100 books like Lives of Girls and Women

By Alice Munro,

Here are 100 books that Lives of Girls and Women fans have personally recommended if you like Lives of Girls and Women. 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 Life and Legacy of Annie Oakley

Cinda Gault Author Of This Godforsaken Place

From my list on tenacious women who won't be denied their adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

Just because you’re told something is true doesn’t make it the case. I have never accepted received ideas before subjecting them first to my own personal sniff test. Non-fiction is a wonderful way of acquiring knowledge, and stories open a door to the human soul to make possible living through someone else’s sensibility. Life becomes more vibrant and meaningful. My Ph.D. in English taught me to analyze the ways writers tell their stories. Add in my own life experience, and something magical happens during the creative process. Whether writing historical, literary, or popular fiction, I can’t help but reshape limitation into independence and personal freedom.

Cinda's book list on tenacious women who won't be denied their adventures

Cinda Gault Why did Cinda love this book?

While researching Annie Oakley as a character in my novel, I was amazed by what an exceptional icon she was. This non-fiction book gives sumptuous detail about a singular woman and the life she led. Oakley met Frank at a shooting competition, where she beat him by only one shot. Rather than becoming defensive, he married her and became her agent. Clearly, she didn't need his help to do what she did better than anyone else in the world, but he helped showcase her skills for adoring crowds in a rough and tumble business. My protagonist Abigail was inspired by her, and frankly so am I.

By Glenda Riley,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Life and Legacy of Annie Oakley as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With a widowed mother and six siblings, Annie Oakley first became a trapper, hunter, and sharpshooter simply to put food on the table. Yet her genius with the gun eventually led to her stardom in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show during the latter half of the nineteenth century. The archetypal western woman, Annie Oakley urged women to take up shooting to procure food, protect themselves, and enjoy healthy exercise, yet she was also the proper Victorian lady, demurely dressed and skeptical about the value of women's suffrage. Glenda Riley presents the first interpretive biography of the complex woman who was…


Book cover of Flashman

Austin Grossman Author Of Crooked

From my list on set in alternate histories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a lot of things. I design games. I study literature and theater. I write novels that are messy fusions of literary and genre fiction. I'm endlessly curious. Each of my books starts with when I hear in my head, the voice of a character asking a question. It's always a silly question, and it's always the one that matters more to them than anything else in the world. "Why does being superintelligent make you evil?" became Soon I Will Be Invincible. "What are people who play video games obsessively really looking for?" became You. Answering the question isn't simple, but of course that's where the fun starts.

Austin's book list on set in alternate histories

Austin Grossman Why did Austin love this book?

Flashman does a thing I love, which is to tell the story of another book's least notable character.

Harry Flashman comes from Thomas Hughes's 1850 novel Tom Brown's School Days (the entire basis for the Harry Potter novels), where he's a sub-Draco Malfo figure, a useless bully.

Flashman tells the story of his later years as the Victorian Empire's most cowardly soldier, rattling around British colonies, stumbling through their various atrocities and debacles. I wish the book were even harsher on the Brits, but it's a deeply fun counter-text and a lovely bit of escapism nonetheless.

By George MacDonald Fraser,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For George MacDonald Fraser the bully Flashman was easily the most interesting character in Tom Brown's Schooldays, and imaginative speculation as to what might have happened to him after his expulsion from Rugby School for drunkenness ended in 12 volumes of memoirs in which Sir Harry Paget Flashman - self-confessed scoundrel, liar, cheat, thief, coward -'and, oh yes, a toady' - romps his way through decades of nineteenth-century history in a swashbuckling and often hilarious series of military and amorous adventures. In Flashman the youthful hero, armed with a commission in the 11th Dragoons, is shipped to India, woos and…


Book cover of Atlas Shrugged

Mark Burgess Author Of Slogans: The end of sympathy

From my list on a vision of a near future society in trouble.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a scientist and technologist, trained in theoretical quantum physics, who became an Emeritus Professor of Network Technology from Oslo’s metropolitan university. I’ve strenuously tried to communicate the wonder of science to students and industry throughout my career. I’m also a long-standing fan of science fiction who grew up with heroes in both fact and fiction. The idea of future society has haunted me my whole life. I’m an optimist, who looks to the darker tales as warnings of futures we hope to avoid. Read these tales with a determination for us all to do better.

