100 books like Ivory's Story

By Eugen Bacon,

Here are 100 books that Ivory's Story fans have personally recommended if you like Ivory's Story. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Who Fears Death

Cassandra Lynn King Author Of Peak of the Panthers

From my list on helping you escape reality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved reading since I was very young, and would bring home an armful of books from the library. I first discovered the dystopian genre while in junior high, and it quickly became my favorite genre. My favorite aspect of dystopias is the new world created within each book. When I began writing my own stories, I spent several hours building the world within my book. Even today, nearly 20 years after I first began writing, I spend hours drawing and designing everything within each book, whether or not it’s dystopian. My hope is that my readers find my worlds as fascinating as I found the worlds of the stories on my list!

Cassandra's book list on helping you escape reality

Cassandra Lynn King Why did Cassandra love this book?

Who Fears Death was a book assigned to me in a college course, and it was the most enjoyable piece of course work I ever had to read. Centered in post-apocalyptic Africa, Who Fears Death follows a biracial girl living in a segregated society that rejects “mixed blood.” I was endlessly cheering for the main character—Onyesonwu—and her stubborn pursuit of her own magical path. I pushed off reading most of my other coursework in order to finish this story and discover where Onye’s path would take her. Okorafor’s society-building was not only convincing, but also heartbreaking, and contained mirrors to present-day society. This book had me excited to do my homework, and is one I would recommend to anyone—in school or not.

By Nnedi Okorafor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An award-winning literary author enters the world of magical realism with her World Fantasy Award-winning novel of a remarkable woman in post-apocalyptic Africa.

Now optioned as a TV series for HBO, with executive producer George R.R. Martin!

In a post-apocalyptic Africa, the world has changed in many ways; yet in one region genocide between tribes still bloodies the land. A woman who has survived the annihilation of her village and a terrible rape by an enemy general wanders into the desert, hoping to die. Instead, she gives birth to an angry baby girl with hair and skin the colour of…

Book cover of The Tombs of Atuan

Seymour Hamilton Author Of The Laughing Princess

From my list on in which reality and fantasy meet and meld.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was six, my father, a tall, bearded naval officer, read me Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” I thought it might be autobiography. Ever since, I've been fascinated by stories where fantasy and reality meet and blend. I studied English literature, taught Dead English Poets to undergraduates, became an editor/writer for hire. Along the way, I canoed, hiked the Rockies, and learned to sail a traditional Nova Scotian schooner. I have two sons, to whom I read stories night after night when they were much younger than they are now. Since retiring, I write fantasy adventure novels set aboard real sailing ships and stories about dragons who talk to exceptional people.

Seymour's book list on in which reality and fantasy meet and meld

Seymour Hamilton Why did Seymour love this book?

The second of LeGuin’s Earthsea books is a story made of fantasy, adventure, horror, mystery, and myth. 

Tenar, the high priestess must choose between her lifelong training and her unexpected compassion for a thief named Ged, who she must execute in the Tombs of Atuan. Tenar leads Ged through darkness and terror to a place where she decides who she will become.

LeGuin’s prose is direct, evocative, and compelling. Read out loud, the story is spellbinding. It stays with me even though it’s years since my first reading. Each time I return to the fantastic yet entirely believable world she created, the characters I meet reveal some fresh insight into what it is to be human.

By Ursula K. Le Guin,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Tombs of Atuan as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

The second book of Earthsea in a beautiful hardback edition. Complete the collection with A Wizard of Earthsea, The Furthest Shore and Tehanu

With illustrations from Charles Vess

'[This] trilogy made me look at the world in a new way, imbued everything with a magic that was so much deeper than the magic I'd encountered before then. This was a magic of words, a magic of true speaking' Neil Gaiman

'Drink this magic up. Drown in it. Dream it' David Mitchell

In this second novel in the Earthsea series, Tenar is chosen as high priestess to the ancient and nameless…

Book cover of An Unkindness of Ghosts

Morgan Thomas Author Of Manywhere

From my list on folks seeking genderqueer ancestry.

Why am I passionate about this?

I came to genderqueer histories searching for a reflection of myself that I couldn’t find in my immediate environment (the rural American South). Early on, I thought I’d found it—historical figures, both real and fictional, who shared my gender identity. But as I’ve continued to research, I’ve realized that the reflections of history are less a mirror image, more a reflection in water—fluid and distorting. Genderqueer people throughout history use different language for their identities, navigate different social and family systems, and express their gender in different ways. In the space created by this difference, I’ve begun to understand my gender as a thing that changes, too, across space and time.

