100 books like Jamaica Inn

By Daphne du Maurier,

Here are 100 books that Jamaica Inn fans have personally recommended if you like Jamaica Inn. 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 Moby-Dick

Jonathan Howland Author Of Native Air

From my list on books about men in love (who aren’t lovers).

Why am I passionate about this?

During a lonely stretch of primary school, I recall discussing my predicament with my mother. “You only need one friend,” she said by way of encouragement. Some part of me agreed. I’ve been fortunate to have had (and to have) several friends in my life, never more than a few at a time, more men than women, and each has prompted me to be and become more vital and spacious than I was prior to knowing them. The books I’m recommending—and the one I wrote—feature these types of catalyzing, life-changing relationships. Each involves some kind of adventure. Each evokes male friendship that is gravitational, not merely influential, but life-defining.

Jonathan's book list on books about men in love (who aren’t lovers)

Jonathan Howland Why did Jonathan love this book?

It centers on and celebrates becoming—molting from one skin to another. For Ishmael this is a transition from a tired and limiting worldview to something fresh and alive.

The “bosom buddies” at the heart of the novel, Ishmael and Queequeg, seem comprised of opposites, but Ishmael’s etherealizing is grounded by Queequeg’s pragmatic ingenuity in ways that quiet and expand the young pagan-Presbyterian’s buzzing, anxious mind. Theirs is a friendship of succor, probably sex, and survival—all of it shadowed by the delusional obsessions of their mad captain.

By Herman Melville,

Why should I read it?

20 authors picked Moby-Dick as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Melville's tale of the whaling industry, and one captain's obsession with revenge against the Great White Whale that took his leg. Classics Illustrated tells this wonderful tale in colourful comic strip form, offering an excellent introduction for younger readers. This edition also includes a biography of Herman Melville and study questions, which can be used both in the classroom or at home to further engage the reader in the work at hand.

Book cover of On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

James Phelps Author Of Australia's Most Infamous Jail: Inside the walls of Pentridge Prison

From my list on getting any writer started in the industry.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am passionate about this book list because it helped me get where I am today, a multiple-times bestselling author and an award-winning senior reporter. I began working as an overnight police round reporter before moving into sports, where I became one of Australia's best news-breaking rugby league journalists. I was then appointed News Corp Australia's Chief National Motorsports Writer and traveled the world chasing Formula 1 story, as well as covering Australia's V8 Supercar races. Everyone has to start somewhere, and for me, this list of books helped me begin and continue to grow to reach the level of success that I have.

James' book list on getting any writer started in the industry

James Phelps Why did James love this book?

It’s 2005, and it’s my first day at The Daily Telegraph. I still couldn’t believe they had hired me as a cadet journalist. The smile I was wearing–from ear to ear–suddenly vanished when the Chief of Staff walked over and said, ‘Phelpsy, a bus has just crashed in Egypt. We have been told that there may have been some Australian tourists on board. Punch out 500 words and give it to me in an hour.’ 

I turned to my computer screen, looked down at my keyboard, and suddenly realized that I had no idea what I was doing. I’d never had any writing training, and my experience was limited to the gibber I had been submitting to the paper (for free) for the past year in the hope of landing a job. After ten minutes of writing a word or two, deleting them, and then doing it again, I…

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

23 authors picked On Writing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Twentieth Anniversary Edition with Contributions from Joe Hill and Owen King


Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, this special edition of Stephen King’s critically lauded, million-copy bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work.

“Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the…

Book cover of I Am Legend

C.L. Lauder Author Of The Quelling

From my list on dystopian novels to make you cling to your duvet and worship your walls.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a young adult fantasy author and paranoid survivalist. I have spent years curating items for my end-of-days go-bag, and nothing gives me greater pleasure than hanging out in universes that are about to go bang! 

C.L.'s book list on dystopian novels to make you cling to your duvet and worship your walls

C.L. Lauder Why did C.L. love this book?

Legends are made of powerful stuff, and nothing has greater power than a total flip in perspective. I still recall the gut-punch end to this book, though it’s been decades since I read it. 

Robert Neville is a vampire hunter by day and a tormented man by night. As seemingly the only living human in post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, Robert faces depression, isolation, alcoholism, and his undead neighbor, Ben Cortman, who appears outside Robert’s front door each night chanting, "Come out, Neville."

