94 books like Second Glance

By Jodi Picoult,

Here are 94 books that Second Glance fans have personally recommended if you like Second Glance. 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 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 Twilight

Vicki-Ann Bush Author Of Alex McKenna and the Geranium Deaths

From my list on paranormal books for talking with the dead.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since I was very young, I’ve had experiences with the paranormal. Whether it be a soft graze along my cheek or a spirit standing in front of me, I’ve always been drawn to things behind the veil. Joining the world of the living with the dead comes natural for me, and reading the genres of paranormal and fantasy is like a cup of hot tea on a chilly winter afternoon.

Vicki-Ann's book list on paranormal books for talking with the dead

Vicki-Ann Bush Why did Vicki-Ann love this book?

I fell in love with the characters. Even the ones I didn’t necessarily like, I wanted to read more about.

More importantly, for me, this book came out at a time when I was having difficulties in my own relationship. The idea of being apart from the one person I thought would be forever shattered me. Reading Bella’s emotions for Edward and the crushing heartbreak she felt, was like reading about my feelings on the pages of the book.

Of course there’s vampires and I love all things vampire.

By Stephenie Meyer,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Twilight 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?

When 17 year old Isabella Swan moves to Forks, Washington to live with her father she expects that her new life will be as dull as the town.

But in spite of her awkward manner and low expectations, she finds that her new classmates are drawn to this pale, dark-haired new girl in town. But not, it seems, the Cullen family. These five adopted brothers and sisters obviously prefer their own company and will make no exception for Bella.

Bella is convinced that Edward Cullen in particular hates her, but she feels a strange attraction to him, although his hostility…


Book cover of Outlander

Teresa M. Schulz Author Of Barbed Wire and Daisies

From my list on thriller/suspense escapism with strong female protagonists, full of grit, sass, and humour.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always had a wicked imagination and loved to tell stories. Unfortunately, this had me naively believing in fairy tales and happy endings. Cinderella has a lot to answer for. My kind heart and trusting nature were a magnet for bad men, and boy, did I suffer because of it. The term “Viking Berserker” comes to mind. This is why I have a passion for reading about strong women. I’ve learned (through reading books – such as those on my recommended list) that to survive, you have to have hope for a better future, and inspiring people – within inspiring stories – can often give you that hope.

Teresa's book list on thriller/suspense escapism with strong female protagonists, full of grit, sass, and humour

Teresa M. Schulz Why did Teresa love this book?

The Author’s style is totally immersive. It begins with time travel through standing stones, and the genres multiply from there. The story has a good pace, plenty of action and adventure, humour, and a hunky scotsman… what else could you ask for?

In all seriousness, the main character is a feisty WW2 nurse who, when challenged, is ready to voice her opinions with plenty of sass. She is also strong, skilled, kind-hearted, and downright funny at times. She reminds me a lot of myself.

By Diana Gabaldon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The first book in Diana Gabaldon’s acclaimed Outlander saga, the basis for the Starz original series.

One of the top ten best-loved novels in America, as seen on PBS’s The Great American Read!
 
Unrivaled storytelling. Unforgettable characters. Rich historical detail. These are the hallmarks of Diana Gabaldon’s work. Her New York Times bestselling Outlander novels have earned the praise of critics and captured the hearts of millions of fans. Here is the story that started it all, introducing two remarkable characters, Claire Beauchamp Randall and Jamie Fraser, in a spellbinding novel of passion and…


Beautiful and Terrible Things

By S. M. Stevens,

Book cover of Beautiful and Terrible Things

S. M. Stevens

New book alert!

What is my book about?

Charley Byrne isn’t really living. She hunkers down in her apartment above the bookstore she manages, until quirky activist Xander Wallace lures her out of social exile with the prospect of friendship and romance. Charley joins Xander’s circle of diverse friends and thrives, even leaving her comfort zone to join protests in a city struggling with social justice ills.

But the new friendships bring back-to-back betrayals that threaten the bookstore—Charley’s haven—and propel her into a dangerous depression, in a stark reminder that friendship has the power to destroy as well as save lives. Can her friends save the store? And Charley?

