100 books like Mozart's Starling

By Lyanda Lynn Haupt,

Here are 100 books that Mozart's Starling fans have personally recommended if you like Mozart's Starling. 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 My Sister, the Serial Killer

Jane De Suza Author Of When Impossible Happens

From my list on books to make you laugh when you’re trying to look serious.

Why am I passionate about this?

Out of all the flattering reviews of my books, my favourite is of a reader choking on her lunch. My book was about death. The reader, who survived, said it made her laugh so hard. I write about tough times by bringing out the it’s okay to smile now bits. The Midnight Years is about teen mental health, Happily Never After is about loneliness, and Flyaway Boy is about stereotyping. Making people laugh through tears is a tough task. Here are some books that cracked it.

Jane's book list on books to make you laugh when you’re trying to look serious

Jane De Suza Why did Jane love this book?

Not a situation I’d find myself in. Neither, I hope, will you. Korede’s problem in this quirky book is dark and unusual: having to protect a sister who kills her suitors.

The plot goes from unpredictable to weird. The older sister, a nurse committed to saving lives, has to choose between her code of ethics and her love for her pretty, precocious sister, who keeps killing her boyfriends.

A story this morbid, narrated with straight-faced, deadpan humour, has made this book one of my picks.

By Oyinkan Braithwaite,

Why should I read it?

11 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…


Book cover of H is for Hawk

Alexander Kriss, Ph.D. Author Of Borderline: The Biography of a Personality Disorder

From my list on understanding misunderstanding mental illness.

Why am I passionate about this?

Long before I trained to be a clinical psychologist, I was drawn to questions about how the human mind works and what it means to suffer and to heal. Even now, after having digested countless academic papers and books on these subjects, I continue to gravitate toward fiction, memoir, and popular nonfiction that grapples with the complexities of mental illness and psychotherapy without the jargon and insularity of many professional texts. These are some of my favorites—I hope you find them as illuminating as I did.

Alexander's book list on understanding misunderstanding mental illness

Alexander Kriss, Ph.D. Why did Alexander love this book?

I love this book for a number of reasons, perhaps chiefly because it’s so hard to pin down. What is it? Part memoir, part biography, part meditation on grief, part instructional guide to falconry.

Helen Macdonald interweaves her own story of dealing with her father’s death with a historical account of the tortured life of T. H. White (known best as the author of The Once and Future King). In juxtaposing these stories across time and space, we are able to see the blurred lines between bereavement, madness, and social isolation. I will hold forever in my mind Macdonald’s description of looking into her hawk’s eye and seeing nothing familiar, an alien consciousness—it helped to remind me that for all the complexity and diversity of the human species, our perspective is only one among the countless others with which we cohabitate on this planet.

By Helen Macdonald,

Why should I read it?

14 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…


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

Tom Ireland Author Of The Good Virus: The Amazing Story and Forgotten Promise of the Phage

From my list on science about way more than science.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a science journalist and magazine editor. I feel really lucky to be a bioscience specialist – it really is at the forefront of solving some of the great challenges of our time, from making sustainable fuels and materials, to climate change mitigation, age-related disease, pandemics, food security, habitat restoration…plus there’s an incredible diversity of life on our planet still to be discovered. I always try to relate scientific progress to our everyday lives: it’s not just about creating new knowledge, it is about how that knowledge might improve our health, change our outlook, transform society, or protect the planet. 

Tom's book list on science about way more than science

Tom Ireland Why did Tom love this book?

Thanks to this beautiful book, I try to take a moment each day to look up at the sky.

The Cloudspotter’s Guide is so much more than just a guide to the science of how clouds form, or the different types – it’s a reminder to appreciate the unbelievably beautiful and epic natural forms that float above us every day.

Clouds, writes Pretor-Pinney, are ‘the most egalitarian of nature’s displays – we all have a good view of them’. And his guide is as much about how to take pleasure in this daily display as it is about the science of atmospherics, precipitation, and altitude. 

I bought this book so long ago its pages are yellowing and falling out. But when I’m busy and stressed, I still daydream of being able to sit in my garden and do nothing but watch the clouds roll by. When I am aboard a…

By Gavin Pretor-Pinney,

Why should I read it?

