100 books like Moloka'i

By Alan Brennert,

Here are 100 books that Moloka'i fans have personally recommended if you like Moloka'i. 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 Zorba the Greek

Cinda Crabbe MacKinnon Author Of A Place in the World

From my list on multicultural stories set in exotic lands.

Who am I?

I grew up in Latin America (& briefly in Europe) and my connections and regard for the people, culture, and natural setting resulted in my novel, A Place in the World. I have lived in six countries and appreciate the experiences. I love languages and history and like to travel, at least vicariously with a good book. I hope you enjoy my book picks as much as I have! I am a writer, former university lecturer, and environmental scientist, with an MS in geology and a passion for botany. This background enabled me to weave aspects of natural science, as well as Latino culture, into my writing.

Cinda's book list on multicultural stories set in exotic lands

Cinda Crabbe MacKinnon Why did Cinda love this book?

I love this tale narrated by a young academic who teams up with an exuberant, older working man named Zorba, “a passionate lover of wine, women and song” ...and dance. The younger man is more of a staid introvert. They are in a village in Crete to develop a mine. Their interactions are both amusing and philosophical. This contrasts with one horrific event where the appalled narrator struggles to understand the village’s moral codes which conflict with his own. In the final scene as he comes out of his shell, he asks Zorba to teach him to dance.

This is one of my favorite all-time novels. Kazantzakis words are to be savored.

By Nikos Kazantzakis,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Zorba the Greek as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This moving fable sees a young Greek writer set out to Crete to claim a small inheritance. But when he arrives, he meets Alexis Zorba, a middle-aged Greek man with a zest for life. Zorba has had a family and many lovers, has fought in the Balkan wars, has lived and loved - he is a simple but deep man who lives every moment fully and without shame. As their friendship develops, he is gradually won over, transformed and inspired along with the reader.

Zorba the Greek, Nikos Kazantzakis' most popular and enduring novel, has its origins in the author's…


Book cover of The Poisonwood Bible

Joanne Leedom-Ackerman Author Of The Far Side of the Desert

From my list on books combining international political intrigue, romance, and family drama.

Who am I?

I began my career as a journalist, including working as a reporter on an international newspaper. I left full-time journalism to write fiction where I can combine an interest in international affairs with stories of characters and issues of the heart which drive individuals and often shape events. Over the years I’ve worked and traveled with international organizations, serving as Vice President of PEN International, and on the boards and in other roles focusing on human rights, education, and refugees. I’ve been able to travel widely and witness events up close, walking along the edge of worlds and discovering the bonds that keep us from falling off.

Joanne's book list on books combining international political intrigue, romance, and family drama

Joanne Leedom-Ackerman Why did Joanne love this book?

When I read Poisonwood Bible, I was instantly with the characters, especially the children as they boarded the plane for the Congo dressed in layers of clothing because they could only bring a limited amount. The story of the evangelical preacher Nathan Price and his family who arrive in the Belgian Congo in 1959 completely unprepared for what they will see and experience does what great fiction can do. It dramatizes the intimate at the same time illumining the larger story and forces at play.

Barbara weaves history, politics, and family drama masterfully with the compelling narrative voices of the wife and children. The story includes the political intrigue of the Congo’s fight for independence from Belgium, murder, and CIA intrigue.

I was in Africa when I read the novel, and I remember the pilot of the airplane announcing that we were flying over where the Blue and the…

By Barbara Kingsolver,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked The Poisonwood Bible as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**NOW INCLUDING THE FIRST CHAPTER OF DEMON COPPERHEAD: THE NEW BARBARA KINGSOLVER NOVEL**

**DEMON COPPERHEAD IS AVAILABLE NOW FOR PRE-ORDER**

An international bestseller and a modern classic, this suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and their remarkable reconstruction has been read, adored and shared by millions around the world.

'Breathtaking.' Sunday Times
'Exquisite.' The Times
'Beautiful.' Independent
'Powerful.' New York Times

This story is told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959.

They carry with them everything they believe they will…


Book cover of A Long Petal of the Sea

Ram Gidoomal Author Of My Silk Road: The Adventures & Struggles of a British Asian Refugee

From my list on refugees, inclusion, diversity and equality.

Who am I?

As a refugee myself, I was attracted to read about the lives and experiences of other refugees, not merely those from my own community or background, but especially those from other backgrounds–which is probably reflected in the books that I’ve chosen for my list.

