10 books like Life After Life

By Kate Atkinson,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Life After Life. Shepherd is a community of 6,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Paper Love

By Sarah Wildman,

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

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?

Paper Love

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

This book argues that humans do not know what makes them happy because we inaccurately perceive our unconscious emotional states. Gilbert makes the case that we consistently habituate to our circumstances and our happiness bounces around a genetically-drive set point. Over our lives, we stumble toward accepting that to thrive, we must seek out small moments of wonder and surprise. This book directly inspired my research on the neuroscience of happiness. My research extended Gilbert's book by showing that peak immersion experiences not only make us happy in the moment, but can train our brains to experience greater happiness throughout our lives.  

Stumbling on Happiness

By Daniel Gilbert,

Why should I read it?

8 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…

All the Light We Cannot See

By Anthony Doerr,

Book cover of All the Light We Cannot See

Author Anthony Doerr interweaves the stories of a blind French girl named Marie-Laure and a German boy, Werner Pfennig, whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. At the close of this wonderful story, when Marie-Laure is old and it is the present (2014), Doerr narrates this line: “Every hour, she thinks, someone for whom the war was memory falls out of the world.” This is the very reason I needed to write my book—to share the inspirational story of my mother’s childhood. World War II is transitioning from memory to history: soon no one who lived through that war will be alive. Human stories, like All The Light We Cannot See, allow others to bear witness.

All the Light We Cannot See

By Anthony Doerr,

Why should I read it?

15 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?

WINNER OF THE 2015 PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR FICTION

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…


Amusing Ourselves to Death

By Neil Postman,

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

When Neil Postman wrote this book in 1985, few realized how brilliantly it would predict our present media-saturated times. Postman foresaw how the blurring of news and entertainment would eventually turn politics into theater; how the allure of quick and sensational news bites would diminish our ability to focus on serious, sustained issues; how glitzy if appealing entertainments would shrink our attention spans; and, most dangerous of all, how the immersion in “amusements,” a seemingly benign and enjoyable process, would have dire consequences for human happiness, well-being, education, journalism, and politics. We highly recommend this book because navigating the road to the good life means knowing when and how to control our amusements instead of letting them control us.

Amusing Ourselves to Death

By Neil Postman,

Why should I read it?

1 author 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 Greg Lukianoff, Jonathan Haidt,

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

This book is so different from the other books on my list. I just finished reading this book recently. I found it completely fascinating. It talks about how our newer generation has changed how we listen, talk and feel. I find that this is happening in relationships as well. This book is a weave of communication, how we take things way too personally and how this affects how we interact with others in life and how we relate to our feelings. I think this book can help how we listen, share and have internal boundaries. While reading this book I didn’t realize how much I needed it. I wish all teachers, administration of all schools, and parents would read this book. 

The Coddling of the American Mind

By Greg Lukianoff, Jonathan Haidt,

Why should I read it?

3 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

Something…

A Very Long Engagement

By Sebastien Japrisot,

Book cover of A Very Long Engagement

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.

A Very Long Engagement

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

A sweeping novel of the Soviet Union’s ‘Great Patriotic War,’ told through the lives of the fictional Shaposikova family, but with historical figures including Hitler and Stalin making guest appearances. Grossman was a journalist and war reporter, but the novel, which was critical of Stalin, was not published until 1980. The book ranges widely, taking in life (and death) in Soviet cities, gulags, and—in the book’s most devastating passages—German concentration camps. Weaving together individual stories with grand events, the novel is a cry for the small acts of kindness and resistance that individuals are capable of in the most extreme circumstances. Life and Fate is the sequel to Grossman’s Stalingrad but with a wider canvas. I particularly enjoyed the BBC Radio 4 adaptation, (available as an audiobook).

Life and Fate

By Vasily Grossman,

Why should I read it?

6 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…

Regeneration

By Pat Barker,

Book cover of Regeneration

The first of Pat Barker’s masterful Regeneration Trilogy won the Booker Prize in 1995 for its absorbing and sensitive study of the impact of war on the minds of the men who fought. Based on a real-life relationship between army psychologist W.H.R Rivers and the poet Siegfried Sassoon, Barker really conveys the horrors of war and explores human relationships in this intense book which I found immersive and emotionally draining. I like books that make me feel deeply, sometimes uncomfortably and this dark and graphic study makes a powerful anti-war statement.

Regeneration

By Pat Barker,

Why should I read it?

7 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…

Where the Crawdads Sing

By Delia Owens,

Book cover of Where the Crawdads Sing

I know everyone and their cat has read this book but, as it’s one of my all-time favourites, I just couldn’t leave it off my list. This beautiful, haunting book is set in North Carolina, 1950 to 1960, and follows the life of Kya Clark “The Marsh Girl”, a young woman who, after being abandoned by her entire family, must learn to survive alone in the wilderness, even after being accused of murder. It’s best to go into this one blind, so I won’t say too much more about the plot. A story of loneliness, nature, love, family, and what it means to be different. I can’t recommend it enough.

Where the Crawdads Sing

By Delia Owens,

Why should I read it?

22 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?

OVER 12 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE
NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
A NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

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…


Never Let Me Go

By Kazuo Ishiguro,

Book cover of Never Let Me Go

Although mostly set in a mysterious boarding school called Hailsham, this novel isn’t about the school, or even what happened there. It’s set in a grim alternative version of England and isn’t for the faint-hearted (no pun intended). 

What a boarding school does to a child is seal them off from ‘real life’ and in this case, Hailsham represents a strange sort of safety; and the real world is devastatingly lethal for the narrator Kathy and her friends Ruth and Tommie.

Never Let Me Go

By Kazuo Ishiguro,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Never Let Me Go as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the most acclaimed novels of the 21st Century, from the Nobel Prize-winning author

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize

Kazuo Ishiguro imagines the lives of a group of students growing up in a darkly skewed version of contemporary England. Narrated by Kathy, now thirty-one, Never Let Me Go dramatises her attempts to come to terms with her childhood at the seemingly idyllic Hailsham School and with the fate that has always awaited her and her closest friends in the wider world. A story of love, friendship and memory, Never Let Me Go is charged throughout with a sense…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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