100 books like Outlander

By Diana Gabaldon,

Here are 100 books that Outlander fans have personally recommended if you like Outlander. 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 Testament of Youth

Deborah Carr Author Of The Poppy Sisters

From my list on World War One that live rent free in my head.

Why am I passionate about this?

I discovered my passion for the First World War when researching my great-grandfather’s service history in the cavalry. I also write historical fiction with several of my books being set during the First World War and have spent thousands of hours over the past twenty years researching different aspects of this period, both from the point of view of the V.A.D.s, wounded soldiers, medical staff treating them, as well as grieving families. The stories I’ve come across never fail to haunt me and I can’t imagine I’ll ever tire of wanting to discover more about the people who survived these experiences, or stop needing to write books about them.

Deborah's book list on World War One that live rent free in my head

Deborah Carr Why did Deborah love this book?

I first read this book about twenty years ago and still find it heartbreaking to think it was written by someone who experienced first-hand the horror of the First World War and with it so much pain and grief brought about not only from her experiences as a V.A.D. but also from her own personal losses.

It is a book that helped me understand as much as anything possibly could living in the twenty-first century, how much of a struggle it must have been for ordinary people to keep going and survive that dark time in history.

By Vera Brittain,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Testament of Youth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An autobiographical account of a young nurse's involvement in World War I.

Book cover of The Nightingale

Robert McParland Author Of The Last Alchemist

From my list on books where history meets mystery.

Why am I passionate about this?

I once had a history advisor in school whom I informed that I was studying history so I could write fiction better. I saw him cringe a bit at that. Even so, I think that history and fiction–and the mystery–go together well. I am always drawn by mystery dramas–and by the drama of real lives facing and unraveling their way through real events. Of course, that led to graduate studies in cultural and intellectual history, to many years of teaching literature, and to passionate reading of mystery novels. Sparkling fiction and strong narrative history, for me, continue to stimulate a sense of wonder at human experience and this incredible universe we live in.    

Robert's book list on books where history meets mystery

Robert McParland Why did Robert love this book?

I read this book quickly. Its historically informative and inspirational quality caught my interest immediately. From the first chapters, the author brings us into World War II France, which will become a tangled web of occupation by the Nazis.

I discovered in this powerful story a relationship between two sisters that weaves secrets of the heart and key decisions. The characters are caught in a difficult situation: a predicament that reflects the struggle experienced by many people in France during the war years. The story stimulates a sense of empathy and curiosity about what will come next.

The historical setting is drawn colorfully. This novel is valuable both for gaining a broader historical sense and for the sheer you-are-there experience. The narrative skill with which the author weaves this tale and its inherent drama should sustain the reader’s interest, as it did mine. This story touches the core of human…

By Kristin Hannah,

Why should I read it?

25 authors picked The Nightingale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Soon to be a major motion picture, The Nightingale is a multi-million copy bestseller across the world. It is a heart-breakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the endurance of women.

This story is about what it was like to be a woman during World War II when women's stories were all too often forgotten or overlooked . . . Vianne and Isabelle Mauriac are two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals and passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path towards survival, love and freedom in war-torn France.

Kristin Hannah's…

Book cover of The Lord of the Rings

Claudia Amendola Alzraa Author Of The Transformational Path: How Healing, Unlearning, and Tuning into Source Helped Me Manifest My Most Abundant Life

From my list on completely transforming your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve known I was “special” since I was a child. I saw, felt, and heard things that others did not. Eventually I embraced my clairaudient mediumship gifts and turned it into a thriving business, allowing me to live a life of purpose: helping others find their passions and live their most joyful lives. But the journey never ends; I am always on a mission to transform. Consistently, literature has been where I turn when I am seeking wisdom on becoming the best version of myself. I also pursued certification as a Book Therapist - the first thing I’ll recommend to friends, family, or clients is the best book for their dilemma!

Claudia's book list on completely transforming your life

Claudia Amendola Alzraa Why did Claudia love this book?

J.R.R. Tolkien's masterful storytelling is unmatched, and The Lord of the Rings weaves together moral dilemmas and profound philosophical ideas seamlessly, encouraging me to contemplate the nature of power, the importance of preserving the natural world, and the significance of individual choices.