Ram's book list on refugees, inclusion, diversity and equality

Ram Gidoomal Why did Ram love this book?

Even though this love story is set in very tragic times–The Spanish Civil War and the troubles in Chile–we follow the journey of two refugees, Victor and Rose, whose forced marriage gradually deepens into true love.

The author, herself an immigrant in the USA, meaningfully draws out questions facing so many migrants and refugees: Where do I belong? Where are my roots? Is my heart divided, or has it grown bigger?

By Isabel Allende, Nick Caistor (translator), Amanda Hopkinson (translator)

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A Long Petal of the Sea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

_______________ THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER _______________ 'A powerful love story spanning generations... Full of ambition and humanity' - Sunday Times 'One of the strongest and most affecting works in Allende's long career' - New York Times Book Review _______________ On September 3, 1939, the day of the Spanish exiles' splendid arrival in Chile, the Second World War broke out in Europe. Victor Dalmau is a young doctor when he is caught up in the Spanish Civil War, a tragedy that leaves his life - and the fate of his country - forever changed. Together with…


Book cover of The Coconut Latitudes: Secrets, Storms, and Survival in the Caribbean

Cinda Crabbe MacKinnon Author Of A Place in the World

From my list on multicultural stories set in exotic lands.

Who am I?

I grew up in Latin America (& briefly in Europe) and my connections and regard for the people, culture, and natural setting resulted in my novel, A Place in the World. I have lived in six countries and appreciate the experiences. I love languages and history and like to travel, at least vicariously with a good book. I hope you enjoy my book picks as much as I have! I am a writer, former university lecturer, and environmental scientist, with an MS in geology and a passion for botany. This background enabled me to weave aspects of natural science, as well as Latino culture, into my writing.

Cinda's book list on multicultural stories set in exotic lands

Cinda Crabbe MacKinnon Why did Cinda love this book?

After a blogger in Thailand interviewed me, he told me I should meet the author Rita Gardner, “Her memoir is about growing up in a Latin culture like yourself.” Rita and I exchanged books and personal stories, but her upbringing was darker than mine.

The young family moves to a remote village on a beach in the Dominican Republic in the 1950s. The two daughters are not only isolated, but their alcoholic father rants and makes irrational demands while the mother does nothing to protect them. During the light of day the dad proclaims them a “happy family, living in Paradise.” The writing is honest and captivatingYou will root for Rita and be flabbergasted at what a young girl accomplishes on her own.

By Rita M. Gardner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Gold Medal Winner, Autobiography/Memoir, 2015 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards.

Rita is an infant when her father leaves a successful career in the US to live in "paradise"-a seaside village in the Dominican Republic. The Coconut Latitudes is her haunting, lyrical memoir of surviving a reality far from the envisioned Eden-and of the terrible cost of keeping secrets.


Book cover of Kolea

Peggy Herring Author Of Anna, Like Thunder

From my list on pacific northwest history.

Who am I?

As a transplant to the west coast of North America, I’m always on the lookout for books that capture aspects of the history of this region and help me understand my new home. For me, the books on this list have shed light on different communities, worldviews, and a complicated past. Besides, I am a pushover for epic stories that span generations and geographies and teach me new ways of thinking and looking at the world.

Peggy's book list on pacific northwest history

Peggy Herring Why did Peggy love this book?

This novel is like a wild ride on the ocean. I loved how it took me into the Indigenous communities in the Hawai’ian Islands prior to contact with Europeans and revealed their longstanding links to the Pacific coast of North America. There’s an epic story, and it’s chock full of marvelous detail about culture, food, clothing, migration, and worldview, and even explores the nature of time. However, what most struck me was considering what it would be like to orient my thinking to the sea and its rhythms instead of the land. It shifted the way I see the place I live.   

By Russell Cahill,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

To paradise they sailed—

There once was a world where hula dancers were experts at spear fighting, where a blind warrior taught his students healing arts...

where adventure ruled—

...as well as savage fighting. And where young people could build and sail a canoe on voyages to unknown lands.

where danger waited...

That world was Hawai’i.

The illegitimate child of Maui’s King, Kolea, is spirited away to Molokai and raised in seclusion by a mysterious Hula Dancer and a blind warrior. Trained as a warrior, he is pursued by his evil half-brother.

A daring escape in a voyaging canoe leads…


Book cover of Pandemic

Gary F. Jones Author Of The Iceman's Curse

From my list on thrillers about pathogens with a touch of humor.

