10 books like Missed Translations

By Sopan Deb,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Missed Translations. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Tell Me How to Be

By Neel Patel,

Book cover of Tell Me How to Be

Neel Patel and I grew up in similar parts of the Midwest, are around the same age, and are both Gujarati, so when I read this novel, I felt so seen. He deftly covers a young man’s journey of coming out to his traditional family, while also sharing the perspective of the mother discovering who her son really is, but this book has many more layers beyond those. The little details that Patel seamlessly weaves throughout the novel including how the family interacts with one another and how the main character’s childhood is described reminded me of my own family and upbringing. Patel is pushing the boundaries on what Indian American authors are writing, and this story was so satisfying to read. 

Tell Me How to Be

By Neel Patel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tell Me How to Be as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

* INAUGURAL LILLY'S LIBRARY BOOK CLUB PICK FROM LILLY SINGH *

“A beautiful book about a mother and son…I really loved this book.”—Rumaan Alam on The TODAY Show

“My first great read of 2022…[Will] make you cringe with recognition and melt with longing.” —Jennifer Weiner

“This debut novel about an Indian-American family has all the right ingredients: family secrets, love, sexuality, loss, identity questions and remorse.” —Good Morning America

Renu Amin always seemed perfect. But as the one-year anniversary of her husband’s death approaches, she is binge-watching soap operas and simmering with old resentments. She can’t stop wondering if, thirty-five…


The Candid Life of Meena Dave

By Namrata Patel,

Book cover of The Candid Life of Meena Dave

This novel was a breath of fresh air, as it was the first novel I’d read centering Gujarati American characters without focusing mostly on their identity as immigrants. Namrata Patel tells a nuanced and entertaining story that fed my wanderlust because the main character is a photojournalist who trots the globe on her quest for the perfect shot…and where she can call home. As someone who has moved often in life and is passionate about visiting and learning about other countries and cultures, I’ve wrestled with the idea of where home is, and I really resonated with that sentiment in this book. There is also a loving, gossipy gaggle of Aunties that everyone can laugh with, shake their head at, and root for.

The Candid Life of Meena Dave

By Namrata Patel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Candid Life of Meena Dave as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A woman embarks on an unexpected journey into her past in an engrossing novel about identity, family secrets, and rediscovering the need to belong.

Meena Dave is a photojournalist and a nomad. She has no family, no permanent address, and no long-term attachments, preferring to observe the world at a distance through the lens of her camera. But Meena's solitary life is turned upside down when she unexpectedly inherits an apartment in a Victorian brownstone in historic Back Bay, Boston.

Though Meena's impulse is to sell it and keep moving, she decides to use her journalistic instinct to follow the…


Well-Behaved Indian Women

By Saumya Dave,

Book cover of Well-Behaved Indian Women

I was in my forties, the first time I ever read a novel about a Gujarati American family, and this was the one. I was on a beach in Mexico, experiencing for the first time what it felt like to see my comfort foods, my family’s mannerisms, and my culture’s ideologies represented in a book. The story is told from the perspective of three generations of women in a family and it made me think about my own relationships with my mother and grandmother, and what secrets each of them may be carrying because nothing is ever as simple as it seems. 

Well-Behaved Indian Women

By Saumya Dave,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Well-Behaved Indian Women as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“A sparkling debut.”—Emily Giffin, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author 

From a compelling new voice in women's fiction comes a mother-daughter story about three generations of women who struggle to define themselves as they pursue their dreams.

Simran Mehta has always felt harshly judged by her mother, Nandini, especially when it comes to her little "writing hobby." But when a charismatic and highly respected journalist careens into Simran's life, she begins to question not only her future as a psychologist, but her engagement to her high school sweetheart.

Nandini Mehta has strived to create an easy life for her children…


No Ordinary Thursday

By Anoop Judge,

Book cover of No Ordinary Thursday

Like me, the author is a former lawyer, so I knew I had to read her book, and it did not disappoint. Judge pushes the boundaries of what we have traditionally seen from Indian American authors and tells a complex story of how a single day can forever change one’s path. Told from multiple perspectives, her characters break stereotypes and make some questionable decisions, but beneath it all are still rooted in love and loyalty to their family. Judge gracefully tackles topics like addiction, filial piety, and divorce, subjects that are not often discussed openly in the Indian community. This one was both heart-wrenching and hopeful.

No Ordinary Thursday

By Anoop Judge,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked No Ordinary Thursday as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A family, broken by the shattering turns of a single day, will do anything to find their way back to one another.

Lena Sharma is a successful San Francisco restaurateur. An immigrant, she's cultivated an image of conservatism and tradition in her close-knit Indian community. But when Lena's carefully constructed world begins to crumble, her ties to her daughter, Maya, and son, Sameer-both raised in thoroughly modern California-slip further away.

Maya, divorced once, becomes engaged to a man twelve years her junior: Veer Kapoor, the son of Lena's longtime friend. Immediately Maya feels her mother's disgrace and the judgment of…


New Grub Street

By George Gissing,

Book cover of New Grub Street

Gissing is forgotten now because he was a realist working in romantic times. Fiction writers were the rock stars of Victorian England. New Grub Street explores the other side of the coin: the vast number of struggling writers who hankered after the fame and fortune that was never to be theirs. At the heart of the story are two friends, the pragmatic materialist Jasper Milvain and the talented but idealistic Edward Reardon. The modest success of one novel prompts Readon to marry, saddling him with an overwhelming financial burden that crushes his talent. Milvain values money over everything else in life at a time when everything else in life depends on money. I found Gissing’s hard-boiled novel touching because, without flinching, he shows the inner conflicts of people trapped by circumstance.

