100 books like Life After Life

By Kate Atkinson,

Here are 100 books that Life After Life fans have personally recommended if you like Life After Life. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Paper Love

By Sarah Wildman,

Book cover of Paper Love: Searching for the Girl My Grandfather Left Behind

Irene Wittig Author Of All That Lingers

From the list on hard times and resilience in the World War II era.

Who am I?

World War II has been the background of my life. My Viennese family fled the Nazi regime. My childhood was peopled with Holocaust survivors and other people displaced by war. My uncle was a refugee and was trained as a Ritchie Boy and sent to war. I have been inspired by how people can survive traumatic times and come out stronger and kinder.

Irene's book list on hard times and resilience in the World War II era

Why did Irene love this book?

A poignant, well-written and deeply researched non-fiction story of the author’s search for the girlfriend her grandfather had left behind in Vienna. As my family left Vienna because of the Nazi regime, and my own novel takes place in Vienna, I found Ms. Wildman’s book especially meaningful, raising the question not only of what had happened to the woman but also of how much guilt and responsibility the grandfather carried?

By Sarah Wildman,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Paper Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One woman’s journey to find the lost love her grandfather left behind when he fled pre-World War II Europe, and an exploration into family identity, myth, and memory.

Years after her grandfather’s death, journalist Sarah Wildman stumbled upon a cache of his letters in a file labeled “Correspondence: Patients A–G.” What she found inside weren’t dry medical histories; instead what was written opened a path into the destroyed world that was her family’s prewar Vienna. One woman’s letters stood out: those from Valy—Valerie Scheftel—her grandfather’s lover, who had remained behind when he fled Europe six months after the Nazis annexed…

Stumbling on Happiness

By Daniel Gilbert,

Book cover of Stumbling on Happiness

Linda Ginzel Author Of Choosing Leadership: How to Create a Better Future by Building Your Courage, Capacity, and Wisdom

From the list on leadership that don’t have leadership in the title.

Who am I?

I am a lifelong educator who believes that everyone can create a better future by changing behaviors, practicing leadership skills, and improving outcomes across time and place—at home, work, and community. If you believe in lifelong learning, join me in elevating the courage, capacity, and wisdom of people everywhere through Choosing Leadership. This book is an accessible, educational tool that provides a structured approach combining individual written reflection with discussion to create collective wisdom in groups. Together, we can change the global conversation about leadership—from heroic mythic beings called “Leaders” to diverse human beings that I call “Champions.”

Linda's book list on leadership that don’t have leadership in the title

Why did Linda love this book?

The amazing social psychologist, Dan Gilbert, beautifully wrote this positive psychology book in 2007; it remains my favorite to this day.

I remember a friend excitedly telling me that she discovered this book and because of it, she finally understands happiness! Gilbert’s insights help all of us on the road to becoming our future selves. That’s what leadership development is all about.

By Daniel Gilbert,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Stumbling on Happiness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bringing to life scientific research in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, philosophy, and behavioral economics, this bestselling book reveals what scientists have discovered about the uniquely human ability to imagine the future, and about our capacity to predict how much we will like it when we get there. 

• Why are lovers quicker to forgive their partners for infidelity than for leaving dirty dishes in the sink?

• Why will sighted people pay more to avoid going blind than blind people will pay to regain their sight?

• Why do dining companions insist on ordering different meals instead of getting what they…

Book cover of All the Light We Cannot See

Kathy Borrus Author Of Five Hundred Buildings of Paris

From the list on capturing the magic and history of Paris.

Who am I?

I lived in Paris for six months when I researched and wrote my first Paris book, One Thousand Buildings of Paris, walking every quarter of Paris including some rather dicey areas. I discovered most Parisians don’t wander very far from their own neighborhoods, and casual tourists tend to stay in the center. The first time my boyfriend and I went to Paris together, I planned daily excursions to all the neighborhoods where he had never been. We became flaneurs (wanderers) at outdoor markets, small museums, parks, and we ventured into unknown spaces. There is always something fascinating to discover in Paris and new ways to gain a sense of history. 

Kathy's book list on capturing the magic and history of Paris

Why did Kathy love this book?

I was mesmerized by Doerr’s exquisite, lyrical writing and his interweaving of WWII stories and characters.

