10 books like Mozart's Starling

By Lyanda Lynn Haupt,

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

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My Sister, the Serial Killer

By Oyinkan Braithwaite,

Book cover of My Sister, the Serial Killer

The title and all the glowing reviews made me pick this book up, but the sisters Korene and Ayoola kept me reading. This book actually made me wonder exactly how far I’d go for one of my sisters. It also made me think about how much many women give up to be the caretakers (as Korene the nurse is), especially of the men in our lives. Korene not only figuratively has to clean up after her little sister, she has to literally don plastic gloves and grab the bleach. Is it horrible to think a little Ayoola-style “self-defense” would make the world a better place? Yes. Yes, it is. But I’m so glad this book took me there, right to the darkest edge of that thought…fictionally.

My Sister, the Serial Killer

By Oyinkan Braithwaite,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked My Sister, the Serial Killer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sunday Times bestseller and The Times #1 bestseller

Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2019
Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2019
Winner of the 2019 LA Times Award for Best Crime Thriller
Capital Crime Debut Author of the Year 2019
__________

'A literary sensation'
Guardian

'A bombshell of a book... Sharp, explosive, hilarious'
New York Times

'Glittering and funny... A stiletto slipped between the ribs and through the left ventricle of the heart' Financial Times
__________

When Korede's dinner is interrupted one night by a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what's expected of her: bleach, rubber…


H Is for Hawk

By Helen MacDonald,

Book cover of H Is for Hawk

There are some books you just need. Before I’d even finished my library copy, I’d gone and bought my own; otherwise I couldn’t have given it back. On the face of it, this is nature writing; MacDonald weaves an account of her relationship with a pet goshawk into the story of T.H. White and his own writing of The Goshawk before his King Arthur stories made him famous. It’s a place, this book: a landscape, a psychology, and a sensitive, compassionate history. MacDonald reaches deep into our past – not just the Arthurian lore, but the mythology of animals and how we use them to find our humanity. Tender, honest, and profoundly beautiful.  

H Is for Hawk

By Helen MacDonald,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked H Is for Hawk as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of the Year

ON MORE THAN 25 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR LISTS: including TIME (#1 Nonfiction Book), NPR, O, The Oprah Magazine (10 Favorite Books), Vogue (Top 10), Vanity Fair, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Seattle Times, San Francisco Chronicle (Top 10), Miami Herald, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Minneapolis Star Tribune (Top 10), Library Journal (Top 10), Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Slate, Shelf Awareness, Book Riot, Amazon (Top 20)

The instant New York Times bestseller and award-winning sensation, Helen Macdonald's story of adopting and raising one of…


The Cloudspotter's Guide

By Gavin Pretor-Pinney,

Book cover of The Cloudspotter's Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds

Everything about this book is wonderful. It is science and philosophy and joie de vivre and sarcasm and a mad appreciation for nature’s vagaries and human foibles, and if you have a garden or a terrace or even a window in your life, you need it. The sky will never be the same. Gravity-defying because…well, just look up.

The Cloudspotter's Guide

By Gavin Pretor-Pinney,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Cloudspotter's Guide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now in paperback: the runaway British bestseller that has cloudspotters everywhere looking up.

Where do clouds come from? Why do they look the way they do? And why have they captured the imagination of timeless artists, Romantic poets, and every kid who's ever held a crayon? Veteran journalist and lifelong sky watcher Gavin Pretor-Pinney reveals everything there is to know about clouds, from history and science to art and pop culture. Cumulus, nimbostratus, and the dramatic and surfable Morning Glory cloud are just a few of the varieties explored in this smart, witty, and eclectic tour through the skies.

Illustrated…


Skyfaring

By Mark Vanhoenacker,

Book cover of Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot

If I’d read this book as a teenager, I might have been compelled to learn to be a pilot. I love the way Vanhoenacker is so passionate about his craft. Along with talking about flight, he comes up with concepts like “place lag” rather than “jet lag,” putting into words those emotions all of us who have sometimes gone bewilderingly far, whiplash-inducingly fast have felt, but could never express. Gravity-defying because you can choose to soar away from bad weather, boredom, or the tyranny of time and place.

Skyfaring

By Mark Vanhoenacker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

**Sunday Times Bestseller**
**Book of the Week on Radio 4**

'One of the most constantly fascinating, but consistently under-appreciated aspects of modern life is the business of flying. Mark Vanhoenacker has written the ideal book on the subject: a description of what it's like to fly by a commercial pilot who is also a master prose stylist and a deeply sensitive human being. This is a man who is at once a technical expert - he flies 747s across continents - and a poet of the skies. This couldn't be more highly recommended.' Alain de Botton

Think back to when…


The Murder of Figaro

By Susan Larson,

Book cover of The Murder of Figaro

If Canone Inverso is your main course, The Murder of Figaro is the perfect dessert. It is light, frothy, and witty as a Mozart comic opera. As it should be, since the main characters are Mozart and his wife Constanze. Together, the frolicking pair must speedily solve the backstage murder of the government censor; otherwise, Mozart’s new opera, The Marriage of Figaro, will never see the light of day. Larson herself was an accomplished opera singer and has thorough insight into the opera world: the music, the business, and the backstage backstabbing. Written as a delightful opera buffa, this book is an absolutely fun read.

The Murder of Figaro

By Susan Larson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It's 1786, and "The Marriage of Figaro," a new comic opera by Amadé Mozart and Lorenzo Da Ponte, has just begun its first onstage rehearsal when a corpse makes an appearance in the wings: it's the Imperial Censor, whom everybody wanted to kill at one time or other. Mozart and his clever wife Constanze are commanded to solve this deadly mystery. If they fail, "Figaro" will never play in Vienna!

