87 books like Little Labors

By Rivka Galchen,

Here are 87 books that Little Labors fans have personally recommended if you like Little Labors. 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 Convenience Store Woman

Marian Frances Wolbers Author Of Rider

From my list on a sweet journey into Japan.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been enjoying Japanese stories from the moment I first found them, a direct result of living, studying, and working in Japan for five years, from Imari City (in Kyushu Island) to Tokyo (on Honshu). The pacing of Japanese novels—starting out slowly and deliberately, then speeding up like a tsunami out of nowhere—totally appeals to me, and feels infinitely more connected to exploring the subtleties, complexity, and beauty of relationships. This is especially true when compared to Western novels, which seem overly obsessed with splashing grand, dramatic action and injury on every other page. I just love revisiting Japan through reading.

Marian's book list on a sweet journey into Japan

Marian Frances Wolbers Why did Marian love this book?

This contemporary, quirky tale centers around the life of Keiko, a young woman who has never done anything in a conventional way and has her mother very worried that her daughter will never find a man and settle down into a conventional life. No, Keiko’s ways of thinking are startling and odd in ways that are both amusing and somewhat horrifying, as she really does fall outside the realm of conventional thinking and socially rewarded behavior. The reader comes to love her as she grows into womanhood (and personhood) as a worker in a fast-paced convenience store, where she memorizes hundreds of products and practices behaving more “normally” by mimicking the actions and words of her co-workers. Then a man named Shiraha enters the picture, for a new twist.

By Sayaka Murata, Ginny Tapley Takemori (translator),

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Convenience Store Woman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Meet Keiko.

Keiko is 36 years old. She's never had a boyfriend, and she's been working in the same supermarket for eighteen years.

Keiko's family wishes she'd get a proper job. Her friends wonder why she won't get married.

But Keiko knows what makes her happy, and she's not going to let anyone come between her and her convenience store...


Book cover of My Year of Rest and Relaxation

Rachana Vajjhala Author Of Kinetic Cultures: Modernism and Embodiment on the Belle Epoque Stage

From my list on dazzlingly written books from the past five years with both style and substance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a music historian who loves to read novels. Most of my childhood was spent either playing the piano or devouring whatever books I could get my hands on. Now, I try to share my love of music and good writing with my students at Boston University. When not at school, you can usually find me exploring the trails of New England with my dog.     

Rachana's book list on dazzlingly written books from the past five years with both style and substance

Rachana Vajjhala Why did Rachana love this book?

Who knew a book about sleeping could be so funny and engaging?

As someone who constantly wants and needs more rest, I related to the protagonist’s hunch that a year of (almost uninterrupted) sleep would change her life. And it does, though not at all in the way she expects.

Moshfegh writes about trips to the local bodega and the edgy conceptual art scene in such a brilliant way that the book will (perhaps, unfortunately!) keep you up late.

By Ottessa Moshfegh,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked My Year of Rest and Relaxation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, Time, NPR, Amazon,Vice, Bustle, The New York Times, The Guardian, Kirkus Reviews, Entertainment Weekly, The AV Club, & Audible

A New York Times Bestseller

"One of the most compelling protagonists modern fiction has offered in years: a loopy, quietly furious pillhead whose Ambien ramblings and Xanaxed b*tcheries somehow wend their way through sad and funny and strange toward something genuinely profound." - Entertainment Weekly

"Darkly hilarious . . . [Moshfegh's] the kind of provocateur who makes you laugh out loud while drawing blood." -Vogue

From one of our boldest,…


Book cover of The Writing Life

Landis Wade Author Of The Write Quotes: The Writing Life

From my list on the writing life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a recovering trial lawyer (after 35 years of law practice) who took up fiction writing in my late 50s and became so interested in learning what it’s like to be a writer – and how to write better – that I began a podcast designed to encourage authors to open up about their writing lives. After more than 500+ author interviews, I remain fascinated by the many different ways that writers approach their craft and how they turn their “what-ifs” into interesting stories. The writing books that I am recommending are books I used to guide me in my interviews. I hope they will provide insight and inspiration in your writing journey.  

Landis' book list on the writing life

Landis Wade Why did Landis love this book?

While some writing books offer nuts and bolts–the so-called rules of writing–this book from Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Dillard teases the writer with essays that make you think.

