98 books like Sisters of Grass

By Theresa Kishkan,

Here are 98 books that Sisters of Grass fans have personally recommended if you like Sisters of Grass. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Greenwood

Eva Silverfine Author Of How to Bury Your Dog

From my list on our connections with the natural environment.

Why am I passionate about this?

Although I grew up in New York City, from a young age I was drawn to the natural world, particularly through gardening and camping trips. Eventually I studied biology in college and earned a Master’s researching stream ecology. I also always imagined myself a writer. For years my writing was solely in letters and journals, but during my Master’s I started a novel featuring an immature mayfly in the stream (it was somewhat autobiographical). Ecology is all about the connection of organisms to their environment and to one another, and I think this perspective of connectedness has embedded itself deeply in my writing and my life.

Eva's book list on our connections with the natural environment

Eva Silverfine Why did Eva love this book?

I particularly love books that combine the trifecta of engaging story; interesting, complex characters; and good writing with real substance (as in, I stop to think about the content). Greenwood has all of these.

The writing is particularly lyrical—I could fill this space with beautiful quotes. The author takes the reader through four generations of a family, with each generation intimately connected to trees in different ways—from lumbermen to environmental activist to woodcraftsman to botanist.

And as the author “takes a core” through a family tree, the story captures both the characters’ relationships to one another as well as to the world in which they live. I cannot recommend this book enough!

By Michael Christie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'The truth is that all family lines, from the highest to the lowest, originate somewhere, on some particular day. Even the grandest trees must've once been seeds spun helpless on the wind, and then just meek saplings nosing up from the soil.'

2038. On a remote island off the Pacific coast of British Columbia stands the Greenwood Arboreal Cathedral, one of the world's last forests. Wealthy tourists flock from all corners of the dust-choked globe to see the spectacle and remember what once was. But even as they breathe in the fresh air and pose for photographs amidst the greenery,…


Book cover of Astra: A Novel

Buffy Cram Author Of Once Upon an Effing Time

From my list on living that 60s cult/commune life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up living in a housing co-op on Vancouver Island, BC. While not technically a commune, it did have some of the hallmarks. There were gangs of partially clothed kids roaming wild. There were a bunch of idealistic adults who had dreams of shared land stewardship and, well, shared everything. The housing project succeeded in many ways (it still exists today) and, it failed in other ways (over the years there were many fractures in the community). I’ve always been fascinated by attempts at communal living. I suppose my obsession with cult life is just an extension of this. It is my life imagined one step further.

Buffy's book list on living that 60s cult/commune life

Buffy Cram Why did Buffy love this book?

This novel tells the story of one person, Astrid, who grows up in a dysfunctional failed utopian commune in British Columbia, Canada.

The story of Astrid is told from multiple points of view. Each character paints a different picture of this child-who-becomes-a-woman, at different stages in her life. But what I like most about this book is its exploration of the aftermath of growing up in a failed utopian commune.

How does a person carry this ejected-from-Eden baggage with them over a lifespan? Is it possible to overcome it and fit into “normal” society again? The answers to these questions might surprise you.

Book cover of Little Fortress

Karen Hofmann Author Of What Is Going to Happen Next

From my list on families and growing up in rural British Columbia.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a rural community and have lived most of my adult life in a small city in the Southern Interior of British Columbia. I’m fascinated with West Coast culture, particularly the Canadian version of it, which is connected to the environment and outdoors, shaped by more recent immigration and its sense of distance and disconnect from the country’s capital and economic and social centres, and informed by a more gentle climate. Rural west coast culture is especially rich in iconoclasts, those who live outside the norm, and I’ve explored these sorts of characters in all four of my novels and my short story collection.

Karen's book list on families and growing up in rural British Columbia

Karen Hofmann Why did Karen love this book?

Laisha Rosnau is a prize-winning poet, and her literary skills shine in this novel about a noble Italian family, the Caetanis, who immigrate from Italy to Vernon, BC to escape the rise of fascism. Based on a true story, this intricate novel explores the bonds of family and friendship, the contrasts in class and changing times, and the hardships and beauties of life in a rural area through the lives of three women. I was captivated by the characters and the gorgeous, insightful writing. Ofelia and Sveva Caetani and their personal secretary, Miss Juul, will stay with you forever as women creating home and family in the face of exile, loss, and sweeping change.