The book's themes of heroism, friendship, sacrifice, and the struggle between good and evil resonate deeply. In addition, each of his characters feels like an aspect of oneself; the introspection it inspires is brilliant!

The Lord of the Rings instills a sense of wonder, ignites the imagination, and imparts timeless wisdom, which heavily transformed my perspective on life, my values, and my understanding of the human condition.

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Why should I read it?

52 authors picked The Lord of the Rings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

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…

Book cover of The Lovely Bones

Peggy Webb Author Of Black Crow Cabin

From my list on books about crime that transcend the genre.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up on a small farm in Mississippi and discovered the wide world through a movable feast of books provided by the Bookmobile. The hayloft was my favorite reading spot. I could look across the lake to imagine myself in WWII Paris, the frozen tundras of Alaska, or anywhere beyond the pastures where Daddy’s cattle grazed. I fell in love with words when I was eight years old, a dreamer spinning stories inspired by the ones I read between the covers of my beloved books. I still love words and hear their music as they flow onto the pages of the thrillers I currently write.

Peggy's book list on books about crime that transcend the genre

Peggy Webb Why did Peggy love this book?

By Alice Sebold,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Lovely Bones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The internationally bestselling novel that inspired the acclaimed film directed by Peter Jackson.

With an introduction by Karen Thompson Walker, author of The Age of Miracles.

My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.

In heaven, Susie Salmon can have whatever she wishes for - except what she most wants, which is to be back with the people she loved on earth. In the wake of her murder, Susie watches as her happy suburban family is torn apart by grief; as her friends grow up, fall in…

Book cover of The Bronze Horseman

Emma Lombard Author Of Discerning Grace

From my list on unforgettable characters who stay with you.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been described as ‘the Energizer bunny,’ so it’s no surprise that I’m drawn to colorful and passionate fictional characters—especially historical ones who have not only life’s circumstances to deal with but societal limitations too. My personality is such that if I’m told I can’t achieve something, I grit my teeth and say, ‘Watch me!’ So, it’s only natural that I draw on this sheer bloody-mindedness to breathe life into my own historical fiction ensembles. Creating characters who are as limp as wet lettuces is one of my biggest challenges. I want everyone to have gumption, but I also understand that good balance in a story is important.

Emma's book list on unforgettable characters who stay with you

Emma Lombard Why did Emma love this book?

A toast to Tatiana and Alexander! *throws back a shot of vodka*

Compounded by Simons’ exquisitely detailed storytelling, which waxes lyrical about the siege of Leningrad during the summer of 1941, these lovebirds from The Bronze Horseman sit high on my list of unforgettable historical fiction characters.

The superb languor of Alexander’s courtship with Tatiana during a time of terrible hardship helped me overlook both of their faults, and become wholly invested in them as a couple.

He is unrelenting in his desire to take care of Tatiana and her family, and while she is young and at times incredibly naïve, she is also brilliantly resilient.

The character I love to hate: Dasha. Ugh! How can a sister be so cruel?

Boy, did my emotions run the gauntlet with this one!

By Paullina Simons,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Bronze Horseman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A magnificent epic of love, war and Russia from the international bestselling author of TULLY and ROAD TO PARADISE

Leningrad 1941: the white nights of summer illuminate a city of fallen grandeur whose palaces and avenues speak of a different age, when Leningrad was known as St Petersburg.

Two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha, share the same bed, living in one room with their brother and parents.

The routine of their hard impoverished life is shattered on 22 June 1941 when Hitler invades Russia. For the Metanov family, for Leningrad and particularly for Tatiana, life will never be the same again.…

Book cover of The Painted Veil

Nanine Case Author Of Cannibal King

From my list on adventure capturing the challenges of the unknown.

Why am I passionate about this?

Some look through the glass and admire what lies beyond. I look beyond the glass and imagine what's ahead. What is an adventure? It's an encounter with the unexpected, an exquisite moment in time that can never be repeated, those memorable chapters in our personal story that cause us to go to the attic and lift the lid of the trunk. I've lived the experiences in my books because I walked the beaten paths where those stories were born and embraced the culture that colors the pages. I'm an intrepid traveler and adventurer with still a few personal chapters to write. As I look beyond the glass, I wonder… Will my trunk ever be full?

Nanine's book list on adventure capturing the challenges of the unknown

Nanine Case Why did Nanine love this book?