We are invited into the world of writing with metaphor and we learn by comparison. Like the story of the inchworm stuck in the long grasses, frozen to the tall blades. Perhaps you should just jump, Dillard quips, and put yourself “out of your misery.”

True, writing can be miserable at times, but also, it can be wonderful. I like this book because it is a way to experience what it feels like to be a writer through the craft of prose. 

By Annie Dillard,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Writing Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"For nonwriters, it is a glimpse into the trials and satisfactions of a life spent with words. For writers, it is a warm, rambling, conversation with a stimulating and extraordinarily talented colleague." — Chicago Tribune

From Pulitzer Prize-winning Annie Dillard, a collection that illuminates the dedication and daring that characterizes a writer's life.

In these short essays, Annie Dillard—the author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and An American Childhood—illuminates the dedication, absurdity, and daring that characterize the existence of a writer. A moving account of Dillard’s own experiences while writing her works, The Writing Life offers deep insight into one…


Book cover of Personal Days

Weike Wang Author Of Joan Is Okay

From my list on workaholics who still have time to read.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am fascinated by work, especially women at work. I am an immigrant, a child of immigrants, a former scientist, and for most of life, have been conditioned to work because if I could not work, then why else was I here? Yet work is not strictly an emblem of immigrant grit or the model minority mindset. It can be made funny, surreal, existential, and it’s a rich subject to tackle. More often than not, work is treated as taboo. It’s ignored or deemed too prosaic to discuss.  Who wants to see what goes on inside the factory? I do. I’m obsessed with stories that showcase the factory. 

Weike's book list on workaholics who still have time to read

Weike Wang Why did Weike love this book?

Here is a dark comedy for the office worker. Office dysfunction is unique but also ubiquitous and lends itself well to, of course, Kafkaesque and Orwellian absurdity. One day, people just start getting fired, which leads to growing paranoia and more dysfunction. I like stories that don’t explain too much. Thanks to the pandemic, life, especially work life, has become increasingly amorphous and unreal. What is balance anymore? Where is the line? It’s refreshing to be immersed in a world even more bizarre than the one that workaholics now seem to be living in. 

By Ed Park,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ever wondered what your boss does all day?Or if there is a higher - perhaps an existential - significance to Microsoft Word malfunctions? This astonishing debut is a scathingly funny look at a group of office workers who have no idea what the unnamed corporation they work for actually does.When it looks like the company may be taken over, fear of redundancy unleashes a deliciously Kafkaesque plot full of the tedium and mistrust of corporate life and the backstabbing bitchiness of our survival-of-the-fittest instincts. We meet Pru, the ex-grad student-turned-spreadsheet drone; Laars, the hysteric whose work anxiety follows him into…


Book cover of The Last Gardener

David D. Bernstein Author Of The Portal

From my list on journeys of imagination.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been reading and writing Children’s books for many years. I have an MLS and have worked in school libraries and recreation departments. I have a strong connection to people. My passion for book writing and reading began the moment I learned to read. I've been in this business for over 30 years and have six books published. Probably my biggest accomplishment was the three years I worked as a freelance book reviewer for Scholastic Books. To this day I continue to dream, read, imagine, meet, and create new worlds that will be available for everyone. My passion for books and writing go beyond the physical but also the emotional and spiritual.   

David's book list on journeys of imagination

David D. Bernstein Why did David love this book?

I just finished reading this book from a friend of mine and I loved it. I recommend it for several reasons. First of all, this book is about a young inventor Dameon Gardener who is looking forward to summer break to tinker with his beloved gadgets ends up traveling many years into the future to a dystopian world that is falling apart. He does not know it, but this journey puts him on a quest to save the bleak world of the future of time. That concept is also found in my books, and it is a kind of basic outline of most Fantasy and Science Fiction books.

