10 books like In the Company of Cheerful Ladies

By Alexander McCall Smith,

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

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Meditations

By Marcus Aurelius, Maxwell Staniforth (translator),

Book cover of Meditations

Leaders should develop a philosophy of life—a north star that will guide them through difficult times. This timeless classic by Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius provides a combination of wisdom and practical advice that serves as a reference both for those in a leadership position and for individuals seeking a deeper understanding of their daily lives. Here is a sample: “The longest-lived and those who will die soonest lose the same thing. The present is all that they can give up, since that is all you have, and what you do not have, you cannot lose.”

Meditations

By Marcus Aurelius, Maxwell Staniforth (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Penguin Great Ideas edition of Stoic philosophy in wise and practical aphorisms that have inspired Bill Clinton, Ryan Holiday, Anna Kendrick and many more.

Few ancient works have been as influential as the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, philosopher and emperor of Rome (A.D. 161-180). A series of spiritual exercises filled with wisdom, practical guidance, and profound understanding of human behavior, it remains one of the greatest works of spiritual and ethical reflection ever written. Marcus's insights and advice-on everything from living in the world to coping with adversity and interacting with others-have made the Meditations required reading for statesmen…


The Undoing Project

By Michael Lewis,

Book cover of The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds

In addressing decision makers, an understanding of forces affecting human behavior is essential. The author provides a comprehensive view on the work of Kahneman and Tversky mapping their journey which lead to their highly impactful behavioral economic body of knowledge. The bias they address provides data scientists a widened perspective on their role and how to address organizational challenges. This provides a language to recognise and address bias inherent in human thinking. The book provides a very powerful set of tools for data scientists who want to see behind the numbers and understand forces affecting human behavior.

The Undoing Project

By Michael Lewis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Michael Lewis could spin gold out of any topic he chose ... his best work ... vivid, original and hard to forget' Tim Harford, Financial Times

'Gripping ... There is war, heroism, genius, love, loss, discovery, enduring loyalty and friendship. It is epic stuff ... Michael Lewis is one of the best non-fiction writers of our time' Irish Times

From Michael Lewis, No.1 bestselling author of The Big Short and Flash Boys, this is the extraordinary story of the two men whose ideas changed the world.

Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky met in war-torn 1960s Israel. Both were gifted young…


The Apprentice

By Jacques Pépin,

Book cover of The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen

This is the heartwarming and inspiring story of the journey a great chef took from serving as a lowly apprentice to becoming a leader in establishing new food traditions in America. I especially enjoyed the many funny stories about Pepin and his family. Warning: the book includes many of his favorite recipes that will cause hunger pangs as you read the book. 

The Apprentice

By Jacques Pépin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this captivating memoir, the man whom Julia Child has called “the best chef in America” tells the story of his rise from a frightened apprentice in an exacting Old World kitchen to an Emmy Award–winning superstar who taught millions of Americans how to cook and shaped the nation’s tastes in the bargain.

We see young Jacques as a homesick six-year-old boy in war-ravaged France, working on a farm in exchange for food, dodging bombs, and bearing witness as German soldiers capture his father, a fighter in the Resistance. Soon Jacques is caught up in the hurly-burly action of his…


The Pioneers

By David McCullough,

Book cover of The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West

McCullough’s last book is about the history of pioneers in the Northwest Territory. It is the same place and period as my novel. The first tool McCullough shows pioneers using is a saw to cut lumber. The first business, my book's main character, Tom Beard knows he needs to attract and does is a lumber mill. When McCullough iterates the goods available from the first trading post the largest supply they have is of whiskey. The second business Beard attracts, and knows he must to build population is a distillery. McCullough and I are telling the same story it’s just that he’s a historian and I’m a novelist. I think the story of people's needs wants and ambitions are more interesting than a simple iteration of facts.

The Pioneers

By David McCullough,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

As part of the Treaty of Paris, in which Great Britain recognized the new United States of America, Britain ceded the land that comprised the immense Northwest Territory, a wilderness empire northwest of the Ohio River containing the future states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. A Massachusetts minister named Manasseh Cutler was instrumental in opening this vast territory to veterans of the Revolutionary War and their families for settlement. Included in the Northwest Ordinance were three remarkable conditions: freedom of religion, free universal education, and most importantly, the prohibition of slavery. In 1788 the first band of pioneers…


The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

By Alexander McCall Smith,

Book cover of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

If you love a good cosy mystery and characters that unfold gently over time, this book is a must-read. Here, we meet Mma Precious Ramotswe, the only lady private detective in Botswana, as she solves the everyday mysteries of the people of Gabarone. 

The series centres around her and her particular approach to solving mysteries—through relaxed conversation over cups of tea. The surrounding cast of characters play a critical role in making the series shine. Seeing Botswana through Mma Ramotswe’s eyes is both honest and heart-warming. She recognises its beauty and strengths while acknowledging where her country still has the opportunity to grow. 

Read this on a rainy day with a cup of tea (red bush tea, naturally). You won’t regret it.

