100 books like Outliers

By Kate L. Mary,

Here are 100 books that Outliers fans have personally recommended if you like Outliers. 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 A Court of Thorns and Roses

Melanie K. Moschella Author Of Iron-Bound Flames

From my list on bingeable book series for escapist readers.

Who am I?

I have always been an escapist reader. From fantasy to historical fiction, my favorite books have transported me from my life—providing me with the adventure and romance that I crave. I’m a lover of series, specifically, because they offer a longer, more immersive experience. As a writer, I hope to offer my readers the same respite from reality that my favorite series have offered me, and I’m publishing my completed five-book series, The Raek Riders series all at once in an effort to do just that. They will be available March 19th, 2024, ready for escapist readers to binge from start to finish. 

Melanie's book list on bingeable book series for escapist readers

Melanie K. Moschella Why did Melanie love this book?

Lovingly referred to as Acotar by many, this series was my introduction to new adult fantasy, which changed my life.

I’d always loved YA fantasy for the immersive worlds but found its *echem* romantic limitations frustrating. Insert A Court of Thornes and Roses, which has enough world building to transport but not enough to get bogged down in and plenty of spice. I found my genre when I read these books.

Okay, I devoured these books—the work friend who recommended them looked distinctly alarmed and confused when I returned to her only a matter of days later to tell her how much I’d loved them. 

By Sarah J. Maas,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked A Court of Thorns and Roses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

Experience Feyre Archeron's journey all over again with the beautiful collector's edition of A Court of Thorns and Roses, the seductive first book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series by Sarah J. Maas, featuring a deluxe new package, an updated map, ribbon pull, and more! When nineteen-year-old Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin-one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world. As she…


Book cover of Mistress of Rome

KC Klein Author Of Mi Familia

From my list on heroines that won’t get nominated for sainthood.

Who am I?

I’ve been reading romance since before dirt was old—(okay, I’m not actually that old, but some days I feel like it)—and I have a deep belief that romances can be our shining light in a sometimes very dark world. Which is why when I wrote my own stories, my very first editorial letter started out with, “Wow, you really like to torture your characters.” I wanted to create genuine characters that make mistakes, mess up, and sometimes are their own worst enemy but you still want to root for them. My list of books on Heroines That Won’t Get Nominated For Sainthood will take you on a journey far more interesting than sainthood—the human experience.

KC's book list on heroines that won’t get nominated for sainthood

KC Klein Why did KC love this book?

Mistress of Rome was the first book I ever read by Kate Quinn, but it wasn’t my last. Frankly, I fell in love with Thea, a slave in ancient Rome. Ms. Quinn never shied away from the hard stuff. The reality was Thea was a slave and, as a slave, had very limited choices in her life. Ms. Quinn crafted a novel full of rich characters who sometimes made poor choices, or had their choices made for them all the while set against the beautiful background of ancient Rome, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a novel.

By Kate Quinn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first in an unforgettable historical saga from the New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network and The Diamond Eye.

"So gripping, your hands are glued to the book, and so vivid it burns itself into your mind's eye and stays with you long after you turn the final page."-Diana Gabaldon, #1 New York Times bestselling author

First-century Rome: One young woman will hold the fate of an empire in her hands.

Thea, a captive from Judaea, is a clever and determined survivor hiding behind a slave's docile mask. Purchased as a toy for the spoiled heiress Lepida…


Book cover of The Bird and the Sword

KC Klein Author Of Mi Familia

From my list on heroines that won’t get nominated for sainthood.

Who am I?

I’ve been reading romance since before dirt was old—(okay, I’m not actually that old, but some days I feel like it)—and I have a deep belief that romances can be our shining light in a sometimes very dark world. Which is why when I wrote my own stories, my very first editorial letter started out with, “Wow, you really like to torture your characters.” I wanted to create genuine characters that make mistakes, mess up, and sometimes are their own worst enemy but you still want to root for them. My list of books on Heroines That Won’t Get Nominated For Sainthood will take you on a journey far more interesting than sainthood—the human experience.

KC's book list on heroines that won’t get nominated for sainthood

KC Klein Why did KC love this book?

