100 books like Kim

By Rudyard Kipling,

Here are 100 books that Kim fans have personally recommended if you like Kim. 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 The God of Small Things

Jawahara Saidullah Author Of We are...Warrior Queens

From my list on transporting you across time and place.

Why am I passionate about this?

Travel and writing are my two great passions. Since I was a child, I escaped reality by escaping into my own mind. I had relied on my stories of the warrior queens ever since I learned about them as a child. It was only a few years ago, when I lived in Geneva, that I had a memory flash at me of the statue of Queen Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi on a rearing horse with a curved sword held in one hand. I knew then that it was time to tell a story—my own story and that of my favorite warrior queens.

Jawahara's book list on transporting you across time and place

Jawahara Saidullah Why did Jawahara love this book?

As a sucker for beautiful writing, this book had me from the first page, and I couldn’t put it down. So many issues that had been part of my childhood culture resonated with me while it also showed me many others from a part of India that I had never even visited. 

Though sweeping in its scope, it drills down into a very human story with all its pain and love. It weaves myth, story, real life, love, loss, and the meaning of family. It was one of the first novels by an Indian woman that transcended cultures, gender, and any preconceived notions.

By Arundhati Roy,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The God of Small Things as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'They all broke the rules. They all crossed into forbidden territory. They all tampered with the laws that lay down who should be loved, and how. And how much.'

This is the story of Rahel and Estha, twins growing up among the banana vats and peppercorns of their blind grandmother's factory, and amid scenes of political turbulence in Kerala. Armed only with the innocence of youth, they fashion a childhood in the shade of the wreck that is their family: their lonely, lovely mother, their beloved Uncle Chacko (pickle baron, radical Marxist, bottom-pincher) and their sworn enemy, Baby Kochamma (ex-nun,…


Book cover of The Goldfinch

Alison Booth Author Of The Painting

From my list on art theft mystery novels that don’t tell the same old story.

Why am I passionate about this?

What makes me passionate about this topic is my love of art, encouraged by my parents and developed when I was completing an undergraduate degree in architecture. I’m also addicted to mysteries, preferably ones with history thrown into the mix. Born in Australia, I lived for some years in the UK before moving to Canberra. I hold a PhD from the London School of Economics and I’m a professor at the Australian National University. I do hope you enjoy the books on my list as much as I have.

Alison's book list on art theft mystery novels that don’t tell the same old story

Alison Booth Why did Alison love this book?

I admire the storyline and the defining incident of this novel, which is why I’ve included it here, even though it’s an overly long and baggy book...

The novel tells the tale of a teenager whose world is torn apart when he and his mother visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where a terrorist bomb goes off, killing his mother and many others. When a dying old man persuades our young hero to take off with a priceless seventeenth-century painting, The Goldfinch, he obliges and off we go...

By Donna Tartt,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2014 Aged thirteen, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to the thing that most reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld. As he grows up, Theo learns to glide between the drawing rooms of the…


Book cover of The Tempest

Nicola Rose O'Hara Author Of Girl With Two Fingers

From my list on taking you where you can’t go.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve chosen these books because they take me to times and places I can’t go (although I did serendipitously get to Kerala, and am hoping to go to the West Coast of America one day). Girl with Two Fingers takes you into the studio, hopefully as if you could have been there yourself. I want readers to be able to share something of the experience I was so lucky to have. And to be able to see perhaps more questioningly when they look at art.

Nicola's book list on taking you where you can’t go

Nicola Rose O'Hara Why did Nicola love this book?

I read this play first aged sixteen, and connected strongly with it, because of the young motherless shipwrecked heroine. 

I spent significant periods of time with my grandfathers when I was growing up, and I read Prospero more as a grandfather figure than a father one.

When Freud and I were in the studio for days and weeks and months together, I felt like Miranda on Prospero’s island. The same created world. The same isolation. 

With Lucian as the Prospero figure, summoning a few other characters that came and went to his studio.

No one can go to a fictional island of course, but yet Shakespeare takes us there.

By William Shakespeare,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Tempest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Performed variously as escapist fantasy, celebratory fiction, and political allegory, The Tempest is one of the plays in which Shakespeare's genius as a poetic dramatist found its fullest expression. Significantly, it was placed first when published in the First Folio of 1623, and is now generally seen as the playwright's most penetrating statement about his art.

