100 books like Little Fires Everywhere

By Celeste Ng,

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

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Book cover of The Glass Castle

Who am I?

My life and work have been profoundly affected by the central circumstance of my existence: I was born into a very large military Catholic family in the United States of America. As a child surrounded by many others in the 60s, I wrote, performed, and directed family plays with my numerous brothers and sisters. Although I fell in love with a Canadian and moved to Canada, my family of origin still exerts considerable personal influence. My central struggle, coming from that place of chaos, order, and conformity, is to have the courage to live an authentic life based on my own experience of connectedness and individuality, to speak and be heard. 

Caitlin's book list on coming-of-age books that explore belonging, identity, family, and beat with an emotional and/or humorous pulse

Caitlin Hicks Why did Caitlin love this book?

The fact that this book is a memoir makes it more amazing than a work of fiction.

The writer, Jeannette Walls, has so much more at stake in this story because it’s about her family, her childhood, and her parents. Her life. I raced through the book, from the first page, with my mouth open in almost disbelief because the level of neglect that Jeannette’s parents floated around in was astounding.

The story of childhood should not be so suspenseful, but Jeannette tells her realities so casually; her experience was truly like a frog in a pot of warming water, so familiar to the narrator as to be almost unremarkable but so dangerous. The appalling nature of the stories and fables told to her by her parents, in relief, made me question my own family narrative. And then there’s the question of the choices her parents deliberately made.


By Jeannette Walls,

Why should I read it?

20 authors picked The Glass Castle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now a major motion picture starring Brie Larson, Naomi Watts and Woody Harrelson.

This is a startling memoir of a successful journalist's journey from the deserted and dusty mining towns of the American Southwest, to an antique filled apartment on Park Avenue. Jeanette Walls narrates her nomadic and adventurous childhood with her dreaming, 'brilliant' but alcoholic parents.

At the age of seventeen she escapes on a Greyhound bus to New York with her older sister; her younger siblings follow later. After pursuing the education and civilisation her parents sought to escape, Jeanette eventually succeeds in her quest for the 'mundane,…

Book cover of Anxious People

Lauri Robinson Author Of An Unlikely Match for the Governess

From my list on that create great discussions for book club.

Who am I?

As a kid, I read by flashlight under the covers and loved family vacations because long car rides meant hours of reading time (they still do!). I love belonging to book clubs because of the variety. Stories I might not have chosen, but end up loving. For years I devoured romance novels, especially historical and westerns. When my husband said, “You should write a book, you’ve read so many.” I decided to try and now have over 70 published romance novels, 50+ with Harlequin, Mills & Boon, and one young adult book that I co-wrote with two of my granddaughters. I hope my recommendations provides your book club with lively discussions!     

Lauri's book list on that create great discussions for book club

Lauri Robinson Why did Lauri love this book?

This is a book where the author’s ability to draw you into a story without telling you all you need to know about the main character until the very end makes for lively discussions. A failed bank robber and prospective buyers at an open house for an apartment are brought together in such a way, it truly seems believable. Even the end! 

The quirky characters are real to life, and the journey they take together reveals true human nature, hope, and the bond of friendships, old and new, but ultimately, it’s the unique storytelling that makes this such a fun book to discuss.

Have snacks ready because this is one that will make book club meetings run late! Mine did!

By Fredrik Backman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The funny, touching and unpredictable No. 1 New York Times bestseller, now a major Netflix TV series

'A brilliant and comforting read' MATT HAIG
'Funny, compassionate and wise. An absolute joy' A.J. PEARCE
'A surefooted insight into the absurdity, beauty and ache of life' GUARDIAN
'I laughed, I sobbed, I recommended it to literally everyone I know' BUZZFEED
'Captures the messy essence of being human' WASHINGTON POST

From the 18 million copy internationally bestselling author of A Man Called Ove

It's New Year's Eve and House Tricks estate agents are hosting an open viewing in an up-market apartment when…

Book cover of Atonement

Harper Ford Author Of Divorced Not Dead

From my list on beautifully sad love stories.

Who am I?

