100 books like My Sister's Keeper

By Jodi Picoult,

Here are 100 books that My Sister's Keeper fans have personally recommended if you like My Sister's Keeper. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of My Sister, the Serial Killer

Isabel Ashdown Author Of 33 Women

From my list on sinister sisters and strange sisterhoods.

Why am I passionate about this?

In both reading and writing fiction, the inciting incident – the murder, accident, or main event of a story – is less fascinating to me than the rich characters that surround it. I’m deeply interested in the lives of women and the ties between them, be they family or not. Whether we’re talking about familial sisters or sisterhood as a broader concept, the tensions, fierce loyalties, oppressions and liberations of women are where my interests will always lie. To my own sister and every one of the wise women who have cheered me on and helped shape my life so far, power to you all! I hope you enjoy these recommendations.

Isabel's book list on sinister sisters and strange sisterhoods

Isabel Ashdown Why did Isabel love this book?

It’s always refreshing to read portrayals of unconventional female relationships, something I’m particularly interested in when writing my own novels. Because our relationships are rarely straightforward or predictable, are they?

As the title suggests, the relationship between Korede and her serial killer sister, Ayoola, is far from conventional…and while the story delves into some dark and gruesome places, it is a thriller that had me laughing as much as covering my eyes in horror. This accomplished debut goes firmly on my ‘couldn’t put it down’ list – it’s warm, funny, and page-turningly good!

By Oyinkan Braithwaite,

Why should I read it?

12 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 The Big Short

Claire A. Hill Author Of Better Bankers, Better Banks: Promoting Good Business through Contractual Commitment

From my list on bankers, especially bankers behaving badly.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been interested—a vast understatement to anyone who knows me—in what makes people tick. I’ve focused on analyzing business actors – bankers, lawyers, investors, executives, shareholders, and others. What do they want? Some combination of money, power, or prestige? How does loving to win fit in? How about hating to lose? When is enough (money/power/prestige) enough? What do they think is ok to do to get what they want? What do they think is not ok? Amazingly, as a law professor, I can pursue that interest as part of my job, and – I think and hope – do so in a way that might help lawmakers, regulators, and policymakers do better.

Claire's book list on bankers, especially bankers behaving badly

Claire A. Hill Why did Claire love this book?

As everyone knows at this point, anything Michael Lewis writes will be enormous fun to read, while being about something really important—something he’ll make you care about even if you didn’t when you started the book.

In this case, the subject is people who bet on the direction of mortgages (and thus, house prices), and how those who bet on a huge plunge were right. This book has an amazing cast of characters, all richly drawn: some are smart, some are not so smart; some are excellent schmoozers, some can barely tolerate human interaction; some care a lot about money, some care more about being right, especially if everyone else is wrong.

Each book I've recommended cries out to be made into a movie. This one actually was.

By Michael Lewis,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Big Short as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The real story of the crash began in bizarre feeder markets where the sun doesn't shine and the SEC doesn't dare, or bother, to tread: the bond and real estate derivative markets where geeks invent impenetrable securities to profit from the misery of lower- and middle-class Americans who can't pay their debts. The smart people who understood what was or might be happening were paralyzed by hope and fear; in any case, they weren't talking.

Michael Lewis creates a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor, a fitting sequel to his #1 bestseller Liar's Poker. Out of a…


Book cover of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott Author Of Every Shot Must Have a Purpose: How GOLF54 Can Make You a Better Player

From my list on improving performance and growth.

Why we are passionate about this?

We have been coaching and learning about peak performance for four decades. To learn from playing golf ourselves, coaching others to play better, and continuously staying curious and learning from others is a mix that we want to keep alive. It’s not only to perform well that matters to us, but that we also grow as a human being. It’s about excellence and wellbeing. What skills, what culture, and what foundation can make that a possibility? Our deepest wish is for all of us to access our own unique possibilities to be good and happy. 

Pia and Lynn's book list on improving performance and growth

Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott Why did Pia and Lynn love this book?