But when Robert is finally captured, and the truth of his situation is revealed, he gets a good look at the world through the eyes of the undead and is forced to ask himself, who am I? What have I become? 

By Richard Matheson,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked I Am Legend as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An acclaimed SF novel about vampires. The last man on earth is not alone ...Robert Neville is the last living man on Earth ...but he is not alone. Every other man, woman and child on the planet has become a vampire, and they are hungry for Neville's blood. By day he is the hunter, stalking the undead through the ruins of civilisation. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for the dawn. How long can one man survive like this?

Book cover of Frankenstein

Randy Ryan Author Of Perspectives

From my list on horror that challenges beliefs and imagination.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am passionate about this topic because it dates back to my childhood. I have been interested in this subject for as long as I can remember and, as far as I can tell, gravitated towards it naturally, probably due to those unknown vectors within us all that gear us towards our loves, interests, and passions. I have written many novels in this field, and countless short stories, some published, others lying around my house. For me, this genre defines the best aspects of the imagination and is full of color, fantasy, and the entire broad spectrum of human emotions, including the most potent: fear. 

Randy's book list on horror that challenges beliefs and imagination

Randy Ryan Why did Randy love this book?

Perhaps the most classic work of horror fiction in both literature and cinema. As an English teacher, I find that there is so much fodder for lessons prevalent in this book–nature vs nurture, the dangers of forbidden knowledge and playing God, the arrogance of science, and who the real monster is. I particularly love the difference between The Monster in the novel and the film, its articulation, desires, abilities, and even its physical appearance. Few written works have been more seminal.

By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of the BBC's '100 Novels That Shaped Our World'

'That rare story to pass from literature into myth' The New York Times

Mary Shelley's chilling Gothic tale was conceived when she was only eighteen, living with her lover Percy Shelley on Lake Geneva. The story of Victor Frankenstein who, obsessed with creating life itself, plunders graveyards for the material to fashion a new being, but whose botched creature sets out to destroy his maker, would become the world's most famous work of horror fiction, and remains a devastating exploration of the limits of human creativity. Based on the third…

Book cover of Night Film

Kat Hausler Author Of What I Know About July

From my list on sleuths who have enough problems without a mystery to solve.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love to see complicated characters rising to the occasion. People in real life generally have a lot going on just handling the day-to-day, and they aren’t waiting around for adventure, romance, or mystery to find them. It feels very human to me to see characters struggling with more mundane things like social situations, worrying about their appearance, or holding down a job, rather than only focusing on the plot arc, and that’s the type of character I also focus on as a writer. My latest protagonist, Simon, definitely has enough problems without a missing-person case to solve, so he may be what got me thinking of this topic. 

Kat's book list on sleuths who have enough problems without a mystery to solve

Kat Hausler Why did Kat love this book?

Something that really drew me into this book is how slippery the sense of danger is: Is journalist Scott McGrath only risking further legal trouble with Stanislas Cordova if he continues to research the suicide of the mysterious director’s daughter, or is he up against something far more evil?

After his last encounter with Cordova destroyed his career, reputation, and marriage, Scott McGrath should be worrying about other things… but he can’t help himself. I was also intrigued by his shifting motivations: Is he driven by a need to know the truth, seeking revenge, fascinated by the story, or trying to protect himself and his loved ones?

Many scenes felt like optical illusions where I could see entirely different truths depending on what perspective I looked at them from.

By Marisha Pessl,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


NPR • Cosmopolitan • Kirkus Reviews • BookPage

A page-turning thriller for readers of Stephen King, Gillian Flynn, and Stieg Larsson, Night Film tells the haunting story of a journalist who becomes obsessed with the mysterious death of a troubled prodigy—the daughter of an iconic, reclusive filmmaker.
On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances…

Book cover of Great Expectations

Richard Vetere Author Of She's Not There

From my list on classic coming-of-age set within the last century.

Why am I passionate about this?