I love adventure stories that offer unexpected challenges in foreign lands. 

This story, set in upper-class England and rural China in the 1920s, is about Kitty, a selfish, beautiful, and attention-seeking woman, and the shy and unattractive English bacteriologist, Walter, who falls hopelessly in love and asks for Kitty’s hand in marriage. Kitty consents, but Walter’s discovery of her lover and the resulting social pressure, force the couple to enter into a marriage doomed for failure. 

Even though bitterness prevails, the couple set off for Walter’s assignment in the cholera-infected area of China. It is an act of suicide, fraught with peril. 

During their dangerous sojourn in this strange and foreign land, the couple’s discoveries are many. In the end, they realize that the greatest discovery is their mutual love.

By W. Somerset Maugham,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'She did not know what to say. She was undecided whether indignantly to assert her innocence or to break out into angry reproaches. He seemed to read her thoughts. "I've got all the proof necessary" '

Kitty Fane is the beautiful but shallow wife of Walter, a bacteriologist stationed in Hong Kong. Unsatisfied by her marriage, she starts an affair with Charles Townsend, a man whom she finds charming, attractive and exciting. But when Walter discovers her deception, he exacts a strange but terrible vengeance: Kitty must accompany him to his new posting in remote mainland China, where a cholera…

Book cover of Dracula

David Demchuk Author Of The Bone Mother

From my list on chills and thrills on a dark and stormy night.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer of Gothic-inflected suspense and horror fiction, I just can’t help it: I love to be scared! We are lucky to be in a time when so many wonderful thrillers, mysteries, suspense, and horror stories are being written and published, but I have a great love for the classics of the genre. These are the books I turn to again and again, not just to marvel at their craft and ingenuity, but to feel the skin prickle on my arms and shoulders and the hairs rise on the back of my neck. Whether for the first or the twentieth time, let these masterworks cast their spells over you.

David's book list on chills and thrills on a dark and stormy night

David Demchuk Why did David love this book?

I can’t get enough of this supernatural classic, which is made all the more vivid by the way its story unfolds through letters, telegrams, diary entries, and newspaper clippings. It is the found-footage horror story of its era.

Like Frankenstein, it has been adapted hundreds of times, officially and unofficially, into nearly every medium, yet the original novel is unparalleled for holding the reader in its icy grip. Stoker brought his own fears to the page, and I am always surprised at how, in just a few pages, they become my fears, as well.

By Bram Stoker,

Why should I read it?

22 authors picked Dracula as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 17.

What is this book about?

'The very best story of diablerie which I have read for many years' Arthur Conan Doyle

A masterpiece of the horror genre, Dracula also probes identity, sanity and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire. It begins when Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, and makes horrifying discoveries in his client's castle. Soon afterwards, disturbing incidents unfold in England - an unmanned ship is wrecked; strange puncture marks appear on a young woman's neck; a lunatic asylum inmate raves about the imminent arrival of his 'Master' - and a determined group of adversaries…

Book cover of The Great Gatsby

David Nicholson Author Of The Garretts of Columbia: A Black South Carolina Family from Slavery to the Dawn of Integration

From my list on race in America.

Why am I passionate about this?

Though I was born in the U.S., I didn’t wind up living here full-time till I was almost 10. The result? I have always been curious about what it means to be an American. In one way or another, the books on my list explore that question. More than that, all (well, nearly all) insist that black history is inextricably intertwined with American history and that American culture is a mulatto culture, a fusion of black and white. After years of making my living as a journalist, editor, and book reviewer, I left newspapers to write fiction and non-fiction, exploring these and other questions.

David's book list on race in America

David Nicholson Why did David love this book?

Was the hero of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s American classic African-American?

A couple of academics have advanced that theory. I’m not sure I buy it. The notion (and supporting “evidence”) seems little more than a literary parlor game, not to mention the fact that nothing in Fitzgerald’s work or his letters shows a particular engagement with, or sympathy for, black Americans.

Still, it’s an interesting metaphor and the reason this seminal American novel appears in a list of what’s otherwise non-fiction. Gatsby’s yearning for his lost love could be an African-American yearning for a beloved country that does not always love them in return.

I first read this book in high school. It wasn’t until my second, third, and fourth re-reading that I began to appreciate Fitzgerald’s gift for story-telling and his evocative, poignant language. And to identify with Gatsby, the outsider craving to become an insider.