I write romcoms as Harper Ford, yet I also write historical fiction as Rebecca Mascull and Mollie Walton. You’ll probably notice that all of my choices are either historical fiction or writers from the past. I just love an old-timey love story! My romcoms are funny (or at least they’re trying to be). But funnily enough, it’s the tragic, heart-rending love stories that stick in my mind when I think about romance in books. I hope you enjoy these novels as much as I have. But don’t forget to have a box of tissues to wipe away the inevitable tears…there aren’t many laughs to be had here! But hopefully a transcendent reading experience instead.

Harper's book list on beautifully sad love stories

Harper Ford Why did Harper love this book?

Atonement is a historical novel by McEwan, also made into a very fine movie with James McAvoy and Keira Knightley. Before you watch the film though (and even if you have), try the book as it’s a different experience (as books to films often are).

This book is really all about stories, narratives, and lies. Set in 1935 and beyond, the protagonist is a young girl Briony – a budding writer from a wealthy family and highly observant kid – who becomes fascinated by her older sister Cecilia’s relationship with local working-class lad Robbie.

The central romance between Cecilia and Robbie is beautifully wrought, passionate, and sexy, especially with its taboo across-the-class-divide vibe. Prepare for some tears though…

By Ian McEwan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On the hottest day of the summer of 1934, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching her is Robbie Turner, her childhood friend who, like Cecilia, has recently come down from Cambridge. By the end of that day, the lives of all three will have been changed for ever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had not even imagined at its start, and will have become victims of the younger girl's imagination. Briony will have witnessed mysteries, and committed a…

Book cover of The Grapes of Wrath

Jerome Antil Author Of The Mysteries of Pompey Hollow

From my list on human resolve in the face of moments of despair.

Who am I?

The seventh child of a seventh son of a seventh son. Mother spoke of my sleeping nights and alert days…felt I was curious, observant. She was convinced I’d be the writer in the family. Named me Jerome after the librarian St. Jerome and Mark after Mark Twain, her favorite author as a child. Mother read to us daily, during high school time, a chapter a night. My brother Fred mailed me a word a week to look up. My freshman year in college I earned money writing compositions. And so it began. I sat on the floor and listened to the world war from Pearl Harbor to D-Day and Hiroshima.

Jerome's book list on human resolve in the face of moments of despair

Jerome Antil Why did Jerome love this book?

Steinbeck can see through his character’s eyes. I get chills when he captures private moments.

Faces on pickers being pushed off land in the dustbowl during the Depression. I tasted abject poverty when supper was passed out on pie tins—one tablespoon of beans in each. Dimes were gas money to follow a dream of picking work a brochure of orange orchards in California promised, not for bread.

The hardships mesmerized me—burying Grandpa along the highway; daughter Rosasharn rocking her swaddled stillborn to ward off the suspicion of border inspectors. In an abandoned railroad car as a night’s shelter a man was dying from malnutrition.

I was moved by the statement of character when the childless momma kneeled and offered the dying man a breast letting her dead baby’s milk save him from death. Steinbeck inspired me to become a writer—this novel and his Of Mice and Men.

By John Steinbeck,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked The Grapes of Wrath as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'I've done my damndest to rip a reader's nerves to rags, I don't want him satisfied.'

Shocking and controversial when it was first published, The Grapes of Wrath is Steinbeck's Pultizer Prize-winning epic of the Joad family, forced to travel west from Dust Bowl era Oklahoma in search of the promised land of California. Their story is one of false hopes, thwarted desires and powerlessness, yet out of their struggle Steinbeck created a drama that is both intensely human and majestic in its scale and moral vision.

Book cover of The Hunger Games

Beth Morrey Author Of Clover Hendry's Day Off

From my list on books set in the world of television.

Who am I?

I worked in television as a development producer for twenty years, designing game shows, reality shows, formatted documentaries, all sorts of programming. One of the prerequisites of working in telly is to watch a lot of it, and that has always been a joy for me, as I love the medium. Even after I left the profession to become an author, I’ve retained my passion for the small screen and write a regular blog on what I’m watching. So, for me, a combination of books and television is something to be savored and celebrated. 

Beth's book list on books set in the world of television

Beth Morrey Why did Beth love this book?