Who am I?

I enjoy combining science, wit, and satire in my stories. I’ve observed life for 75 years, practiced food-animal veterinary medicine, and used molecular biology to earn a PhD in microbiology. The evolution of virulence in pathogens has long been an interest of mine. From observation, I’ve learned never to underestimate the destructive power of a well-intentioned fool, and that no situation is so bad that an idiot can’t make it worse. Heroes are flawed. They make mistakes, but they grow. They kick themselves in the ass and move on. Their opponents aren’t supermen, either. 

Gary's book list on thrillers about pathogens with a touch of humor

Gary F. Jones Why did Gary love this book?

Pandemic includes my two favorite themes: molecular biology and viral infections. It introduces a problem I’ve seen discussed in a scientific journal. If a gene editing tool (CRISPR/Cas 9) is used to raise pigs whose hearts have important human proteins so they are recognized as “self” by a human’s immune system, the waiting lists for heart transplants would be a thing of the past. However, a virus, avirulent in the pig but fatal to people, could accidentally be carried along with those hearts. The ensuing coverups make things exponentially worse.

By Robin Cook,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

New York Times-bestselling author Robin Cook takes on the cutting-edge world of gene-modification in this pulse-pounding new medical thriller.

When an unidentified, seemingly healthy young woman collapses suddenly on the New York City subway and dies upon reaching the hospital, her case is an eerie reminder for veteran medical examiner Jack Stapleton of the 1918 flu pandemic. Fearful of a repeat on the one hundredth anniversary of the nightmarish contagion, Jack autopsies the woman within hours of her demise and discovers some striking anomalies: first, that she has had a heart transplant, and second, that, against all odds, her DNA…


Book cover of The Second Life of Mirielle West

Molly O'Keefe Author Of The Sunshine Girls

From my list on historical fiction NOT set during World War II.

Who am I?

I have loved historical novels since my mom first read Anne of Green Gables to me as a kid. They are the novels I reach for first and love the most. The creative glimpse into other times and lives is, to me, the most exciting reading experience. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I do. My latest book – The Sunshine Girls is a dual narrative timeline, set in the current day and the 1960s-1980s. 

Molly's book list on historical fiction NOT set during World War II

Molly O'Keefe Why did Molly love this book?

Amanda Skenandore’s beautiful and insightful novel about a silent film star who was sent to live in a Louisiana Leper Colony in the 1920s. The book is rich and full of surprising historical details. While it might seem like a downer – it is funny and heartwarming, with a beautiful coming-of-age story and romance at its heart.  Absolutely fascinating.

By Amanda Skenandore,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The glamorous world of a silent film star’s wife abruptly crumbles when she’s forcibly quarantined at the Carville Lepers Home in this page-turning story of courage, resilience, and reinvention set in 1920s Louisiana and Los Angeles. Based on little-known history, this timely book will strike a chord with readers of Fiona Davis, Tracey Lange, and Marie Benedict.
 
Based on the true story of America’s only leper colony, The Second Life of Mirielle West brings vividly to life the Louisiana institution known as Carville, where thousands of people were stripped of their civil rights, branded as lepers, and forcibly quarantined throughout…


Book cover of My Name Is Mary Sutter

Margie Lukas Author Of The Broken Statue

From my list on heroines who inspire.

Who am I?

I grew up watching my mother suffer under a strict patriarchal religion. She never felt she had a choice in her life, and yet she always remained a dreamer, collecting newspaper articles about events in history that interested her. They piled up in a box and I’ve no idea what she thought to do with them. She would thumb through them between bouts of standing over a ringer washer or hanging wet clothing outside in freezing weather. There were 15 of us, you can imagine the laundry. I never saw her cry…despite working like a mule. I admire her and women like her for getting through. 

Margie's book list on heroines who inspire

Margie Lukas Why did Margie love this book?

I love historical novels, love learning about the past and what the past teaches us about today. Mary Sutter dreams of becoming a surgeon at a time when both men and women looked down on a female who dreamed outside her prescribed role. I admire how she fights through all the denouncers. What also interests me is her recognition of internal demons. Who doesn’t have those? I didn’t have my sights on becoming a doctor, but I’ve always wanted to be a writer. My studying writing in college seemed wasteful and elitist to naysayers. Even now, with three novels, I get patronizing looks as though I ought to be doing something more valuable with my time. As though writing is somehow an affront to people who hold real, 8-5 jobs.    