Stephen Orgel's wide-ranging introduction examines changing attitudes to The Tempest, and reassesses the evidence behind the various readings. He focuses on key characters and their roles and relationships, as well as on the dramatic, historical, and political context, finding the play to be both…


Book cover of The Book of Margery Kempe

Nicola Rose O'Hara Author Of Girl With Two Fingers

From my list on taking you where you can’t go.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve chosen these books because they take me to times and places I can’t go (although I did serendipitously get to Kerala, and am hoping to go to the West Coast of America one day). Girl with Two Fingers takes you into the studio, hopefully as if you could have been there yourself. I want readers to be able to share something of the experience I was so lucky to have. And to be able to see perhaps more questioningly when they look at art.

Nicola's book list on taking you where you can’t go

Nicola Rose O'Hara Why did Nicola love this book?

You can’t go to the past, but the past can come to you, through a written voice. 

This is a strong and extraordinary woman’s autobiography from the late 1400s and early 1500s. It’s like taking a phone call from the 15th century.

This directness is what I wanted in my own book.

Kempe could neither read nor write, so she dictated her story. She did things women often weren’t able to do back then. She ran a business, travelled to France, Germany, Spain, and even to Jerusalem. And she spoke out against many received medieval opinions.

How brave Kempe was to challenge the patriarchy.

By Margery Kempe, Lynn Staley (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Kempe's work is accompanied by an introduction, a map of medieval England, a Kempe lexicon, and explanatory annotations.

"Contexts" collects primary readings that illuminate The Book of Margery Kempe. Included are excerpts from The Constitutions of Thomas Arundel, Meditations on the Life of Christ, The Shewings of Julian of Norwich, The Book of Saint Bride, and The Life of Marie d'Oignies by Jacques de Vitry.

"Criticism" includes nine varied interpretations of the autobiography, written by Clarissa W. Atkinson, Lynn Staley, Karma Lochrie, David Aers, Kathleen Ashley, Gail McMurray Gibson, Sarah Beckwith, Caroline Walker Bynum, and Nicholas Watson.

A Selected Bibliography…


Book cover of The Sun in the Morning

Annie Murray Author Of Letter from a Tea Garden

From my list on India under the Raj that are not about princesses.

Why am I passionate about this?

Abi Oliver is a pen name as my real name is Annie Murray—I write under both names. My first book, A New Map of Love, set in the 1960s, featured an older woman who had been born in India. She developed into such a character—a bit of an old trout to be truthful—that I wanted to tell her story. It also tapped into my family’s many connections with India and the fact that I have travelled a lot there. I finally got to travel, with my oldest daughter, and stay in one of the tea gardens in Assam—a wonderful experience.

Annie's book list on India under the Raj that are not about princesses

Annie Murray Why did Annie love this book?

M.M Kaye was best known for her blockbuster The Far Pavilions. This beautifully written book, however, is a first volume of memoir—another record of a European child in India. Having travelled there a lot myself and had a family relative close to me in age grew up in the tea gardens there, I have long wondered what that experience was like, quite apart from the politics of whether we should have been there or not. Kaye’s childhood eye describes her upbringing in Shimla in the Himalayan foothills as well as Delhi, before her inevitable banishment to cold England. The book has a sunlit feel to it and it full of vivid detail and fond memories of this childhood caught between two worlds. 

By M.M. Kaye,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Sun in the Morning is the first volume of autobiography by the beloved British author M. M. Kaye. It traces the author's early life in India and later adolescence in England. As The Guardian wrote, "No romance in the novels of M.M. Kaye... could equal her love for India."

" … [Kaye's] kaleidoscopic story of a long-lost innocence just before and after World War I helps to explain Kaye's idealization of the British Raj and her love for Kipling's verse." - Publishers Weekly


Book cover of Boats on Land: A Collection of Short Stories

Venkataraghavan Subha Srinivasan Author Of The Origin Story of India's States

From my list on discovering a modern India you’ve never seen.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by maps all my life. The map of India has always held special interest. As I’ve lived in different parts of India, I’ve seen firsthand how India is one country, but its stories are multiple. I chronicled India’s varied stories through the origins of each of its states. Similarly, I’ve curated a diverse and inclusive reading list. It covers different parts of the country and contains different types of books—graphic novel, travelog, memoir, and short story collections. The authors also cut across religion, gender, and social strata. I hope you discover a whole new India!