Beautiful and Terrible Things

By S. M. Stevens,

What is this book about?

"A beautifully crafted story of friendship and self-discovery set amidst the harsh realities of today's world. Superb!" -Eileen O'Finlan, author of Erin's Children

Charley Byrne isn't really living. At age 29, she hunkers down in her apartment above the bookstore she manages, afraid of a 7-year curse. Then quirky activist Xander Wallace lures her out of social exile with the prospect of friendship and romance. Charley joins Xander's circle of friends diverse in their heritage, race, gender and sexual orientation. She thrives, even leaving her comfort zone to join protests in a city struggling with social justice ills.

But the…


Book cover of Mrs. Dalloway

Roland Merullo Author Of Dessert with Buddha

From my list on thoughtful works of fiction and non-fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

My twenty novels tend to focus on characters who face great challenges, and I have a particular appreciation for beautiful prose. I don’t read for distraction or entertainment, but to be enlightened, moved, and made more compassionate about different kinds of people in different environments.

Roland's book list on thoughtful works of fiction and non-fiction

Roland Merullo Why did Roland love this book?

I sometimes enjoy novels in which the action is mainly interior. Not a lot happens here, but Virginia Woolf had a deep grasp of human psychology and a luminous prose style, and her characters just leap off the page. I could linger over sentences and pages for long minutes and have read this multiple times.

I always come away from her work with a greater appreciation for the amazing miracle of simply being alive on this earth and for the beauty of the English language.

By Virginia Woolf,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Mrs. Dalloway as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The working title of Mrs. Dalloway was The Hours. The novel began as two short stories, "Mrs. Dalloway in Bond Street" and the unfinished "The Prime Minister". It describes Clarissa's preparations for a party she will host in the evening, and the ensuing party. With an interior perspective, the story travels forward and back in time and in and out of the characters' minds to construct an image of Clarissa's life and of the inter-war social structure.


In October 2005, Mrs. Dalloway was included on Time's list of the 100 best English-language novels written since Time debuted in 1923.


Book cover of The Invited

Terry S. Friedman Author Of Bone Pendant Girls

From my list on Good ghosts and really evil villains in the supernatural world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love jewelry that calls to me. When I make jewelry, I believe some of my spirit is infused in it. Later, the buyer’s spirit takes over the piece. I believe in life after death, and I interviewed a medium who performed spirit releases, which helped me build my ghost framework. A cold case of a missing teen I knew gave me a scene I still cry about. The best mysteries have revelations of the heart. My book, even after revising many times, still makes me laugh and cry too. In my opinion, there is no clock or calendar dictating forgiveness for the living or dead. There is only hope.

Terry's book list on Good ghosts and really evil villains in the supernatural world

Terry S. Friedman Why did Terry love this book?

This book had a very dramatic “reveal” that would make HGTV jealous.

I liked not immediately guessing the doer of bad things and blaming others only to learn I was wrong and also when Mother Nature threw obstacles. I could identify with the husband and wife who are building a new future and a new house for themselves after teaching. I also liked the interplay between the locals and the land and the use of research to get to the heart of the problem.

Most of all, I loved the ending with a twist, and I vowed to read more books by McMahon. 

By Jennifer McMahon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A chilling ghost story with a twist: the New York Times bestselling author of The Winter People returns to the woods of Vermont to tell the story of a husband and wife who don't simply move into a haunted house--they build one....

In a quest for a simpler life, Helen and Nate have abandoned the comforts of suburbia to take up residence on forty-four acres of rural land where they will begin the ultimate, aspirational do-it-yourself project: building the house of their dreams. When they discover that this beautiful property has a dark and violent past, Helen, a former history…


Book cover of Truly Devious

Katie Tietjen Author Of Death In The Details

From my list on mystery books starring kick-butt female sleuths.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up on a steady diet of Nancy Drew and Encyclopedia Brown. Then, in a plot twist that surprised exactly no one, I became an English teacher, a librarian (did you know you can recommend books for a LIVING???), and an author. I love books where the sleuth must not only solve the case at hand, but also wrestle with some sort of ongoing personal problem–bonus points if they can simultaneously pull the curtain back on societal issues and make me feel like I’m getting to experience life in a place where I don’t actually live (I’m looking at you, London and L.A.). 