True confession, I love just about everything Amy Harmon writes, but this book blew my socks off. Not only did it stand out as unique among the typical fantasies, but it was exquisitely well written. Ms. Harmon has a way with the English language that made me fall in love with reading in a way I hadn’t in a long, long time. While it is true that the heroine was a pretty morally upright character, Ms. Harmon never comes across as preachy, and the character’s choices were well thought out.

By Amy Harmon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Swallow, daughter, pull them in, those words that sit upon your lips. Lock them deep inside your soul, hide them ‘til they’ve time to grow. Close your mouth upon the power, curse not, cure not, ‘til the hour. You won’t speak and you won’t tell, you won’t call on heaven or hell. You will learn and you will thrive. Silence, daughter. Stay alive. The day my mother was killed, she told my father I wouldn’t speak again, and she told him if I died, he would die too. Then she predicted the king would sell his soul and lose his…


Book cover of Inferno

KC Klein Author Of Mi Familia

From my list on heroines that won’t get nominated for sainthood.

Who am I?

I’ve been reading romance since before dirt was old—(okay, I’m not actually that old, but some days I feel like it)—and I have a deep belief that romances can be our shining light in a sometimes very dark world. Which is why when I wrote my own stories, my very first editorial letter started out with, “Wow, you really like to torture your characters.” I wanted to create genuine characters that make mistakes, mess up, and sometimes are their own worst enemy but you still want to root for them. My list of books on Heroines That Won’t Get Nominated For Sainthood will take you on a journey far more interesting than sainthood—the human experience.

KC's book list on heroines that won’t get nominated for sainthood

KC Klein Why did KC love this book?

Out of all my recommendations, this one is a true mafia romance in the Hotter Than Hell series. But make no mistake, this isn’t the typical mafia romance where the hot/rich/dangerous guy comes in and sweeps the virgin/young/beautiful girl off her feet into a glamourous life where she’s pampered, but never loses her “I’m just a down-to-earth kinda gal” personality. I’ve met Ms. Roberts personally, and know she’s worked as a sex crime detective in real life, which has enabled her to bring some of those experiences to her books. While she never shies away from the hard stuff, she also never glorifies violence, and instead focuses on the emotional aftermath of trauma and the message that love really can conquer all.

By Holly S Roberts,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An epic mafia romance not for the faint of heart. The Hotter Than Hell series crosses the line into dark romance. The books are steamy, unethical, and HOT! Written by USA TODAY Bestselling Author Holly S Roberts.

The Hotter Than Hell series is filled with violence, passion, and filthy language and is not for everyone.

The INFERNO has arrived:

Moon:

Madison’s life is on the line and nothing will stop me from saving her and bringing destruction to those responsible. I’ll find her before more body parts arrive at my doorstep.

Madison:

I never thought I would find myself in…


Book cover of Jasmine

Julie C. Gilbert Author Of Money Makes It Deadlier

From my list on sassy or determined female leads.

Who am I?

I’m a multi-genre writer who loves hearing the characters’ voices and getting their stories out there in the world. A lot of my characters are shaped by their gifts, whether they have supernatural ones or not. The things that happen to them shape who they are and how they react to future events. I exist on sarcasm, sass, and hot tea, so many of my characters do too.

Julie's book list on sassy or determined female leads

Julie C. Gilbert Why did Julie love this book?

This story featured a cop just trying to get her job done. She’s not a saint, but she busts her backside to solve the mystery while wading through office politics.

Kate’s not perfect. She makes mistakes, but she’s got an admirable sense of determination to see justice done.

I think there’s a killer fight scene at the end of the book.

Strong language warning on this one too.

By Blair Howard,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What would you do if someone murdered your daughter?

Jasmine, a lovely, teenage kid with a bright future was brutally murdered and thrown away like a rag doll.

It was Lt. Kate Gazzara’s first case as lead detective. For eight years she played Dr. Watson to Sergeant Harry Starke’s Sherlock Holmes, and then he was gone. Jasmine changed her life.

Who killed the poor kid? Why did she have to die? What could she have done to deserve such a fate?


It was her parent’s worst nightmare. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare, and it begs the question: What would you…


Book cover of Helena

Edoardo Albert Author Of Edwin

From my list on overlooked or largely forgotten historical fiction.

Who am I?