Mark's book list on a vision of a near future society in trouble

Mark Burgess Why did Mark love this book?

This book was a forerunner and inspiration to the big society science fiction of the John Brunner era, and (like much of her writing) should properly be understood as an alternative reality science fiction, imitated by many writers including Brunner and Robert Silverberg.

Rand became a controversial figure because of the cult that grew up around her, promoting elitist ideas, and driven mainly by her husband. Yet Rand herself was a brilliant writer and thinker who wanted to be a philosopher. The writing is not only deeply intellectual, it was deeply character driven.

As a non-native English speaker, her writing style is rich and could be the envy of native writers. Perhaps too long, this book is nevertheless a must read for any science fiction fan. 

By Ayn Rand,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Atlas Shrugged as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Published in 1957, Atlas Shrugged was Ayn Rand's greatest achievement and last work of fiction. In this novel she dramatizes her unique philosophy through an intellectual mystery story that integrates ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, politics, economics, and sex. Set in a near-future U.S.A. whose economy is collapsing as a result of the mysterious disappearance of leading innovators and industrialists, this novel presents an astounding panorama of human life-from the productive genius who becomes a worthless playboy...to the great steel industrialist who does not know that he is working for his own destruction...to the philosopher who becomes a pirate...to the woman who…


Book cover of The Stone Angel

Lynne Bowen Author Of Whoever Gives Us Bread: The Story of Italians in British Columbia

From my list on revealing the hidden history of Western Canada.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a young person I loved to read history novels, but each book had to be about either British monarchs or American generals. Then I watched the movie Bye Bye Blues, a Canadian prairie story by Anne Wheeler, and realized for the first time that the story was about me, about us. It was such a heady feeling that I decided to study Western Canadian history at university. Three weeks after I got my M.A. from the University of Victoria I was offered the chance to write about Vancouver Island coal miners and the rest, as they say, is quite literally history.

Lynne's book list on revealing the hidden history of Western Canada

Lynne Bowen Why did Lynne love this book?

Who would have thought that a novel about a ninety-year-old woman determined to avoid being put into a nursing home would become required reading for high school and university students? And yet this novel has been listed by several sources as one of the greatest Canadian novels ever written. Laurence’s writing style inspired me and gave me the assurance to write about Western Canadian history. It demonstrates one of the reasons why Laurence was named posthumously as “A Person of National Historic Significance” by the Canadian government in 2018.

By Margaret Laurence,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Stone Angel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Above the town, on the hill brow, the stone angel used to stand. I wonder if she stands there yet...

Hagar Shipley - an irascible, independent nonagenarian - has lived a quiet life full of rage. As she approaches her death, she retreats from the squabbling of her son and his wife to reflect on her past - her ill-advised marriage, her two sons, the harshness of farm life on the prairie, her own failures and the betrayals and failures of others.


Book cover of Pygmalion

Cinda Gault Author Of This Godforsaken Place

From my list on tenacious women who won't be denied their adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

Just because you’re told something is true doesn’t make it the case. I have never accepted received ideas before subjecting them first to my own personal sniff test. Non-fiction is a wonderful way of acquiring knowledge, and stories open a door to the human soul to make possible living through someone else’s sensibility. Life becomes more vibrant and meaningful. My Ph.D. in English taught me to analyze the ways writers tell their stories. Add in my own life experience, and something magical happens during the creative process. Whether writing historical, literary, or popular fiction, I can’t help but reshape limitation into independence and personal freedom.

Cinda's book list on tenacious women who won't be denied their adventures

Cinda Gault Why did Cinda love this book?

This play is perhaps better known to contemporary audiences by its movie title My Fair Lady. I loved this movie as a child and studied the play years later as a graduate student. I always admired Eliza Doolittle for having the gumption to act on whatever quirky opportunity life gave her for the mere sake of stretching herself. Henry Higgins’ self-serving wager that he could transform a Cockney flower girl into a duchess held out no tangible reward to the young woman who just wanted to better herself. While Eliza learned to transcend social class through her speech and deportment, the more valuable reward was an independent assessment of who she ultimately was despite the class context of her social world.