Katie's book list on mystery books starring kick-butt female sleuths

Katie Tietjen Why did Katie love this book?

I can’t get enough of quirky, indefatigable teen sleuth Stevie Bell. She’s determined to solve a decades-old cold case, but must also navigate social awkwardness, anxiety, and people who literally want her dead.

I enjoyed how this book flip-flopped between the present-day narrative and the past. My friend and I got to see Maureen Johnson give a talk at a nearby bookstore, and we loved it; she’s basically a stand-up comedian. 

By Maureen Johnson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Truly Devious 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?

From New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson comes the start of a new series about a sharp and funny young detective named Stevie Bell who begins school at an elite, yet peculiar, boarding school and finds herself entangled in a murder mystery; perfect for fans of 13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES.

New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson weaves a delicate tale of murder and mystery in the first book of a striking new series, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and E. Lockhart.

Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists.…


Book cover of Pioneer Species

Deirdre Heekin Author Of An Unlikely Vineyard: The Education of a Farmer and Her Quest for Terroir

From my list on wine, love, and landscape.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a winegrower, farmer, writer, photographer, and pop-upeuse. I fell in love with food and wine while living and working in Italy, then returned stateside to create an homage to the people and place that embraced us and taught us so much. That endeavor--the restaurant osteria pane e salute opened with my chef husband Caleb Barber—was where I curated the wine program and became passionate about wines farmed artfully. I began working as a winegrower in 2007, a personal landscape experiment that led me down the rabbit hole of growing and making wine from hybrid varieties focused on regenerative viticulture and low intervention winemaking.

Deirdre's book list on wine, love, and landscape

Deirdre Heekin Why did Deirdre love this book?

Pioneer Species is a book of poems by friend and farmer-poet Ross Thurber. A small vineyard I work with in southern Vermont, my own agricultural essay and investigation on a sense of place different than my own, is part of Ross’s Lilac Ridge Farm. Like Mary Oliver, Ross is intensely bound to the natural and cultivated world of his farm in which he lives and his poems capture a language that brings forward the light, the shadow, the fog, the till, the butterfly, the flower, the cow. I am constantly inspired by his poems to be out in my own fields and to contemplate and communicate my own place in them. A delicious collection about a deeply personal and lyrical view of farm life.

By Ross Thurber,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This collection of poems from Vermont farmer Ross Thurber is divided into four sections: "Green Popplewood," "Sunburnt Juniper," "Stag Horn Sumac," and "Snow Melt, Black Brook." Each section represents a seasonal form of succession that is both literal and abstract. Ultimately the poems in this manuscript have been winnowed to represent a narrative that echoes the idea that, like a lyric poem, stability is only a moment in time―one to be cherished.


Book cover of Every Last Cuckoo

M. Jean Pike Author Of The Little Things

From my list on family relationships with strong mother figures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I lost my mother unexpectedly when I was a young mother myself. Oh, how I missed the gentle wisdom that had guided me my whole life! As I journeyed through the various stages of life, there was so much I wanted to ask her. She would be in her eighties now, but in my mind, she is and will always be fifty-seven. Gone now, but I still feel the influence of her kindness, wisdom, and compassion in my life and decisions. I’m drawn to stories about families and the far-reaching influence a mother has on her daughters’ lives. Though I mostly write romance, many of my novels contain older women who've had such an influence.

M.'s book list on family relationships with strong mother figures

M. Jean Pike Why did M. love this book?

This lovely story is one of loss, tragedy, hope, family, and new beginnings that come in the most unexpected ways.

Seventy-five-year-old Sarah has a good life. She’s been married to Charles, a man she adores, for fifty years. She assumes they will live out the rest of their lives together in the tranquil setting of their Vermont country home. But when Charles unexpectedly passes away, Sarah’s beautiful life is shattered.

With her children grown and raising families of their own, she finds herself alone in her big house, no one to nurture, no place to put her love. Until a collection of displaced characters begin to find shelter in her home. Working through her grief, Sarah discovers interests she never took the time to explore, and in pouring into others, soon finds her own cup overflowing. 