I love to read children’s books as well as grown-up ones. This book is just as dark, gritty, and challenging as any adult novel and has a fantastically compelling premise. It also has a heroic and endearing protagonist in Katniss Everdeen and a wonderfully bleak backdrop in District 12.

I’m a big fan of sci-fi novels, and Suzanne Collins is such a great world-builder; everything feels plausible and timely, the stakes are dizzyingly high, and she pushes it all to the limit. 

By Suzanne Collins,

Why should I read it?

41 authors picked The Hunger Games 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?

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. But Katniss has been close to death before - and survival, for her, is second nature. The Hunger Games is a searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present. Welcome to the deadliest reality TV show ever...

Book cover of We Need to Talk about Kevin

Kylie Orr Author Of The Eleventh Floor

From my list on losing yourself in motherhood (the good and the bad).

Who am I?

As the mother of four children, I have observed over the last twenty years how women are viewed and often judged under a stifling patriarchal lens. Writing about motherhood in all its glorious colours has been one way for me to channel my frustrations. Stories that reach out to women and give them a voice when they feel unheard are vital. In a world where appearances and facades are taking over our social media feeds, where filters blur out the rough edges of our lives, I’m more determined than ever to write female characters who are raw and flawed but also valued as an integral part of an evolving society.

Kylie's book list on losing yourself in motherhood (the good and the bad)

Kylie Orr Why did Kylie love this book?

From the very first page, I was intrigued by Shriver's exploration of maternal complexities. It shone a light on motherhood that I’d never seen before. I found the raw emotion and psychological depth unparalleled and loved how the narrative really delved into nature versus nurture and went so far as to question: are people born evil? 

Being a mother myself, I couldn’t imagine living through the horror of my child becoming withdrawn and that disengagement resulting in such devastation in a community. The dismissal of the mother’s concerns by the father was also an interesting social commentary.

Finally, Shriver’s writing is beyond beautiful yet so accessible for the readers.

By Lionel Shriver,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked We Need to Talk about Kevin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?



Eva never really wanted to be a mother; certainly not the mother of a boy named Kevin who murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker and a teacher who had tried to befriend him. Now, two years after her son's horrific rampage, Eva comes to terms with her role as Kevin's mother in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her absent husband Franklyn about their son's upbringing. Fearing that her own shortcomings may have shaped what her son has become, she confesses to…

Book cover of Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Nancy Crochiere Author Of Graceland

From my list on runaway moms.

Who am I?

As a young working mom, I occasionally longed to follow the example of columnist Erma Bombeck and hide from my family in the car. Instead, I channeled the mayhem of family life into a humor column called “The Mother Load,” which detailed the day-to-day challenges of running a business while caring for two daughters, one husband, two guinea pigs, and a dancing rabbit. When I decided to pursue my life-long dream to write fiction, my debut novel was a humorous story about a mother-daughter-grandmother road trip/chase from Boston to Memphis. Although my writing doesn’t shy away from serious issues, I choose to see the world through a humorous and ultimately hopeful lens.

Nancy's book list on runaway moms

Nancy Crochiere Why did Nancy love this book?

How can you not love a novel about an agoraphobic mother who somehow promises her 15-year-old daughter that she’ll take her to Antarctica?

The mom, Bernadette, knows she can’t handle that kind of trip, but in her desperate attempts to make it work, things get out of hand, and Bernadette disappears. It’s up to 15-year-old Bee to play detective and find her. Set in Seattle, Where’d You Go, Bernadette? is a delightful mix of comedy and satire with a wonderful message about the need to face up to the disappointments in one’s past.

By Maria Semple,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Where'd You Go, Bernadette as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A misanthropic matriarch leaves her eccentric family in crisis when she mysteriously disappears in this "whip-smart and divinely funny" novel that inspired the movie starring Cate Blanchett (New York Times).

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect; and to 15-year-old Bee, she is her best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette vanishes. It all began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle --…

Book cover of The Couple Next Door

Kate Robards Author Of The Three Deaths Of Willa Stannard

From my list on missing children.

Who am I?