Morgan's book list on folks seeking genderqueer ancestry

Morgan Thomas Why did Morgan love this book?

An Unkindness of Ghosts opens with the dedication, “To my mother and her mother all the way back to Eve.” While the other four books on this list emphasize the queer and genderqueer people we might choose to recognize as ancestors, this book focuses on Aster’s relationship with her mother, revealing the way that biological family can, in certain instances, support and affirm genderqueer identity.

By Rivers Soloman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Harrowing and beautiful, this is SF at its best: showing the possible future but warning of the danger of bringing old prejudices and cruelties to that new world. While a story about enslaved people in space could be a one-note polemic, the fully rounded characters bring nuance and genuine pathos to this amazing debut."
--Library Journal, Starred Review

"Solomon debuts with a raw distillation of slavery, feudalism, prison, and religion that kicks like rotgut moonshine...Stunning."
--Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"Infused with the spirit of Octavia Butler and loaded with meaning for the present day, An Unkindness of Ghosts will appeal…

Book cover of The Forgotten Beasts of Eld

Deby Fredericks Author Of Minstrels of Skaythe

From my list on 20th century fantasy centering on powerful women.

Why am I passionate about this?

The books I recommend here have inspired me and shaped my work. You see, I have always been a writer, but for a long time I viewed it as just a hobby. I did a lot of fan writing (Pern, especially) that allowed me to follow my heart and just have fun writing. My current work questions some of the underlying assumptions in fantasy. Must every problem be solved at the point of a sword? Does magical power always corrupt? And is it truly possible for evildoers to be redeemed? I hope you'll visit my land of Skaythe and find it as magical as Estcarp, Earthsea, and Eld Mountain!

Deby's book list on 20th century fantasy centering on powerful women

Deby Fredericks Why did Deby love this book?

How should I describe the voice of Patricia McKillip? Her words are meticulously chosen to show an opulent and fantastical world. I have sometimes tried to imitate her, but I just can't keep it up for long.  

In this stand-alone novel, the witch Sybel lives alone on Eld Mountain. She has inherited or captured and tamed a handful of incredible, magical beasts. These are all the company she needs, until she is asked to care for a king's lost heir. Soon she is no longer able to remain aloof from the world. 

In subsequent readings, I've been struck by Sybel's frustration that people won't leave her out of their drama. They think she owes them her time and attention. Can't we all relate to that?

By Patricia A. McKillip,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Forgotten Beasts of Eld as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12.

What is this book about?

World Fantasy Award-Winner
Newly available in print and e-book editions

"Rich and regal."
―The New York Times

Young Sybel, the heiress of powerful wizards, needs the company of no-one outside her gates. In her exquisite stone mansion, she is attended by exotic, magical beasts: Riddle-master Cyrin the boar; the treasure-starved dragon Gyld; Gules the Lyon, tawny master of the Southern Deserts; Ter, the fiercely vengeful falcon; Moriah, feline Lady of the Night. Sybel only lacks the exquisite and mysterious Liralen, which continues to elude her most powerful enchantments.

But when a soldier bearing an infant arrives, Sybel discovers that the…

Book cover of The Hollow

Ash Bishop Author Of The Horoscope Writer

From my list on mysteries where the detective is in way over their head.

Why am I passionate about this?

Writing a mystery novel is no small task. You have to craft a clever plot, stay true to your characters, and bewilder, but ultimately satisfy, your readers, all the while not mixing up your theirs and your there’s. Maybe that’s why we writers like to saddle our heroes with even heavier burdens, forcing them to sort through complex webs of deceit, and fight against deeply rooted cultures full of corruption. When they win, we share their victories… even more so because it means we’ve finished writing the darn book! Enjoy this list of detectives facing long odds, and let it inspire you in whatever creative endeavors are closest to your heart.    

Ash's book list on mysteries where the detective is in way over their head

Ash Bishop Why did Ash love this book?

Everyone knows Agatha Christie’s most famous novels but when you dig a little deeper, you start to really uncover her genius. 

The Hollow is slow, careful, and spectacularly mature for a genre novel.  Legend has it that Christie didn’t like her detective, Hercule Poirot, so maybe that’s why she stuck him in such a difficult situation. A murder occurs right before his eyes, and the killer is there, holding a gun. 

