100 books like The Blue Castle

By L.M. Montgomery,

Here are 100 books that The Blue Castle fans have personally recommended if you like The Blue Castle. 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 Woman in White

Sam Hepburn Author Of The Mistake I Made

From my list on troubled women struggling to hold it together.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up as the child of a damaged, resentful mother certainly took its emotional toll and led me to embark on some pretty destructive early relationships. After a series of painful personal losses I spent time as a single mum, struggling to parent, deal with grief and hold down a job as a TV producer. I tried self-help books, therapy, and nicotine to get by, but it was the support and humour of women who had survived their own ordeals which enabled me to come out the other side. But as a writer and a reader I'm intrigued by troubled women, the traumas that shape them, and the things they do to survive.

Sam's book list on troubled women struggling to hold it together

Sam Hepburn Why did Sam love this book?

My long-held obsession with Victorian sensationalist fiction is probably why I write psychological thrillers.

The Woman in White has always been an inspiration and for me one of its most intriguing characters is Laura Fairlie, whose emotional frailty, like that of so many women, makes her prey to the hideous machinations of abusers who seek to control her. Unlike modern women however, she is not merely at the mercy of people, she is at the mercy of the restrictive laws of the society in which she lives.

And yet, with the help of determined friends, her extraordinary stoicism, and some pretty outlandish coincidences she manages to survive against the odds. Hurrah!

By Wilkie Collins,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Woman in White as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

HarperCollins is proud to present its range of best-loved, essential classics.

'The woman who first gives life, light, and form to our shadowy conceptions of beauty, fills a void in our spiritual nature that has remained unknown to us till she appeared.'

One of the earliest works of 'detective' fiction with a narrative woven together from multiple characters, Wilkie Collins partly based his infamous novel on a real-life eighteenth century case of abduction and wrongful imprisonment. In 1859, the story caused a sensation with its readers, hooking their attention with the ghostly first scene where the mysterious 'Woman in White'…


Book cover of Rebecca

J. Nicole Jones Author Of Low Country: A Memoir

From my list on voice-driven, suck-you-in narrations: both memoir and fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

Writers often get labeled as either nonfiction or fiction writers. In grad school, it was very difficult to study across genres, which I found very frustrating: To me, the most important thing about a book has always been the voice. A novel? A memoir? Essays? Stories? Don’t pin me down, just give me something with a voice that propels me forward, that is unique and sparkling and unputdownable. When I find books with voices so singular and propulsive, I return to them over and over. 

J.'s book list on voice-driven, suck-you-in narrations: both memoir and fiction

J. Nicole Jones Why did J. love this book?

This book begins with only the most famous first line of a novel in English literature. (Move over, Jane Austen.)

Wistful, mysterious, and yearning, the unnamed narrator of Rebecca follows her much older husband to his luxe estate in England after a hasty marriage in France. There, she encounters a housekeeper bent on humiliating her (or worse) and the specter of her new husband’s perfect first wife, who died unexpectedly.

Even knowing what will happen, I am sucked in every time. This hits that great spot between outright horror and suspense, and my next book will be heavily influenced by this one. 

By Daphne du Maurier,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

* 'The greatest psychological thriller of all time' ERIN KELLY
* 'One of the most influential novels of the twentieth century' SARAH WATERS
* 'It's the book every writer wishes they'd written' CLARE MACKINTOSH

'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .'

Working as a lady's companion, our heroine's outlook is bleak until, on a trip to the south of France, she meets a handsome widower whose proposal takes her by surprise. She accepts but, whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to brooding Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory…


Book cover of Howl's Moving Castle

A.K. Caggiano Author Of Throne in the Dark

From my list on fantasy that makes you giggle and swoon.

Why am I passionate about this?

Every morning when I sit at my computer, I’m reminded by a post-it note stuck to my monitor that my self-ordained purpose is to “bring readers joy.” Like many, I escaped into books as a child, and I’ve been seeking out stories that encapsulate wonder, delight, and, most importantly, love ever since. I began my self-publishing journey in 2020 and am thrilled to have found my place in the fantasy romance genre, writing romcoms with a heaping spoonful of ridiculous magic. I’ve written a number of standalone novels as well as a (sub)urban fantasy series, Vacancy, and a traditional fantasy romance series with a satirical twist, Villains & Virtues.

A.K.'s book list on fantasy that makes you giggle and swoon

A.K. Caggiano Why did A.K. love this book?

I don’t think I’ve ever been giddier than when I first read this book. Jones crafts a whimsical and cozy world that’s so easy to sink into again and again, and her sharp wit and droll observations always have me laughing from cover to cover.