I am a writer and historian, specialising in the early-Medieval period and the fractious but fruitful encounter between the Christian and Islamic worlds. My fiction is informed by my non-fiction work: it’s a great help to have written actual histories of Northumbria in collaboration with some of the foremost archaeologists working on the period. I regard my work as the imaginative application of what we can learn through history to stories and the books I have selected all do this through the extraordinarily varied talents of their authors. I hope you will enjoy them!

Edoardo's book list on overlooked or largely forgotten historical fiction

Edoardo Albert Why did Edoardo love this book?

Helena is Evelyn Waugh’s most overlooked novel but it is my favourite. I love it for how Waugh depicts Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constatine, but what raises it to a place in any best-of list is a passage of writing that ranks as Waugh’s best - and he sets a very high bar for himself. Towards the end of the book Helena prays for her salvation but, reading it, we realise that Waugh is praying for his own salvation too, for those “who have had a tedious journey to make to the truth, of all who are confused with knowledge and speculation… of all who stand in danger by reason of their talents.” 

By Evelyn Waugh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Empress Helena made the historic pilgrimage to Palestine, found pieces of wood from the true Cross, and built churches at Bethlehem and Olivet. Her life coincided with one of the great turning-points of history: the recognition of Christianity as the religion of the Roman Empire. The enormous conflicting forces of the age, and the corruption, treachery, and madness of Imperial Rome combine to give Evelyn Waugh the theme for one of his most arresting and memorable novels.


Book cover of I’m Sorry You Feel That Way

Sarah Edghill Author Of His Other Woman

From my list on domestic dramas making you glad life is normal.

Who am I?

I love writing about families and what makes them tick: the minor dramas being played out behind every front door, make for intriguing reading. As a journalist, I have interviewed so many people with fascinating stories to tell, and with my fiction I throw my characters into a tricky situation and see what unfolds. Inevitably, if you pull one playing card from the bottom, the whole house of cards comes tumbling down. When faced with unexpected challenges, my characters often behave badly, make poor decisions and get themselves into the kind of mess that makes you want to read one more chapter before turning out the light at night. 

Sarah's book list on domestic dramas making you glad life is normal

Sarah Edghill Why did Sarah love this book?

Yet more dysfunctional families and tormented sibling relationships, but this book is funny as well as clever, and I loved the fractured relationships between Alice and Hanna, twins who have always been saint and sinner. Now the two women are adults, nothing has turned out as they expected in their lives and they struggle with each other as well as with their domineering mother and critical older brother. Some great family tension and well-written dialogue, and despite the subject matter, this isn’t a book that will leave you down-hearted.

By Rebecca Wait,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I’m Sorry You Feel That Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Times Best Fiction Book of the Year
A Guardian Best Fiction Book of the Year
A BBC Culture Book of the Year
'IT'LL EASILY BE ONE OF MY BOOKS OF THE YEAR' Hannah Beckerman

'It's a warm book and a touching one. And did I mention it's funny? Just read it. You'll see' The Times

'Funny, tender and sad' Sunday Express

'If you liked Meg Mason's Sorrow and Bliss, you'll love this novel' Good Housekeeping

'One of the richest explorations of family dysfunction I've read' the i newspaper

'Shades of Fleabag in this smart, funny drama' Mail on Sunday…


Book cover of Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc

Megan E. Freeman Author Of Alone

From my list on to introduce readers to novels in verse.

Who am I?

I am a poet and author living and writing in Northern Colorado. I love reading (and writing) novels in verse because they invite the reader into an active relationship with the author-poet. The story is co-created through mutual trust and imagination: the reader has to trust the author to provide enough language to reveal the narrative, and the author has to trust the reader to fill in details left by the white space on the page. Through this mutual effort and creative collaboration, dazzling stories emerge.

Megan's book list on to introduce readers to novels in verse

Megan E. Freeman Why did Megan love this book?

In Voices, David Elliott uses formal verse to explore the last hours that Joan of Arc lived. Told from multiple points of view, including the voice of the flame that will burn Joan at the stake, Elliott chooses specific poetic forms to reflect fundamental truths about the different characters. All forms of verse in the book were popular during Joan’s actual lifetime, and Elliott provides an interesting author’s note at the back of the book. Aside from being a poetic tour de force, Voices is a true page-turner, and readers will root for Joan to triumph over her enemies, even as they dread the inevitable outcome.

