10 books like My Mother's Son

By David Hirshberg,

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

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Lilac Girls

By Martha Hall Kelly,

Book cover of Lilac Girls

An American working in Paris, a German doctor, and a Polish teenager working for the Resistance are thrown together in this WWII story based on real events culminating in the notorious Ravensbruck Camp for women, famous for its medical experimentation during the war. It’s a story of survival and courage and unlikely friendships.

Lilac Girls

By Martha Hall Kelly,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Lilac Girls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • One million copies sold! Inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this remarkable debut novel reveals the power of unsung women to change history in their quest for love, freedom, and second chances.

“Extremely moving and memorable . . . This impressive debut should appeal strongly to historical fiction readers and to book clubs that adored Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See.”—Library Journal (starred review)

New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new…


Mistress of the Ritz

By Melanie Benjamin,

Book cover of Mistress of the Ritz

Manager of the Paris Ritz is a prestigious position, and the American wife of the Frenchman who is the manager leads a charmed life there – until the Nazi invasion of Paris. Once the Gestapo sets up their headquarters at the Ritz, the couple must negotiate their new, uncomfortable circumstances. As the war escalates, the danger to the American woman increases, especially since she has become involved with the Resistance. When the war is over, the American woman, Paris, and Parisians are not the same. Based on real people, this historical novel presents a heartbreaking picture of the aftermath of the Holocaust in Paris and the devastated lives left to deal with their devastated city.

Mistress of the Ritz

By Melanie Benjamin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A captivating novel based on the story of the extraordinary real-life American woman who secretly worked for the French Resistance during World War II—while playing hostess to the invading Germans at the iconic Hôtel Ritz in Paris—from the New York Times bestselling author of The Aviator's Wife and The Swans of Fifth Avenue.

“A compelling portrait of a marriage and a nation at war from within.”—Kate Quinn, author of The Alice Network

Nothing bad can happen at the Ritz; inside its gilded walls every woman looks beautiful, every man appears witty. Favored guests like Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Coco…


Lila

By Rose Ross,

Book cover of Lila

Lila tells the story of two WW11 survivor families whose daughters are born on the same day in a Displaced Persons Camp, who immigrate to the United States around the same time, and take apartments in the same building in the South Bronx, New York. The immigrant neighborhood, full of busybody characters, is beautifully rendered. Everyone expects the two girls to be as close as sisters, their lives and fates happily intertwined. However, their growing-up years veer into dangerous territory. While one family manages to establish a home of love and caring, the other morphs into a den of dysfunction and perversion. Upending everyone’s expectations, the two girls embark on a path of jealousy and hatred. As secrets are revealed, their paths diverge, ending in tragedy. The novel is a shattering portrait of how trauma of the Holocaust and inherited trauma passed on to the next generation can destroy lives.

Lila

By Rose Ross,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Sarah and Lila both born in 1946, 11 months after the war, on the same day, minutes apart, in a displaced persons camp in Germany, were seen by their parents, Holocaust survivors, as a miracle, and their lives destined to have a bond that would never be broken. They were ... wrong.Both families relocate to the United States, and settle in the South Bronx, in the same neighborhood and building, to start their new lives. By the end of the summer of 1960, everyone finds themselves in the turmoil of love, friendship, and competition. Secrets are disclosed; accusations are made…


The Takeaway Men

By Meryl Ain,

Book cover of The Takeaway Men

Takeaway Men is a novel that proves once again that you can never forget. Aron and Judy Lubinski and their twin daughters, Bronka and Johanna, leave a Displaced Person Camp in Poland and immigrate to America, hoping to build a new life and escape the horrors of the Holocaust behind them. Through the kindness of Izzy, a cousin that immigrated earlier to America, they settle in Izzy and his wife, Faye's home in Queens, NY. In their neighborhood, we meet other immigrants, survivors, all working hard to build a better life for themselves and their children. Each of the other characters has a different story. They bring another perception of how people try to deal with the experiences of loss, trauma, doubt, and everyday complexities of life. We see this most clearly in the inner thoughts of Aron and Judy. Their struggle is, at times, painful and sorrowful and affects…

The Takeaway Men

By Meryl Ain,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With the cloud of the Holocaust still looming over them, twin sisters Bronka and Johanna Lubinski and their parents arrive in the US from a Displaced Persons Camp. In the years after World War II, they experience the difficulties of adjusting to American culture as well as the burgeoning fear of the Cold War. Years later, the discovery of a former Nazi hiding in their community brings the Holocaust out of the shadows. As the girls get older, they start to wonder about their parents' pasts, and they begin to demand answers. But it soon becomes clear that those memories…


Another Bullshit Night in Suck City

By Nick Flynn,

Book cover of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City: A Memoir

There are many useful, informative books about mental health, but I love a beautifully written story—the kind that pulls you into the world of real people and the ways that their mental health challenges shape their lives. Such is the case with this creative, experimental memoir, which follows a son into adulthood as he witnesses his father’s addiction and homelessness while also developing his own addiction problems, bringing their warped reality to life by warping the narrative itself. With chapters written in wildly different forms and approaches, it slowly builds into a story of self-discovery and tentative acceptance. Full of grit, pathos, and harsh beauty, it captures a pervasive quality of mental chaos while also finding a clear path through it.

Another Bullshit Night in Suck City

By Nick Flynn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Another Bullshit Night in Suck City as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nick Flynn met his father when he was working as a caseworker in a homeless shelter in Boston. As a teenager he'd received letters from this stranger father, a self-proclaimed poet and con man doing time in federal prison for bank robbery. Another Bullshit Night in Suck City tells the story of the trajectory that led Nick and his father onto the streets, into that shelter, and finally to each other.


