10 books like Odd Thomas

By Dean Koontz,

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

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Jane Eyre

By Charlotte Brontë, Charlotte Brontë,

Book cover of Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre is a book I read and teach at least once a year. Its early section about childhood is, for me, the archetype of all impossible childhoods. Jane is orphaned, misunderstood, oppressed by the awful relatives who take her in, and abused by officials of Lowood School, the institution they palm her off on. Deprivation and hunger are the daily facts of her life. Humiliation, physical “punishment,” and the threat of hell are used to control her fellow wards. She is not so easily controlled. She watches while some of her fellow children, including her beloved friend Helen Burns, die because of infections caused by unhygienic conditions and malnutrition.

Despite it all, she retains an authenticity, a sense of herself that she refuses to violate to curry favor or reduce the harshness of her treatment. She remains a truth-teller, a natural detector of the pompous and hypocritical. She questions…

Jane Eyre

By Charlotte Brontë, Charlotte Brontë,

Why should I read it?

24 authors picked Jane Eyre as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Introduction and Notes by Dr Sally Minogue, Canterbury Christ Church University College.

Jane Eyre ranks as one of the greatest and most perennially popular works of English fiction. Although the poor but plucky heroine is outwardly of plain appearance, she possesses an indomitable spirit, a sharp wit and great courage.

She is forced to battle against the exigencies of a cruel guardian, a harsh employer and a rigid social order. All of which circumscribe her life and position when she becomes governess to the daughter of the mysterious, sardonic and attractive Mr Rochester.

However, there is great kindness and warmth…


The Lord of the Rings

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Book cover of The Lord of the Rings

When writing anything fantasy or fairy-tale-like, it’s hard to avoid the influence of Tolkien. He’s certainly an influence on me in world-building (as is Dune, Star Wars, and a host of others), but the main thing I think I’ve retained from multiple read-throughs of The Trilogy is the focus on maps. I loved looking at the maps that came with the books and imagined where the characters were in relation to everything else. They are integral to the story; even the film/TV adaptations rely heavily on them. As I’ve written more books, the map/geographical aspect of where the different terrain and resident societies are in relation to each other in my world of Aponna has taken a larger part in the storytelling. I hope to publish future books with beautiful, illustrated maps that show trails and paths of the characters, etc.

The Lord of the Rings

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Why should I read it?

44 authors picked The Lord of the Rings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

From Sauron's fastness in the Dark Tower of…


Rebecca

By Daphne du Maurier,

Book cover of Rebecca

Rebecca is suspenseful, creepy, and downright eerie. I loved it. The unnamed protagonist was a stroke of genius and added to the gothic feel. But it’s the story that is the most gripping. Daphne du Maurier did a masterful job of laying out the mystery of what happened to Rebecca. Was it a tragic accident or something more?

Rebecca

By Daphne du Maurier,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

* 'The greatest psychological thriller of all time' ERIN KELLY
* 'One of the most influential novels of the twentieth century' SARAH WATERS
* 'It's the book every writer wishes they'd written' CLARE MACKINTOSH

'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .'

Working as a lady's companion, our heroine's outlook is bleak until, on a trip to the south of France, she meets a handsome widower whose proposal takes her by surprise. She accepts but, whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to brooding Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory…


Undead and Unwed

By MaryJanice Davidson,

Book cover of Undead and Unwed: A Queen Betsy Novel

While I didn’t set out to copy this novel, I have to admit that unconsciously this mashup of chick lit and horror with a vampire protagonist probably spawned my idea to write a romantic comedy/horror mashup with a protagonist who has just become a ghost. If you enjoyed Restless Spirits, this book has a similar vibe, albeit one that’s quite a bit more, ahem, spicy than you’ll typically find in my own writing. At turns hilarious, frightening, poignant, and steamy, this is probably the book that put paranormal chick-lit on the map.

Undead and Unwed

By MaryJanice Davidson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

First Betsy Taylor loses her job, then she's killed in a car accident.  But what really bites is that she can't seem to stay dead.  And now her new friends have the ridiculous idea that Betsy is the prophesied vampire queen, and they want her help in overthrowing the most obnoxious power-hungry vampire in five centuries.


We Were Liars

By E. Lockhart,

Book cover of We Were Liars

OK, I admit, I’m cheating a little with this one because the plot doesn’t technically mess with time, but the storytelling itself does since the narrator is remembering events that happened in the past. This is one of those Big Ending Plot Twist stories so I can’t say too much, but the thing that happened in the past has everything to do with the present in a way that completely blew me away. Wildly clever plotting (something I find super hard to do well). I loved this book. 

We Were Liars

By E. Lockhart,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The TikTok phenomenon and #1 New York Times bestseller.

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends-the Liars-whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honouree E. Lockhart.

Read it.

And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

Don't miss FAMILY OF LIARS, the thrilling prequel to We Were Liars, published in May 2022.


The Thirteenth Tale

By Diane Setterfield,

Book cover of The Thirteenth Tale

I loved this book, but looked over my shoulder while I was reading it. Vida Winter is a reclusive writer, who asks Margaret Lea to write her biography. Lea mixes taking notes and recording interviews with visiting the Gothic locations in the story. Vida tells the tale from the past, about the feral twins and their neglectful, volatile mother. Margaret uncovers evidence from the present going backwards. The two narratives arrive at a satisfying conclusion via a fire, a ghost, and a governess. Vida is delightfully unreliable. The reader is left to come to their own conclusions about who dies in the fire, and who fathered what child. I loved the film, too, although for different reasons. 

