100 books like My Education

By Susan Choi,

Here are 100 books that My Education fans have personally recommended if you like My Education. 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 Luster

Kobby Ben Ben Author Of No One Dies Yet

From my list on the discrimination in publishing and the industry's challenge.

Why am I passionate about this?

It took years of being an undercover writer turned book blogger for me to realize just how much of what's considered African fiction is Western publishers' profiteering efforts to churn out novels centered on colonial trauma after postcolonial trauma tailored to white audiences. When does the African reader get a break? When do we read books that aren't geared towards African pain? When I set out to write my book, I wanted to write a novel that documented the rot in publishing and how commercialisation of the post-colonial trauma trend has been to the detriment of not just the African reader but African writers as well. 

Kobby's book list on the discrimination in publishing and the industry's challenge

Kobby Ben Ben Why did Kobby love this book?

Though this book is largely about the toxic extramarital affair between a young black girl and a married white man, it shines light on the competitive work environment between editors in publishing.

It also becomes satire in its depiction of what kind of works from Black authors publishers are keen on commissioning. Cue in its critique of the proliferation of slave narratives in publishing, and this funny, sexy, and deeply sad novel will leave a huge mark on readers. 

By Raven Leilani,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

WINNER of the NBCC John Leonard Prize, the Kirkus Prize, the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize, and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award

One of Barack Obama's Favorite Books of 2020
A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: NPR, The New York Times Book Review, O Magazine, Vanity Fair, Los Angeles Times, Glamour, Shondaland, Boston Globe, and many more!

"So delicious that it feels illicit . . . Raven Leilani’s first novel reads like summer: sentences like ice that crackle or…


Book cover of Seven Moves

Sarah Terez Rosenblum Author Of Herself When She's Missing

From my list on people who should know better than to be obsessed.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m obsessed with obsession; with the nature of intimate relationships. If I could obsess about a topic as easily and naturally as I can about a human, I’d probably have five or six advanced degrees. As a writer I’m most frequently drawn to third-person limited because I love the marriage of intimacy and distance it can create. It's that marriage that confounds me; the dark inner spaces contained by the people we love. 

Sarah's book list on people who should know better than to be obsessed

Sarah Terez Rosenblum Why did Sarah love this book?

Christine Snow is a therapist who has her shit together, or does she? When her girlfriend vanishes, it becomes apparent to Chris that, on an emotional level, Taylor was never really there to begin with. Anshaw’s use of a third-person limited point of view and a present tense narrative creates a sense of breathless intimacy. If you’re looking for a thriller, look elsewhere. Seven Moves is a well-observed mediation on the inherent unknowability of an intimate partner. Anshaw does obsession like no one else. 

By Carol Anshaw,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Christine Snow, a Chicago therapist, has at last returned from the margins of her past - a card-sharp father, too many wrong lovers - into comfortable urban domesticity with Taylor Hayes, a travel photographer. The two women share a house, a dog, a life. And then one morning after a minor argument, Taylor disappears, Chris's anger turns to alarm as time passes and still she hears nothing, until she falls across a clue as unsettling in itself as Taylor's disappearance. Following a trail that leads to Morocco and home again, Seven Moves tracks Chris's gradual realisation that one can never…


Book cover of Social Creature

Julia Stone Author Of The Accident

From my list on a character pretending to be someone they’re not.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a psychologist by profession and I’m fascinated by the way personalities develop and change with life events. In novels, I’m drawn towards wounded characters who are searching for something to make them feel whole. Common issues I see in my psychotherapy work include imposter syndrome, low self-esteem, feelings of not being good enough. Many people try to hide their vulnerability behind a mask, faking confidence or bravado, or pretending to be something they’re not. But these fictional characters take it up a level, one small step at a time, until the lies build and they end up in a web of deceit with no way out.

Julia's book list on a character pretending to be someone they’re not

Julia Stone Why did Julia love this book?

