100 books like Tangled Hair

By Akiko Yosano (Shō Hō), Sanford Goldstein (translator), Seishi Shinoda (translator)

Here are 100 books that Tangled Hair fans have personally recommended if you like Tangled Hair. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ 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 Complete Poems of Sappho

Chriselda Barretto Author Of The Creep: A First of Its Kind Narrative Poetry in a Thriller Genre!

From my list on poetry from the world's greatest female poets.

Why am I passionate about this?

Chriselda is a multi-genre, prolific author, and speaker, with a background in Business Administration and Chemistry/Microbiology. She speaks 5 languages & has published over 50 books. Her expansive writing covers poetry, horror, thriller, romance, children’s illustration, educational... but she enjoys telling a story in narrative poetry the most. Currently, she is working on her next dark poetry book Me and Him, where she will invoke one of the greatest poets – EA Poe. In her effort to promote more learning, she is also wrapping up the fourth book in her - Sigils, Symbols and Alchemy Series. Her passion for writing, lifelong learning, creativity, and her curiosity all help spark her innovative mindset.

Chriselda's book list on poetry from the world's greatest female poets

Chriselda Barretto Why did Chriselda love this book?

Sappho was an Archaic Greek poet from the island of Lesbos. Best known for her lyric poetry, which was initially written to be sung while accompanied by a lyre. In ancient times, Sappho was widely regarded as one of the greatest poets and referred to as the "Tenth Muse" and "The Poetess". She also was among the canon of Nine Lyric Poets most highly esteemed by scholars of Hellenistic Alexandria.

Though most of her work has been lost, there are still new discoveries being found, giving us an incredible taste of her feelings, tenderness, simplicity, and her interpretation of life as we resonate with it presently, in this day and age. Way ahead of their time, her poems through their versatility give us a sense of her transcendental and emotional views on love in an unassuming yet impactful way. An artist whose themes extend beyond romance and myth, delving into…

By Willis Barnstone (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A vivid, contemporary translation of the greatest Greek love poet—with a wealth of materials for understanding her work—by a prize-winning poet and translator
 
Sappho’s thrilling lyric verse has been unremittingly popular for more than 2,600 years—certainly a record for poetry of any kind—and love for her art only increases as time goes on. Though her extant work consists only of a collection of fragments and a handful of complete poems, her mystique endures to be discovered anew by each generation, and to inspire new efforts at bringing the spirit of her Greek words faithfully into English.

In the past, translators…


Book cover of The Golden Threshold

Chriselda Barretto Author Of The Creep: A First of Its Kind Narrative Poetry in a Thriller Genre!

From my list on poetry from the world's greatest female poets.

Why am I passionate about this?

Chriselda is a multi-genre, prolific author, and speaker, with a background in Business Administration and Chemistry/Microbiology. She speaks 5 languages & has published over 50 books. Her expansive writing covers poetry, horror, thriller, romance, children’s illustration, educational... but she enjoys telling a story in narrative poetry the most. Currently, she is working on her next dark poetry book Me and Him, where she will invoke one of the greatest poets – EA Poe. In her effort to promote more learning, she is also wrapping up the fourth book in her - Sigils, Symbols and Alchemy Series. Her passion for writing, lifelong learning, creativity, and her curiosity all help spark her innovative mindset.

Chriselda's book list on poetry from the world's greatest female poets

Chriselda Barretto Why did Chriselda love this book?

Sarojini, a Bengali born in Hyderabad, was an Indian political activist and poet. She was a poignant figure in India's struggle for independence from colonial rule. Naidu's work as a poetess earned her the sobriquet 'the Nightingale of India', or 'Bharat Kokila' by Mahatma Gandhi because of the colour, imagery, and lyrical quality of her poetry.

With these poems Sarojini captures the imagery of her everyday surroundings and gives it a life of its own. One can already picture her sitting in a shaded veranda, glimpsing out into the bustling street, where she sees people working on their chores/livelihood, yet she takes each character and builds on their story albeit her own interpretation of it. Her poetry ignites an aesthetic sense with its rich sensory images and allows the reader to partake in her cherished moments of joy, pain, and sadness.

By Sarojini Naidu,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Golden Threshold is a classic collection of Indian poetry by Sarojini Naidu. It is at my persuasion that these poems are now published. The earliest of them were read to me in London in 1896, when the writer was seventeen; the later ones were sent to me from India in 1904, when she was twenty-five; and they belong, I think, almost wholly to those two periods. As they seemed to me to have an individual beauty of their own, I thought they ought to be published.


Book cover of Requiem and Poem Without a Hero

Chriselda Barretto Author Of The Creep: A First of Its Kind Narrative Poetry in a Thriller Genre!

From my list on poetry from the world's greatest female poets.

Why am I passionate about this?