Though a lengthy book nearly 600 pages, it reads like a page turner. On the surface it is a beautiful story about a friendship between a blind but highly perceptive French girl, Marie-Laure, and an orphaned German boy with a genius knack for building shortwave radios. Having gone blind at six, Marie-Laure negotiates her neighborhood thanks to a model built by her father.

When the Germans occupy Paris, Marie-Laure and her father take refuge at an uncle’s house at Saint-Malo. Although it is fiction, it captures the sense of Paris and France before and during occupation. It is also a tale of infinite love between father and child. 

By Anthony Doerr,

Why should I read it?

28 authors picked All the Light We Cannot See as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


A beautiful, stunningly ambitious novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II

Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.'

For Marie-Laure, blind since the age of six, the world is full of mazes. The miniature of a Paris neighbourhood, made by her father to teach her the way home. The microscopic…

Book cover of Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Tobias Rose-Stockwell Author Of Outrage Machine: How Tech Amplifies Discontent, Disrupts Democracy--And What We Can Do about It

From the list on why everything feels terrible right now.

Who am I?

As a writer, designer, and technologist, I've always been fascinated by the extraordinary potential of the internet. It’s our species' greatest invention to date, giving us powers our ancestors would have only dreamed of. But I'm equally aware of its darker side. We now live an inordinate amount of our lives in spaces controlled by algorithms that have strange agendas. A key part of my work is exposing how the subtle designs of our online spaces can dramatically change our emotions, making them much more contagious. By translating these insights into understandable narratives, my goal is to foster digital resilience, and help us take back some real measure of control of our digital lives.

Tobias' book list on why everything feels terrible right now

Why did Tobias love this book?

It might’ve come out originally in 1985, but this book has stood the test of time.

Amusing Ourselves to Death provides deep important context on the history of entertainment, news, and media, showing that trends in entertainment have changed how we see the world. Inspired by a talk Postman gave on Orwell’s 1984, the book delivers a clear-eyed analysis of how the demand for constant entertainment is poisoning society, as well as a roadmap for creating healthier information ecosystems.

By Neil Postman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What happens when media and politics become forms of entertainment? As our world begins to look more and more like Orwell's 1984, Neil's Postman's essential guide to the modern media is more relevant than ever.

"It's unlikely that Trump has ever read Amusing Ourselves to Death, but his ascent would not have surprised Postman.” -CNN

Originally published in 1985, Neil Postman’s groundbreaking polemic about the corrosive effects of television on our politics and public discourse has been hailed as a twenty-first-century book published in the twentieth century. Now, with television joined by more sophisticated electronic media—from the Internet to cell…

The Coddling of the American Mind

By Jonathan Haidt, Greg Lukianoff,

Book cover of The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure

Christopher Dale Author Of Better Halves: Rebuilding a Post-Addiction Marriage

From the list on couples recovering from addiction.

Who am I?

I’m a husband, father, writer, and recovering addict – and not necessarily in that order. Early in my marriage, I became a full-blown, low-bottom cocaine addict. While it wasn’t surprising that active addiction nearly led to divorce, my wife and I were baffled and discouraged when my newfound sobriety brought its own existential marital issues. Frustratingly, there was a dearth of resources for couples in recovery, especially compared to the ample support available to recovering addicts. As an avid freelance writer, I decided to add to this sparse genre by sharing our struggles, setbacks, and successes en route to a happy, secure marriage. 

Christopher's book list on couples recovering from addiction

Why did Christopher love this book?

What’s a book against language policing and cancel culture doing on a list about post-addiction marriage? Simple: the self-obsessed, oft-offended nonsense permeating universities exemplifies what married couples in recovery must roundly reject. 

The book’s co-authors – a social psychologist and a free speech activist – profess three Great Untruths adversely affecting Generation Z: 

What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker. This prompts us to avoid narratives challenging our preconceived notions or personal experiences. 

Always trust your feelings. Among other problems, unquestionably trusting our feelings leads to taking offense when none is intended.

Life is a battle between good and evil people. This leads to a blame-first mentality that assumes the worst about others. 

They may as well have been speaking to married couples attempting to stay together post-recovery.