They have a hero who journeys on a quest to save a world, a person, or even a creature. This is universal and used by these kinds of books. My books are also set in a dystopian world. I also like the…

By Tracy Wilson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Young, inventive Dameon Gardener is looking forward to his summer break when he can spend all day tinkering with his beloved gadgets. At least that was his plan until his workaholic dad came home unusually early and announced that his grandfather had passed away, leaving him his massive estate. Eager to explore their new inheritance, the Gardener family embarks on their first-ever vacation with great anticipation.
Dameon, his schedule-loving mom, and video-game-obsessed younger brother are appalled when they arrive at the decrepit Victorian mansion situated on top of a mountainside overlooking a secluded, rundown, ocean-side mining town. However, Dameon soon…


Book cover of Beautiful Player

Skye McDonald Author Of The Not So Nice Girl

From my list on making you laugh, cry, and swoon.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a woman. Laughing, crying, and swooning are all things I know intimately—sometimes heart-achingly. I’m living my life with my heart open, learning to be unashamedly me. That means I love, sometimes recklessly. That meant I hurt, sometimes more than anyone could know. And that means I swoon, not only for romance but also for the beauty of this “wild and precious life.” My recommended novels take you through all the feels. My own novels use my roots in Nashville, TN. Family and music are key. But more than that, my books are about learning to love yourself. I’ve learned personally that that’s the true happily ever after.

Skye's book list on making you laugh, cry, and swoon

Skye McDonald Why did Skye love this book?

Beautiful Player is my go-to steamy, fun reread. I love Will and Hanna’s quick-witted love story. I love that Hanna is a brilliant chemistry grad student. I love that part of the narrative is her opening up to her sensuality, not being afraid of it. And I love sexy Will and how hard he falls for his protégé!

Christina Lauren was my gateway into romance. While I have read all of their Beautiful Series, this one stands out as my favorite. Intelligent, driven main characters who go running together? Plenty of steam? A woman owning her value as a scientist and lover? Yes, yes, yes please!

By Christina Lauren,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Beautiful Player as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Hanna "Ziggy" Bergstrom moves to New York City for graduate school, Will Sumner thinks his responsibilities to his best friend's nerdy little sister will be limited to the occasional dinner and check-in. Little does he know that Ziggy is ready to break out of her bookworm academic shell and move more into bombshell territory. Of course she figures the gorgeous womanizing venture capitalist Will is the best person to help mentor her in this new field of study: dating.

Will takes on the challenge with more than a healthy dose of scepticism and humour, but soon finds that Ziggy…


Book cover of Beware

David Schembri Author Of Beneath the Ferny Tree

From my list on horror fiction providing the most fun being scared.

Why am I passionate about this?

I wasn’t a fan of reading when I was young. I was a lazy reader. Subjects and genres were always chosen for me during education, until I hunted for my own. I used to write a lot more than reading in early high school. I wrote a horror journal, submitted to my English teacher every week. He told me that my writing was good but advised me that reading the genre could help develop my ideas. Funny, a young teenager couldn’t work that out? So, off I went to the local bookstore and bought my first horror novel. I devoured it within a week. I've been a reader and writer of horror ever since.

David's book list on horror fiction providing the most fun being scared

David Schembri Why did David love this book?

My first horror read. It is dear to me. I picked it up off the shelf. It was neat and small in my hands, so not too overwhelming for someone who didn’t enjoy reading. However, I wanted to give the genre a try as I had been a hobby horror writer for a year or so beforehand. I liked the cover and blurb on the back, which was more of an excerpt, got me walking quickly to the counter to buy it so I could rush home to find out what was going to happen. This book opened the floodgates to the beauty of horror fiction. The excitement of the characters which had inspired my earlier experiments and still provides insights to this day. This is a wild ride, so grab on tight and let it take you as it had taken me.

By Richard Laymon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Using ancient black magic, a dangerous, vindictive maniac is made all-powerful by his ability to become invisible. Raping and murdering his way around the States, he is biding his time before fulfilling his one desire—to get even with the high school belle who rejected him years before.


Book cover of The Rostikov Legacy

Rebecca Buchanan Author Of Asphalt Gods, and Other Pagan Urban Fantasy Tales

From my list on fantasy and science fiction for Pagans.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up with a serious passion for mythology and fairy tales. By the time I reached college, I knew that would be my path in life: honoring the Old Deities, honoring the earth, and writing new myths and fairy tales. To that end, I have published numerous short stories, novellas, and poems (the majority with a Pagan focus), serve on the board of directors of a Pagan publisher and a Pagan non-profit organization, and edit a Pagan literary ezine.

Rebecca's book list on fantasy and science fiction for Pagans

Rebecca Buchanan Why did Rebecca love this book?

