100 books like In the Midst of Winter

By Isabel Allende,

Here are 100 books that In the Midst of Winter fans have personally recommended if you like In the Midst of Winter. 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 In the Presence of the Enemy

Vee Kumari Author Of Dharma: A Rekha Rao Mystery

From my list on families disguised as mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

Being an immigrant from India, a culture that places family values above all else, I am drawn to books that explore family conflicts, secrets, and the triumph of love against all odds. When an author incorporates these themes into a mystery, the book becomes more than a simple formulaic whodunnit story that educates me about the complexities of our lives.

Vee's book list on families disguised as mysteries

Vee Kumari Why did Vee love this book?

Threat of exposure of a scandalous affair takes Lynley and his sidekick Havers from London into the countryside, where they reveal how a hidden past and the mistaken identity of a father by his son, led to murder. I love it for the writing style – George's later books became too big for me – the characters she creates with such clarity and passion, who are put into situations that threaten their lives, reputation, and ideals.

By Elizabeth George,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In the Presence of the Enemy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As the editor of a popular left-wing tabloid, Dennis Luxford has made a career out of scandal. But this time the scoop involves his own daughter. To save the life of his child, Luxford must expose the girl's mother - Eve Bowen, now Under Secretary of State for the Home Office. And Eve refuses to involve the police, convinced that Charlotte's disappearance is just one more shabby tabloid ploy.

Only when events take an unbearable turn is New Scotland Yard brought in, in the guise of Inspector Thomas Lynley and his partner, Barbara Havers. And as their investigations move from…


Book cover of Death in Lover's Lane

Vee Kumari Author Of Dharma: A Rekha Rao Mystery

From my list on families disguised as mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

Being an immigrant from India, a culture that places family values above all else, I am drawn to books that explore family conflicts, secrets, and the triumph of love against all odds. When an author incorporates these themes into a mystery, the book becomes more than a simple formulaic whodunnit story that educates me about the complexities of our lives.

Vee's book list on families disguised as mysteries

Vee Kumari Why did Vee love this book?

One of the best Henrie O novels, I love it that this takes place within the hallowed halls of the academia at the fictitious Thorndyke University, where the sixty-something journalism professor-turned sleuth encourages an ambitious student to dig up the dirt on three unsolved local crimes. Of course, the student gets killed, and against the wishes of the police and the powers-that-be Henrie O gets involved, dredging up a past everyone wants to keep buried. I now realize that not knowingly, but at a subconscious level, this novel inspired me to write mine!

By Carolyn G. Hart,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Death in Lover's Lane as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Pulitzer Prize-winning ex-reporter and journalism teacher at ivy-covered Thorndyke University, Henrietta "Henrie O" Collins demands of her students the same steadfast dedication to the truth that was the cornerstone of her own illustrious career. So when beautiful, ambitious Maggie Winslow decides to investigate a trio of hitherto unresolved local crimes, Henrie O urges her to pursue the story with uncommon vigor.

But the gifted future journalist's zeal may have cost her her life. The next day Maggie's corpse is discovered in Lovers' Lane--the very site of one of the unsolved mysteries the extraordinary young woman was exploring at the…


Book cover of The Sinner

Vee Kumari Author Of Dharma: A Rekha Rao Mystery

From my list on families disguised as mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

Being an immigrant from India, a culture that places family values above all else, I am drawn to books that explore family conflicts, secrets, and the triumph of love against all odds. When an author incorporates these themes into a mystery, the book becomes more than a simple formulaic whodunnit story that educates me about the complexities of our lives.

Vee's book list on families disguised as mysteries

Vee Kumari Why did Vee love this book?

This novel gave me an insight into the cloistered grounds of a convent where two nuns are found, one dead, one mortally wounded. The killings appear to be without motive, without an obvious suspect, and are further complicated by the murder and mutilation of a third woman. A medical examiner Maura Isles and a homicide detective Jane Rizzoli (both introduced in earlier Tess Gerritsen novels) uncover an ancient horror that connects these terrible slaughters. I love the camaraderie between Isles and Rizzoli despite their contrasting personalities, and the fact that the story takes us to a distant land where it all started.

By Tess Gerritsen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

***NOW WITH A SNEAK PREVIEW OF TESS GERRITSEN'S LATEST THRILLER, I KNOW A SECRET***

JUDGEMENT DAY IS COMING . . .

'Absolutely riveting - you won't be able to put this down' Mo Hayder

Two nuns are brutally attacked within the walls of their convent. There seems to be no shred of motive. But during the autopsy Forensic Pathologist Maura Isles discovers something entirely unexpected.