This story provides perspective on what things are important, and what are not. So…

By Kate Maloy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Sarah Lucas imagined the rest of her days would be spent living peacefully in her rural Vermont home in the steadfast company of her husband. But now, with Charles's sudden passing, seventy-five-year-old Sarah is left inconsolably alone.

As grief settles in, Sarah's mind lingers on her past: her imperfect but devoted fifty-year marriage to Charles; the years they spent raising their three very different children; and her childhood during the Great Depression, when her parents opened their home to countless relatives and neighbors. So, when a variety of wayward souls come seeking shelter in Sarah's own big, empty home, her…


Book cover of The Secret History

Robin Peguero Author Of One In The Chamber

From my list on friends guarding a killer secret.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in a Spanish-speaking household, there was a saying: “Dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres.” That is, the company you keep says a lot about you. The sense of belonging that comes from being a part of a group is something we have chased since we were kids. I remember the close-knit friends’ group I joined in the eighth grade, and the core four of us are still best friends to this day (just about 25 years later!). I’m fascinated by what those strong bonds can make you do–including leading you to bend or break your moral compass. 

Robin's book list on friends guarding a killer secret

Robin Peguero Why did Robin love this book?

We’ve all been there: trying to impress a group of haughty, self-involved people because, deep down, we care oh so much about what they think.

That’s what I love about this book and, in particular, these characters. You hate them. You love to hate them. You find them off-putting and noxious. But you can’t stop reading about them. Because you, too, like our main character Richard, want a peek into their exclusive, wealthy world and to imagine what it would be like to be a part of it. 

By Donna Tartt,

Why should I read it?

16 authors picked The Secret History as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE BESTSELLER THAT DEFINED AN AGE

'Everything, somehow, fit together; some sly and benevolent Providence was revealing itself by degrees and I felt myself trembling on the brink of a fabulous discovery, as though any morning it was all going to come together---my future, my past, the whole of my life---and I was going to sit up in bed like a thunderbolt and say oh! oh! oh!'

Under the influence of a charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at a New England college discover a way of thought and life a world away from their banal contemporaries.…


Book cover of A Beautiful Truth

Robert Repino Author Of Morte

From my list on animals becoming sentient.

Why am I passionate about this?

In addition to writing novels, I’m a humanities editor for Oxford University Press. So, I’m interested in the political and theological implications of non-human intelligence. I wonder how people would react to such a revelation. Some would be fascinated by this radical new perspective. Others would be horrified at what they perceive as a transgression against nature. I’m also drawn to this topic because I still vividly recall the entertainment of my youth, which regularly featured anthropomorphic animals. Sometimes they’re just cool or funny. But on occasion—like with The Secret of NIMH—they raise profound questions of identity and rebellion, even for an audience that is too young to understand.

Robert's book list on animals becoming sentient

Robert Repino Why did Robert love this book?

A childless couple adopts a chimpanzee named Looee, and you already know from reading that sentence that it will lead to trouble and heartbreak. After a few pages, I didn’t care. In McAdam’s skilled hands, the inevitable sadness doesn’t matter, because the delicately handled point of view perfectly captures a doomed creature trapped between two opposing identities. In contrast, we also meet Podo, an alpha chimp at a research facility seeking to test the intelligence of primates. Podo is fully ape, but he is turning into something more. Their paths soon join, taking them deeper into a gray area between human and animal that I had never seen rendered on the page so vividly before. 

By Colin McAdam,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Walt and Judy's happiness has been blighted by their childlessness; although their marriage seems blissful, Judy feels increasingly empty and Walt longs to make her happy again. So one day he brings home Looee - a baby chimpanzee. Looee, exuberant and demanding, immediately fills the gap in Walt and Judy's life, and they come to love him as their own son. Like any child, Looee is affectionate and quick to learn, generous and engaging. But he is also a deeply unpredictable animal, and one night their unique family life is changed forever.
At the Girdish Institute, chimpanzees have been studied…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Vermont, ghost hunting, and ghosts?

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