By Jonathan Haidt, Greg Lukianoff,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Coddling of the American Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York Times Bestseller * Finalist for the 2018 National Book Critics Circle Award in Nonfiction * A New York Times Notable Book * Bloomberg Best Book of 2018

"Their distinctive contribution to the higher-education debate is to meet safetyism on its own, psychological turf . . . Lukianoff and Haidt tell us that safetyism undermines the freedom of inquiry and speech that are indispensable to universities." -Jonathan Marks, Commentary

"The remedies the book outlines should be considered on college campuses, among parents of current and future students, and by anyone longing for a more sane society." -Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


A Very Long Engagement

By Sebastien Japrisot,

Book cover of A Very Long Engagement

Martha Conway Author Of The Physician's Daughter

From the list on historical kick-ass female leads.

Who am I?

I was raised in a family of seven girls—no boys—with a tough but loving mother. I’ve been around strong women all my life. As a teenager I got tired of reading about smart, capable heroines who, by the end of the story, are oppressed and defeated. I get it: women have been stomped on. And I appreciate authors in past centuries who acknowledge that fact. But now I want to see women win; it’s as simple as that. This is what I like to read about and what I like to write about. The battles are never easy, but hey, that’s half the fun.

Martha's book list on historical kick-ass female leads

Why did Martha love this book?

Unable to walk since childhood, Mathilde Donnay never lets her limitations get in her way. She is on the search for her fiancé who was reported killed in the Great War, but whom she believes might still be alive. Mathilde is feisty, caring, strategic, and driven—all things I’d like to be.

By Sebastien Japrisot,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Very Long Engagement as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1919, Mathilde Donnay, a young wheelchair-bound woman in France, begins a quest to find out if her fianc , supposedly killed in the line of duty two years earlier, might still be alive. Reprint. 50,000 first printing. (A Warner Bros. Independent Pictures film, releasing Fall 2004, directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, starring Audrey Tautou & Jodie Fo

Life and Fate

By Vasily Grossman,

Book cover of Life and Fate

Paul Clark Author Of The Price of Dreams

From the list on life in the Soviet Union.

Who am I?

At the age of 16, I briefly joined the International Socialists, a small British Trotskyist party. Though I soon became disillusioned, it was a formative experience that left me with a lifelong fascination with communism and the Soviet Union. Over the following decades, I read everything I could about the subject, both fiction and non-fiction. In the years after the fall of communism, the ideas that eventually culminated in the writing of this book began to form in my head.

Paul's book list on life in the Soviet Union

Why did Paul love this book?

Grossman consciously attempted to write the War and Peace of the Second World War, and in this panoramic masterpiece, he pulled it off. Like War and Peace, the book focuses both on the travails of a single family and the broader sweep of history, as we witness events from the perspective of persecuted Jewish scientists, soldiers (both Soviet and German), partisans, peasants, and generals.

This is an intensely personal work – Grossman covered the battle of Stalingrad for the Soviet press and knew his subject matter firsthand. Writing it was also an extremely courageous act. The KGB confiscated the manuscript and Grossman never lived to see the book published.

By Vasily Grossman,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Life and Fate as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Based around the pivotal WWII battle of Stalingrad (1942-3), where the German advance into Russia was eventually halted by the Red Army, and around an extended family, the Shaposhnikovs, and their many friends and acquaintances, Life and Fate recounts the experience of characters caught up in an immense struggle between opposing armies and ideologies. Nazism and Communism are appallingly similar, 'two poles of one magnet', as a German camp commander tells a shocked old Bolshevik prisoner. At the height of the battle Russian soldiers and citizens alike are at last able to speak out as they choose, and without reprisal…


By Toni Morrison,

Book cover of Beloved

Jodi Lynn Anderson Author Of Tiger Lily

From the list on walking the line between real and imaginary.

Who am I?

As a kid I felt the unseen magic in the things around me: it seemed as obvious as breathing, particularly when I was out in nature. These are books that brought me back to that… reminding me that being ‘realistic’ doesn’t mean ignoring what’s unseen. These stories have inspired me so deeply and driven my passion as a writer: which is basically to try to reach out to readers and say, hey, we are surrounded. There is more. This is not all there is. 

Jodi's book list on walking the line between real and imaginary

Why did Jodi love this book?