Richard Vetere’s teleplay adaptation of his published stage play The Marriage Fool, starring Walter Matthau, Carol Burnet, and John Stamos, now streaming on Amazon. He co-wrote the movie The Third Miracle, which is a screenplay adaptation of his own novel. It was produced by Francis Ford Coppola, directed by Agnieszka Holand, and stars Ed Harris and Anne Heche released by Sony Picture Classics. His screenplay Caravaggio, an adaptation of his own published stage play, won the Golden Palm Award for Best Screenplay at the Beverly Hills International Film Festival in 2021. In 2005, the Frank Melville Library at Stony Brook University created the Richard Vetere Collection, an archive of his work.  

Richard's book list on classic coming-of-age set within the last century

Richard Vetere Why did Richard love this book?

You cannot mention a coming-of-age novel without mentioning this classic.

Pip is an orphan who meets an escaped prisoner in a graveyard, does him a good deed, then is made a gentleman from an inheritance he knows nothing about. All of us enter our youth with great expectations and some of us are lucky enough, or unlucky, to meet our own beautiful Estella or the damaged and doomed Miss Havisham or the worldly and wise attorney Mister Jaggers.

Set in London where the worlds of extreme poverty and privilege co-exist side by side, we experience this world firsthand as Pip does wondering, all the time, if we can survive it unscathed. Ignore all other movie adaptations since they will only disappoint. Screen the 1946 version directed by David Lean. It is a great film.

By Charles Dickens,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Great Expectations as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'His novels will endure as long as the language itself' Peter Ackroyd

Dickens's haunting late novel depicts the education and development of a young man, Pip, as his life is changed by a series of events - a terrifying encounter with an escaped convict in a graveyard on the wild Kent marshes; a summons to meet the bitter, decaying Miss Havisham and her beautiful, cold-hearted ward Estella; the sudden generosity of a mysterious benefactor - and he discovers the true nature of his 'great expectations'. This definitive edition includes appendices on Dickens's original ending, giving an illuminating glimpse into a…

Book cover of Let the Right One in

Katie Marie Author Of A Man in Winter

From my list on horror with child protagonists that are not for kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

Horror is my passion and most things I read and everything I write fits neatly into the genre. But I am also passionate about telling stories from a unique perspective, or if not entirely unique then at least one that is underused. My novella A Man in Winter is told from the perspective of an elderly chap with dementia for instance. I have also found that many people think books with child protagonists must be children’s books and it makes me sad to think of all the wonderful work is being missed out on, I hope that my list has convinced you to try one of the above books.

Katie's book list on horror with child protagonists that are not for kids

Katie Marie Why did Katie love this book?

So much of Lindqvists writing is fantastic, but this has to be my favorite. I read it while in university and then I re-read it and re-read it until one of my housemates asked why it was taking me so long to read a single book then seemed confused when I admitted that every time I finished it I just started it again. 

I love the take Lindqvist has on the vampire as a ‘monster’ Eli is complex and sympathetic, dangerous and vulnerable it’s a wonderful balancing act. But what I enjoyed most of all was that Eli, while being hundreds of years old, is physically and mentally, twelve. Their long life did not make them an adult in a child’s body, they literally stunted their growth and that makes them so compelling.

By John Ajvide Lindqvist, Ebba Segerberg (translator),

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Let the Right One in as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

John Ajvide Lindqvist’s international bestseller Let the Right One In is “a brilliant take on the vampire myth, and a roaring good story” (New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong), the basis for the multi-film festival award-winning Swedish film, the U.S. adaptation Let Me In directed by Matt Reeves (The Batman), and the Showtime TV series.

It is autumn 1981 when inconceivable horror comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenager is found, emptied of blood, the murder rumored to be part of a ritual killing. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at…

Book cover of Outlander

Teresa M. Schulz Author Of Barbed Wire and Daisies

From my list on thriller/suspense escapism with strong female protagonists, full of grit, sass, and humour.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always had a wicked imagination and loved to tell stories. Unfortunately, this had me naively believing in fairy tales and happy endings. Cinderella has a lot to answer for. My kind heart and trusting nature were a magnet for bad men, and boy, did I suffer because of it. The term “Viking Berserker” comes to mind. This is why I have a passion for reading about strong women. I’ve learned (through reading books – such as those on my recommended list) that to survive, you have to have hope for a better future, and inspiring people – within inspiring stories – can often give you that hope.