By Robin Oliveira,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A moving, New York Times bestselling novel about a young Civil War midwife who dreams of becoming a surgeon

Chosen by Good Housekeeping as a Top 10 Good Read

Mary Sutter's story continues in Winter Sisters, coming February 2018 from Viking

Fans of Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks, Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier, and Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini will love this New York Times bestselling Civil War tale.

Mary Sutter is a brilliant young midwife who dreams of becoming a surgeon. Eager to run away from recent heartbreak, Mary travels to Washington, D.C., to help tend the legions…


Book cover of Anatomy: A Love Story

Gabby Gilliam Author Of Drumming for the Dead: Trouble in Tomsk

From my list on horror for people who don’t like scary stories.

Who am I?

I never expected to write a zombie story, let alone a novella series. I don’t usually do scary. I avoid horror movies and choose books with pretty covers. I think that’s why my books, like those on this list, walk the line of horror without plunging all the way in. There’s a delight in being spooked, but not if it leads you to recurring nightmares. I want books that will set my heart racing, but don’t plant a lingering fear. The books on this list will raise the hair on your arms, but won’t keep you up at night…unless, of course, it’s because you can’t put them down.

Gabby's book list on horror for people who don’t like scary stories

Gabby Gilliam Why did Gabby love this book?

Easily the goriest of my choices, Schwartz’s story offers readers a bit of everything.

It is a historically set mystery with a bit of gruesome science fiction woven in. Throw in a bit of grave-robbing and a lot of dissection in the name of science, and you have a gothic tale reminiscent of Mary Shelley that explores the challenges of a female scientist fighting to be accepted in world that refuses to permit women to become surgeons.

It manages to be both disturbing and endearing, and a story so well-told that you won’t want to put it down.

By Dana Schwartz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Anatomy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

'Dana Schwartz is one of the brightest of the next generation of young writers' NEIL GAIMAN

Edinburgh, 1817.

Hazel Sinnett is a lady who wants to be a surgeon more than she wants to marry.

Jack Currer is a resurrection man who's just trying to survive in a city where it's too easy to die.

When the two of them have a chance encounter outside the Edinburgh Anatomist's Society, Hazel thinks nothing of it at first. But after she gets kicked out of renowned surgeon Dr. Beecham's lectures for being the wrong gender, she realizes that her new acquaintance might…


Book cover of CRISPR'd: A Medical Thriller

Françoise Baylis Author Of Altered Inheritance: CRISPR and the Ethics of Human Genome Editing

From my list on genetic engineering and designer babies.

Who am I?

I'm a philosopher with a specialization in bioethics. My work is at the intersection of policy and practice. It is grounded in a deep commitment to public education, engagement, and empowerment, as well as a strong desire to “make the powerful care.” I maintain that “the human genome belongs to us all. It’s something we have in common, and so we all have the right to have a say.” I believe the pivotal question that we all need to ask is “What kind of world do we want to live in?” Once we have an answer to this question, we can meaningfully address the more pointed question, “Will CRISPR technology help us build that world?”

Françoise's book list on genetic engineering and designer babies

Françoise Baylis Why did Françoise love this book?

This work of fiction highlights the potential dangers of genetic engineering.

It invites the reader to imagine a world in which it is possible to genetically modify early-stage human embryos, making changes that will determine the life-trajectory of the newborn.

In this world, Dr. Saul Kramer, a geneticist, and the head of a successful IVF clinic, uses CRISPR technology not to correct disease-causing genes in unhealthy embryos, but rather to insert a gene for a fatal genetic disease into healthy embryos.

Children born of these genetically modified embryos die in the first year of life. Notably, this is not a whodunnit, but a morality tale framed around the question of whether Dr. Kramer is a murderer. 

By Judy Foreman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For fans of Julia Buckley and Tess Gerritsen, a debut featuring a killer in plain sight using a microscopic murder weapon, the cutting edge gene-editing technology: CRISPR.

Boston geneticist Dr. Saul Kramer is on the cutting edge of genetic disease research. Revered among clients at his IVF clinic, he harbors a dark secret. In addition to helping infertile couples conceive healthy babies, Dr. Kramer is obsessed, for his own dark reasons, with an alternate mission as well. In certain patients, he uses the gene editing technology CRISPR to tamper with embryos, not to improve the health of the embryos, but…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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