The book is structured like an opera libretto, in four acts. There is even an overture, followed by two more overtures, just for fun. The plot follows that of "The…


Amadeus

By Peter Shaffer,

Book cover of Amadeus: A Play by Peter Shaffer

“What the American public wants in the theater is a tragedy with a happy ending.”

- William Dean Howell

Not so much the British public, I guess. Years ago, I found this play in the remainder bin of a book store and bought it because I’d enjoyed Sleuth, not realizing there were two Schaffer brother playwrights…who, it turns out, had a major sibling rivalry thing going on. The movie was remarkable but the play really drives home Salieri’s fury at God. Resilience, it turns out can be effectively weaponized: especially when you’re the director of the Italian opera, a court-savvy sneak, and a jealous sidewinder. First on his “to do” list? Seduce Mozart’s wife… But by thoroughly destroying Wolfi, Salieri loses his humanity in the process. There’s always a snag.

Amadeus

By Peter Shaffer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

0riginating at the National Theatre of Great Britain, Amadeus was the recipient of both the Evening Standard Drama Award and the Theatre Critics Award. In the United States, the play won the coveted Tony Award and went on to become a critically acclaimed major motion picture winning eight Oscars, including Best Picture.

Now, this extraordinary work about the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is available with a new preface by Peter Shaffer and a new introduction by the director of the 1998 Broadway revival, Sir Peter Hall. Amadeus is a must-have for classical music buffs, theatre lovers, and aficionados of…


Quartet In Farewell Time

By Mary B. Durant,

Book cover of Quartet In Farewell Time

Mary Durant was my mother. This was her first novel, published in 1963. When I read it, the proverbial light bulb popped to life in my very young head: I recognized the real-life people and events upon whom the characters and plot were based, and because of that familiarity, saw the way my mother had changed things around, invented circumstances, conversations and fashioned composite characters to create a story. It was a behind-the-scenes crash course in the art of fiction-writing, the marvelous synthesis by which the novelist spins fact and invention into literature. And I understood that really good fiction, though technically a "made up" story, is always imbued with Truth with a capital "T," and that great writing and Truth are inextricably intertangled.

My mother was a first-rate writer and reader, and because of her, I was initiated into the quasi-secret bandwidth of real literature. The key: it’s all…

Quartet In Farewell Time

By Mary B. Durant,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Quartet In Farewell Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Mozart's Wife

By Juliet Waldron,

Book cover of Mozart's Wife

I loved this book. I adore Mozart and reading about him through the eyes of his wife, was so well done in this book. We see Mozart brought to life from his early days as a young child to his struggles with his father as an adult. Waldron captured Mozart’s brilliance, his silliness, and his all-around personality with his family. She also shows the reader that behind this man, was a woman who supported her husband despite his frivolous spending and disregard for authority. This novel was well done, and I highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in Mozart behind his music.

Mozart's Wife

By Juliet Waldron,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Giddy sugarplum or calculating bitch? Pretty Konstanze aroused strong feelings among her contemporaries. Her in-law's loathed her. Mozart's friends, more than forty years after his death, remained eager to gossip about her "failures" as wife to the world's first superstar.

Maturing from child, to wife, to hard-headed widow, Konstanze would pay Mozart's debts, provide for their children, and relentlessly market and mythologize her brilliant husband.

Mozart's letters attest to his affection for Konstanze as well as to their powerful sexual bond. Nevertheless, prominent among the many mysteries surrounding the composer's untimely death: why did his much beloved Konstanze never mark…


How to Fly a Horse

By Kevin Ashton,

Book cover of How to Fly a Horse: The Secret History of Creation, Invention, and Discovery

I used this in class the last semester I taught at Duke; had I continued to teach I would have used it again. The students and I found it was two things—as it tells the Secret History of Creation, Invention, and Discovery it also spotlights creative strategies and entrepreneurial behaviors in the stories it shares. It’s an entertaining history and narrative of creative and entrepreneurial successes; both teach us, guide us, maybe even inspire us. I’m the father of three daughters and appreciated the stories he’s uncovered of many life-changing innovations that women led but men claimed. 

How to Fly a Horse

By Kevin Ashton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Fly a Horse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the vein of Susan Cain's QUIET and Malcolm Gladwell's DAVID AND GOLIATH, HOW TO FLY A HORSE is a smart, empowering book that dispels the myths around genius and creativity.

There is a myth about how something new comes to be; that geniuses have dramatic moments of insight where great things and thoughts are born whole. Poems are written in dreams. Symphonies are composed complete. Science is accomplished with eureka shrieks. Businesses are built by magic touch.

The myth is wrong. Anyone can create. Necessity is not the mother of invention. We all are.

In How to Fly a…


The 50 Greatest Love Letters of All Time

By David Lowenherz,

Book cover of The 50 Greatest Love Letters of All Time

Years ago, someone gave this book to me for Valentine’s Day; and I literally drowned in the pages, the naked emotion. The next Valentine’s Day I bought copies for several friends. I would call this collection more beautiful than romantic; with each love letter, you hear love from various perspectives and time periods.

The 50 Greatest Love Letters of All Time

By David Lowenherz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The 50 Greatest Love Letters of All Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

If a picture speaks a thousand words, a love letter speaks a thousand more . . .

Even in this age of e-mail, faxes, and instant messaging, nothing has ever replaced the power of a love letter. Much the way light displays every color when passed through a prism, love letters express the spectrum of our emotions, offering a colorful glimpse into the soul of the writer, and of the writer’s beloved. For passionate readers and lovers of words, a letter is irresistible.

Internationally renowned collector David Lowenherz sifted through hundreds and hundreds of historical and contemporary epistles and selected…


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