And when a second, heavily mutilated body is found and linked to the case, she and Detective Jane Rizzoli find themselves in the midst of a terrifying investigation that seems to implicate everyone.

Because who…


Weird Foods of Portugal: Adventures of an Expat

By Wendy Lee Hermance,

Book cover of Weird Foods of Portugal: Adventures of an Expat

Wendy Lee Hermance Author Of Weird Foods of Portugal: Adventures of an Expat

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Wendy Lee Hermance was heard on National Public Radio (NPR) stations with her Missouri Folklore series in the 1980s. She earned a journalism degree from Stephens College, served as Editor and Features Writer for Midwestern and Southern university and regional publications, then settled into writing real estate contracts. In 2012 she attended University of Sydney, earning a master’s degree by research thesis. Her books include Where I’m Going with this Poem, a memoir in poetry and prose. Weird Foods of Portugal: Adventures of an Expat marks her return to feature writing as collections of narrative non-fiction stories.

Wendy's book list on why Portugal is weird

What is my book about?

Weird Foods of Portugal describes the author's first years trying to make sense of a strange new place and a home there for herself.

Witty, dreamlike, and at times jarring, the book sizzles with social commentary looking back at America and beautiful, finely drawn descriptions of Portugal and its people. Part dark-humor cautionary tale, part travel adventure, ultimately, Hermance's book of narrative non-fiction serves as affirmation for any who wish to make a similar move themselves.

Weird Foods of Portugal: Adventures of an Expat

By Wendy Lee Hermance,

What is this book about?

"Wendy Lee Hermance describes Portugal´s colorful people and places - including taxi drivers and animals - with a poet´s empathy and dark humor. Part travel adventure, part cautionary tale, Weird Foods of Portugal is at it´s heart, affirmation for all who consider making such a move themselves."


Book cover of The Life We Bury

Jessica Sherry Author Of Sea-Devil

From my list on mystery featuring everyday heroes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love a good mystery. Quirky, amateur sleuths using their wits and grit to solve tough cases while juggling regular lives like real people deliver a double-thrill—one for justice and another for the everyday oddball taking the win (like me, when I publish a book). This inspired my Delilah Duffy series and this list.

Jessica's book list on mystery featuring everyday heroes

Jessica Sherry Why did Jessica love this book?

Joe Talbert’s not your average college student but a hero easy to love for all he’s up against. He’s escaped his mom’s unstable household and her revolving door of abusers, but barely and not really. With his autistic brother Jeremy still in her care, Joe’s in a constant tug-of-war between his family and his future. Joe’s survivor-tough but with a soft side. He needs both when a biography assignment leads him to Carl Iverson, a dying Vietnam vet and convicted felon. How can this war hero be a killer? Chasing the story with Joe is as thrilling as rooting for him. He must solve the mystery, save his family, get the girl, and, of course, get an A on his paper.  

By Allen Eskens,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A USA Today bestseller and book club favorite!

College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe's life is ever the same. Carl is a dying Vietnam veteran--and a convicted murderer. With only a few months to live, he has been medically paroled to a nursing home, after spending thirty years in…


Book cover of There Is Nothing for You Here: Finding Opportunity in the Twenty-First Century

Alan Elsner Author Of The Diplomatic Coup

From my list on women who beat the patriarchy at its own game.

Why am I passionate about this?

For a long time I’ve been fascinated by the challenge of writing novels with strong female protagonists—this is what I set out to do with my books Romance Language and The Diplomatic Coup. Is a male author capable of doing this? Read the books and judge for yourself. I’m fascinated by history, politics, and the pursuit of power both in real life and fiction. Lately, I’ve become more alarmed about the threat posed to the world by a resurgent Russia determined to undermine western democracy and that interest also influenced my choices. As a former journalist, I covered some of the world’s most important leaders and biggest stories and got to see them operating firsthand. 

Alan's book list on women who beat the patriarchy at its own game

Alan Elsner Why did Alan love this book?

This memoir by a brave woman who stood up to both Presidents Trump and Putin is a revealing look at the inner workings of the Trump administration’s dysfunctional foreign policy. Fiona Hill bears an uncanny resemblance to my heroine, Delphine Roget. Born to a poor mining family in the North of England, she worked her way to the top through sheer intellectual brilliance and willpower. When push came to shove, she told the truth to Congress about Trump’s outrageous misuse of presidential power. But the book is much more than that. It is a searching examination of how capitalism has left whole communities behind as industries crumble, posing a threat to democracies worldwide.