By Laisha Rosnau,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Based on the true story of the Caetanis, Italian nobility driven into exile by the rise of fascism, the long-awaited second novel by award-winning author Laisha Rosnau follows this once glittering family to British Columbia's Okanagan Valley. When Ofelia Caetani takes her daughter, Sveva, into seclusion after the death of the duke, they are cared for by their personal secretary, Miss Jüül, who brings her own secrets to their twenty-five-year retreat from the world. As the stories of these three remarkable women unfurl in unexpected and often tragic ways, Little Fortress is revealed as a graceful and intricate tale of…


Book cover of The Tree Whisperer: Writing Poetry by Living in the World

Karen Hofmann Author Of What Is Going to Happen Next

From my list on families and growing up in rural British Columbia.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a rural community and have lived most of my adult life in a small city in the Southern Interior of British Columbia. I’m fascinated with West Coast culture, particularly the Canadian version of it, which is connected to the environment and outdoors, shaped by more recent immigration and its sense of distance and disconnect from the country’s capital and economic and social centres, and informed by a more gentle climate. Rural west coast culture is especially rich in iconoclasts, those who live outside the norm, and I’ve explored these sorts of characters in all four of my novels and my short story collection.

Karen's book list on families and growing up in rural British Columbia

Karen Hofmann Why did Karen love this book?

I loved this book for the beauty of the prose and for Harold Rhenisch’s inimitable voice, his language, his wit, his eye for detail. Rhenisch has published many books of poetry and non-fiction about the BC Interior, and it’s difficult to choose just one. I liked this, a study of the apple and the rose, of pruning trees, of BC Interior orcharding, of a unique lifestyle and culture, and of life and living. Rhenisch is one of the best Canadian writers and should be more well-known.  

By Harold Rhenisch,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Not of Reason: A Recipe for Outrunning Sadness

Valerie Green Author Of Providence

From my list on fiction by British Columbia authors.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've loved writing since childhood when I lived in an 18th-century farmhouse in England that I was convinced was haunted. I'm now passionate about the history of British Columbia where I live today, and have written over twenty non-fiction historical books, true crime books, historical columns, and numerous articles for magazines and newspapers. My own forthcoming fictional trilogy, The McBride Chronicles, tells the story of a fictional family from the beginnings of British Columbia until present day so I can truly say I love all fiction set in our beautiful province by BC writers. I'm delighted that we have so many talented fiction writers in the province including the ones I recommend. 

Valerie's book list on fiction by British Columbia authors

Valerie Green Why did Valerie love this book?

This book connected with me on many levels as she struggles to understand the meaning of why younger people sometimes have to die before their parents. She also gives a clear and accurate description of the stress of caregiving for a family member and then the aftermath of grief. The strongest message I personally took away from this book was the power of love within a family who, despite living far from one another, came together to help each other through pain. This is a very powerful read with a strong message of hope.

By Rita Moir,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Not of Reason as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rita Moir’s mother and sister underwent heart surgery in the same week; a year later her sister was dead and her elderly mother lived many more years. Not of Reason: A Recipe for Outrunning Sadness is a family memoir centred on the deaths of the author’s sister and mother and the final restoration of what is considered “the natural order.” Encouraged by her mother to “opt for joy,” Moir remained grounded within her rural BC community in the Slocan Valley, becoming deeply involved in everything from her local community hall to seniors housing and her local burial society, while continuing…


Book cover of River of Lies

Valerie Green Author Of Providence

From my list on fiction by British Columbia authors.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've loved writing since childhood when I lived in an 18th-century farmhouse in England that I was convinced was haunted. I'm now passionate about the history of British Columbia where I live today, and have written over twenty non-fiction historical books, true crime books, historical columns, and numerous articles for magazines and newspapers. My own forthcoming fictional trilogy, The McBride Chronicles, tells the story of a fictional family from the beginnings of British Columbia until present day so I can truly say I love all fiction set in our beautiful province by BC writers. I'm delighted that we have so many talented fiction writers in the province including the ones I recommend. 

Valerie's book list on fiction by British Columbia authors

Valerie Green Why did Valerie love this book?