This book both confirmed and encouraged the best mindset to optimize growth. It’s about learning to create a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset. Studies have shown that it’s a better way to be successful and happy in life.

“Qualities can be nurtured; our potential is unknown, and failure does not define you. Deal with it, learn, and praise the process."

The main keys are that it’s all about learning, learning, learning…no matter what happens to you. “Yet” is a key word, and hard work is required to succeed. Setbacks are opportunities for growth.

By Carol S. Dweck,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the renowned psychologist who introduced the world to “growth mindset” comes this updated edition of the million-copy bestseller—featuring transformative insights into redefining success, building lifelong resilience, and supercharging self-improvement.

“Through clever research studies and engaging writing, Dweck illuminates how our beliefs about our capabilities exert tremendous influence on how we learn and which paths we take in life.”—Bill Gates, GatesNotes

“It’s not always the people who start out the smartest who end up the smartest.”

After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. In this…


Touching the Surface

By Kimberly Sabatini,

Book cover of Touching the Surface

Kimberly Sabatini Author Of Touching the Surface

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Reader Mom Coach Chocolate connoisseur HSP

Kimberly's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

When Elliot finds herself dead for the third time, she can't remember her past, is getting the cold shoulder from her best friend, and has no idea why she keeps repeating the same mistakes across her previous lives. Elliot just wants to move on, but first, she'll be forced to look at her past and delve into the painful memories she’d rather keep buried. She'll also have to face the person she’s killed.

As she pieces together the secrets and mistakes of her previous lives, Elliot must find a way to earn the forgiveness of the person she’s hurt most and reveal the truth about herself to her best friend and the two boys she loves…even if it means losing them all forever.

Touching the Surface

By Kimberly Sabatini,

What is this book about?

Experience the afterlife in this lyrical, paranormal debut novel that will send your heart soaring.

When Elliot finds herself dead for the third time, she knows she must have messed up, big-time. She doesn't remember how she landed in the afterlife again, but she knows this is her last chance to get things right.

Elliot just wants to move on, but first she will be forced to face her past and delve into the painful memories she'd rather keep buried. Memories of people she's hurt, people she's betrayed...and people she's killed.

As she pieces together the secrets and mistakes of…


Book cover of Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

Carlos A. Zuluaga Author Of The Wisdom Factor: Reducing the Control of Bias, Threat, and Fear while Building a Better World

From my list on inspiring personal growth.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been passionate about continuous learning and understanding why people act the way they do. The books I recommend cover the topic of continuous growth across different states and areas of life. 

Carlos' book list on inspiring personal growth

Carlos A. Zuluaga Why did Carlos love this book?

This is a great book for those interested in promoting change. I like how the book combines stories, examples, and engaging information to present practical strategies that have been used to accomplish change when it seemed difficult to achieve. 

Reading this book made me realize small actions can have significant long-term effects when taken consistently and repeatedly. It opened my eyes to the fact that sometimes complex problems require simple solutions. 

By Dan Heath, Chip Heath,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

___________________________________
Change is hard. It doesn't have to be.

We all know that change is hard. It's unsettling, it's time-consuming, and all too often we give up at the first sign of a setback.

But why do we insist on seeing the obstacles rather than the goal? This is the question that bestselling authors Chip and Dan Heath tackle in their compelling and insightful book. They argue that we need only understand how our minds function in order to unlock shortcuts to switches in behaviour.

Illustrating their ideas with scientific studies and remarkable real-life turnarounds - from the secrets of…


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 Never Let Me Go

Suzanne Heywood Author Of Wavewalker: A Memoir of Breaking Free

From my list on coming-of-age that will rip your heart out.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm fascinated by these books about coming of age because they all share elements of my own experience. While I was growing up, I was told by my parents that my life on board our boat Wavewalker was ‘privileged’ and that I was lucky not to live a ‘boring’ life like other children. It took me a long time to question this view, and even longer to find an escape. As an adult looking back, I now know that many of the things I was told by my parents were not true. That experience of growing up and discovering that what you have been told is not right is deeply disturbing, while also being liberating.