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

By Alexander McCall Smith,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Precious Ramotswe, a cheerful woman of traditional build, is the founder of Botswana's first and only ladies' detective agency. Here is a gentle interpretation of the detective role: solving her cases through her innate wisdom and understanding of human nature, she 'helps people with problems in their lives'. With a tone that is as elegant as that which is unfailingly used by his protagonist, Alexander McCall Smith tenderly unfolds a picture of life in Gaborone with a mastery of comic understatement and an evident sympathy for his subjects and their milieu. In the background of all this is Botswana, a…


A Catskill Eagle

By Robert B. Parker,

Book cover of A Catskill Eagle

Spenser is a hard-nosed private detective living and working in Boston. When his girlfriend Susan runs off to California with another man, Spenser feels betrayed but understands. She has her freedom. Then his best friend, Hawk, is falsely arrested and jailed in the new man’s town. This sets off a firestorm of murder and violence as Spenser first frees Hawk and then they both attempt to free Susan from an abusive, if consensual, relationship. And then the CIA gets involved. A Catskill Eagle is the twelfth of forty Spenser novels written by Parker.

A Catskill Eagle

By Robert B. Parker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Susan's letter came from California: Hand was in jail, and she was on the run. Twenty-four hours later, Hawk is free, because Spenser has sprung him loose—for a brutal cross-country journey back to the East Coast. Now the two men are on a violent ride to find the woman Spenser loves, the man who took her, and the shocking reason so many people had to die. . . . 

Praise for A Catskill Eagle

“Entertaining.”—The San Diego Union-Tribune

“His best mystery novel.”—Time


Grave Witch

By Kalayna Price,

Book cover of Grave Witch

If you haven’t guessed yet, I’m a fanatic for a bit of mystery in fiction. I often get bored when there is nothing for the characters to learn or discover. If it’s a story about detectives, murder, and magic, I’m 100% there! Grave Witch is a wonderful mix of witchcraft, romance, and mystery. The chemistry between the characters is sizzling and too enticing to say no. 

Grave Witch

By Kalayna Price,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first book in the Alex Craft urban fantasy series about a Grave Witch who can talk to the dead. Perfect for fans of Charlaine Harris and Cassandra Clare.

Just because Grave Witch Alex Craft can speak to the dead, doesn't mean she has to like what they have to say . . .

As a private investigator and consultant for the police, Alex has seen a lot of dark magic. But even though she's on good terms with Death himself, nothing has prepared her for her latest case. Alex is investigating a high-profile murder when she's attacked by the…


Greywalker

By Kat Richardson,

Book cover of Greywalker

After a near-death experience, PI Harper Blaine gains the ability to navigate the occult world of magic. But the realm between our world and the next is filled with monsters. Some are malicious, but some are looking to hire. The concept of the Grey is fascinating and slightly terrifying to me. Harper deserves to be on this list because only a true badass could survive her client list.

Greywalker

By Kat Richardson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Meet Harper Blaine. She also sees dead people...Harper Blaine is a small-time private investigator trying to earn a living when a low-life savagely assaults her, leaving her for dead. For two minutes, to be precise. When Harper comes to in the hospital, she begins to feel a bit ...strange. She sees things that can only be described as weird-shapes emerging from a foggy grey mist, snarling teeth, creatures roaring. But Harper's not crazy. Her "death" has made her a Greywalker - able to move between our world and the mysterious, cross-over zone where things that go bump in the night…


Plum Lucky

By Janet Evanovich,

Book cover of Plum Lucky: A Stephanie Plum Between the Numbers Novel

Janet has a penchant for coming up with the craziest and most outrageous scenes with her characters who go around investigating strange cases as bounty hunters. This is a short and sweet holiday version based on the original Stephanie Plum series. Every book features explosions, mishaps, romantic hookups, and epic failures. She makes me laugh every time, and I don’t feel as bad about having an old car, small apartment, empty fridge, or lack of romance. Totally worth it.

Plum Lucky

By Janet Evanovich,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Looking to get lucky?

Stephanie Plum is back between-the-numbers and she's looking to get lucky in an Atlantic City hotel room, in a Winnebago, and with a brown-eyed stud who has stolen her heart.

Stephanie Plum has a way of attracting danger, lunatics, oddballs, bad luck . . . and mystery men. And no one is more mysterious than the unmentionable Diesel. He's back and hot on the trail of a little man in green pants who's lost a giant bag of money. Problem is, the money isn't exactly lost. Stephanie's Grandma Mazur has found it, and like any good…


Heaven's Prisoners

By James Lee Burke,

Book cover of Heaven's Prisoners

The setting is 1988 bayou Louisiana. The protagonist, detective Dave Robicheaux, is an alcoholic who never stops battling to contain his flaws. After leaving the New Orleans Police Department, Robicheaux and his wife have opened a fishing-guide business. The plot is set in motion when he rescues a little girl after a plane crash that sets him on a collision course with the criminally cruel Bubba Rocque. Dimensional characters around Robicheaux add to the story like tesserae to a mosaic, none more than best friend, Clete Purcell.

Heaven's Prisoners

By James Lee Burke,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Heaven's Prisoners as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The second Dave Robicheaux novel from the award-winning crime writer.

Dave Robicheaux is trying to put a life of violence and crime behind him, leaving homicide to run a boat-rental business in Louisiana's bayou country. But one day while fishing in the Gulf with his wife Annie, he witnesses an event that will change his life forever.

A small two-engine plane suddenly crashes into the sea and Robicheaux dives down to the wreckage to find four bodies and one survivor; a little girl miraculously trapped in a pocket of air. When the authorities insist only three bodies were recovered from…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in private investigators, Botswana, and the CIA?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about private investigators, Botswana, and the CIA.

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