Chriselda is a multi-genre, prolific author, and speaker, with a background in Business Administration and Chemistry/Microbiology. She speaks 5 languages & has published over 50 books. Her expansive writing covers poetry, horror, thriller, romance, children’s illustration, educational... but she enjoys telling a story in narrative poetry the most. Currently, she is working on her next dark poetry book Me and Him, where she will invoke one of the greatest poets – EA Poe. In her effort to promote more learning, she is also wrapping up the fourth book in her - Sigils, Symbols and Alchemy Series. Her passion for writing, lifelong learning, creativity, and her curiosity all help spark her innovative mindset.

Chriselda's book list on poetry from the world's greatest female poets

Chriselda Barretto Why did Chriselda love this book?

One of the most significant Russian poets of the 20th century, Anna was shortlisted for the Nobel Prize in 1965. Her distinctive work ranging from short lyric poems to intricately structured pieces set her apart from her contemporaries. Her work deals heavily with the struggles of living and writing under the Stalinist era.

In this elegy, written over three decades, between 1935 and 1961, Anna relates details of her personal struggles together with the reflection of other voices during the "Great Purge". In an emotional call to help, she offers empathy to others faced with the same, dire predicament. Feel the gravity of suffering, pain, and mourning, ultimately teaching you one of the most important lessons in healing, which is acceptance and letting go. 

By Anna Akhmatova,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Requiem and Poem Without a Hero as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With this edition Swallow Press presents two of Anna Akhmatova’s best-known works that represent the poet at full maturity, and that most trenchantly process the trauma she and others experienced living under Stalin’s regime.

Akhmatova began the three-decade process of writing “Requiem” in 1935 after the arrests of her son, Lev Gumilev, and her third husband. The autobiographical fifteen-poem cycle primarily chronicles a mother’s wait—lining up outside Leningrad Prison every day for seventeen months—for news of her son’s fate. But from this limbo, Akhmatova expresses and elevates the collective grief for all the thousands vanished under the regime, and for…


Book cover of Madwomen: The Locas Mujeres Poems of Gabriela Mistral

Chriselda Barretto Author Of The Creep: A First of Its Kind Narrative Poetry in a Thriller Genre!

From my list on poetry from the world's greatest female poets.

Why am I passionate about this?

Chriselda is a multi-genre, prolific author, and speaker, with a background in Business Administration and Chemistry/Microbiology. She speaks 5 languages & has published over 50 books. Her expansive writing covers poetry, horror, thriller, romance, children’s illustration, educational... but she enjoys telling a story in narrative poetry the most. Currently, she is working on her next dark poetry book Me and Him, where she will invoke one of the greatest poets – EA Poe. In her effort to promote more learning, she is also wrapping up the fourth book in her - Sigils, Symbols and Alchemy Series. Her passion for writing, lifelong learning, creativity, and her curiosity all help spark her innovative mindset.

Chriselda's book list on poetry from the world's greatest female poets

Chriselda Barretto Why did Chriselda love this book?

Gabriela was a Chilean poet-diplomat, educator, and humanist, who became the first Latin American author to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature. Her poetry often focuses on dark, humane themes that undoubtedly reflect on traumatic episodes that she had personally endured. 

Gabriela has the knack of scratching the surface, which is potent enough to get all your senses actively experiencing the emotions and character she puts forth. The poems resonate on a deep level, offering a compelling clarity of life with its tragedy and complications. The women depicted here are anything but mad; some would say entirely strong-willed and intense, with a collected control and a modernistic sense of independence.

By Gabriela Mistral, Randall Couch (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957) is one of the most important and enigmatic figures in twentieth-century Latin American literature. The Locas mujeres poems collected here are among Mistral's most complex and compelling, exploring facets of the self in extremis - poems marked by the wound of blazing catastrophe and its aftermath of mourning. Madwomen promises to reveal a profound poet to a new generation while reacquainting Spanish readers with a stranger, more complicated 'madwoman' than most have ever known.


Book cover of Saigyo: Poems of a Mountain Home

David Brazier Author Of The Dark Side of the Mirror: Forgetting the Self in Dogen's Genjo Koan

From my list on the spirit of Japanese Buddhism.

Why am I passionate about this?

David Brazier ordained as a Buddhist priest in 1976, studied all the major schools of Buddhism, and eventually founded Amida Shu, a Pure Land order, of which he was head from 1996 until retiring in 2020. His close disciples now meet as “Global Sangha”. He holds a doctorate in Buddhist psychology, has initiated socially engaged projects in several countries, and still teaches internationally and online. He is the author of more than a dozen books and many chapters, monographs, and podcasts.

David's book list on the spirit of Japanese Buddhism

David Brazier Why did David love this book?