Venkataraghavan's book list on discovering a modern India you’ve never seen

Venkataraghavan Subha Srinivasan Why did Venkataraghavan love this book?

I love how this short story collection traverses time but not locationthe setting is the northeastern state of Meghalaya while the stories span 150 years. In these fifteen tales, folklore mixes with modern life and myth is steeped in the mundane. The result? The reader journeys through a rich smorgasbord of a multi-faceted Meghalaya and its people. Given the tendency to clump the seven northeastern states together, this book helps us view one of those states distinctively.

By Janice Pariat,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Boats on Land is a unique way of looking at India’s northeast and its people against a larger historical canvas—the early days of the British Raj, the World Wars, conversions to Christianity, and the missionaries. This is a world in which the everyday is infused with folklore and a deep belief in the supernatural. Here, a girl dreams of being a firebird. An artist watches souls turn into trees. A man shape-shifts into a tiger. Another is bewitched by water fairies. Political struggles and social unrest interweave with fireside tales and age-old superstitions. Boats on Land quietly captures our fragile…


Book cover of Bhowani Junction

Annie Murray Author Of Letter from a Tea Garden

From my list on India under the Raj that are not about princesses.

Why am I passionate about this?

Abi Oliver is a pen name as my real name is Annie Murray—I write under both names. My first book, A New Map of Love, set in the 1960s, featured an older woman who had been born in India. She developed into such a character—a bit of an old trout to be truthful—that I wanted to tell her story. It also tapped into my family’s many connections with India and the fact that I have travelled a lot there. I finally got to travel, with my oldest daughter, and stay in one of the tea gardens in Assam—a wonderful experience.

Annie's book list on India under the Raj that are not about princesses

Annie Murray Why did Annie love this book?

"India will sing like a bird out of its cage when she is free," says one of the characters in this wonderfully engaging book. Times of transition interest me and this book is set during the early part of Indian Independence, when everyone was trying to find a new identity and way of living, especially Victoria, one of the three main characters who is Eurasian, or as we would now say, mixed race. She is torn between the two sides of her heritage. Some of the language is shocking in our times but it is a fascinating story of people caught up in a country’s re-birth. It is also a tender love story. It’s a great way to get a feel of that period of upheaval.

By John Masters,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Bhowani Junction is set in the wake of the partition of India, as the British prepare to withdraw from the newly independent country. Evoking the tensions and conflicts that accompanied the birth of modern India, the characters struggle to find their place in the new India that is emerging. In the last hectic days of the British Raj, Victoria has to choose between marrying a British Army officer or a Sikh, Ranjit, as she struggles to find her place in the new, independent India.

One of John Masters' seven novels which followed several generations of the Savage family serving in…


Book cover of The Epic City: The World on the Streets of Calcutta

Tom Vater Author Of Kolkata Noir

From my list on Kolkata (Calcutta India).

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a writer and journalist with an eye on South and Southeast Asia. I first visited Kolkata, or Calcutta as the city was known back then, in 1995 and fell in love with its spirit, culture, architecture, politics, and decrepitude. I have been back regularly reporting on the city’s cultural life for media like CNN and Nikkei Asia. In 2019, I was selected as artist-in-residence for the Indo-European Art Residency by the Goethe Institute and spent 10 weeks writing a crime fiction set in the Bengali capital. Kolkata is, hands down, my favorite city in the world – despite its poverty, systemic injustice, and political cruelty, there is an energy in the place that is hard to beat.

Tom's book list on Kolkata (Calcutta India)

Tom Vater Why did Tom love this book?

A cracking, thorough portrait of contemporary Kolkata as the Bengali capital is now known, by an Indian author who grew up in New Jersey (very much the flipside to Calcutta) and who returns to the city of his ancestors to work for a newspaper. The book is well-written, crammed with interesting anecdotes and historic trivia. Past and present are held against the light and the results are often funny. It’s as good as a book by a privileged outsider who speaks the language is likely to be. Perhaps in another decade, a non-fiction chronicle will be written by a resident non-Brahmin writer. I have a feeling the city is waiting for it. In the meantime, Choudhury’s book serves as an excellent introduction to first-time visitors.

