100 books like Once More We Saw Stars

By Jayson Greene,

Here are 100 books that Once More We Saw Stars fans have personally recommended if you like Once More We Saw Stars. 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 Educated: A Memoir

Penny Lane Author Of Redeemed: A Memoir of a Stolen Childhood

From my list on people breaking from their pasts to claim their lives back.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an adult child of an alcoholic father and an abusive and dysfunctional stepmother who ran away from home at sixteen and fell into the wrong crowd in my search for love and family. Yet after years of hard personal work, I have overcome and triumphed over these obstacles to become stable, happy, and successful, in a good marriage, raising a great son in a loving, stable home. I’ve gone on to help and inspire others to do the same, including writing the book Redeemed, A Memoir of a Stolen Childhood.

Penny's book list on people breaking from their pasts to claim their lives back

Penny Lane Why did Penny love this book?

I identified with Tara Westover while reading her memoir because of her secluded and restrictive upbringing. Like her, my upbringing made me feel left out, “other,” different from normal kids, not allowed the usual activities that other kids could do and kept from learning and growing in my own way.

I didn’t understand how these rules affected me until I saw my angst in her own words of isolation, yearning, and rebellion. It gave me hope that our desire for self-fulfillment and actualization is universal and stronger than the people who try, for good reasons or bad, to keep us down.

It is an amazing book. I could barely put it down. 

By Tara Westover,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE MULTI-MILLION COPY BESTSELLER

Selected as a book of the year by AMAZON, THE TIMES, SUNDAY TIMES, GUARDIAN, NEW YORK TIMES, ECONOMIST, NEW STATESMAN, VOGUE, IRISH TIMES, IRISH EXAMINER and RED MAGAZINE

'One of the best books I have ever read . . . unbelievably moving' Elizabeth Day
'An extraordinary story, beautifully told' Louise O'Neill
'A memoir to stand alongside the classics . . . compelling and joyous' Sunday Times

Tara Westover grew up preparing for the end of the world. She was never put in school, never taken to the doctor. She did not even have a birth certificate…


Book cover of Britt-Marie Was Here

Debbie Chein Morris Author Of We Used to Dance: Loving Judy, My Disabled Twin

From my list on getting through life’s challenges.

Why am I passionate about this?

At the age of fifty-three, I was suddenly thrust into the role of primary caregiver for my disabled twin sister who was unable to sit, stand, feed herself, eat solid foods, or communicate. Up to that point, that role had been my mother’s with the help of home-attendants; but my mother was aging and the care provided by the ever-changing attendants was wanting. I was forced to place Judy in a nursing home. The challenge left me overwhelmed with the responsibility of overseeing her care and there were days I wondered if I could go on. With the support of family and friends, I was able to make it through.

Debbie's book list on getting through life’s challenges

Debbie Chein Morris Why did Debbie love this book?

Britt-Marie Was Here is a book of fiction. Nonetheless, it speaks to me as an example of persevering to get through life’s challenges.

Backman is a master of character development and I easily connected with the protagonist. I, like Britt Marie, have found myself outside my comfort zone, slowly moving forward to figure out how to navigate my new position in life.

For Britt Marie, it was living on her own in a new place, with new people, after leaving her husband upon whom she depended for everything; for me it was becoming a primary caregiver and decision-maker for my disabled twin sister.

Very different positions and yet sharing the challenge of accepting our new situation in life. I didn’t want the book to end.

By Fredrik Backman,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Britt-Marie Was Here as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, and Anxious People captivates readers with this “warm and satisfying” (People) story “about a woman rediscovering herself after a personal crisis…fans of Backman will find another winner in these pages” (Publishers Weekly).

Britt-Marie can’t stand mess. A disorganized cutlery drawer ranks high on her list of unforgivable sins. She is not one to judge others—no matter how ill-mannered, unkempt, or morally suspect they might be. It’s just that sometimes people interpret her helpful suggestions as criticisms, which is certainly not…


Book cover of Emma's Laugh: The Gift of Second Chances

Debbie Chein Morris Author Of We Used to Dance: Loving Judy, My Disabled Twin

From my list on getting through life’s challenges.

Why am I passionate about this?

At the age of fifty-three, I was suddenly thrust into the role of primary caregiver for my disabled twin sister who was unable to sit, stand, feed herself, eat solid foods, or communicate. Up to that point, that role had been my mother’s with the help of home-attendants; but my mother was aging and the care provided by the ever-changing attendants was wanting. I was forced to place Judy in a nursing home. The challenge left me overwhelmed with the responsibility of overseeing her care and there were days I wondered if I could go on. With the support of family and friends, I was able to make it through.