The killer has motive, opportunity, and, of course, Poirot watched her do it.  But why is the gun the wrong caliber? And why is everyone except the murderer acting so suspicious?  

This one plays against convention, so even when you think you know what is going to happen next, you probably don’t.

By Agatha Christie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Agatha Christie's ingenious mystery thriller, reissued with a striking new cover designed to appeal to the latest generation of Agatha Christie fans and book lovers.

Lucy Angkatell invited Hercule Poirot to lunch. To tease the great detective, her guests stage a mock murder beside the swimming pool. Unfortunately, the victim plays the scene for real. As his blood drips into the water, John Christow gasps one final word: `Henrietta'. In the confusion, a gun sinks to the bottom of the pool.

Poirot's enquiries reveal a complex web of romantic attachments. It seems everyone in the drama is a suspect -…

Book cover of Lost Island

Jessica Russell Author Of Hot Winter Sun

From my list on character-driven historical suspense with romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

My first experience with historical fiction was reading The Witch from the Sea by that iconic author, Victoria Holt. This sparked a 40-year-long love affair with that genre that’s still burning intensely. I’ve been immersed in such fiction for a lifetime and have read the works of virtually every great author in this genre. I started my own series in 2020 because I feared this type of no-fluff fiction was becoming obsolete. There were 17th Century English characters making noise in my head so I used my creative writing background to bring them to life on the pages of my books, under the pen name Jessica Russell. 

Jessica's book list on character-driven historical suspense with romance

Jessica Russell Why did Jessica love this book?

This intricately written story sparked my interest from the very first page. Every time the author introduced a clue to the plot, I immediately wanted to know what it meant and what was coming. I was “chomping at the bit” as they say, and there was never one moment where the story lagged. Every single sentence needed to be there and the mystery had layer after layer with no way to ever predict what would happen. This is a historical fiction writer who definitely understands how to weave a top-notch suspenseful tale, and that’s what this is. 

By Phyllis A. Whitney,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From a New York Times-bestselling author: An island off the Georgia coast holds the memory of a broken heart and the secrets of a woman's past.

It's been years since Lacey Ames last saw Hampton Island, where she grew up amid the sandy marshes with her childhood sweetheart, Giles Severn, and her cousin Elise-and where Elise had stolen the man Lacey loved. Lacey never forgot the hurt and betrayal she once suffered at Giles's grand family home of Sea Oaks, but a curious and compelling summons from Elise prompts her return.

Once Lacey arrives, she realizes how little has changed.…

Book cover of The Sight of You

Clare Swatman Author Of A Love to Last a Lifetime

From my list on love stories that don’t follow the same old path.

Why am I passionate about this?

From the moment I started reading those ‘create your own story’ books as a child, I’ve loved a story with a different ending, or at least the possibility of a different ending because I like to be taken by surprise. Having spent years as a magazine journalist interviewing people about their lives, I knew I wanted to write stories about people, because people are fascinating and surprising. My fascination with people and time travel also probably explains why my debut novel, Before You Go, had both of those elements in them – and when I find a book that bends convention a little – or a lot – I’ll shout about it from the rooftops!

Clare's book list on love stories that don’t follow the same old path

Clare Swatman Why did Clare love this book?

This has such a clever premise – a man who can’t let himself get close to anyone because every time he does, he dreams about how they’re going to die and when.

And then he meets Callie, and he does everything he can not to fall in love with her... except he can’t help himself. And then he dreams about her death...

Honestly, what's not to love?!

By Holly Miller,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Unique and breathtaking and painful and broken and perfect . . . just like love'
Jodi Picoult
'Exquisitely written, incredibly moving and impossible to put down'
Beth O'Leary, author of The Flatshare

Joel is afraid of the future.
Since he was a child he's been haunted by dreams about the people he loves. Visions of what's going to happen - the good and the bad. And the only way to prevent them is to never let anyone close to him again.

Callie can't let go of the past.
Since her best friend…

Book cover of Verity

Ivar Leon Menger Author Of What Mother Won't Tell Me

From my list on thriller books with strong female protagonists as well as strong twists.

Why am I passionate about this?