By David Elliott,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Told through medieval poetic forms and in the voices of the people and objects in Joan of Arc's life, (including her family and even the trees, clothes, cows, and candles of her childhood), Voices offers an unforgettable perspective on an extraordinary young woman. Along the way it explores timely issues such as gender, misogyny, and the peril of speaking truth to power. Before Joan of Arc became a saint, she was a girl inspired. It is that girl we come to know in Voices.


Book cover of Citadel of God: A Novel about Saint Benedict

Vince Rockston Author Of Aquila: Can Silvanus Escape That God?

From my list on spiritual quests set in Antiquity.

Who am I?

A yearning for a happy and meaningful life, as well as struggles with fear, guilt, and unfulfilled wishes, are common to mankind of all ages. My books combine historical and fictional characters to address such timeless spiritual issues from a Christian perspective. During a hiking tour of the Isle of Elba, I discovered the cave where the saintly 6th-century hermit San Cerbone lived in exile. Researching his life inspired me to write a work of historical fiction about that colourful character’s interactions with Silvanus, an unhappy local lad who longs to escape but finds new priorities.

Vince's book list on spiritual quests set in Antiquity

Vince Rockston Why did Vince love this book?

This is primarily a novel about the life of Saint Benedict. Several minor miracles occur through his acts of faith; he becomes convinced that he is to establish an alternative society in the form of a chain of monasteries – Citadels of God; he despises the rampant political intrigues and the lures of worldly success; and he has a significant influence on several important historical characters. Secondary plots somewhat distract from the main theme.

This book gave me very helpful insights into the political and religious life in the Roman Empire in the first half of the sixth century and paints a very impressive picture of the saint and his passion to serve God wholeheartedly.

By Louis de Wohl,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Another of the popular historical novels by the distinguished de Wohl, telling the dramatic story of St. Benedict, the father of Western monasticism, who played such a major role in the Christianization and civilization of post-Roman Europe in the sixth century. De Wohl weaves an intricate tapestry of love, violence and piety to recount with historical accuracy the story of St. Benedict and the tempestuous era in which he lived.Since there are no contemporary biographies of this major saint of history and the Church, de Wohl's inspired account is of significant importance on the subject of saint's lives for today's…


Book cover of The Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux

Jerry Windley-Daoust Author Of Imagine You Walked with Jesus: A Guide to Ignatian Contemplative Prayer

From my list on Christian prayer for beginners.

Who am I?

Sometimes I wonder how I ended up writing so many books about spirituality and religion. I started out in journalism, after all, driven by an endless curiosity about people and the planet. I wanted to tell all the untold stories! Funny thing, chasing those stories deeper and deeper eventually led me to write about spirituality, and ultimately, prayer. I picked up an MA in pastoral ministry, spent a few years editing high school religion textbooks for Saint Mary’s Press, and then started writing my own books. Most of what I write is aimed at helping beginners learn to pray, which is why I made this list.

Jerry's book list on Christian prayer for beginners

Jerry Windley-Daoust Why did Jerry love this book?

Let’s take things in a different direction with Story of a Soul, the spiritual autobiography of a French nun who died in cloistered obscurity in 1897 at the age of 24. Like a lot of people, I was initially skeptical about what wisdom this sheltered, middle-class young woman would have to offer; at first blush, her piety seemed conventional and old-fashioned. But the more I read, the more she won me over: underneath the sometimes-flowery language I discovered a fierce passion (all those exclamation marks!), a refreshing forthrightness, and cunning wisdom that actually subverts conventional piety with its “littleness.” Story of a Soul isn’t an instruction manual; rather, it’s the very personal, joyful account of one young woman’s “little way” to Jesus—a way so simple, anyone can follow it.

By Thérèse Of Lisieux, Michael Day (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Pope Benedict XVI Encourages Reading "Story of a Soul"

The Story of a Soul conveys St Therese of Liseux's "Little Way" of spiritual childhood - her "elevator" to Heaven, as she called it. This method was approved by Pope Pius XI as a way for all to grow in holiness through unfailing confidence and childlike delight in God's merciful love.

Again and again in this book, St. Therese shows us how her "Little Way" of love and trust comes straight from Sacred Scripture.

This book belongs in every Catholic home, for Pope St Pius X stated St. Therese of Liseux…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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