Debbie's book list on getting through life’s challenges

Debbie Chein Morris Why did Debbie love this book?

As soon as I began reading Emma’s Gift, I was hooked.

Though the author’s relationship to Emma – mother-to-child – is different from my relationship to my twin sister, having a family member with a disability made the connection. The challenges of the situation and the difficult decisions that Kuperschmit had to make resonated with my own.

The honesty and bearing of emotions were necessary for both of us to tell our story. I could hardly put the book down, awed by Kuperschmit’s beautiful and eloquent descriptions of what she was going through.

We shared an understanding that there is a real person underneath the disability and I was thankful throughout for Kuperschmit’s skill in showing her readers that, even with an “atypical” child, there is the ability to love and be loved.

By Diana Kupershmit,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Emma's Laugh as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As Diana surveyed her newborn baby's face, languid body, and absent cry, she knew something was wrong. Then the doctors delivered devastating news: her first child, Emma, had been born with a rare genetic disorder that would leave her profoundly physically and intellectually disabled.

Diana imagined life with a child with disabilities as a dark and insular one-a life in which she would be forced to exist in the periphery alongside her daughter. Convinced of her inability to love her "imperfect" child and give her the best care and life she deserved, Diana gave Emma up for adoption. But as…


Book cover of When Bad Things Happen to Good People

Debbie Chein Morris Author Of We Used to Dance: Loving Judy, My Disabled Twin

From my list on getting through life’s challenges.

Why am I passionate about this?

At the age of fifty-three, I was suddenly thrust into the role of primary caregiver for my disabled twin sister who was unable to sit, stand, feed herself, eat solid foods, or communicate. Up to that point, that role had been my mother’s with the help of home-attendants; but my mother was aging and the care provided by the ever-changing attendants was wanting. I was forced to place Judy in a nursing home. The challenge left me overwhelmed with the responsibility of overseeing her care and there were days I wondered if I could go on. With the support of family and friends, I was able to make it through.

Debbie's book list on getting through life’s challenges

Debbie Chein Morris Why did Debbie love this book?

I first read this book shortly after it was published in 1981. I was looking for the answer to the question of why bad things happen in this world.

Kushner did not have an answer to that question, but insights into how we might face the challenges that life can present when those “bad things” happen. He, himself, went through a significant trauma: hearing that his young son had a progressive disease that would not allow him to live into adulthood. Yet Kushner found a way to survive and to move forward.

I’ve read this book multiple times. It always reinforces for me the idea that the difficulties we face in life are just part of living and that even though we may suffer through hard times, life is, indeed, worth living. We can and we must go on.

By Harold S. Kushner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When Bad Things Happen to Good People as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The #1 bestselling inspirational classic from the nationally known spiritual leader; a source of solace and hope for over 4 million readers.

When Harold Kushner’s three-year-old son was diagnosed with a degenerative disease that meant the boy would only live until his early teens, he was faced with one of life’s most difficult questions: Why, God? Years later, Rabbi Kushner wrote this straightforward, elegant contemplation of the doubts and fears that arise when tragedy strikes. In these pages, Kushner shares his wisdom as a rabbi, a parent, a reader, and a human being. Often imitated but never superseded, When Bad…


Book cover of Awakening from Grief: Finding the Way Back to Joy

Allen Klein Author Of Embracing Life After Loss: A Gentle Guide for Growing Through Grief

From my list on grief and loss.

Why am I passionate about this?

Allen Klein is a former hospice volunteer and the former director of The Life-Death Transitions Institute in San Francisco. He has also spoken at over 100 hospice events around the world. In addition, several of his books have dealt with death, dying, and grief. Among them are, The Healing Power of Humor, The Courage to Laugh, and Embracing Life after Loss. Klein’s interest in the connection between humor and death and dying came out of the death of his wife, who had a wonderful sense of humor. He saw how humor helped her, and those around her, cope with this challenging circumstance.

Allen's book list on grief and loss

Allen Klein Why did Allen love this book?

This meditation teacher shows those who have experienced a loss new ways to embrace the pain so that they can feel joy again. Written for all types of loss, Welshons shows readers how grief can provide a unique opportunity to live a fuller and richer life in spite of our losses.

By John E. Welshons,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this remarkable book, Welshons weaves together his own personal awakening with those of others he's counseled to bestow a deeply felt and exquisitely expressed primer on dealing with grief. We learn new ways to embrace our pain so that our hearts can open to feel joy. We discover how grieving gives us the unique opportunity to develop deeper and fuller life experiences. Written for people who have experienced any type of loss—whether through death, divorce, or disappointment—this compelling and memorable guide will take its place among the insightful works of grief management.