By George Bernard Shaw,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of George Bernard Shaw's best-known plays, Pygmalion was a rousing success on the London and New York stages, an entertaining motion picture and a great hit with its musical version, My Fair Lady. An updated and considerably revised version of the ancient Greek legend of Pygmalion and Galatea, the 20th-century story pokes fun at the antiquated British class system.
In Shaw's clever adaptation, Professor Henry Higgins, a linguistic expert, takes on a bet that he can transform an awkward cockney flower seller into a refined young lady simply by polishing her manners and changing the way she speaks. In…


Book cover of Raintree County

William Illsey Atkinson Author Of Sun's Strong Immortality

From my list on well-written slam-bang adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I had a rotten childhood. Stuck in bed with asthma, I couldn’t do sports; but I could roam space and time with books, especially science fiction. Yet when I tried to re-read my beloved sci-fi titles as an adult, I got a shock. The books with sound science had terrible writing; the well-written books were full of scientific schlock. I realized that if I wanted sci-fi that was both technically astute and rewarding to read, I’d have to write it myself. And so I did.

William's book list on well-written slam-bang adventures

William Illsey Atkinson Why did William love this book?

My friends and I discovered Raintree County as undergrads, and found in it everything that matters – history, character, politics, and above all action. Here is life with all its pleasure and horror, apostasy and faith, sacrifice and victory. Here too is the core of American democracy, its glories and fiascos: a love letter to the Republic, more than ever relevant in the factional bitterness of today. An unforgettable novel from a man who killed himself at 34.

By Ross Lockridge,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Throughout a single day in 1892, John Shawnessy recalls the great moments of his life—from the love affairs of his youth in Indiana, to the battles of the Civil War, to the politics of the Gilded Age, to his homecoming as schoolteacher, husband, and father. Shawnessy is the epitome of the place and period in which he lives, a rural land of springlike women, shady gamblers, wandering vagabonds, and soapbox orators. Yet here on the banks of the Shawmucky River, which weaves its primitive course through Raintree County, Indiana, he also feels and obeys ancient rhythms. A number-one bestseller when…


Book cover of Flying Colours

William Illsey Atkinson Author Of Sun's Strong Immortality

From my list on well-written slam-bang adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I had a rotten childhood. Stuck in bed with asthma, I couldn’t do sports; but I could roam space and time with books, especially science fiction. Yet when I tried to re-read my beloved sci-fi titles as an adult, I got a shock. The books with sound science had terrible writing; the well-written books were full of scientific schlock. I realized that if I wanted sci-fi that was both technically astute and rewarding to read, I’d have to write it myself. And so I did.

William's book list on well-written slam-bang adventures

William Illsey Atkinson Why did William love this book?

"I find Hornblower admirable, vastly entertaining," said Winston Churchill in the best short review ever written. Forester takes you back 200 years to an age of wooden ships and iron men. Here you smell the powder, see the mainsails strain, hear the roar of cannon and the clang of steel – and learn more about the Napoleonic Wars than any textbook could convey. The Hornblower books are all electrifying, but to my mind, this is the best.

By C. S. Forester,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The seventh volume in the classic naval adventure series finds Captain Hornblower a prisoner in the French fortress of Rosas, having to surrender his ship, but only after seriously disabling three French ships. C.S.Forester also wrote "The African Queen".


Book cover of The Revolt on Venus

William Illsey Atkinson Author Of Sun's Strong Immortality

From my list on well-written slam-bang adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I had a rotten childhood. Stuck in bed with asthma, I couldn’t do sports; but I could roam space and time with books, especially science fiction. Yet when I tried to re-read my beloved sci-fi titles as an adult, I got a shock. The books with sound science had terrible writing; the well-written books were full of scientific schlock. I realized that if I wanted sci-fi that was both technically astute and rewarding to read, I’d have to write it myself. And so I did.

William's book list on well-written slam-bang adventures

William Illsey Atkinson Why did William love this book?