I always enjoy a good mystery and R.M. Greenaway’s River of Lies is definitely one I would recommend. This book is the fifth in the B.C. Crime Series of mysteries by Greenaway but it was the first I had read—and it won’t be the last. The two detectives, Cal Dion and David Leith, are strong characters who come together in this book to solve a murder of a young black female janitor, a missing child case, a drowning, and an apparent suicide. Once they find the missing link between all these incidents, they are able to make progress. I found this an absorbing whodunit that held my attention to the very last page.

By R.M. Greenaway,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In rain-drenched Vancouver, detectives Dion and Leith work to separate truth from lies in two seemingly unrelated cases.

February is the month of romance, but in North Vancouver it's also become the month of murder. While the North Shore RCMP slog through the rain in the search for whoever left a young woman to die in the Riverside Secondary School parking lot - their first clue a Valentine's Day card - a toddler mysteriously vanishes from a Riverside Drive home in the midst of a dinner party.

With Constable JD Temple's full attention on the parking lot murder, Constables Dave…


Book cover of The End of East

Valerie Green Author Of Providence

From my list on fiction by British Columbia authors.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've loved writing since childhood when I lived in an 18th-century farmhouse in England that I was convinced was haunted. I'm now passionate about the history of British Columbia where I live today, and have written over twenty non-fiction historical books, true crime books, historical columns, and numerous articles for magazines and newspapers. My own forthcoming fictional trilogy, The McBride Chronicles, tells the story of a fictional family from the beginnings of British Columbia until present day so I can truly say I love all fiction set in our beautiful province by BC writers. I'm delighted that we have so many talented fiction writers in the province including the ones I recommend. 

Valerie's book list on fiction by British Columbia authors

Valerie Green Why did Valerie love this book?

Jen Sookfong has written a debut novel that held my attention throughout. She describes three generations of a Chinese-Canadian family in Vancouver beginning in 1913 when Chan Seid Quan emigrates to Vancouver at the age of 17. Years later after his death at age 94, his grand-daughter, Samantha, is forced to leave Montreal in order to take care of her mother in Vancouver. She feels resentment until she begins to delve into her family’s past and discovers alienation and hardship. Author Sookfong is an expert on immigration and the fate of many Chinese people. This is a beautiful tale of family conflicts set in Vancouver’s Chinatown.

By Jen Sookfong Lee,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the tradition of Amy Tan and Jhumpa Lahiri, a moving portrait of three generations of family living in Vancouver's Chinatown

From Knopf Canada's New Face of Fiction program--launching grounds for Yann Martel's Life of Pi and Ann-Marie MacDonald's Fall on Your Knees--comes this powerfully evocative novel.

At age eighteen, Seid Quan is the first in the Chan family to emigrate from China to Vancover in 1913. Paving the way for a wife and son, he is profoundly lonely, even as he joins the Chinatown community.

Weaving in and out of the past and the present, The End of East…


Book cover of Blackout

Taylor Hale Author Of The Summer I Drowned

From my list on small town YA mysteries to keep you up all night.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a full-time author and freelance editor from a small Canadian city, and I’ve always been fascinated by a good mystery—flipping through the pages, trying to guess who did or didn’t do it. Dark and gritty are my favorites, and the titles on this list do a good job of staying in that realm while still being very much YA. I hope you love them as much as I did!

Taylor's book list on small town YA mysteries to keep you up all night

Taylor Hale Why did Taylor love this book?

Blackout follows Allie, a girl who has woken up after a car accident with amnesia in the small town of Pender Falls, British Columbia. Allie can’t remember who she was before, but she’s forced to fall back into the life of “Old Allie”—a girl who had a boyfriend the new Allie isn’t comfortable with, a best friend she doesn’t trust, and a shady past she finds more than unsavory. Allie slowly discovers that she doesn’t like who she was before—and she wants to be better.

The core mystery of this story revolves around Allie discovering the events that lead to her car accident. What caused it? And do all these strange dreams mean anything? Can she really trust the people who apparently love and know her?

While the mystery certainly kept me turning the pages, what I loved most about this book was the characters. Allie is a strong girl…

By K. Monroe,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Some secrets are best left forgotten.