Even under a curse, Sophie feels like a good friend with her humor and charm, and broody, flamboyant, spoiled wizard Howl is so frustrating on every page that I can’t help but utterly adore him. As a couple, they just have that warm and fuzzy 'It Factor' for me, and I find myself picking this book up at least once a year.

By Diana Wynne Jones,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked Howl's Moving Castle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Now an animated movie from Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki, the oscar-winning director of Spirited Away

In this beloved modern classic, young Sophie Hatter from the land of Ingary catches the unwelcome attention of the Witch of the Waste and is put under a spell...

Deciding she has nothing more to lose, Sophie makes her way to the moving castle that hovers on the hills above her town, Market Chipping. But the castle belongs to the dreaded Wizard Howl, whose appetite, they say, is satisfied only by the souls of young girls...

There Sophie meets Michael, Howl's apprentice, and Calcifer…


Book cover of Gone Girl

Casey Kelleher Author Of The Missing Mother

From my list on twisted tension psychological thrillers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am Casey Kelleher, a crime writer and author of 17 novels. I have always been a complete and utter bookworm, but my true passion is crime and psych thrillers. Most of my stories concentrate on the victim–or, as I prefer to call them, the survivor. That’s who I champion in my stories, highlighting the strength of that person who has overcome whatever harsh reality that’s been forced upon them. But I also like to get inside the perpetrator’s head. I want to know the ‘whys’ of what they do. Psychology is very complex, but I do believe that there can be good and bad/darkness and light in all of us. 

Casey's book list on twisted tension psychological thrillers

Casey Kelleher Why did Casey love this book?

This book really set the bar for me in terms of psych thrillers. It has an ingenious plot and is one of the first genuinely shocking ‘Twist you don’t see coming’ books.

This book is so well-crafted, deliciously dark and manipulating, and, of course, so well-written. I was invested in both the main characters and constantly changed my mind about who I was routing for and what the truth really was. Bravo! 

By Gillian Flynn,

Why should I read it?

26 authors picked Gone Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE ADDICTIVE No.1 BESTSELLER AND INTERNATIONAL PHENOMENON
OVER 20 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE
THE BOOK THAT DEFINES PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER

Who are you?
What have we done to each other?

These are the questions Nick Dunne finds himself asking on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they weren't made by him. And then there are the persistent calls on…


Book cover of Darius the Great Is Not Okay

Sandra L. Rostirolla Author Of Making Friends With Monsters

From my list on what life is like living with mental illness.

Why am I passionate about this?

My father died by suicide when I was thirteen. Because my family never spoke about the issues leading up to and resulting from this devastating event, we suffered a great deal. I have a deep love for books that expose just how dark, and troubled the teen existence can be. Authors who are brave enough to tackle such topics feed my bravery. The more stories we have on the topics of suicide, mental health, and trauma the broader the conversation and the more those who feel as though no one could possibly understand what they are going through feel seen.

Sandra's book list on what life is like living with mental illness

Sandra L. Rostirolla Why did Sandra love this book?

Right off the bat, Darius jumps off the page as a real teen with relatable problems.

He’s the quiet kid at school, who the others tease. And he suffers from clinical depression. What I loved was how well Khorram tackled depression’s subtleties.

I think there is a tendency for society to see depression as this overarching dark cloud that keeps us in bed 24/7. But the truth is, many people who are suffering, are functional.

From the outside, we don’t see the building up of little moments that act like a snowball gradually expanding as it rolls down the mountain face.

Be warned – the food descriptions are amazing, so you might get hungry during the read.

By Adib Khorram,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Darius the Great Is Not Okay as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He's a Fractional Persian - half, his mum's side - and his first-ever trip to Iran is about to change his life. Darius has never really fit in at home, and he's sure things are going to be the same in Iran. His clinical depression doesn't exactly help matters, and trying to explain his medication to his grandparents only makes things harder. Then Darius meets Sohrab, the boy next door, and everything changes. Soon, they're spending their days together, playing soccer, eating…


Book cover of The Light Between Oceans

Kendra Broekhuis Author Of Between You and Us

From my list on impossible choices that will rip your heart out.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a stay-at-home mom and author for the past decade, and during that time, I went through the stillbirth of my second baby. Grief taught me a lot about compassion, including the importance of being able to see the nuance of difficult subject matters. I learned it’s easy to theorize what to do in a situation until you're in that situation. For that reason, I love books in all sorts of genres that are layered with characters’ past griefs, impossible scenarios, and tensions regarding the choices they make. I picked five of my favorite books with a heart-ripping plot that sparks interesting discussion and leaves readers pondering, "What would I have done?"