We’re straight in the story from page one, experiencing the intensity of the toxic relationship Louise has with her new best friend – a woman she’s only known ten days. Louise has a complex personality, her low self-esteem leading to constant self-assessment. But boy, how she changes! I liked the way the author breaks the fourth wall by directing comments to the reader, the foreshadowing allowing us to know what’s coming before the characters. Not my usual choice, as the novel is set in America with a cast under 30, but I enjoyed the build in tension as I waited for Louise to be caught out. 

By Tara Isabella Burton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of the Best Books of the Year:
Janet Maslin, The New York Times
Vulture
NPR

"Social Creature is a wicked original with echoes of the greats (Patricia Highsmith, Gillian Flynn)." —Janet Maslin, The New York Times

For readers of Gillian Flynn and Donna Tartt, a dark, propulsive and addictive debut thriller, splashed with all the glitz and glitter of New York City.

They go through both bottles of champagne right there on the High Line, with nothing but the stars over them... They drink and Lavinia tells Louise about all the places they will go together, when they finish…


Book cover of Hey, Dollface

Sarah Terez Rosenblum Author Of Herself When She's Missing

From my list on people who should know better than to be obsessed.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m obsessed with obsession; with the nature of intimate relationships. If I could obsess about a topic as easily and naturally as I can about a human, I’d probably have five or six advanced degrees. As a writer I’m most frequently drawn to third-person limited because I love the marriage of intimacy and distance it can create. It's that marriage that confounds me; the dark inner spaces contained by the people we love. 

Sarah's book list on people who should know better than to be obsessed

Sarah Terez Rosenblum Why did Sarah love this book?

This book was ahead of its time. This YA novel was written in 1978 but I found it on a shelf in my local library in 1992 when I was a queer preteen. An elliptical narrative about the burgeoning romantic relationship between two teenage girls, the novel captures a nameless yearning I understood without knowing why. Though the narrative felt to me illicit, it wasn’t prurient but rather deeply felt and authentic to the experience of a teenager coming to understand her sexuality as it crystalizes around one compelling friend.

By Deborah Hautzig,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Val and Chloe don't fit in at their fancy private school in Manhattan. Together, they ditch school, visit cemeteries and thrift shops and have sleepovers during which they confide all their secret thoughts. Lately, Val has all kinds of questions. Especially about sex. So Val turns to the two people who have always given her the most honest answers possible: her mother and Chloe. Unfortunately, not even Val's mother-an adult!-has all the answers. Val starts to think that maybe she's not "normal" at all. Because she has some other feelings for Chloe. Feelings that she never expected to have. Would…


Book cover of When He Was Wicked

Anna Bennett Author Of Girls Before Earls

From my list on romance with longing so intense you’ll swoon.

Why am I passionate about this?

My dream of writing romance began during a semester in London, where I fell in love with the city, its history, and its pubs. A few years and careers later, I won the Golden Heart Award for Regency Romance, and I’ve been writing ever since. Now I’m living happily-ever-after in Maryland with my family, who try valiantly not to roll their eyes whenever I quote Jane Austen.

Anna's book list on romance with longing so intense you’ll swoon

Anna Bennett Why did Anna love this book?

Long before Bridgerton graced screens around the world, I loved this Julia Quinn novel (the sixth in her Bridgerton series) about a man who falls hard for a woman he can never have: his cousin’s wife. Michael is head over heels for Francesca and positively loathes himself for it. His angst is so palpable, it made my chest ache. It’s a slow, hot burn—and totally worth the wait.

By Julia Quinn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When He Was Wicked as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In every life there is a turning point ...A moment so tremendous, so sharp and breathtaking, that one knows one's life will never be the same. For Michael Stirling, London's most infamous rake, that moment came the first time he laid eyes on Francesca Bridgerton. A fter a lifetime of chasing women, of smiling slyly as they chased him, of allowing himself to be caught but never permitting his heart to become engaged, he took one look at Francesca Bridgerton and fell so fast and hard into love it was a wonder he managed to remain standing. Unfortunately for Michael,…


Book cover of The Housekeeper and the Professor

Mark Hummel Author Of Man, Underground

From my list on unlikely friendships or unexpected pairings.