By Fiona Hill,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked There Is Nothing for You Here as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"This book has a miraculous quality.... As a memoir this is hard to put down; if you are seeking a better American future you should pick it up."-Timothy Snyder, New York Times best-selling author of On Tyranny

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | A celebrated foreign policy expert and key impeachment witness reveals how declining opportunity has set America on the grim path of modern Russia-and draws on her personal journey out of poverty, as well as her unique perspectives as an historian and policy maker, to show how we can return hope to our forgotten places.

Fiona Hill grew…


Book cover of Pictures from an Institution

Corey Mesler Author Of Memphis Movie

From my list on by poets.

Why am I passionate about this?

Corey Mesler has been published in numerous anthologies and journals including Poetry, Gargoyle, Five Points, Good Poems American Places, and New Stories from the South. He has published over 25 books of fiction and poetry. His newest novel, The Diminishment of Charlie Cain, is from Livingston Press. He also wrote the screenplay for We Go On, which won The Memphis Film Prize in 2017. With his wife he runs Burke’s Book Store (est. 1875) in Memphis. I have a fondness for novels written by writers who are primarily poets. These five books are my favorites in that contracted genre.

Corey's book list on by poets

Corey Mesler Why did Corey love this book?

Pictures from an Institution, to my mind, is the best novel written by a poet. It’s comical, biting, engrossing, moving, and flat-out entertaining. Once again, we are back in academia, at a woman’s college based loosely on Sarah Lawrence, and never has academia been skewered more amusingly. Regarding the college, one character muses, “You Americans do not rear children, you incite them; you give them food and shelter and applause.” The novel’s jokes—aphorisms, wisecracks, putdowns—come so fast and furious one could lose track of the story, if the story itself were not so interesting…and jovial. It’s funnier than throwing a hardboiled egg into an electric fan. Pictures from an Institution is also learned and wise and, underneath the drollery, there is a basic humanism that does not allow you to dismiss the book as mere satire.

By Randall Jarrell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pictures from an Institution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Beneath the unassuming surface of a progressive women's college lurks a world of intellectual pride and pomposity awaiting devastation by the pens of two brilliant and appalling wits. Randall Jarrell's classic novel was originally published to overwhelming critical acclaim in 1954, forging a new standard for campus satire - and instantly yielding comparisons to Dorothy Parker's razor-sharp barbs. Like his fictional nemesis, Jarrell cuts through the earnest conversations at Benton College mischievously - but with mischief nowhere more wicked than when crusading against the vitriolic heroine herself.


Book cover of They Never Learn

Elle Mitchell Author Of Another Elizabeth

From my list on dark fiction serial killer.

Why am I passionate about this?

My interest in serial killers began when I was a teen watching horror movies with my mom. I learned all I could about them—even became a horror special-effects makeup artist. Eventually, I had to quit due to my connective tissue disorder (Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome). It put me on a path of writing. I love digging into the darker side of humanity—murder or mental illness. The story of a serial killer who could challenge the reader to see disability in a new light came to me, and I had to write her story, if not just so I could dive into the psyche of another serial killer.

Elle's book list on dark fiction serial killer

Elle Mitchell Why did Elle love this book?

Scarlett Clark is a bi serial killer who kills bad men. Carly Schiller is a queer student who just escaped an abusive father. Their storylines are equally gripping, with moments of unexpected intensity in both lust and fear. Layne Fargo creates a world so grounded in reality that, as a woman, it was painful to read at times—micro-aggressions, normalized inappropriate touching. Fargo doesn’t exaggerate it, she just exposes it as part of the narrative. Better yet, she gives a glimmer of equalization in the form of Scarlett who focuses her urge to kill in a direction that’s easy to root for, to want to read. It was wanting a serial killer to go on with her work that made this book and Scarlett a standout.

By Layne Fargo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked They Never Learn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of the “raw, ingenious, and utterly fearless” (Wendy Walker, USA TODAY bestselling author) Temper comes a dynamic psychological thriller about two women who give bad men exactly what they deserve.

Scarlett Clark is an exceptional English professor. But she’s even better at getting away with murder.