Bloodroot

By Amy Greene,

Book cover of Bloodroot

Another one I read many years ago that still has its claws in me today. A sprawling epic made up of many Appalachian voices. There’s magic and grief and family secrets. It’s a Southern Gothic that will grip you from the first page and has influenced me as a writer in a myriad of ways. This might be an example of a novel that wasn’t classified as horror, but very well could have been. Will appeal to all kinds of readers. 

Bloodroot

By Amy Greene,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

A dark and riveting story of the legacies—of magic and madness, faith and secrets, passion and loss—that haunt one family across the generations.

Myra Lamb is a wild girl with mysterious, haint blue eyes who grows up on remote Bloodroot Mountain. Her grandmother, Byrdie, protects her fiercely and passes down “the touch” that bewitches people and animals alike. But when John Odom tries to tame Myra, it sparks a shocking disaster, ripping lives apart.

"A fascinating look at a rural world full of love and life, and dreams and disappointment." --The Boston Globe

"If Wuthering Heights had been…


Damnation Alley

By Roger Zelazny,

Book cover of Damnation Alley

This might be the ultimate post-apocalyptic road trip. I enjoyed the fast pacing and irreverent humor. The urgency of the task at hand is there from start to finish. I liked the plot and the pacing. This story made me appreciate the lighter side of the genre. Even though the world has gone to pot, people are still people, and fun is part of the human experience.

Damnation Alley

By Roger Zelazny,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Hell Tanner isn't the sort of guy you'd mistake for a hero: he's a fast-driving car thief, a smuggler, and a stone-cold killer. Facing life in prison for his various crimes, he's given a choice: Rot away his remaining years in a tiny jail cell, or drive cross-country and deliver a case of antiserum to the plague-ridden people of Boston, Massachusetts. The chance of a full pardon does wonders for getting his attention. And don't mistake this mission of mercy for any kind of normal road trip-not when there are radioactive storms, hordes of carnivorous beasts, and giant, mutated scorpions…


The Recycled Citizen

By Charlotte MacLeod,

Book cover of The Recycled Citizen

Detectives Sarah Kelling and her much-loved husband Max Bittersohn live in her inherited house on Beacon Hill, Boston. These are detective novels of the cozy and charming sort, and because of the relationship between Sarah and Max are adventure romances as well.

Sarah has a large extended family and they enter into all the books as friends. This makes each one a friend and fun to read. MacCleod knows Boston and her descriptions of the habits and haunts of classic Beacon Brahmins/Yankees are as charming and rich as her plots. I recommend this and her other books for the fun of reading and the great plots.

The Recycled Citizen

By Charlotte MacLeod,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A “funny and exciting” mystery in the series featuring a husband-and-wife sleuthing team in Boston (Publishers Weekly).

Boston and its suburbs are stuffed with Kellings, and the city is about to get one more. Sarah Kelling and her husband Max Bittersohn—a pair of amateur sleuths equally at home in back alleys as they are at black-tie balls—are about to have a baby. And if the child takes after his parents, he will be one of the cleverest infants in New England. But while Sarah is a month away from giving birth, she cannot let pregnancy slow her down—she has a…


The First Step

By Susan E. Goodman, E.B. Lewis (illustrator),

Book cover of The First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial

The First Step tells an important and lesser-known story about Sarah Roberts, a schoolgirl who was not allowed to attend school in Boston in 1847 because of her skin color. Sarah and her family persisted by fighting this injustice; they took the City of Boston to court! Roberts v. City of Boston was the first case to challenge the United States’ legal system to outlaw segregation in schools. The Roberts family lost the battle, but their case was the first step toward desegregating schools. It’s important for children to learn that even if you don’t win, it’s vital to speak up and fight against injustice and that every step forward counts!

The First Step

By Susan E. Goodman, E.B. Lewis (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The inspiring story of four-year-old Sarah Roberts, the first African American girl to try to integrate a white school, and how her experience in 1847 set greater change in motion. Junior Library Guild Selection 2017 Orbis Pictus Honor Book Chicago Public LibraryKids Best of the Best Book 2016 A Nerdy Book Club Best Nonfiction Book of 2016 An NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book of 2017 In 1847, a young African American girl named Sarah Roberts was attending a school in Boston. Then one day she was told she could never come back. She didn't belong. The Otis School was…


The City Baker's Guide to Country Living

By Louise Miller,

Book cover of The City Baker's Guide to Country Living

The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living drops you into the action from word one and immerses you in the main character, Livvy’s, life (and the wreck she’s made of it) immediately. The story sucked me in, and rural Vermont as the setting made me wish I could be there. Then there’s the food… Oh man, I would have made a hundred apple pies if I’d headed into the kitchen every time I wanted to when I read this book. Martin is the perfect book boyfriend, too. Their relationship builds slowly, and he is so delicately written that he almost seemed ghost-like to me sometimes – a wonderful foil to the boisterous Livvy.

Louise Miller’s writing is straightforward, beautiful, and sticks with me way after I’ve finished reading. She’s one of the first authors I look for if I want something real but perpetually hopefully even at the bleakest momen…

The City Baker's Guide to Country Living

By Louise Miller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The City Baker's Guide to Country Living as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Mix in one part Diane Mott ­Davidson’s delightful culinary adventures with several tablespoons of Jan Karon’s country living and quirky characters, bake at 350 degrees for one rich and warm romance." --Library Journal

A full-hearted novel about a big-city baker who discovers the true meaning of home—and that sometimes the best things are found when you didn’t even know you were looking

When Olivia Rawlings—pastry chef extraordinaire for an exclusive Boston dinner club—sets not just her flambéed dessert but the entire building alight, she escapes to the most comforting place she can think of—the idyllic town of Guthrie, Vermont, home…


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