Book cover of The House in the Pines

Sara Flannery Murphy Author Of The Wonder State

From my list on thriller and horror with “House” in the title.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a lifelong fascination with houses and the sway they hold over us. Coming from a family that moved pretty frequently, I’ve experienced the way a house can feel like a true home, or like an unwelcoming space. Unlike the characters in The Wonder State, I don’t break into places to explore (not even abandoned spaces!). But I always take notice of the homes and structures in every neighborhood and city I visit, wondering what the residents’ lives are like and how their houses affect them. I’m a novelist who focuses on the speculative, and all three of my novels feature weird houses in some capacity.

Sara's book list on thriller and horror with “House” in the title

Sara Flannery Murphy Why did Sara love this book?

The house referenced in the title of this atmospheric thriller is no ordinary home, but I had to take quite a journey before understanding what makes this place so sinister.

In Reyes’ thriller, Maya is haunted by the seemingly inexplicable death of her friend. She suspects that the death has something to do with Frank, the mysterious man who created a rift between Maya and her friend. But Maya can’t prove anything… until she sees Frank connected to yet another woman’s bizarre death.

Without any spoilers, this particular house is unlike the others on the list, and Reyes plays with reality and perception in a fresh and intriguing way. Good luck guessing what’s going on in this eerie house in the woods… I certainly couldn’t anticipate the twists.

By Ana Reyes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The House in the Pines as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A REESE WITHERSPOON BOOK CLUB PICK
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
'AN ABSOLUTE, CAN'T-PUT-IT-DOWN THRILLER'
Reese Witherspoon (Reese's Book Club Jan '23 Pick)

'EERIE AND ATMOSPHERIC'
Riley Sager, New York Times bestselling author of The House Across the Lake

'CREEPY'
The Times

'I READ IN A SINGLE SITTING, TOTALLY ENTHRALLED'
Lisa Gardner, Sunday Times bestselling author of One Step Too Far

'SUPERB'
M. W. Craven, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Botanist

'CHILLED ME TO THE BONE'
Andrea Bartz, author of Reese's pick We Were Never Here
________

This is the story of a house. The cabin lies deep in…


Book cover of Death Is Stupid

Amanda Rawson Hill Author Of You'll Find Me

From my list on for guiding your child through grief.

Why am I passionate about this?

In the past ten years, I have had to guide my young children through two unexpected and tragic deaths of loved ones. Both times, I was struggling with my own grief and wasn’t sure what my kids understood or didn’t. I made a lot of mistakes (as my son’s therapist can attest) but through it all, I learned a great deal about how much children notice, how deeply they feel a loss, and how to tend to our own grief and our children’s. From that pain, I wrote You’ll Find Me, and since then, have been able to use that book as a jumping-off point to discuss grief with others.

Amanda's book list on for guiding your child through grief

Amanda Rawson Hill Why did Amanda love this book?

One of the most frustrating parts of losing someone involves all the well-meaning but ultimately terrible things people say to you. It’s even harder for children who often have to grapple with euphemisms like “passed away” or “in a better place.” This book provides space to feel anger about these phrases and talk about why they don’t make sense. It also broaches feelings of missing, the scary feeling of seeing grownups grieve loudly, and gives little ideas for remembering your loved one, including providing a place in the back to write their name and paste in a picture.

By Anastasia Higginbotham,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

FEATURED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES

Part of the Ordinary Terrible Things series, the new and expanded edition of Death Is Stupid is an invaluable tool for discussing death, exploring grief, and honoring the life of our loved ones.

When someone we love dies, adults often say things like, "She's in a better place now," or "I know how you feel." You do not, one little boy thinks after his grandma passes away. Caught in the swirl of anger, confusion, and fear that accompanies grief and mourning, he doesn't just think death is unfair-he thinks death is stupid. It takes…


Book cover of The Loss of a Pet: A Guide to Coping with the Grieving Process When a Pet Dies

Amy Lee Kite Author Of Goodbye, Gus

From my list on children and adults coping with the loss of a pet.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I was a young girl, I always turned to writing to work through anything that was happening in my life, ranging from the first time I experienced loss to my parents’ divorce. I have since published three children’s books on tough topics as I have aimed to provide parents, children, and teachers with tools to discuss loss and change. My most recent book, Goodbye, Gus is specifically about the loss of a pet. My dad died when I was 21, and that was the first death (other than my dogs) that I ever experienced. I was able to experience first-hand the fact that the loss of my pets helped prepare me to cope with grief, and I also learned that we can all focus on what we did have and hang on to those memories forever. 