Saigyo (1118-1190) was one of the most influential Japanese poets. His name means "Westward Journey" which implies moving toward the Pure Land of Amitabha Buddha. The poems bring out the bitter-sweet quality of life, beauty and loneliness, blooming spring and frosty winter, cherry petals and tears that fall, echoing the deep emotionality and mystery of the spirit of Japanese Buddhism.

By Burton Watson, Saigyo,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Burton's Watson translations are accompanied by a Romanized version of the Japanese original and identification of its location in Japanese anthologies. A general introduction discusses the few facts known about Saigyo's life and analyzes the origins and characteristics of his poetic style.


Book cover of Bashō's Narrow Road: Spring and Autumn Passages

Dennis Kawaharada Author Of Roads of Oku: Journeys in the Heartland

From my list on exploring roads less traveled in Japan.

Why am I passionate about this?

Between 2004 and 2020, I made twenty-five road trips around Japan’s four main islands, covering over thirty thousand miles, mainly in a rental car with my partner Karen. We traced the 1689 journey of the poet Bashō to northeastern Honshū and searched for famous places depicted in woodblock prints of nineteenth-century artist Utamaro Hiroshige. My recommendations include the books I consulted to explore roads less traveled and sites less frequented to learn about the literature, history, and culture of our ancestral homeland. The road trips are documented in my featured book and online at my website.

Dennis' book list on exploring roads less traveled in Japan

Dennis Kawaharada Why did Dennis love this book?

Bashō’s poetic narrative of a journey he made in 1689 to northeastern Honshū is the most famous travelogue in Japanese literature. As a college student in 1970, I read a translation and imagined someday following the path of his journey to see what he saw. Over three decades later, I had the time, resources, and knowledge to make several road trips to do just that. After reading various translations, I found Sato’s the most helpful in understanding why Bashō visited the places he did and what his narrative and poems were about. As we drove along Bashō’s roads, Sato’s annotated text provided insights into the history and culture of Japan and its Tōhoku region. 

By Matsuo Basho, Hiroaki Sato (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bashō's Narrow Road as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Matsuo Basho (1644-94) is considered Japan's greatest haiku poet. Narrow Road to the Interior (Oku no Hosomichi) is his masterpiece. Ostensibly a chronological account of the poet's five-month journey in 1689 into the deep country north and west of the old capital, Edo, the work is in fact artful and carefully sculpted, rich in literary and Zen allusion and filled with great insights and vital rhythms. In Basho's Narrow Road: Spring and Autumn Passages, poet and translator Hiroaki Sato presents the complete work in English and examines the threads of history, geography, philosophy, and literature that are woven into Basho's…


Book cover of The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches

Lawrence Winkler Author Of Orion's Cartwheel

From my list on becoming the hero of your own myth.

Why am I passionate about this?

There is no quality of life without meaning, and there is no better meaning than the search for it. The Vision Quest has been a beacon of hope for me my entire life. It permeates all my aspirations and writing. It inspired me to hitchhike worldwide for five years and continued into my professional life. I hope you enjoy the selections.

Lawrence's book list on becoming the hero of your own myth

Lawrence Winkler Why did Lawrence love this book?

I’ve always been a sucker for haiku. No one did it better than Matsuo Bashō, and none of his anthologies were better written than this book. Ten years ago, I went to Japan to experience his poem-pillow places.

The result was my own travelogue, Samurai Road, a vision quest perhaps not quite as spiritual or erudite as that of the master but no less inspired. Days and months are travelers of eternity. So are the years that pass by. 

By Matsuo Basho, Nobuyuki Yuasa (translator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'It was with awe
That I beheld
Fresh leaves, green leaves,
Bright in the sun'

When the Japanese haiku master Basho composed The Narrow Road to the Deep North, he was an ardent student of Zen Buddhism, setting off on a series of travels designed to strip away the trappings of the material world and bring spiritual enlightenment. He writes of the seasons changing, the smell of the rain, the brightness of the moon and the beauty of the waterfall, through which he sensed the mysteries of the universe. These writings not only chronicle Basho's travels, but they also capture…


Book cover of Basho and His Interpreters: Selected Hokku with Commentary

Craig McLachlan Author Of Tales of a Summer Henro

From my list on understanding Japan and the Japanese.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a passion for Japan and the Japanese stretching back over four decades. I’ve done a lot of wandering around my wife Yuriko’s home-country – walked the 3200km length of it; hiked across it from the Sea of Japan to the Pacific, climbing all 21 of its 3000m peaks; broken the record for climbing its 100 Famous Mountains; walked around the 88 Sacred Temples of Shikoku Pilgrimage; and journeyed around the Saigoku 33 Temples of Kannon Pilgrimmage – and written books on all these adventures. I’ve co-written Lonely Planet’s “Japan” and “Hiking in Japan” guidebooks since the late 1990s, covering everywhere from Hokkaido to Okinawa.

Craig's book list on understanding Japan and the Japanese

Craig McLachlan Why did Craig love this book?

