100 books like Such a Pretty Girl

By T. Greenwood,

Here are 100 books that Such a Pretty Girl fans have personally recommended if you like Such a Pretty Girl. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of The Second Life of Mirielle West

Molly O'Keefe Author Of The Sunshine Girls

From my list on historical fiction NOT set during World War II.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved historical novels since my mom first read Anne of Green Gables to me as a kid. They are the novels I reach for first and love the most. The creative glimpse into other times and lives is, to me, the most exciting reading experience. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I do. My latest book – The Sunshine Girls is a dual narrative timeline, set in the current day and the 1960s-1980s. 

Molly's book list on historical fiction NOT set during World War II

Molly O'Keefe Why did Molly love this book?

Amanda Skenandore’s beautiful and insightful novel about a silent film star who was sent to live in a Louisiana Leper Colony in the 1920s. The book is rich and full of surprising historical details. While it might seem like a downer – it is funny and heartwarming, with a beautiful coming-of-age story and romance at its heart.  Absolutely fascinating.

By Amanda Skenandore,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Second Life of Mirielle West as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The glamorous world of a silent film star’s wife abruptly crumbles when she’s forcibly quarantined at the Carville Lepers Home in this page-turning story of courage, resilience, and reinvention set in 1920s Louisiana and Los Angeles. Based on little-known history, this timely book will strike a chord with readers of Fiona Davis, Tracey Lange, and Marie Benedict.
 
Based on the true story of America’s only leper colony, The Second Life of Mirielle West brings vividly to life the Louisiana institution known as Carville, where thousands of people were stripped of their civil rights, branded as lepers, and forcibly quarantined throughout…


Book cover of Mary Jane

Molly O'Keefe Author Of The Sunshine Girls

From my list on historical fiction NOT set during World War II.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved historical novels since my mom first read Anne of Green Gables to me as a kid. They are the novels I reach for first and love the most. The creative glimpse into other times and lives is, to me, the most exciting reading experience. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I do. My latest book – The Sunshine Girls is a dual narrative timeline, set in the current day and the 1960s-1980s. 

Molly's book list on historical fiction NOT set during World War II

Molly O'Keefe Why did Molly love this book?

Mary Jane is a kind of a quiet novel. It lulls you into a false security with its lyrical prose and fantastic 1970s historical details about a teenage girl coming of age in Baltimore. She gets a job as a babysitter for a respectable neighborhood doctor – but the doctor is a psychiatrist hired to help a famous musician get sober. This book is funny and tender and sharp all at once. And it reminded me of my childhood.

By Jessica Anya Blau,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"The best book of the summer." -- InStyle

"I LOVED this novel....If you have ever sung along to a hit on the radio, in any decade, then you will devour Mary Jane at 45 rpm." -Nick Hornby

Almost Famous meets Daisy Jones & The Six in this "delightful" (New York Times Book Review) novel about a fourteen-year-old girl's coming of age in 1970s Baltimore, caught between her straight-laced family and the progressive family she nannies for-who happen to be secretly hiding a famous rock star and his movie star wife for the summer.

In 1970s Baltimore, fourteen-year-old Mary Jane loves…


Book cover of When We Lost Our Heads

Molly O'Keefe Author Of The Sunshine Girls

From my list on historical fiction NOT set during World War II.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved historical novels since my mom first read Anne of Green Gables to me as a kid. They are the novels I reach for first and love the most. The creative glimpse into other times and lives is, to me, the most exciting reading experience. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I do. My latest book – The Sunshine Girls is a dual narrative timeline, set in the current day and the 1960s-1980s. 

Molly's book list on historical fiction NOT set during World War II

Molly O'Keefe Why did Molly love this book?

Heather O’Neill is one of my favorite authors. She lives in the nuanced and gritty places in relationships. She also sets her novels in really exciting and different time periods. I could pick any of her books, but her latest is so delicious. When We Lost our Heads is set during the turn of the 19th century in Montreal. It’s about two women from different economic realities and families – who forge a very unlikely, volatile, destructive, and important relationship. It is funny and dark and the time and setting are vital and exciting. 