Tom Corbett, Space Cadet remains my favorite young adult series. What’s not to like? Fights ending in fellowship, villains, and perils defeated, all in a dazzling 24th-century world of atomic spaceflight, electric wristwatches, high-speed slidewalks, hard-nosed Solar Guard officers with hearts of gold, and – remember this was written 70 years ago – brilliant women who are full professors of astrophysics at Space Academy (I’ll always love you, Dr. Joan Dale). Oh yes, and the Paralo-Ray: a weapon that immobilizes but does not kill. Of the eight Corbett books, The Revolt on Venus is the best: tense and thrilling, full of great characters, and politically astute.

By Carey Rockwell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This book is a result of an effort made by us towards making a contribution to the preservation and repair of original classic literature. In an attempt to preserve, improve and recreate the original content, we have worked towards: 1. Type-setting & Reformatting: The complete work has been re-designed via professional layout, formatting and type-setting tools to re-create the same edition with rich typography, graphics, high quality images, and table elements, giving our readers the feel of holding a 'fresh and newly' reprinted and/or revised edition, as opposed to other scanned & printed (Optical Character Recognition - OCR) reproductions. 2.…


Book cover of My Name is Seepeetza

Ellen Schwartz Author Of Heart of a Champion

From my list on children’s books about social justice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up during the civil rights movement in the US, and my ancestors—the lucky ones—escaped pogroms in eastern Europe at the turn of the 20th century and made it to North America. (The unlucky ones were slaughtered in the Holocaust.) So I suppose it is natural that I would be drawn to write stories about the struggle to overcome persecution, racism, and injustice. I love creating characters who, at the beginning of the story, don’t know that they have what it takes to fight for justice, but then slowly build the confidence and courage to make a difference. And writing about these triumphs is fun, too!

Ellen's book list on children’s books about social justice

Ellen Schwartz Why did Ellen love this book?

Before I read this book, in the 1990s, I had never heard of Canada’s residential school system for Indigenous children. I was horrified, and also ashamed to have been so ignorant. Over the years, I have heard many Indigenous authors speak and have read many books on the subject, and have come to realize that the residential school tragedy is parallel to the Holocaust for Jews—my family’s story. This is the book that opened my eyes.

By Shirley Sterling,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Name is Seepeetza as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Her name was Seepeetza when she was at home with her family. But now that she's living at the Indian residential school her name is Martha Stone, and everything else about her life has changed as well. Told in the honest voice of a sixth grader, this is the story of a young Native girl forced to live in a world governed by strict nuns, arbitrary rules, and a policy against talking in her own dialect, even with her family. Seepeetza finds bright spots, but most of all she looks forward to summers and holidays at home.


Book cover of The Back of the Turtle

Shane Joseph Author Of Empire in the Sand

From my list on exposing corporate, political, and personal corruption.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a writer for more than twenty years and have favored pursuing “truth in fiction” rather than “money in formula.” I also spent over thirty years in the corporate world and was exposed to many situations reminiscent of those described in my fiction and in these recommended books. While I support enterprise, “enlightened capitalism” is preferable to the bare-knuckle type we have today, and which seems to resurface whenever regulation weakens. I also find writing novels closer to my lived experience connects me intimately with readers who are looking for socio-political, realist literature.

Shane's book list on exposing corporate, political, and personal corruption

Shane Joseph Why did Shane love this book?

A scientist discovers that his invention, a defoliant, has contributed to exterminating an entire native reserve in British Columbia, causing the birds and turtles to leave. The battle is on between nature and science to restore the balance. But all is not well in the corporation, for the scientist’s boss has become a shopaholic to compensate for his lonely life and wonders why his wife wants to divorce him. The characters are enjoyable, the action circular, and our current political considerations are tackled in a non-didactic fashion. And the human spirit triumphs despite the chemical overload! Throughout the novel, King makes searing one-liners about unbridled capitalism: “capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men for the nastiest of motives will somehow work for the benefit of all.”

By Thomas King,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the 2014 Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction!

This is Thomas King's first literary novel in 15 years and follows on the success of the award-winning and best-selling The Inconvenient Indian and his beloved Green Grass, Running Water and Truth and Bright Water, both of which continue to be taught in Canadian schools and universities. Green Grass, Running Water is widely considered a contemporary Canadian classic.

In The Back of the Turtle, Gabriel returns to Smoke River, the reserve where his mother grew up and to which she returned with Gabriel's sister. The reserve is deserted after an…


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