Charlotte English’s Malykant Mystery series is a rarity. Not only are the mysteries engaging, but the setting is unusual (a wintery Russian-type city) and the main character is the priest-assassin of the God of Death! Konrad Savast swore himself to the God’s service after his sister’s violent death, vowing to track down and kill those who had violated natural law through the act of murder. Savast’s devotion to his God and his duty will appeal to Pagans of every tradition. While tragic, the stories are never gruesome. Short enough to read in a single sitting, and lots of fun.

By Charlotte E. English,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Detective. Judge. Executioner.

In an icy, Victorianesque world, a harsh god rules, and He has one law: a life for a life.

Konrad Savast is the Malykant: detective, judge and executioner in one. It's kill and be killed in Konrad's world, and his unhappy duty to mete out his Master's implacable justice.

The body of an aristocrat lies in the mist-shrouded reaches of the Bone Forest. Her killer has signed their own death warrant; but first, Konrad must learn who could have wanted the delightful Lady Rostikova dead...

With a pair of bloodthirsty ghosts to assist him, Konrad will hunt…


Book cover of Black Magic

Tupenny Longfeather Author Of Bowels of Darkness

From my list on ominously atmospheric stories for a winter's night.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love forests. There's a particular atmosphere, a sense of being close to nature. Yet there's a mystery, you can never see too far ahead. What's around the corner? A truly atmospheric book has the quality of a forest, leading us on but never revealing too much at once. Perhaps beyond the next tree, or page, is something that may not be of our universe.

Tupenny's book list on ominously atmospheric stories for a winter's night

Tupenny Longfeather Why did Tupenny love this book?

The thirst for knowledge of the black arts sets the tone for this book. The smallest events are loaded with ominous foreboding, from the understated beginning to the immensely world-shattering ending. Dirk Renswoude is a dark figure, yet never seemingly repulsive enough to prevent the reader from allying with him, being complicit in his deeds.

By Marjorie Bowen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Dirk Renswoude is a craftsman and loner of noble birth who has been mistreated by his family. He meets Thierry, a young scholar on his way to study at the university at Basle and they soon discover that they share a fascination with the black arts. Thierry is initially cautious and afraid of blasphemy, whilst Dirk is ambitious and thirsts for power. Dirk leads them on to experiments with mystic circles drawn on the floor in chalk, the chanting of arcane incantations and the evocation of grotesque, demonic visions writhing in the speculum.


Book cover of To the Devil, a Daughter

Lewis Hinton Author Of Angel's Blade: A Jack Sangster Mystery

From my list on beautifully drawn settings that evoke mystery.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am fascinated by the myth, legend, and the supernatural, and love to link them with a particular setting. The books listed all inspired my writing from their pace, elegant prose, great characterisation, and especially, descriptive settings and atmosphere evoked from those settings (something I strive to do as an author, using places I know really well). And I am lucky enough to have lived in Cornwall by the River Fal, a place so steeped in legend and natural beauty that Angel’s Blade almost wrote itself. 

Lewis' book list on beautifully drawn settings that evoke mystery

Lewis Hinton Why did Lewis love this book?

The undisputed master of the Occult thriller, Wheatley sold over 50 million books, regularly topping best seller lists in the mid-20th Century. In To The Devil a Daughter, Wheatley contrasts the colour of the post-war French Riviera with the greyness of ration-book 1940’s Britain with a rare vividness, and atypically for the time, creates a ‘kick-ass’ middle-aged female protagonist. His descriptions of the Essex marshes, and the sinister Canon Copely-Syle who lives there, are superb. In another book, The Haunting of Toby Jugg, Wheatley describes a school (loosely based on the infamous Dartington Hall school), that partly inspired ‘The Academy’ in my own book. When reading Wheatley’s books, bear in mind he was a man of his time, as many of his views do not date well. I was massively flattered recently when a reader of my book said my style (not my views!) reminded him…

By Dennis Wheatley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked To the Devil, a Daughter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Why did the solitary girl leave her rented house on the French Riviera only for short walks at night? Why was she so frightened? Why did animals shrink away from her? The girl herself didn't know, and was certainly not aware of the terrible appointment which had been made for her long ago and was now drawing close. Molly Fountain, the tough-minded Englishwoman living next door, was determined to find the answer. She sent for a wartime secret service colleague to come and help. What they discovered was horrifying beyond anything they could have imagined. Dennis Wheatley returned in this…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in black magic, abortion, and Virginia?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about black magic, abortion, and Virginia.

Black Magic Explore 9 books about black magic
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Virginia Explore 108 books about Virginia