Suzanne's book list on coming-of-age that will rip your heart out

Suzanne Heywood Why did Suzanne love this book?

I love Kazuo Ishiguro’s work and this is my favourite book of his.

Never Let Me Go is the fictional story of a childhood that initially seems acceptable, despite the early indications that something strange is going on. As the story proceeds, however, it becomes clear that this is a horrific world, one in which children are being grown for their organs.

But the power of the story for me is not the revelation itself but the way in which it is revealed, layer by layer, as the characters become older and more knowing. That experience of becoming aware that all is not right with your world, and then trying to come to terms with that, is something I can resonate with.

By Kazuo Ishiguro,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked Never Let Me Go as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the most acclaimed novels of the 21st Century, from the Nobel Prize-winning author

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize

Kazuo Ishiguro imagines the lives of a group of students growing up in a darkly skewed version of contemporary England. Narrated by Kathy, now thirty-one, Never Let Me Go dramatises her attempts to come to terms with her childhood at the seemingly idyllic Hailsham School and with the fate that has always awaited her and her closest friends in the wider world. A story of love, friendship and memory, Never Let Me Go is charged throughout with a sense…


Book cover of Little Women

Kinley Bryan Author Of The Lost Women of Mill Street

From my list on American Civil War great female leads.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a historical novelist originally from Ohio. In Civil War lessons at school, we learned about battles and generals and read The Red Badge of Courage and other books centering on men’s experiences. With the exception of Florence Nightingale, women were largely absent from the discussions. I want to know about the women. As an adult, I lived in Roswell, Georgia, where I learned of the mill workers, mostly women and children, who, in 1864, were arrested and sent north by Federal forces for making Confederate cloth. Their fates largely remain a mystery, and I wrote my book in order to imagine what we may never know.

Kinley's book list on American Civil War great female leads

Kinley Bryan Why did Kinley love this book?

I can’t leave this book off the list! When I first read it as a teenager, I was so focused on the engrossing story of the four sisters that the fact it took place during the Civil War barely registered.

Upon rereading the novel as an adult, I can appreciate how the war profoundly affects the sisters’ lives through the absence of their father (and, for a time, their mother) and by creating an ever-present sense of uncertainty. I love the characterization and wisdom of this novel.

By Louisa May Alcott,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked Little Women as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

Louisa May Alcott shares the innocence of girlhood in this classic coming of age story about four sisters-Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy.

In picturesque nineteenth-century New England, tomboyish Jo, beautiful Meg, fragile Beth, and romantic Amy are responsible for keeping a home while their father is off to war. At the same time, they must come to terms with their individual personalities-and make the transition from girlhood to womanhood. It can all be quite a challenge. But the March sisters, however different, are nurtured by their wise and beloved Marmee, bound by their love for each other and the feminine…


Book cover of We Are Satellites

Paul Indigo Author Of Love Deleted

From my list on story ideas with characters you fall in love with.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a storyteller who loves ‘oh my gosh’ ideas. Something that, the moment I hear about it, it captivates me. I also love characters who are deeply heart-warming and pleasurable to be around. For me, delving into the intimacy of a character’s mind and their shifting relationships with others is a pleasure. This is why I’m so attracted to contemporary domestic family issues or love stories with living, breathing characters. By pairing it with a puzzling or shocking wow of an idea to investigate, I can explore my character’s unique world and set it at odds with something that threatens that existence.

Paul's book list on story ideas with characters you fall in love with

Paul Indigo Why did Paul love this book?

This is an uplifting family drama about technology that could – and possibly is (if we think about AI and smartphones) – already happening.

It’s a social comment about a brain surgery that improves the functions of thinking. The implant proves so popular, it begins to bias society to favour those who have the implant and sideline those who don’t. The story is told from the viewpoints of a lesbian couple and their two children, demonstrating how easily divided we can be, enough to threaten the breakdown of society. 

It’s a wonderful story with very real characters, commenting on mega technology and exploitative commercial enterprise yet is also at its heart, about the importance of the family unit.

