example of losing oneself for the sake of a higher calling: motherhood. 

I first read this book at graduate school, with two babies at home. Perrotta taught me that exploring the human condition is necessary for connecting with readers. I’ve received many letters from readers citing that they connected with Veronica on the pages of Trespassing, and that’s the best accolade.

By Tom Perrotta,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Unexpectedly suspenseful, but written with all the fluency and dark humor of Tom Perrotta's The Wishbones and Joe College, Little Children exposes the adult dramas unfolding amidst the swingsets and slides of an ordinary American playground.

Tom Perrotta's thirty-ish parents of young children are a varied and surprising bunch. There's Todd, the handsome stay-at-home dad dubbed "The Prom King" by the moms of the playground; Sarah, a lapsed feminist with a bisexual past, who seems to have stumbled into a traditional marriage; Richard, Sarah's husband, who has found himself more and more involved with a fantasy life on the internet…


Book cover of Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir

Chris Lukather Author Of Homes by Byrd: The Art & Architecture of Robert Byrd and His Son, Gary

From my list on Southern California architecture history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been interested in art and architecture. I studied Fine Arts at CalArts. I’ve written three books on Mid-century home builders and designers, William Mellenthin, Jean Vandruff, and Robert Byrd, whose life and work in Southern California had gone mostly unnoticed during their lifetimes—with very little information written about them in the press. I spent three years on each book working with the families to uncover their lives and place in local history. This is information that would have otherwise been lost. When you research the life of one person in this profession, you inevitably learn about the life and work of others—some famous, some not. 

Chris' book list on Southern California architecture history

Chris Lukather Why did Chris love this book?

D.J. Waldie’s writing reminds me of a Raymond Carver short story. His short, deliberate style draws the reader in immediately. You are hooked.

He walks to work. He lives in his parent’s original tract home, part of a planned development built in the 1950s in Lakewood, CA. It was the first one on the west coast. Waldie observes his friends and neighbors, the neighborhood, and its unique place in Southern California history.

After my parent’s divorce, my father lived in Lakewood and Long Beach, so I spent a lot of time down there when I was a kid. Does anyone remember Buffums department store?

By D.J. Waldie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Since its publication in 1996, Holy Land has become an American classic. In "quick, translucent prose" (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times) that is at once lyrical and unsentimental, D. J. Waldie recounts growing up in Lakewood, California, a prototypical post-World War II suburb. Laid out in 316 sections as carefully measured as a grid of tract houses, Holy Land is by turns touching, eerie, funny, and encyclopedic in its handling of what was gained and lost when thousands of blue-collar families were thrown together in the suburbs of the 1950s. An intensely realized and wholly original memoir about the way…


Book cover of The Quick and the Dead

Emma Smith-Stevens Author Of The Australian

From my list on “funny-sad” contemporary novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

Much laughter is born out of sadness. Humor can be a way to cope or even reinvent our realities in ways that bring relief—and release. There's a misconception that “serious literature” should be humorless; crack a smile and you’re a fraud. However, the worlds and characters that emerge from this way of thinking do not ring true to me. Who among us hasn’t joked to help deal with sorrow? Or to satirize the outrageous? Or simply because life--however brutal—is also sometimes funny? The more a writer allows laughter to intermingle with tears, the more I believe in the story, and the more I enjoy it. That is why I wrote a “funny-sad” novel, The Australian.

Emma's book list on “funny-sad” contemporary novels

Emma Smith-Stevens Why did Emma love this book?

Alice, Corvus, and Annabel, children without mothers, traverse air-conditioned buildings and desert landscapes, strewn with symbols and signs of mortality—from the preservation of those teetering on the brink of death at a nursing home to a wildlife museum full of taxidermies; and these teenagers are orbited by agitated, confused adults who seem wholly unaware of the strangeness—and messages—defining their lives. Joy Williams is a master at dark humor in literary fiction, and The Quick and the Dead is one of her finest achievements.

By Joy Williams,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST • From one of our most heralded writers comes the “poetic, disturbing, yet very funny” (The Washington Post Book World) life-and-death adventures of three misfit teenagers in the American desert.

Alice, Corvus, and Annabel, each a motherless child, are an unlikely circle of friends. One filled with convictions, another with loss, the third with a worldly pragmatism, they traverse an air-conditioned landscape eccentric with signs and portents—from the preservation of the living dead in a nursing home to the presentation of the dead as living in a wildlife museum—accompanied by restless, confounded adults.

A father lusts after…


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