Why am I passionate about this?

Two instincts drive this list, one “writerly” and one about being human: 1) all good fiction maximizes various kinds of tension, particularly between people, and unusual or unexpected character pairings offer rich tensions; 2) I think we live in times when we are in desperate need of human kindness and must recognize that people from very different backgrounds can come together in their humanity. I love novels with complex characters and in books, as in life, I like to see people grow and change, and a big part of change is letting other people into your life.

Mark's book list on unlikely friendships or unexpected pairings

Mark Hummel Why did Mark love this book?

I am fascinated with “made families,” those connections of strangers who pass into such intimate friendships that they become de facto, chosen families.

While the core premise of The Housekeeper and the Professor will seize your imagination—the “professor” has suffered a traumatic brain injury that leaves him with only 8 minutes of short-term memory—it is the beauty of the friendship that emerges between him, the “housekeeper” hired to care for him, and her ten-year-old son that will stay with you.

In the present-tense living of having to reintroduce themselves anew to this math genius every morning, all the characters learn the value of a moment, and together they experience the “curious equations that can create a family.”

This thin, lovely, uplifting novel helped me re-learn the potency of fleeting moments and the enduring lessons of unexpected love.

By Yoko Ogawa,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is one of those books written in such lucid, unpretentious language that reading it is like looking into a deep pool of clear water...Dive into Yoko Ogawa's world and you find yourself tugged by forces more felt than seen' New York Times

Each morning, the Professor and the Housekeeper are introduced to one another. The Professor may not remember what he had for breakfast, but his mind is still alive with elegant mathematical equations from the past. He devises clever maths riddles - based on her shoe size or her birthday - and the numbers reveal a sheltering and…


Book cover of What the Dead Leave Behind

Dianne Freeman Author Of A Lady's Guide to Etiquette and Murder

From my list on female sleuths of the Gilded Age.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the author of the Countess of Harleigh Mystery series. I’ve been fascinated by the Gilded Age/Victorian Era/Belle Epoque since reading my first Edith Wharton novel, The Buccaneers, which followed the lives of four American heiresses of the late 19th century, who crossed the Atlantic to marry British lords. Love and marriage almost never went together in Wharton’s world, but with all the loveless marriages, the social climbing, and the haves and have-nots, I find it makes an excellent setting for a mystery.

Dianne's book list on female sleuths of the Gilded Age

Dianne Freeman Why did Dianne love this book?

Frances lives in the Victorian Era in London, but in her hometown of New York, it’s the Gilded Age. This is her background in all its glittering and horrifying glory. 

Crime novels fit quite naturally in this era. I love a loathsome villain and Rosemary Simpson serves up some of the worst in her Gilded Age series. She uses actual events, like the great blizzard of 1888, as catalysts for some heinous crimes. If you needed to dispose of a body, what better place than a snowdrift? 

Prudence MacKenzie, the dead man’s fiancé and our sleuth, doesn’t seem to realize the danger she’s in. I spent the entire read on the edge of my seat wondering if she’d make it to the end of the book alive. This is historical noir in elegant Gilded Age style.

By Rosemary Simpson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What the Dead Leave Behind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Set amidst the opulent mansions and cobblestone streets of Old New York, this enthralling historical mystery by Rosemary Simpson brings the Gilded Age to life—in a tantalizing tale of old money, new love, and grave suspicion . . .  

As the Great Blizzard of 1888 cripples New York City, heiress Prudence MacKenzie sits anxiously within her palatial Fifth Avenue home waiting for her fiancé’s safe return. But the fearsome storm rages through the night. With daylight, more than two hundred people are found to have perished in the icy winds and treacherous snowdrifts. Among them is Prudence’s fiancé—his body frozen,…


Book cover of Where the Crawdads Sing

Lori Duffy Foster Author Of Never Let Go

From my list on thrillers with twists.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my years on the crime beat, I often met good people who did bad things and criminals with good intentions and good hearts. We tend to draw a line between good and evil, putting ourselves on the good side. From that perspective, we sit in judgment, believing we are incapable of evil because it’s “over there.” Inaccessible. Unfathomable. But that line is fictional. We redraw it constantly to feel good about ourselves and avoid empathizing with the worst of human nature. What I love about these five novels is that they expose that truth. The twists remind me that even my own line is blurred and ever-shifting.