By Heather O'Neill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When We Lost Our Heads as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Every decent friendship comes with a drop of hatred. But that hatred is like honey in the tea. It makes it addictive.”

Charismatic Marie Antoine is the daughter of the richest man in 19th century Montreal. She has everything she wants, except for a best friend—until clever, scheming Sadie Arnett moves to the neighborhood. Immediately united by their passion and intensity, Marie and Sadie attract and repel each other in ways that thrill them both. Their games soon become tinged with risk, even violence. Forced to separate by the adults around them, they spend years engaged in acts of alternating…


Book cover of The Thread Collectors

Molly O'Keefe Author Of The Sunshine Girls

From my list on historical fiction NOT set during World War II.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved historical novels since my mom first read Anne of Green Gables to me as a kid. They are the novels I reach for first and love the most. The creative glimpse into other times and lives is, to me, the most exciting reading experience. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I do. My latest book – The Sunshine Girls is a dual narrative timeline, set in the current day and the 1960s-1980s. 

Molly's book list on historical fiction NOT set during World War II

Molly O'Keefe Why did Molly love this book?

This novel set in 1863 during the Civil War, about two women – one enslaved in New Orleans, the other Jewish and living in New York City who risk everything for the soldiers they love. There is so much fascinating historical detail in this book - the war, the experience of Black men as soldiers, the brutal life of enslaved women in the deep south, the community they created because of and despite of the brutality. Northern free women and their domestic roles and limitations – the communities they built. It’s about bravery and needlepoint. Seriously.

By Shaunna J. Edwards, Alyson Richman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“An unforgettable story of female strength, hope and friendship. This collaborative work is magnificent—a true revelation!” —Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Woman with the Blue Star

“A brilliant story brimming with unexpected friendships and family ties. Historically sound and beautifully stitched, The Thread Collectors will stay with you long after the last page is turned.” —Sadeqa Johnson, international bestselling author of Yellow Wife  

1863: In a small Creole cottage in New Orleans, an ingenious young Black woman named Stella embroiders intricate maps on repurposed cloth to help enslaved men flee and join the Union Army. Bound…


Book cover of God is My Co-Pilot

Jay A. Stout Author Of Jayhawk: Love, Loss, Liberation, and Terror Over the Pacific

From my list on personal accounts of World War II air combat.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an aviation historian and writer, a defense analyst, and a retired, combat-experienced, Marine Corps fighter pilot. I am one of the lucky ones. Since early childhood, I wanted nothing more than to become a fighter pilot. It was a combination of good fortune, hard work, and a bit of talent that made it possible for me to realize that dream. I was inspired by the memoirs and recollections of World War II fighter pilots, and I read every book on the topic that I could find.  Following my military service, I transitioned from a reader to a writer; my experience as a military pilot helps to make my books real and credible.

Jay's book list on personal accounts of World War II air combat

Jay A. Stout Why did Jay love this book?

The archetypal combat flying story, this is an easy, fun, and eye-opening book that Scott wrote only months after returning from the war. Scott clearly loved to fly and had done so since the early 1930s after graduating from West Point. Resourceful and tenacious, he received command of a fighter group in China after having been officially told the previous year that he was too old (at the ripe old age of 33) to fly fighters. This is a rollicking read that will be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

By Robert L. Scott,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked God is My Co-Pilot as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book was issued during World War II, in conformity with all government regulations controlling the use of paper and other materials (so stated on copyright page). The author, Colonel Robert L. Scott, Jr., consistently scheduled himself as a pilot on all possible missions. He led all types of combat missions, but specialized in the most dangerous, such as long-range flights to strafe from minimum altitudes Jap airdromes, motor vehicles, and shipping deep in enemy territory. Colonel Scott’s group of fighters always operated against greatly superior numbers of the enemy. Often the odds were five to one against them. This…


Book cover of Round Up the Usual Suspects: The Making of Casablanca: Bogart, Bergman, and World War II

Robert Matzen Author Of Season of the Gods

From my list on old Hollywood in general (and Warner Brothers in particular).