By Kushanava Choudhury,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Witty, polished, honest and insightful, The Epic City is likely to become for Calcutta what Suketu Mehta's classic Maximum City is for Mumbai' William Dalrymple, Observer When Kushanava Choudhury arrived in New Jersey at the age of twelve, he had already migrated halfway around the world four times. After graduating from Princeton, he moved back to Calcutta, the city which his immigrant parents had abandoned. Taking a job at a newspaper, he found the streets of his childhood unchanged. Shouting hawkers still overran the footpaths, fish sellers squatted on bazaar floors; and politics still meant barricades and bus burnings. The…


Book cover of Zemindar

Caroline Newark Author Of The Making of a Tudor

From my list on historical fiction that don't disappoint in romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

My love of history began at the age of 9 with a book given to my older brother: Our Island Story. My history teacher at school introduced me to serious historical biography and studying for a Law degree taught me the value of accuracy. The chance discovery of a notebook detailing one strand of my mother's family tree led to my current project of writing about the imagined lives of my female ancestors beginning in 1299  with my 19 times-great-grandmother Marguerite of France and ending in 1942 with my mother. Twenty-one books mean a lot of history and a mountain of research. A very pleasant way to spend my retirement.

Caroline's book list on historical fiction that don't disappoint in romance

Caroline Newark Why did Caroline love this book?

An exciting, richly layered adventure story of the "long learning of love" set against the backdrop of the rule of the British Raj and the first rumblings of the 1857 Indian Mutiny. I lent the book to a friend and thought I'd lost it forever until I discovered it in her spare bedroom! Our narrator, Laura, has to watch as her cousin marries Charles, the man Laura loves, and is then forced to accompany the young couple on their honeymoon. Not something to be recommended! Their destination is the Kingdom of Oudh and the vast Zemindari estate of Charles's unknown brother, Oliver Erskine. I don't recommend Zemindar because it has won a host of prestigious prizes but because it is a great read. 

By Valerie Fitzgerald,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An international bestseller and winner of the 1981 Georgette Heyer Historical Novel Prize, Zemindar is a magnificent, twisting love story, all unfolding against the tempestuous backdrop of the Indian Rebellion.

Englishwoman Laura Hewitt accompanies her newly engaged cousin to India, first to Calcutta and then to the fabled fiefdom of Oliver Erskine, Zemindar - or hereditary ruler - of a private kingdom with its own army. But India is on the verge of the Mutiny, which will sweep them all up in its chaos...

Praise for Zemindar:
'If you loved The Far Pavilions - and who didn't - this will…


Book cover of The Jewel in the Crown

Annie Murray Author Of Letter from a Tea Garden

From my list on India under the Raj that are not about princesses.

Why am I passionate about this?

Abi Oliver is a pen name as my real name is Annie Murray—I write under both names. My first book, A New Map of Love, set in the 1960s, featured an older woman who had been born in India. She developed into such a character—a bit of an old trout to be truthful—that I wanted to tell her story. It also tapped into my family’s many connections with India and the fact that I have travelled a lot there. I finally got to travel, with my oldest daughter, and stay in one of the tea gardens in Assam—a wonderful experience.

Annie's book list on India under the Raj that are not about princesses

Annie Murray Why did Annie love this book?

This first volume—with the other threeis, I think, the best book ever written about the British in India and their leaving of it. The whole story is rooted in a rape that happens to a young Englishwoman, whose lover is accused of the crime. I first read this when it came out in 1980, before the amazingly good TV series. There are so many unforgettable characters in itthe women, trying to survive with husbands and fathers away in the army, the missionaries and nuns, as well as the men. Scott does not in any way idealize the Britishrather the oppositeand it is a feast of detail of the time and moving human stories. I have re-read it and will no doubt do so again. 

By Paul Scott,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Jewel in the Crown as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This first volume opens in 1942 as the British fear both Japanese invasion and Indian demands for self-rule. Daphne Manners, daughter of the province governor, is running at night through the Mayapore gardens, away from her Indian lover, who will soon be arrested for her alleged rape.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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