When Allie Castillo wakes up after a terrible car accident, with head injuries and zero recollection of who she is or what happened, one thing haunts the edges of her mind: the crash may not have been an accident.

Her body still bruised, she returns to a life she doesn’t recall, to a house that’s unfamiliar, and to a family that doesn’t feel like her own. School is another minefield―her boyfriend wants his girl back, her best friend wants to carry on their old partying ways, and the mysterious guy at the back of…


Book cover of Along the No. 20 Line

Daniel Francis Author Of Becoming Vancouver: A History

From my list on Vancouver history.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was a kid growing up in Vancouver my parents had a collection of books arranged on shelves around the living room. The only one I remember taking down and actually reading was an early history of the city. I recalled being impressed by the simple fact that someone had thought my hometown was interesting enough to write about, not something that was self-evident to a cocky teenager. Many years later, some two dozen books of my own under my belt, I decided maybe I’d earned the right to take a crack at the city myself.

Daniel's book list on Vancouver history

Daniel Francis Why did Daniel love this book?

This unusual book is a tour through the working-class city in the middle of the last century. This is a portrait of Vancouver when working people occupied the waterfront, instead of glittering condo towers. Knight imagines taking a trip on the old No.20 streetcar that once ran the length of the city’s eastside waterfront, painting an evocative portrait of the mills, docks, flophouses, and beer parlours that occupied the strip. Then he turns the book over to a series of personal reminiscences from men and women who called the neighbourhood home. Vancouver prides itself today on being a world-class destination for the global super-rich. This is where it came from.

By Rolf Knight,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Along the No. 20 Line as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Along the No. 20 Line, Rolf Knight takes the reader on a tour through working class East Vancouver of a century ago.

Knight's "through line" is literally a line: the old No. 20 Streetcar Line that ran between downtown Vancouver and the present day neighbourhood of the Pacific National Exhibition. From 1892 to 1949, when it was shut down and replaced by the No. 20 Granville / Victoria Drive bus, the No. 20 line took thousands of Vancouverites back and forth from their East Van homes to their jobs along the waterfront, on the docks, in mills, factories and…


Book cover of On the Farm: Robert William Pickton and the Tragic Story of Vancouver's Missing Women

Eve Lazarus Author Of Murder by Milkshake: An Astonishing True Story of Adultery, Arsenic, and a Charismatic Killer

From my list on true crime books that read like thrillers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a reporter, author of nine books, and the host and producer of the Cold Case Canada podcast. I fell in love with my city’s murky underbelly on a trip to the Vancouver Police Museum in the 1990s. Axe murders, murder by milkshake, Vancouver’s first triple murder—it was all there. I’ve tried to give those true crime exhibits new life by talking to law enforcement, relatives, and friends, digging up never-seen-before photos and documents, and wherever possible, giving the victims back their voice. I run the Facebook group Cold Case Canada where people share their thoughts, and in a best-case scenario, find leads that could help solve a murder. 

Eve's book list on true crime books that read like thrillers

Eve Lazarus Why did Eve love this book?

While Janet Smith was Vancouver’s shame in the 1920s, Willy Pickton was our boogeyman in the ‘90s. How did this pig farmer get away with murdering up to 50 women?—he was convicted of only six—because the women were sex workers and drug addicts that he picked up in Vancouver’s notorious Downtown Eastside and the police really didn’t give a shit. An investigative journalist, Cameron does a great job of outlining the botched police investigation and the department’s reluctance to believe it was a serial killer. Pickton is pure evil, and what I loved about Cameron’s work is how she not only gets into his head, but tells the stories of the victims, and in doing so, helps give them back a voice.

By Stevie Cameron,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Verteran investigative journalist Stevie Cameron first began following the story of missing women in 1998, when the odd newspaper piece appeared chronicling the disappearances of drug-addicted sex trade workers from Vancouver's notorious Downtown Eastside. It was not until February 2002 that pig farmer Robert William Pickton would be arrested, and 2008 before he was found guilty, on six counts of second-degree murder. These counts were appealed and in 2010, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered its conclusion. The guilty verdict was upheld, and finally this unprecedented tale of true crime could be told.

Covering the case of one of North…


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