Every year, she searches for the worst man at Gorman University and plots his well-deserved demise. Thanks to her meticulous planning, she’s avoided drawing attention to herself—but as she’s preparing for her biggest kill yet, the school starts probing into the growing body count on campus. Determined to keep her enemies…


Book cover of In Adamless Eden: The Community of Women Faculty at Wellesley

Nancy Woloch Author Of The Insider: A Life of Virginia C. Gildersleeve

From my list on women’s colleges and their histories.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a teacher of US women’s history and educational history, I have long been interested in women’s colleges—in their faculties, administrators, students, alumnae, goals, and achievements. Most recently, as the biographer of a woman educator (a dean of Barnard College in the early 20th century), I became more deeply involved with the literature on single-sex schools. Major books focus on the older women’s colleges, the “Seven Sisters,” but devote attention to other colleges as well. I am impressed with the talents of historians, with their skill at asking questions of their subjects, with the intensity of mission at the women’s schools, and with changing styles of campus culture.

Nancy's book list on women’s colleges and their histories

Nancy Woloch Why did Nancy love this book?

In its early decades, from the 1880s to the 1930s, Wellesley College boasted not merely a woman president but—alone among the “Seven Sisters”—an exclusively female faculty. Palmieri examines the impact of an all-woman community on the college’s students, professors, traditions, and development. A model exploration of campus culture, highly original, and a fascinating read.

By Patricia Ann Palmieri,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Wellesley College was unique in its commitment to an exclusively female faculty, and has educated women such as Katharine Lee Bates and Hillary Clinton. This book is a narrative history of the first generation of Wellesley professors.


Book cover of The Madness of Crowds

Linda Howe-Steiger Author Of Terroir: A Morgan Kendall Wine Country Mystery

From my list on cozy mysteries that have a secondary ethical theme.

Why am I passionate about this?

Born in Ohio, transplanted to Northern California, I’ve played many roles in life, including college teacher, environmental writer, urban planner, political activist, and mom. In the evening, when my body aches with tiredness, but my brain won’t stop churning on whatever subject I wrestled with that day, I love a good but “meaty” little cozy—one with a clever puzzle, something to make me smile, and a secondary theme that goes a bit into an important, really engaging topic. Then I snuggle down and enjoy my kind of decompression reading. After retirement, I started to write my own “cozies plus.” I hope you enjoy my picks.  

Linda's book list on cozy mysteries that have a secondary ethical theme

Linda Howe-Steiger Why did Linda love this book?

I have liked all the Gamache books, but this one blew me away.

Not just another clever puzzle-solving entertainment (which it is). It’s also a compelling meditation on the ethics of free speech in our world today as we struggle with a pandemic and elect autocrats into seats of power.

And this isn’t just any free speech, but speech coolly advocating for euthanizing the elderly and disabled, because caring for them is too expensive, and a waste—they’ll die anyway and leave society with much-reduced ability to care for those with a real chance to survive.

This speaker is a reputable academic, popular, and with hard data to support her position. Which is why someone wants to kill her. Which is why Gamache is brought in.

By Louise Penny,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The incredible new book in Louise Penny's #1 bestselling Chief Inspector Gamache series.

When Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is asked to provide crowd control at a statistics lecture given at the Universite de l'Estrie in Quebec, he is dubious. Why ask the head of homicide to provide security for what sounds like a minor, even mundane lecture?

But dangerous ideas about who deserves to live in order for society to thrive are rapidly gaining popularity, fuelled by the research of the eminent Professor Abigail Robinson. Yet for every person seduced by her theories there is another who is horrified by…


Book cover of All's Well

Laura Staton Author Of Yoga Bones: A Comprehensive Guide to Managing Pain and Orthopedic Injuries Through Yoga

From my list on helping you reflect and reset.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a lifelong asthmatic I’ve been working with the body for as long as I can remember. Childhood activities included getting lost in the woods, camping, and roller-skating, and grown-up life has included the professions of a modern dancer, choreographer, yoga therapist, and occupational therapist. If you can learn to slow down and find safety in your body, you can always manage to find your way home.

Laura's book list on helping you reflect and reset

Laura Staton Why did Laura love this book?

I could barely put this book down. It’s incredibly well written and has themes that are close to my heart and not often explored in literature, especially through a somewhat unhinged female perspective: physical therapists, chronic pain, Shakespeare, performing, desire and self-identity. The body is at the core of this fleshy, raw, and brilliant novel.

By Mona Awad,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"A dazzling wild ride of a novel - daring, fresh, entertaining, and magical. Mona Awad is a powerful and poetic storyteller, telling us something new and profound here about the connection between suffering and elation. When I was away from this book, I longed to get back to it." - George Saunders, New York Times bestselling, Booker Prize-winning author of Lincoln in the Bardo

"Wild and exhilarating and so fresh it takes your breath away, All's Well is an utterly delicious novel of pain and vitality, Shakespeare and the uncanny, and our own subtle moral failures when we brush up…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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