Amy's book list on children and adults coping with the loss of a pet

Amy Lee Kite Why did Amy love this book?

This book is full of comforting information for those who have lost a pet and are going through the grieving process. I remember reading this book and feeling so grateful that a psychologist put together this information specifically for those of us who are coping with losing a pet. I love my dogs, and they are a big part of my family. When I have lost them, I feel devastated. Pet grief is a bereavement process that deserves attention, care, and understanding, and this book helps us to understand that intense grief. 

By Wallace Sife,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Understanding helps heal the hurt when you lose a pet.

This award-winning book has been hailed as the seminal work in the field. And now the fourth newly revised and expanded edition offers so much more to the bereaving pet owner. This edition also includes a significant new way of considering the meaning of afterlife for us and our pets. It discusses the topic from a twenty-first century scientific perspective that is very different from existing religious or metaphysical ones, offering a new comfort to skeptics and agnostics as well.

This book will help you in your healing from that…


Book cover of Grief Is the Thing with Feathers

Amber A. Logan Author Of The Secret Garden of Yanagi Inn

From my list on unusual manifestations of grief.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have long been fascinated by how personal and singular the experience of grief is. There is something soothing and relatable about reading others’ experiences—the more strange, nonsensical, or even supernatural the better. My own novel, The Secret Garden of Yanagi Inn, is a retelling of The Secret Garden, but with an adult protagonist moving through grief over the death of her complicated mother, striving to see a bright ray of hope on the other side. Each of the books on my list about unusual manifestations of grief tackles this same concept in new and surprising ways, and I hope they touch you as they have touched me.  

Amber's book list on unusual manifestations of grief

Amber A. Logan Why did Amber love this book?

Of all the book recommendations on my list, this book fits the theme the best.

Grief is the Thing with Feathers is a novella about grief and loss, and tells the story of a father and his two sons who unexpectedly lose their wife/mother and are visited by a crow who is the literal manifestation of their grief.

Gorgeous and strange (part of the book is seen through the crow’s eyes!), this was the book that made me realize how blurred the line between prose and poetry can be, and why I love books that are surreal and challenging. It is also a book I will likely revisit when I am experiencing my own grief again someday.

By Max Porter,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Grief Is the Thing with Feathers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A SUNDAY TIMES TOP 100 NOVEL OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

Winner of the 2016 International Dylan Thomas Prize and the Sunday Times/Peter, Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year award and shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Goldsmiths Prize.

In a London flat, two young boys face the unbearable sadness of their mother's sudden death. Their father, a Ted Hughes scholar and scruffy romantic, imagines a future of well-meaning visitors and emptiness.

In this moment of despair they are visited by Crow - antagonist, trickster, healer, babysitter. This sentimental bird is drawn to the grieving family…


Book cover of Something Very Sad Happened: A Toddler's Guide to Understanding Death

Amanda Rawson Hill Author Of You'll Find Me

From my list on for guiding your child through grief.

Why am I passionate about this?

In the past ten years, I have had to guide my young children through two unexpected and tragic deaths of loved ones. Both times, I was struggling with my own grief and wasn’t sure what my kids understood or didn’t. I made a lot of mistakes (as my son’s therapist can attest) but through it all, I learned a great deal about how much children notice, how deeply they feel a loss, and how to tend to our own grief and our children’s. From that pain, I wrote You’ll Find Me, and since then, have been able to use that book as a jumping-off point to discuss grief with others.

Amanda's book list on for guiding your child through grief

Amanda Rawson Hill Why did Amanda love this book?

About 9 months after my 3-year-old son sat in the room with us as his uncle quietly passed away, he began having panic attacks about dying. When I took him to a therapist, I realized that I’d done just about everything wrong in how I handled this loss with him. The therapist gave me this book.

The text is simple and focuses on what is important to the child, including what they are seeing in the people around them. Grief is scary to experience, and when you don’t quite understand what’s happening, it’s terrifying to watch your caretakers experience it. This book helps process all of that. I recommend inserting the name of the relative that died into all the places where the text mentions “grandma.”

By Bonnie Zucker, Kim Fleming (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Something Very Sad Happened as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When a loved one dies, it can be hard to know how to explain it to a young child, particularly if you are grieving the loss yourself.

Sensitively written and gently illustrated, Something Very Sad Happened explains death in developmentally appropriate terms for two-and three-year-old childern. It reassures the child that it is okay to feel sad, and that love never dies.

Includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers with more information about how to talk about death, answer your child's questions, and maintain your connection throughout the grieving process.

Ages 2-3


5 book lists we think you will like!

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