The Thirteenth Tale

By Diane Setterfield,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Simply brilliant' Kate Mosse, international bestselling author of Labyrinth

***

Everybody has a story...

Angelfield House stands abandoned and forgotten.

It was once home to the March family: fascinating, manipulative Isabelle; brutal, dangerous Charlie; and the wild, untamed twins, Emmeline and Adeline. But the house hides a chilling secret which strikes at the very heart of each of them, tearing their lives apart...

Now Margaret Lea is investigating Angelfield's past, and its mysterious connection to the enigmatic writer Vida Winter. Vida's history is mesmering - a tale of ghosts, governesses, and gothic strangeness. But as Margaret succumbs to the power…


The Night Sister

By Jennifer McMahon,

Book cover of The Night Sister

My first experience reading a book with dual storylines, this novel held me spellbound cover to cover. McMahon has since become an auto-buy author for me, thanks to this fantastical story that puts a magnifying glass on the life of two sisters, a childhood friend, and an unexplained disappearance. The story moves between past and present and revolves around the Tower Motel in Vermont, now a ruined shell that refuses to yield its secrets. Secrets the girls discovered while playing games there as children. 

An unexpected splash of the paranormal and the use of letters from one sister to Mr. Hitchcock (yes, that Hitchcock) add the perfect touch to this disturbing gem.

The Night Sister

By Jennifer McMahon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the New York Times bestselling author Jennifer McMahon (The Winter People) comes an atmospheric, gripping, and suspenseful tale that probes the bond between sisters and the peril of keeping secrets.

The Tower Motel was once a thriving attraction of rural Vermont. Today it lies in disrepair, alive only in the memories of the three women—Amy, Piper, and Piper’s kid sister, Margot—who played there as children. They loved exploring the abandoned rooms … until the day their innocent games uncovered something dark and twisted that ruined their friendship forever.

Now, Amy stands accused of committing a horrific crime, and the…


A Head Full of Ghosts

By Paul Tremblay,

Book cover of A Head Full of Ghosts

I hadn’t read any new fiction in a while when I got this book, and it managed to creep me out so much I had weird dreams. It has a retro horror movie vibe like The Exorcist or Poltergeist but manages to be even more frightening. Its power is that you are always unsure of what is fact and what is fantasy as the main character recounts a family trauma from her childhood and the lines between mental illness and demonic possession are blurred. The examination of family and how it affects people and their relationships is a strong base for some pretty terrifying moments!

A Head Full of Ghosts

By Paul Tremblay,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked A Head Full of Ghosts as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The lives of the Barretts, a suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia. To her parents' despair, the doctors are unable to halt Marjorie's descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show.Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie's younger sister, Merry. As she recalls the terrifying events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets…


Lord Foul's Bane

By Stephen R. Donaldson,

Book cover of Lord Foul's Bane

This book has it all—well rounded characters that you come to love and root for, an alternate world that will make you yearn to be there yourself, and a hero, cursed with a disease that makes him an outcast in his own world but a hero in the new world he finds himself in. A hero who can’t believe that he might be able to make a difference if he only knew how, because to believe in the world and the people therein is a dangerous step that a leper dare not make. Giants, horses, people of amazing abilities and an arrogant villain who is only too happy to destroy everything good. Lord Foul’s Bane is the first book in the first trilogy of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever. Do yourself a favor and immerse yourself in this epic story.

Lord Foul's Bane

By Stephen R. Donaldson,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Lord Foul's Bane as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Comparable to Tolkien at his best' WASHINGTON POST

Instantly recognised as a modern fantasy classic, Stephen Donaldson's uniquely imaginative and complex THE CHRONICLES OF THOMAS COVENANT, THE UNBELIEVER became a bestselling literary phenomenon that transformed the genre.

Lying unconscious after an accident, writer Thomas Covenant awakes in the Land - a strange, beautiful world locked in constant conflict between good and evil.

But Covenant, too, has been transformed: weak, angry, and alone in our world, he now holds powers beyond imagining and is greeted as a saviour. Can this man truly become the hero the Land requires?


The Pillars of the Earth

By Ken Follett,

Book cover of The Pillars of the Earth

This story is set in the 12th century and follows a group of people from all walks of life who live in Kingsbridge in the United Kingdom. The story takes place over a thirty-year period during which time a new cathedral is built in their town. The book has 12 main characters and is impeccably researched. You really get a feel for what life was like in the 12th century and the struggle people made just to survive. I really enjoyed this book and getting to know each one of the characters in detail and how many of the problems we face today; power, corruption, jealousy, and greed are age-old problems that are almost identical in any setting throughout history. It's the best book I've ever read, and one I would highly recommend.

The Pillars of the Earth

By Ken Follett,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked The Pillars of the Earth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times Bestseller

Oprah's Book Club Selection

The "extraordinary . . . monumental masterpiece" (Booklist) that changed the course of Ken Follett's already phenomenal career-and begins where its prequel, The Evening and the Morning, ended.

"Follett risks all and comes out a clear winner," extolled Publishers Weekly on the release of The Pillars of the Earth. A departure for the bestselling thriller writer, the historical epic stunned readers and critics alike with its ambitious scope and gripping humanity. Today, it stands as a testament to Follett's unassailable command of the written word and to his universal appeal.

The…


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