Teresa's book list on thriller/suspense escapism with strong female protagonists, full of grit, sass, and humour

Teresa M. Schulz Why did Teresa love this book?

The Author’s style is totally immersive. It begins with time travel through standing stones, and the genres multiply from there. The story has a good pace, plenty of action and adventure, humour, and a hunky scotsman… what else could you ask for?

In all seriousness, the main character is a feisty WW2 nurse who, when challenged, is ready to voice her opinions with plenty of sass. She is also strong, skilled, kind-hearted, and downright funny at times. She reminds me a lot of myself.

By Diana Gabaldon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The first book in Diana Gabaldon’s acclaimed Outlander saga, the basis for the Starz original series.

One of the top ten best-loved novels in America, as seen on PBS’s The Great American Read!
Unrivaled storytelling. Unforgettable characters. Rich historical detail. These are the hallmarks of Diana Gabaldon’s work. Her New York Times bestselling Outlander novels have earned the praise of critics and captured the hearts of millions of fans. Here is the story that started it all, introducing two remarkable characters, Claire Beauchamp Randall and Jamie Fraser, in a spellbinding novel of passion and…

Book cover of The Count of Monte Cristo

Tristan Nettles Author Of The Shepherd: A Bronze Age Tale

From my list on books to read when living on a small island.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up reading, mostly due to a speech impediment that left me awkward and shy. I was lucky enough to experience world travel at a young age. My parents' divorce set me on a different path. Five middle schools and seven high schools later, I volunteered as a Marine Corps infantryman. I left the USA in 2015 to travel the world, from Micronesia to Nepal to Honduras and even Ukraine, where I fought with the Ukrainian Foreign Legion. 

Tristan's book list on books to read when living on a small island

Tristan Nettles Why did Tristan love this book?

This is the single greatest work of fiction ever written, reaching heights close to perfection. A life-changing read with utterly fascinating plots and caricatures that swallows hours with joyous ease.

This book is the book I set all other books against as the ultimate judge to decide its ultimate rating, thus making the Count of Monte Cristo the perfect ten.

By Alexandre Dumas, Robin Buss (translator),

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked The Count of Monte Cristo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The epic tale of wrongful imprisonment, adventure and revenge, in its definitive translation

Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantes is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to use the treasure to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration. Dumas' epic tale of suffering and retribution, inspired by a real-life case of wrongful imprisonment, was a huge popular success when it was first serialized…

Book cover of Tess of the D Urbervilles

Joy V. Sheridan Author Of The Lamorna Reach: A Cornish Saga

From my list on a sense of history, oppression and exploitation.

Why am I passionate about this?

The collection Little Musings, available on Amazon, covers several decades of Joy's work as poet and painter. It touches on many aspects of her life, including the loss of her mother, in Do Not Mourn Her and Loss - Double Rainbow. Her childhood was spent in Plymouth, and in A Plymouth Girl Reflects, she recalls the aftermath of the air raids. Being in close proximity to Cornwall, that area also a major theme here, especially in Newquay, Cornwall, and On Air, By Melancholy. Four of the poems, "Absent Friends," "Isle of Thanet," "At Jim's Cafe," and "Captain Ahab of Thanet" are focused on the Thanet area of East Kent, where Joy now lives.

Joy's book list on a sense of history, oppression and exploitation

Joy V. Sheridan Why did Joy love this book?

Tess of the D'Urbervilles has the dual quality of a being great work of literature, and a polemic which faces the issues of poverty and oppression—an incredibly honest, balanced portrayal of all aspects of rural life. Many of my personal problems reflected the traumas faced by the tragic heroine.

By Thomas Hardy,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Tess of the D Urbervilles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

HarperCollins is pround to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics.

'My life looks as if it had been wasted for want of chances! When I see what you know, what you have read, and seen, and thought, I feel what a nothing I am!'

Challenging the hypocrisy and social conventions of the rural Victorian world, Tess of the D'Urbervilles follows the story of Tess Durbeyfield as she attempts to escape the poverty of her background, seeking wealth by claiming connection with the aristocratic D'Urberville family. It is through Tess's relationships with two very different men that Hardy tells…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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