A missing child is every parent’s worst nightmare. Emotionally driven, tense, full of despair and hope, these stories captivate me. When I decided to include a cold case mystery of a toddler’s disappearance in my debut novel, I dove deep into both true crime and fictional novels on the subject. These books represent a range of gripping mysteries about not only finding missing children, but the scrutiny and heartache their mothers face. I hope you find these stories as absorbing, powerful, and suspenseful as I do!

Kate's book list on missing children

Kate Robards Why did Kate love this book?

The Couple Next Door is an addictive page-turner. It’s clever and creative, and nearly every chapter ends with a cliffhanger that practically requires you to keep reading.

Lapena pulls you into the frenzied search for the missing baby while casting doubt onto nearly every character. The use of multiple points of view ratchets up the tension. Entertaining and fast-paced, this is perfect as a beach read. Bonus points as this is a debut novel!

By Shari Lapena,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Couple Next Door as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


Another thrilling domestic suspense novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Not a Happy Family

"The twists come as fast [as] you can turn the pages." -People

"I read this novel at one sitting, absolutely riveted by the storyline. The suspense was beautifully rendered and unrelenting!" -Sue Grafton

It all started at a dinner party. . .

A domestic suspense debut about a young couple and their apparently friendly neighbors-a twisty, rollercoaster ride of lies, betrayal, and the secrets between husbands and wives. . .

Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it…

Book cover of Gone Girl

Dana Perry Author Of The Nowhere Girls

From my list on books that are ripped from the headlines by a headline writing journalist.

Who am I?

I know a lot about “ripped from the headlines” news stories because I’ve been around a lot of news stories and headlines most of my life. I’m a longtime New York City journalist who has worked as a top editor at both the NY Post and the NY Daily News. Believe me, I’ve seen a lot of wild headlines in these places (e.g., Headless Body in Topless Bar!). So you can understand why I now like ripping from news headlines for fiction books as an author. 

Dana's book list on books that are ripped from the headlines by a headline writing journalist

Dana Perry Why did Dana love this book?

I loved reading this book like millions of others who made it such a blockbuster, best-selling book.

Many people assume this book was based on the sensational real-life case of missing Laci Peterson and her husband Scott (later convicted of murder.) Author Gillian Flynn–although agreeing there were parallels between the two stories has said her gripping, page-turning fictional novel about a cheating husband and a missing wife was not directly drawn from the Peterson story.

But she was still clearly inspired by that and other high-profile media cases like this that she covered as a journalist before becoming a crime fiction author.   

By Gillian Flynn,

Why should I read it?

24 authors picked Gone Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


Who are you?
What have we done to each other?

These are the questions Nick Dunne finds himself asking on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they weren't made by him. And then there are the persistent calls on…

Book cover of The Last Thing He Told Me

Katherine Nichols Author Of The Unreliables: When The Only One You Can Trust Doesn't Exist

From my list on books with gaslighting and manipulation.

Who am I?

Growing up in the South as the daughter of a single mother, I’ve always appreciated strong women, in reality and in fiction. Before I could read, I made up stories featuring me as the super heroine. Later, I devoured all the Nancy Drews I could get my hands on. I credit Ms. Drew for nurturing my fascination with mystery. I especially enjoy suspense with a psychological turn that frequently takes the form of gaslighting or manipulating someone into doubting their perception of reality. As an author of Southern suspense with heart and humor, my female characters fall victim to this device but are strong enough to persevere.  

Katherine's book list on books with gaslighting and manipulation

Katherine Nichols Why did Katherine love this book?

I related to the protagonist Hannah Hill, a woman whose life is upended by the disappearance of the man she loves.

Before his loss, she’s a talented but fairly ordinary wife and stepmother, trying to develop a relationship with her husband’s troubled daughter. When she turns into a heat-seeking missile, determined to make sense of the devastating changes in her life, I felt a sense of empowerment.

What makes this domestic thriller memorable to me is the way the author explores the mother-daughter relationship while creating a thrilling mystery with a haunting ending.

By Laura Dave,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Last Thing He Told Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'Brilliant. Pacy tense and twisty' - LISA HALL

'I adored this beautifully written thriller' - JO SPAIN


Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to smuggle a note to his new wife, Hannah: protect her. Hannah knows exactly who Owen needs her to protect - his sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. And who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.

As her increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered, his boss…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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