Why am I passionate about this?

My dad instilled in me a love of, and respect for, history and an avid interest in golden-era Hollywood. In my adult life as a professional writer, that paternal guidance has translated into eight books about various aspects of old Hollywood, with a growing focus on the intersection of Hollywood and World War II. My career to date was punctuated by the international success of Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II, which detailed the future star’s very hard life in the Netherlands under Nazi occupation. Dad didn’t live long enough to know I’d written anything, let alone a number of books he would have enjoyed reading. 

Robert's book list on old Hollywood in general (and Warner Brothers in particular)

Robert Matzen Why did Robert love this book?

When a New York Times correspondent and Yale Fellow sits down to write a book about the making of Casablanca for its 50th anniversary, one expects quality, and Harmetz delivers by detailing the times and people who created and marketed the timeless classic.

This book served as a primary source during the writing of my book. The extensively researched and footnoted book was repackaged in 2002 as The Making of Casablanca: Bogart, Bergman, and World War II and remains in print more than 30 years after its initial release.

Book cover of Grand Central: Original Stories of Postwar Love and Reunion

Linda Ulleseit Author Of Unlocked: A Paper Lantern Writers Anthology

From my list on historical fiction anthologies.

Why am I passionate about this?

We are the Paper Lantern Writers, an author collective focused on historical fiction of all eras. From Medieval Europe to the Gilded Age (and beyond), in locales around the world, from romantic to tragic and back again, our books will take you on the journeys of a lifetime. There’s a story to be told every where you look and we'd love to be your tour guide. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, and join our Facebook group SHINE.

Linda's book list on historical fiction anthologies

Linda Ulleseit Why did Linda love this book?

This book features stories by different authors who envision the crowds of people passing through Grand Central Station in New York and choose to tell ten stories of people returning from Europe at the end of World War II. It’s a time of upheaval and great change in the world and in their lives. I love when the macrocosm of the world can be distilled down to a single person’s story.

By Melanie Benjamin, Jenna Blum, Amanda Hodgkinson , Pam Jenoff , Sarah Jio , Sarah McCoy , Kristina McMorris , Alyson Richman , Erika Robuck , Karen White

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ten bestselling authors inspired by New York City's iconic Grand Central Terminal have created their own stories, set on the same day, just after the end of World War II, in a time of hope, uncertainty, change, and renewal….

A war bride awaits the arrival of her GI husband at the platform…A Holocaust survivor works at the Oyster Bar, where a customer reminds him of his late mother…A Hollywood hopeful anticipates her first screen test and a chance at stardom in the Kissing Room…
 
On any particular day, thousands upon thousands of people pass through Grand Central, through the whispering…


Book cover of Annihilation Beach: A Story about the Horrific Marine Battle for Tarawa: Day One

Herb Marlow Author Of Gunner Hobbs: WWII in the Pacific! Tulagi! Tarawa! Saipan!

From my list on Pacific island combat World War II.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since childhood, I have been fascinated by accounts of the Second World War, particularly the war in the Pacific Theater. Perhaps because I had an uncle and a step-father (Bronze Star awarded for bravery) who fought in that theater. I joined the U.S. Navy in 1958 and traveled in the USS Bennington, CVS 20, too many of the islands captured by the Japanese in blood-soaked battles–Pearl Harbor, Guam, Okinawa, Midway, and the Philippines. Further, I was stationed at Atsugi Naval Air Station in Japan for twenty months, which allowed me to look into World War II history from the other side. 

Herb's book list on Pacific island combat World War II

Herb Marlow Why did Herb love this book?

I was and am fascinated by accounts of the Battle of Tarawa. As James Dwyer’s book relates, the battle was a brutal series of Navy and Marine mistakes by the attack leaders from day one.

I particularly like the way he uses the fictional voices of Marines and Japanese Rikosentia (basically Japanese Marines) to tell the story of the terrible battle with its ‘horrific’ casualty rates on both sides.