2 authors 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…


Book cover of Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot

Martha W. Murphy Author Of CRU Oyster Bar Nantucket Cookbook: Savoring Four Seasons of the Good Life

From my list on the eclectic reader of nonfiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a narrative nonfiction writer interested in a broad range of topics, including but not limited to: food and the people who bring it to us; travel and life in faraway places; human health and the role of medicine; memoir as one person’s story yet illustrative of the human spirit; and the unique and remarkable role dogs play in our lives. I am the same kind of reader: I read across a range of topics, mostly nonfiction. The bookshelves in my house and the record of titles I’ve checked out from my local library show an eclectic taste, as do the books I’m recommending here. I hope you’ll enjoy them!

Martha's book list on the eclectic reader of nonfiction

Martha W. Murphy Why did Martha love this book?

I expected a book of insider stories about the hidden world of commercial airline travel from the people who make it possible, but instead I found a beautifully written, lyrical, and awestruck look at what it means to travel high above the Earth’s surface day after day, zooming between cities on opposite sides of the world.

I have never had the physics of flight, gravitational pull, wind, storms, and clouds explained so clearly and compellingly. I frequently reread passages for their beauty and emotion and completely unique fresh perspective. I knew flying was a sophisticated skill, but this book made it clear how truly complex a pilot’s job is.

The author’s love of his hard-won occupation is enthralling, making this a book to share with aspiring aviators in your life.  

By Mark Vanhoenacker,

Why should I read it?

2 authors 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…


Book cover of The Speckled Beauty: A Dog and His People

Rona Maynard Author Of Starter Dog: My Path to Joy, Belonging and Loving This World

From my list on the power of loving a dog.

Why am I passionate about this?

For most of my life no one guessed I could fall for a dog, much less write a book about one. I associated dogs with drool on the floor and fur all over everything. One of those “just a dog” people, I thought the marriage bed should be strictly for humans. It crossed my mind that an eager dog would keep me from working into the night at the office where I ran Chatelaine, Canada’s premier magazine for women, but I chose a treadmill at the Y over rambles with a dog. At 65 I discovered my inner dog person. A ragged-eared mutt is now my joy and my muse.

Rona's book list on the power of loving a dog

Rona Maynard Why did Rona love this book?

When Rick Bragg shuffles home to his mother’s place in rural Alabama, spent from chemotherapy, depression, and years of hard living, he figures it’ll take a sweet old dog to lick the crankiness out of him.

There’s nothing sweet about the stray who shows up at the side of the road, “seventy-six pounds of wet hair and bad decisions.” In a willful Australian shepherd with a ruined eye and a lust for carrion, Bragg recognizes himself—his wounds, his tenacity, his devotion to family. Speck “would rather die than be clean” but he stands by his people when they need him, and Bragg is his number one human.

I loved the humor, pathos, and Southern character that elevate this story of redemption by a dog over more predictable versions.

By Rick Bragg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • From the best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of All Over but the Shoutin', the warmhearted and hilarious story of how his life was transformed by his love for a poorly behaved, half-blind stray dog.

Speck is not a good boy. He is a terrible boy, a defiant, self-destructive, often malodorous boy, a grave robber and screen door moocher who spends his days playing chicken with the Fed Ex man, picking fights with thousand-pound livestock, and rolling in donkey manure, and his nights howling at the moon. He has been that way since the moment he…


Book cover of Fox and I: An Uncommon Friendship

Tove Danovich Author Of Under the Henfluence: Inside the World of Backyard Chickens and the People Who Love Them

From my list on animals helping us understand ourselves.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a freelance journalist who started writing about animals after getting and falling in love with a flock of chickens. Animals are fascinating in their own right but the way we talk about them, and our relationships, shine a fascinating light on humans and what we value. My work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Country Living, and many others. 

Tove's book list on animals helping us understand ourselves

Tove Danovich Why did Tove love this book?

Catherine Raven is a loner. To keep her distance from others, the author buys a cabin on a remote stretch of land in Montana. Then she starts getting visits from a fox.

This absolute dream of a book catalogues Raven’s friendship with the fox and what you can learn from hours spent in another being’s presence. One of the best animal books I’ve ever read. You’ll savor every page.

By Catherine Raven,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Instant New York Times Bestseller

Winner of the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award * 2022 Nautilus Book Awards Gold Winner * Shortlisted for the John Burroughs Medal * Finalist for the Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize * Shortlisted for a Reading the West Book Award

A Christian Science Monitor Best Book of the Year * 2021 Summer Reading Pick by BUZZFEED * NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW * KIRKUS * TIME MAGAZINE * GOOD MORNING AMERICA * PEOPLE MAGAZINE * THE WASHINGTON POST

“The book everyone will be talking about … full of tenderness and understanding.”―The New York…


Book cover of Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl

Tove Danovich Author Of Under the Henfluence: Inside the World of Backyard Chickens and the People Who Love Them

From my list on animals helping us understand ourselves.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a freelance journalist who started writing about animals after getting and falling in love with a flock of chickens. Animals are fascinating in their own right but the way we talk about them, and our relationships, shine a fascinating light on humans and what we value. My work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Country Living, and many others. 