It feels presumptuous to even try to describe this novel…I can only say that to me, it is a story about a truth so painful that it can only be viewed indirectly and magically, from all the many vantage points its characters (and ghosts) offer.

A spiraling, heartbreaking explosion of a book, brilliantly structured, beautifully written, with a secret at its center. 

By Toni Morrison,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Toni Morrison was a giant of her times and ours... Beloved is a heart-breaking testimony to the ongoing ravages of slavery, and should be read by all' Margaret Atwood, New York Times

Discover this beautiful gift edition of Toni Morrison's prize-winning contemporary classic Beloved

It is the mid-1800s and as slavery looks to be coming to an end, Sethe is haunted by the violent trauma it wrought on her former enslaved life at Sweet Home, Kentucky. Her dead baby daughter, whose tombstone bears the single word, Beloved, returns as a spectre to punish her mother, but also to elicit her…


By Pat Barker,

Book cover of Regeneration

Martin Pengelly Author Of Brotherhood: When West Point Rugby Went to War

From the list on brotherhood in war – and sports.

Who am I?

I played rugby union for Durham University and at Rosslyn Park FC in London. Then I became a reporter and editor, for Rugby News magazine and on Fleet Street sports desks. In March 2002, six months after 9/11 and a year before the invasion of Iraq, my Park team played against the cadets of the United States Military Academy. Years later, settled in New York, I decided to find out what happened to those West Point rugby players in the 9/11 wars, and what their experiences might tell us about sports, war, brotherhood, loss, and remembrance.

Martin's book list on brotherhood in war – and sports

Why did Martin love this book?

Pat Barker’s prize-winning 1991 novel is a devastating portrait of the horrors of the trenches of World War One but also a meditation on why men fight, how they suffer and recover, how they live for the men they fight with.

I came to Regeneration young, and to the poems of Wilfred Owen, Robert Graves, and Siegfried Sassoon, all of whom appear in Barker’s novel. Sassoon’s declaration against the war is well known, as is his decision to return to it, to be with his men. Owen was killed in action.

There is also a character Barker creates: Billy Prior, a working-class figure John Mullan called “an interloper, angrily observing the snobbery and smugness of the officer class”. Regeneration shows fiction can complement reportage when considering how brotherhood works.

By Pat Barker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Calls to mind such early moderns as Hemingway and Fitzgerald...Some of the most powerful antiwar literature in modern English fiction."-The Boston Globe

The first book of the Regeneration Trilogy-a Booker Prize nominee and one of Entertainment Weekly's 100 All-Time Greatest Novels.

In 1917 Siegfried Sasson, noted poet and decorated war hero, publicly refused to continue serving as a British officer in World War I. His reason: the war was a senseless slaughter. He was officially classified "mentally unsound" and sent to Craiglockhart War Hospital. There a brilliant psychiatrist, Dr. William Rivers, set about restoring Sassoon's "sanity" and sending him back…

Book cover of Where the Crawdads Sing

Audrey Ingram Author Of The River Runs South

From the list on strong Southern women.

Who am I?

I grew up in Alabama studying a curriculum full of Twain and Faulkner. I’ll never forget opening To Kill a Mockingbird and reading about a girl from Alabama written by a woman from Alabama. I wanted to be Scout Finch and write like Harper Lee. That’s the power of a good story – creating relatable characters that let readers imagine a different version of their lives. The books listed here feature strong, southern female characters written by talented, female writers. I feel inspired by their journeys and heartbroken by their struggles. I only wish they were real people so that we could share a pitcher of sweet tea and chat like old friends.  

Audrey's book list on strong Southern women

Why did Audrey love this book?

I cried, gasped, and stayed up entirely too late reading Kya’s journey in this international bestseller. 

Owens does a remarkable job describing the marsh where Kya lives, making it almost feel like a character in this book. It’s a rare combination to have a murder mystery, love story, and deep character exploration wrapped up in such a compelling package.   

By Delia Owens,

Why should I read it?

37 authors picked Where the Crawdads Sing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


For years, rumours of the 'Marsh Girl' have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in reincarnation, World War 2, and the Spanish flu?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about reincarnation, World War 2, and the Spanish flu.

Reincarnation Explore 57 books about reincarnation
World War 2 Explore 1,691 books about World War 2
The Spanish Flu Explore 21 books about the Spanish flu