Lori's book list on thrillers with twists

Lori Duffy Foster Why did Lori love this book?

I love historical fiction, especially when authors throw in a touch of crime. So, that’s what first drew me to this book.

What kept me reading and what made me rank this novel so highly is the gradual unlayering of the main character as the story progresses. Sure, Kya is a victim and a survivor, but she is so much more, and she is capable of more than I could have anticipated. As in some of my other favorite novels, it’s that loyalty to human nature, the understanding that circumstances can make good choices wrong and poor choices right, that pulled me in.

If I had known the ending when I started the book, I might not have believed it possible, but Delia Owens made it work.

By Delia Owens,

Why should I read it?

44 authors picked Where the Crawdads Sing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

OVER 12 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE
NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
A NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

For years, rumours of the 'Marsh Girl' have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be…


Book cover of Fangirl

Isabelle Laflèche Author Of Bonjour Girl

From my list on YA about finding your way through school.

Why am I passionate about this?

A wellness enthusiast and environmental activist, Isabelle began her career as a corporate attorney where she worked in Toronto and New York. She decided to follow her calling as a writer and chose happiness and fulfillment over stress and sleepless nights. She’s published eight books, including the international best-selling novel J’adore New York and the teen series Bonjour Girl. She also recently published two self-help books to help others navigate change and transformation. She’s a life coach, an avid speaker, and is the host and author of the Soulful Couture podcast and blog about eco-fashion.

Isabelle's book list on YA about finding your way through school

Isabelle Laflèche Why did Isabelle love this book?

First of all, any author by the name of Rainbow is already fantastic in my book. The story is engaging and well-written. Cath is the author of a ridiculously popular fanfiction and, on top of that, she’s heading to college. This book is popular for a reason, as the author depicts a strong main character who not only struggles to navigate the choppy waters of college life, but family life too by worrying about her dad. I sure love a main character with a big heart.

By Rainbow Rowell,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Fangirl 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?

A love story by Rainbow Rowell, the New York Times bestselling author of Eleanor & Park.

Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they're off to university and Wren's decided she doesn't want to be one half of a pair any more - she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It's not so easy for Cath. She's horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than…


Book cover of Bellewether

Dana Chamblee Carpenter Author Of Bohemian Gospel

From my list on historical fiction with touches of love and magic.

Why am I passionate about this?

Even as an overachieving student, I struggled with true/false tests, always writing short essays explaining why the answer wasn’t quite clear cut. Some teachers loved my need to blur the lines. Others not so much. But this aversion to boundaries—the idea that something (or someone) must be this or that—it’s part of my blood. I read everything in the library, nonfiction, fiction, all genres. I like books that cross from real to fantasy, history to fiction. I love characters who refuse to be told who and what they can (or can’t) be. I want love to break boundaries, too. That’s what this list is all about.

Dana's book list on historical fiction with touches of love and magic

Dana Chamblee Carpenter Why did Dana love this book?

I love a good story told well—where the plot has me eager to flip the page, but the writing is so gorgeous I want to linger. Bellewether entwines the story of present-day Charley with Lydia, a woman living in the midst of war between the British and French American colonies in 1759. It’s a story of ghosts, figurative and real, of love, forbidden and lost, and it’s about discovering the truths that matter the most. 

By Susanna Kearsley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"I've loved every one of Susanna's books! She has bedrock research and a butterfly's delicate touch with characters-a sure recipe for historical fiction that sucks you in and won't let go!"-DIANA GABALDON, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Outlander
From New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Susanna Kearsley-A magical novel that blends history, forbidden romance and the paranormal
Secrets aren't such easy things to keep: It's late summer in 1759, war is raging, and families are torn apart by divided loyalties and deadly secrets. In this complex and dangerous time, a young French-Canadian lieutenant is captured and…


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