By Sarah Pinsker,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked We Are Satellites as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From award-winning author Sarah Pinsker comes a novel about one family and the technology that divides them.

Get one - or get left behind.

Val and Julie just want what's best for their kids, David and Sophie. So when David comes home from school begging for a new brain implant to help with his studies, they're torn. Julie grew up poor and knows what it's like to be the only kid in school without the new technology, but Val is terrified by the risks and the implications.

Soon, everyone at Julie's work has the implant and she's struggling to keep…


Book cover of In Her Shoes

Lisa Darcy Author Of The Pact

From my list on books that capture sisterly love, envy, and embracing the unknown.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by sisters, siblings, and my place in the family since I was old enough to realize I had an older sister and a younger brother. I asked my parents a lot of questions. Why am I blonde? Why is my sister taller? Lots of questions my parents didn’t have answers for. At school in biology, we studied genes, familial traits, and nature versus nurture. I was fascinated, and still am today. Why does my sister behave the way she does? Why do I? Is it because of our upbringing, or was she just born with an aversion to cheese? I wanted to know the answers. I’m still searching.

Lisa's book list on books that capture sisterly love, envy, and embracing the unknown

Lisa Darcy Why did Lisa love this book?

I adore Jennifer Weiner’s witty, conversational writing style and relatable, three-dimensional characters. With In Her Shoes, Weiner captures the essence of two completely different sisters who are barely on speaking terms. She does it deftly, her characters nuanced and believable, exposing their many flaws and frailties. 

I love this book because it helped me see my own sister in a new light. In the book, the sisters’ actions are so realistic (verbal brutality, sniping, home truths) that I felt guilty about how I’d treated my sister over the years. And yes, I rang her several times whilst reading it, and I bought her a copy the following week. Highly recommended.

By Jennifer Weiner,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked In Her Shoes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rose Feller is thirty years old, a high-powered attorney, with a secret passion for romance novels, an exercise regime she's going to start next week, and dreams of a man who will slide off her glasses, gaze into her eyes, and tell her that she's beautiful.

Meet Rose's sister Maggie. Twenty-eight years old, drop-dead gorgeous and only occasionally employed, Maggie is a backing singer in a band called. She dreams of fame and fortune -- and of getting her dowdy big sister to stick to a skin-care regime.

These two women with nothing in common but a childhood tragedy, shared…


Book cover of Gone Girl

Mirinae Lee Author Of 8 Lives of a Century-Old Trickster

From my list on villainous heroines.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born and grew up in Seoul. My bestselling debut novel has been longlisted for the 2024 Women’s Prize for Fiction and the 2024 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize and shortlisted for the 2024 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. My book is inspired by my great-aunt, one of the oldest women who had escaped alone from North Korea. It is available from Harper Perennial in the U.S. and Virago in the UK. The novel’s translations continue to meet readers worldwide, including in Italy, Romania, Greece, Denmark, Spain, Switzerland, and South Korea.

Mirinae's book list on villainous heroines

Mirinae Lee Why did Mirinae love this book?

Many years ago, when I was sharing several chapters of my book with my then-writing group, I faced harsh criticism from some of its members, mainly due to my protagonist, Trickster.

They found her too violent, too cunning, and without remorse. I read in many of Flynn’s interviews that she had also received a lot of criticism for her vicious main character. Certain readers believed the murderous, unrepenting heroine of this book was a shame to womanhood.

In defense of my violent heroine Trickster, I quoted Flynn’s response to her critics: the notion that women are inherently good and nurturing is itself deeply sexist and limiting toward women.        

By Gillian Flynn,

Why should I read it?

28 authors picked Gone Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE ADDICTIVE No.1 BESTSELLER AND INTERNATIONAL PHENOMENON
OVER 20 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE
THE BOOK THAT DEFINES PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER

Who are you?
What have we done to each other?

These are the questions Nick Dunne finds himself asking on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they weren't made by him. And then there are the persistent calls on…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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