By James F Dwyer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Before the historic battle for Iwo Jima was fought...there was Tarawa!!! Experience the incredible horrors and the distinguished heroism of the battle for Tarawa with a platoon of marines who must fight their way ashore and then battle the Japanese defenders in their hidden bunkers and foxholes! The hellacious fighting for this tiny island took place in November of 1943 and the legendary battle went on for three and a half days between the elite Japanese Rikosentai who refused to give up...and the marines of the Second Division...who refused to stop. When this bare-knuckled brawl was finally over, four Medals…


Book cover of Murder for Pleasure: The Life and Times of the Detective Story

Martin Edwards Author Of The Life of Crime: Detecting the History of Mysteries and Their Creators

From my list on crime fiction, the world’s most popular genre.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a storyteller and I conceived The Life of Crime as the ‘life story’ of a fascinating and truly diverse genre. I’ve always been intrigued by the ups and downs of literary lives, and the book explores the rollercoaster careers of writers from across the world. The chapter endnotes contain masses of trivia and information, as well as some original research, that I hope readers will find enjoyable as well as interesting. But The Life of Crime isn’t an academic text. It’s a love letter to a genre that I’ve adored for as long as I can remember.  

Martin's book list on crime fiction, the world’s most popular genre

Martin Edwards Why did Martin love this book?

Haycraft was an American commentator and this survey of the history of crime writing up to the Second World War is soundly written and sympathetic. Interestingly, he believed that the locked room puzzle was played out and that authors should avoid it, whereas this type of mystery has enjoyed a significant revival in recent years. Predicting how crime writing will evolve in the future is fraught with danger! Inevitably, Haycraft’s focus was mainly on American and British crime fiction. The limited number of translated mysteries in those days meant that the global reach of crime writing, and the achievements of authors whose first language is not English, has long been under-estimated. Only now is this problem being addressed.   

By Howard Haycraft,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Genuinely fascinating reading."—The New York Times Book Review
"Diverting and patently authoritative."—The New Yorker
"Grand and fascinating … a history, a compendium and a critical study all in one, and all first rate."—Rex Stout
"A landmark … a brilliant study written with charm and authority."—Ellery Queen
"This book is of permanent value. It should be on the shelf of every reader of detective stories."—Erle Stanley Gardner
Author Howard Haycraft, an expert in detective fiction, traces the genre's development from the 1840s through the 1940s. Along the way, he charts the innovations of Edgar Allan Poe, Wilkie Collins, and Arthur Conan…


Book cover of Back Then: Two Literary Lives in 1950s New York

Pamela S. Nadell Author Of America's Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today

From my list on memoirs through the voices of women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of history and Jewish studies at American University and author of America’s Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today, winner of the National Jewish Book Award – 2019 Jewish Book of the Year. Since childhood I have been reading stories of women’s lives and tales set in Jewish communities across time and space. Yet, the voices that so often best evoke the past are those captured on the pages of great memoirs.

Pamela's book list on memoirs through the voices of women

Pamela S. Nadell Why did Pamela love this book?

Written in separate voices in alternating chapters, this unusual double memoir by the long-married couple, the novelist Anne Bernays and biographer Justin Kaplan, tells the stories of two privileged New Yorkers.  Growing up on opposite sides of Central Park, they came of age in the 1950s. Dreaming dreams of literary lives, they came to see them realized as their lives converged.

By Justin Kaplan, Anne Bernays,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Novelist Anne Bernays and biographer Justin Kaplan -- both native New Yorkers -- came of age in the 1950s, when the pent-up energies of the Depression years and World War II were at flood tide. Written in two separate voices, Back Then is thecandid, anecdotal account of these two children of privilege -- one from New York's East Side, the other from the West Side -- pursuing careers in publishing and eventually leaving to write their own books.

Infused with intelligence and charm, Back Then is an elegant reflection on the transformative years in the lives of two young people…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in New York City, presidential biography, and New York State?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about New York City, presidential biography, and New York State.

New York City Explore 1,010 books about New York City
Presidential Biography Explore 19 books about presidential biography
New York State Explore 739 books about New York State