New Grub Street

By George Gissing,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Because one book had a sort of success he imagined his struggles were over.'

Scholarly, anxious Edwin Reardon had achieved a precarious career as the writer of serious fiction. On the strength of critical acclaim for his fourth novel, he has married the refined Amy Yule. But the brilliant future Amy expected has evaded her husband. The catastrophe of the Reardon's failing marriage is set among the rising and falling fortunes of novelists, journalists, and scholars who labour 'in the valley of the shadow of books'.

George Gissing's New Grub Street was written at breakneck speed in the autumn of…


Curfewed Night

By Basharat Peer,

Book cover of Curfewed Night

An elegant first-person tale of loss and change in the Kashmir Valley. I compare this book to the feeling one gets when mist descends on a grey, foggy day, and old long-forgotten memories recur with a vengeance. Peer’s work is remarkable for his pristine and exact memory of events, starting in the troubled 1990s, and ending in 2005 with the forlorn hope of peace in Kashmir.

Curfewed Night

By Basharat Peer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Since 1989, when the separatist movement exploded in Kashmir, more than 70,000 people have been killed in the battle between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. Born and raised in the war-torn region, Basharat Peer brings this little-known part of the world to life in haunting, vivid detail..

Peer reveals stories from his youth as well as gut-wrenching accounts of the many Kashmiris he met years later, as a reporter. He chronicles a young man’s initiation into a Pakistani training camp; a mother who watches as her son is forced to hold an exploding bomb; a poet who finds religion when…


In Pursuit of Disobedient Women

By Dionne Searcey,

Book cover of In Pursuit of Disobedient Women: A Memoir of Love, Rebellion, and Family, Far Away

Dionne’s book speaks to me on such a personal level. The story follows her journey of uprooting her family to West Africa and shares the stories of the women she meets along the way, navigating extraordinary circumstances and hardship. I, too, did this.

In 2012, my three sons and I landed in Kigali, Rwanda, where we lived for a year. Having experienced firsthand the resiliency and tenacity of women, such as those Dionne encountered, I can’t recommend In Pursuit of Disobedient Women enough to learn more about the challenges and triumphs for women across Africa.

In Pursuit of Disobedient Women

By Dionne Searcey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In Pursuit of Disobedient Women as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When a reporter for The New York Times uproots her family to move to West Africa, she manages her new role as breadwinner while finding women cleverly navigating extraordinary circumstances in a forgotten place for much of the Western world.
 
“A story you will not soon forget.”—Kathryn Bigelow, Academy Award–winning director of The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty

In 2015, Dionne Searcey was covering the economy for The New York Times, living in Brooklyn with her husband and three young children. Saddled with the demands of a dual-career household and motherhood in an urban setting, her life was in…


Without Reservations

By Alice Steinbach,

Book cover of Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman

Without Reservations gave me hope following the death of my beloved husband of 37 years. Living with his unique and nontraditional worldview, I’d grown into and inhabited a wider, less conventional way of being than my suburban middle-class upbringing had prepared me for. But once he was gone, what and who was I going to be? Steinbach’s travelogue goes to many of the places my husband and I traveled in England and Europe, and that brought reminiscences of great pleasure. But it was her inner journeying in search of her soul that gave me the courage to embark on the inner travels toward self-discovery and the independence I faced in a newly widowed existence.

Without Reservations

By Alice Steinbach,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Without Reservations as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

American journalist Alice Steinbach took a year off to live in four cities - Paris, Venice, London and Oxford - when she realized she had entered a new phase of life. Her sons had graduated from college; she had been divorced for a long time; she was a successful journalist. While there was nothing really wrong with her life, she felt restless. Could she live independently of her family, her friends, her career?
Steinbach searches for the answer to this provocative question firstly in Paris, where she finds a soul mate in a Japanese man; in Milan, where she befriends…


The Poet

By Michael Connelly,

Book cover of The Poet

Mr. Connelly’s career started out as a crime beat reporter for newspapers in Florida and in Los Angeles. He’s most known for his Harry Bosch, The Lincoln Lawyer, and Renee Ballard crime novel series. But he’s also known for his Jack McEvoy, crime reporter series.

Jack McEvoy’s twin brother is found dead in his car from a self-inflicted bullet wound to the head--an Edgar Allen Poe quote smeared on the windshield. Jack doesn’t believe that his brother killed himself and while investigating, gets caught up with the FBI who are looking into a serial killer.

This was a departure for Michael Connelly and the book, while very well written, is not for the faint of heart.

The Poet

By Michael Connelly,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Jack begins to investigate the phenomenon of police suicides, a disturbing pattern emerges and he soon suspects that a serial killer is at work, one who sets up his victims and leaves "suicide" notes drawn from the dark poems of Edgar Allan Poe.


Deadline

By Randy Alcorn,

Book cover of Deadline

This was quite an interesting take to see the relationship between those who have gone to heaven and those who are left behind. A tragic accident separates those who lived from those who died, but those in heaven are still able to look over the lives of their loved ones. This novel provides a lot for the reader to process and ponder as well as provide hope to those left behind suffering.

Deadline

By Randy Alcorn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first book in the Ollie Chandler series, this rerelease of the Randy Alcorn bestseller is a heart-pounding murder mystery

When tragedy strikes those closest to him, Jake Woods must draw upon all his resources to uncover the truth about the suspicious accident. Soon he finds himself swept up in a murder investigation that is both complex and dangerous. Unaware of the threat to his own life, Jake is drawn in deeper and deeper as he desperately searches for the answers to the immediate mystery at hand and—ultimately—the deeper meaning of his own existence.

Deadline is a dramatic and vivid…


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