By F. Scott Fitzgerald,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked The Great Gatsby as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As the summer unfolds, Nick is drawn into Gatsby's world of luxury cars, speedboats and extravagant parties. But the more he hears about Gatsby - even from what Gatsby himself tells him - the less he seems to believe. Did he really go to Oxford University? Was Gatsby a hero in the war? Did he once kill a man? Nick recalls how he comes to know Gatsby and how he also enters the world of his cousin Daisy and her wealthy husband Tom. Does their money make them any happier? Do the stories all connect? Shall we come to know…

Book cover of Tigana

Lena Gibson Author Of Switching Tracks: Out of the Trash

From my list on books that combine love, action, and speculative elements.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been an avid reader and loved different genres from the beginning. I started out reading historical fiction as a child, including the Little House books, Anne of Green Gables, and Where the Red Fern Grows. I soon discovered that science fiction and fantasy did the same thing, transporting me to different words and places instead of times. Many of my favorite books have elements of these as well as action, tension, thrills, and romance. These things transcend genre, and by reading books that combine genres, I find some of the most interesting and original stories. 

Lena's book list on books that combine love, action, and speculative elements

Lena Gibson Why did Lena love this book?

Tigana might be my favorite book of all time, any genre, which says a lot.

Every time I read it, I am blown away by the perfection of the story and characters and the intricate story of love, hate, rebellion, magic, and politics. I have read it at least a dozen times since I first discovered it, and every time, I find something new or rediscover something I’d forgotten that makes this book wonderful.

It has the structure of a fantasy story and quest for redemption but is also a story of family, friendship, trust, loyalty, and love. It could be any empire and conquest in history. Imagine how devastating it would be to have the name of your country erased from time and memory. 

By Guy Gavriel Kay,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With this rich, masterfully written extravaganza of myth and magic, the internationally acclaimed author of THE FIONAVAR TAPESTRY trilogy has created an epic that will forever change the boundaries of fantasy fiction.

Set in a beleaguered land caught in a web of tyranny, Tigana is the deeply moving story of a people struggling to be free. A people so cursed by the dark sorceries of the tyrant King Brandin that even the very name of their once beautiful land cannot be spoken or remembered.

But not everyone has forgotten. A handful of men and women, driven by love, hope and…

Book cover of Interview with the Vampire

Nadine Haruni Author Of The Hat Diaries: The Secret Life of Ryan Rigbee

From my list on fantasy adventure to travel to a new world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an award-winning author of The Hat Diaries fantasy adventure series and the Freeda the Frog children’s book series. The Hat Diaries The Secret Life of Ryan Rigbee is the first book in The Hat Diaries trilogy. The Hat Diaries collection is written for teens and adults, expanding readers’ imaginations as they enter Ryan’s secret world. The Freeda the Frog™ books focus on acceptance for every type of family and comfort children as they experience real-life situations. I frequently do author events, radio & TV interviews, and podcasts. I am also a practicing attorney, certified yoga instructor, and the proud mother of a blended family of five children. 

Nadine's book list on fantasy adventure to travel to a new world

Nadine Haruni Why did Nadine love this book?

Interview with the Vampire is rather dark yet mesmerizing at the same time.

I love stories that take your mind to another world, and this one is at the top of the list. To be perfectly honest, I never really had any interest in learning about the mysterious world of immortal vampires until I read this book. Just remember that this book is intended for mature audiences due to its dark and mature themes.

I recommend this book because it touches upon many exciting subjects, including the desire for immortality and it takes an interesting perspective about humanity through a supernatural lens. This book is an absolute must-read that will leave you chilled to the bone and spellbound.

By Anne Rice,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked Interview with the Vampire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Anne Rice, this sensuously written spellbinding classic remains 'the most successful vampire story since Bram Stoker's Dracula' (The Times)

In a darkened room a young man sits telling the macabre and eerie story of his life - the story of a vampire, gifted with eternal life, cursed with an exquisite craving for human blood.

When Interview with the Vampire was published the Washington Post said it was a 'thrilling, strikingly original work of the imagination . . . sometimes horrible, sometimes beautiful, always unforgettable'. Now, more than forty years since its release, Anne…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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