The dark side has fascinated me since I was a child. I've always had a love for the villains in movies and books. I particularly like Alfred Hitchcock's thrillers. Because the tension is not created through bloodshed but through twists and psychology. As a full-time thriller writer, I write my stories in such a way that my main character has to overcome the dangers on their own, mostly without the help of the police. I live in Germany, but I grew up with stories from the USA. If you like stories with a twist, feel free to check out my recommendations, which also feature two German authors.

Ivar's book list on thriller books with strong female protagonists as well as strong twists

Ivar Leon Menger Why did Ivar love this book?

This was my first book by Colleen Hover because the blurb immediately appealed to me.

love stories about female writers. I immediately sympathized with her unsuccessful career and was happy that she received an exciting job offer. And then immediate skepticism that everything couldn't be going smoothly there. The fear came slowly and made me look ever deeper into the abyss.

I read the book before going to sleep, which meant I stayed up late.

By Colleen Hoover,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Are you ready to stay up all night? Rebecca meets Gone Girl in this shocking, unpredictable thriller with a twist that will leave you reeling . . .

Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the…

Book cover of The Better Sister

Adam Mitzner Author Of A Conflict of Interest

From my list on to read after you’ve binged Law & Order.

Why am I passionate about this?

I come by my love of legal thrillers honestly – when I’m not writing them, I’m living them as a full-time practicing lawyer. The cases in my real-life legal practice are far less exciting than those experienced by the lawyers in my books (or the books I’ve recommended here), but the throughline that connects them is that in reality and in fiction, the stakes are very high, the people involved have a motivation for what they’ve done, and the outcome is always in doubt until that last page. 

Adam's book list on to read after you’ve binged Law & Order

Adam Mitzner Why did Adam love this book?

I first met Alafair Burke after my first book was accepted for publication (at a book reading she was giving) and she was extremely generous with her time and advice about being a crime-fiction writer. I’ve read most of her books, but this is my favorite, combining first-rate knowledge of the legal system with long-hidden family secrets and resentments. 

By Alafair Burke,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Bestselling author of The Ex and The Wife
*The Girl She Was, available to pre-order now*
'Highly addictive' KARIN SLAUGHTER 'A major talent' HARLAN COBEN

Keep your enemies close and your sister closer...

For a while, it seemed like both Taylor sisters had found happiness. Chloe landed a coveted publishing job in New York City. Nicky got married to a promising young attorney named Adam McIntosh and became a mother to a baby boy named Ethan.

But now, fourteen years later, it is Chloe who is married to Adam. When he is murdered at the couple's beach house, she has…

Book cover of Oh William!

Joan D. Heiman Author Of Life with an Impossible Person: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Transformation

From my list on by women grieving the loss of a quirky partner.

Why am I passionate about this?

My mom handed me one of those little girl diaries with a lock and key when I was in third grade. I wrote my heart into those diaries until I needed more space and shifted to regular-sized notebooks. Writing is my way to know myself and make sense of my life. The journal I kept in the last months of my husband’s life helped me reassemble the trauma-blurred memories of his dying, and then, it supported my emotional rebirth during the year of intense grieving. It is with surprise and delight that I hear from readers who say I articulate their innermost emotions related to love and loss.

Joan's book list on by women grieving the loss of a quirky partner

Joan D. Heiman Why did Joan love this book?

Even though the marriage in Oh William! ends in divorce while my marriage ended (without my consent) in my husband’s untimely death, the book brought me back to the unconventional nature of my marriage. Elizabeth Strout’s uncanny ability to say much in a single sentence had me traveling back in time and heart to the many moments that made our marriage. The tendernesses and fears, the deep trust and insecurities that quietly but forcefully bound us together made up the subtle mysteries of our uncommon relationship. What makes people move apart yet remain forever close, as in Lucy Barton and her ex-husband, William, or what holds two people together when there are many factors that might drive them apart, as in my marriage? These questions made reading this book a thought-provoking and enriching experience.

By Elizabeth Strout,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


The Pulitzer Prize-winning, Booker-longlisted, bestselling author returns to her beloved heroine Lucy Barton in a luminous novel about love, loss, and the family secrets that can erupt and bewilder us at any point in life

Lucy Barton is a successful writer living in New York, navigating the second half of her life as a recent widow and parent to two adult daughters. A surprise encounter leads her to reconnect with William, her first husband - and longtime, on-again-off-again friend and confidante. Recalling their college years, the birth of their daughters, the painful dissolution of…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in family secrets, private investigators, and romantic love?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about family secrets, private investigators, and romantic love.

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