Tove's book list on animals helping us understand ourselves

Tove Danovich Why did Tove love this book?

Researchers don’t know much about barn owls so Stacey O’Brien, a biologist, and owl researcher, takes on the chance to raise one as a research assignment. Wesley quickly becomes so much more than that.

This memoir opens the door on owl intelligence and behavior while including unforgettable details like that baby barn owls smell “like maple syrup.” You’ll love the friendship between Wesley and his human.

A book that’s over far too quickly. 

By Stacey O'Brien,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On Valentine’s Day 1985, biologist Stacey O’Brien adopted Wesley, a baby barn owl with an injured wing who could not have survived in the wild. Over the next nineteen years, O’Brien studied Wesley’s strange habits with both a tender heart and a scientist’s eye—and provided a mice-only diet that required her to buy the rodents in bulk (28,000 over the owl’s lifetime). She watched him turn from a helpless fluff ball into an avid com­municator with whom she developed a language all their own. Eventually he became a gorgeous, gold-and-white macho adult with a heart-shaped face who preened in the…


Book cover of The Good Good Pig: The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood

Tove Danovich Author Of Under the Henfluence: Inside the World of Backyard Chickens and the People Who Love Them

From my list on animals helping us understand ourselves.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a freelance journalist who started writing about animals after getting and falling in love with a flock of chickens. Animals are fascinating in their own right but the way we talk about them, and our relationships, shine a fascinating light on humans and what we value. My work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Country Living, and many others. 

Tove's book list on animals helping us understand ourselves

Tove Danovich Why did Tove love this book?

Sometimes it takes a pig to introduce us to our fellow humans.

In this delightful book, nature writer Sy Montgomery sticks close to home following the story of Christopher Hogwood, a runty piglet who grows into 750 pounds and a neighborhood favorite. You may not want a pig as a pet after reading but you will fall in love with the pig mind and the way animals can bring us together.

By Sy Montgomery,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"In loving yet unsentimental prose, Sy Montgomery captures the richness that animals bring to the human experience. Sometimes it takes a too-smart-for-his-own-good pig to open our eyes to what most matters in life.”
—John Grogan, author of Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog

A naturalist who spent months at a time living on her own among wild creatures in remote jungles, Sy Montgomery had always felt more comfortable with animals than with people. So she gladly opened her heart to a sick piglet who had been crowded away from nourishing meals by his stronger siblings.…


Book cover of Mozart's Wife

Juliana Cummings Author Of Sleeping With the Impaler: A Historical Romance About Vlad the Impaler

From my list on historical fiction that bring real people to life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a reader and writer of historical fiction for as long as I remember. As a writer, my goal is to bring these figures from the past alive again. These were real people and I want my readers to see that they are not just photos or stories in a history book.

Juliana's book list on historical fiction that bring real people to life

Juliana Cummings Why did Juliana love this book?

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.

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…


Book cover of The Kingdom of Back

Robyn Dabney Author Of The Ascenditure

From my list on women who challenge the patriarchy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up as a total tomboy in the early 90s, I naturally gravitated toward traditionally male-dominated sports, jobs, and hobbies throughout my life. Despite encountering instances of sexual harassment and sexism along the way, I had strong role models and books with fierce main characters to turn to for support. I have always been passionate about women claiming their power, which is why I love writing about and reading stories that center on this theme.

Robyn's book list on women who challenge the patriarchy

Robyn Dabney Why did Robyn love this book?

I enjoy books where relationships go beyond romance and delve into themes of friendship and family. I also love a story that takes historical figures and plays with reality, blending fantasy and historical fiction. This book covers both.

What I adored most about this book was the portrayal of Nannerl’s (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s sister) struggle for recognition against the patriarchal constraints of her time. This story beautifully blends themes of familial love, gendered expectations, and the power of imagination.

By Marie Lu,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Kingdom of Back as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu comes a historical YA fantasy about a musical prodigy and the dangerous lengths she'll go to make history remember her. Now in paperback.

Two siblings. Two brilliant talents. But only one Mozart.

Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish--to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she'll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in 18th century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform…


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