Matsuo Bashō is considered the most influential figure in the history of hokku (or haiku) poems and this book brings them to life with excellent English translations and commentary. I particularly enjoy Bashō because he was a traveller. He didn’t just sit and write poems in comfy surroundings. He hit the road and wrote about his experiences, be they good or bad. In many ways, they are the humorous, spontaneous, gritty writings of a fatigued experiencer of life. One of my favourites - “My summer robe, there are still some lice, I have not caught”. Ueda’s book is brilliant and allows English speakers to glimpse Bashō’s true thoughts as he rambled about the countryside in 17th century Japan.

By Makoto Ueda,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This book has a dual purpose. The first is to present in a new English translation 255 representative hokku (or haiku) poems of Matsuo Basho (1644-94), the Japanese poet who is generally considered the most influential figure in the history of the genre. The second is to make available in English a wide spectrum of Japanese critical commentary on the poems over the last three hundred years.


Book cover of I Am a Cat (Bilingual)

Gwen Cooper Author Of Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned about Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat

From my list on with cats as characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

Gwen Cooper is the New York Times bestselling author of the memoirs Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned About Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat, as well as the novel Love Saves the Day (narrated from a rescue cat's perspective) and The Book of PAWSOME: Head Bonks, Raspy Tongues, and 101 Reasons Why Cats Make Us So, So Happy--among numerous other titles. The first book in her forthcoming "Homer Whodunit" Cozy Mystery Series, You Only Live Nine Times, will be released in Summer 2022. Gwen's work has been published in more than two-dozen languages, and she is a frequent speaker at shelter fundraisers across the U.S. and Europe.

Gwen's book list on with cats as characters

Gwen Cooper Why did Gwen love this book?

The original, and still unsurpassed! First published in Japan in 1906, this gleeful skewering of the foibles of Japan’s upper-middle-class during the Meiji era—told in first-person narration from the perspective of an eminently observant and sardonic housecat—manages to feel fresh and modern more than 100 years later and reads like something that could have been published last week. When I first set about writing my own novel from a cat’s perspective, Love Saves the Day, this was the first book I turned to for inspiration. It was so good, it almost left me too intimidated to write mine. Almost.

By Soseki Natsume,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Am a Cat (Bilingual) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A nonchalant string of anecdotes and wisecracks, told by a fellow who doesn't have a name, and has never caught a mouse, and isn't much good for anything except watching human beings in action..." -The New Yorker

Written from 1904 through 1906, Soseki Natsume's comic masterpiece, I Am a Cat, satirizes the foolishness of upper-middle-class Japanese society during the Meiji era. With acerbic wit and sardonic perspective, it follows the whimsical adventures of a world-weary stray kitten who comments on the follies and foibles of the people around him.

A classic of Japanese literature, I Am a Cat is one…


Book cover of Naoto Fukasawa: Embodiment

Naomi Pollock Author Of Japanese Design Since 1945: A Complete Sourcebook

From my list on the best of Japanese product design.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since I came to architecture through classical archeology, writing about design was kind of like coming home. I made the switch to journalism after moving to Tokyo. At that time, Japan’s economy was going strong, boom cranes were everywhere, and the worldwide appetite for information about new construction was robust. An outgrowth of my success documenting architecture, my interest in design was sparked partly by the chairs and teapots created by Japanese architects but also by the superb array of daily-use goods available in Japan. The dearth of information about these items and their designers led me to cover design at various scales. 

Naomi's book list on the best of Japanese product design

Naomi Pollock Why did Naomi love this book?

Several years ago, when I was living in Tokyo, I needed a blender.

So, I went to MUJI and bought the one they had on offer. It was smaller than a US model, but the components fit together so easily, and the blades did their job so efficiently. I had to marvel. Unsurprisingly, the appliance I purchased was the product of Naoto Fukasawa who has a gift for making ordinary, everyday goods better. They practically intuit the user’s movement. Like my blender, these are things one buys to fulfill a basic need. But then cannot imagine living without them.

Filled with first-person explanations, this book is a window into the mind of one of Japan’s most accomplished designers. 

By Naoto Fukasawa,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A brand new monograph on one of Japan's best-known product designers, featuring more than 100 of his latest works

Naoto Fukasawa's simple, restrained, and user-friendly products have an extraordinarily universal appeal. Featuring more than 100 of his latest designs, including furniture, phones, watches, fashion, luggage, and accessories, Naoto Fukasawa: Embodiment perfectly captures Fukasawa's perspective on the dynamic interplay between people, places, and things.

It places the designer's products into the context of the contemporary design world and offers a first-hand account of Fukasawa's design philosophy.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Japan, Tokyo, and Samurais?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Japan, Tokyo, and Samurais.

Japan Explore 493 books about Japan
Tokyo Explore 89 books about Tokyo
Samurais Explore 42 books about Samurais