Kendra's book list on impossible choices that will rip your heart out

Kendra Broekhuis Why did Kendra love this book?

This is one of those books that can set off a fire of controversy because of the choices made by its characters, and I love that about it.

The main couple’s marriage lies on a foundation of grief that includes war, extreme isolation, and multiple pregnancy losses. The story dives into the way grief shapes us, as well as the morality of how much we should let our grief shape our choices.

I loved the characters, the moving plot, and the moral conundrum of this book.

By M.L. Stedman,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Light Between Oceans as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The years-long New York Times bestseller and Goodreads Best Historical Novel that is “irresistible…seductive…with a high concept plot that keeps you riveted from the first page” (O, The Oprah Magazine)—soon to be a major motion picture from Spielberg’s Dreamworks starring Michael Fassbender, Rachel Weisz, and Alicia Vikander, and directed by Derek Cianfrance.

After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young,…


Book cover of I Capture the Castle

Elisabeth Sharp McKetta Author Of Ark

From my list on living big in small spaces.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an American author who lived three years in a backyard tiny house with my family: husband, two young children, and a part-time dog. We wanted to live a bigger life, focused on our favorite activities and most important relationships. I wrote this book during the first spring of COVID-19, partly as a way to record my family’s experience weathering a pandemic in under 300 square feet, and partly as a way to explore the ways that children can be resourceful when life gives them a pinch. I've been a writer for most of my life, and I love to teach writing. Ark is my first middle-grade novel, and my lucky thirteenth book to publish!

Elisabeth's book list on living big in small spaces

Elisabeth Sharp McKetta Why did Elisabeth love this book?

Granted, nobody would call a castle a small space, but the world of 17-year-old Cassandra Mortmain—the narrator of this full-of-life novel-in-journal-form—is hemmed in by her father’s writer’s block and his innate dislike of neighbors, resulting in their family’s life of dwindling gentile poverty in a dilapidated rented castle.

Much of the novel’s long-lasting enchantment is how Cassandra makes the best of the stone walls that contain and border her life. Cassandra has a wonderful imagination and a knack for seeing her life as a story. A very funny and wise coming-of-age story about how our homes shape our world-views.

By Dodie Smith,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked I Capture the Castle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

One of BBC's 100 Novels That Shaped Our World.

A wonderfully quirky coming-of-age story, I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, author of The Hundred and One Dalmatians is an affectionately drawn portrait of one of the funniest families in literature.

Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition is illustrated by Ruth Steed, and features an afterword by publisher Anna South.

The eccentric Mortmain family have been rattling around in a…


Book cover of A Song of Years

Laura Frantz Author Of A Heart Adrift

From my list on about home.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having moved almost twenty times in my life, I have a passion for home – finding home, creating home, and enjoying home no matter where you land. My personal space is filled with books, my favorites being about homecomings and safe places of peace and restoration. Home fills me with joy and is a theme in each of the historical novels I write. Everyone should have the haven of a home, both here and now and eternally. 

Laura's book list on about home

Laura Frantz Why did Laura love this book?

Song of Years captures all of the struggle and angst of carving out a home from pure, unspoiled Iowa prairie by those bold pioneers who risked everything to do so. While reading, I became the heroine, Abby Deal, as she sacrificed and struggled to wrest a life and create a home from the frontier that challenged her and her family at every turn. Realistic, even epic, this 1939 novel is on my keeper shelf. 

By Bess Streeter Aldrich, Anne Reeve Aldrich,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The state of Iowa was still young and wild when Wayne Lockwood came to it from New England in 1851. He claimed a quarter-section about a hundred miles west of Dubuque and quickly came to appreciate widely scattered neighbors like Jeremiah Martin, whose seven daughters would have chased the gloom from any bachelor's heart. Sabina, Emily, Celia, Melinda, Phoebe Lou, Jeanie, and Suzanne are timeless in their appeal-too spirited to be preoccupied with sermons, sickness, and sudden death. However, the feasts, weddings, and holiday celebrations in Song of Years are shadowed by all the rigors and perils of frontier living.…


Book cover of At Home in Mitford

D.V. Stone Author Of Kisa: Shield-Mates of Dar

From my list on with a war between humans and shifters.

Why am I passionate about this?

My passion for books began at a very early age. My mom will tell you I never played with toys but toddled around, always with a book in my hand. From the Little Golden books of childhood, I grew into children's literature like Heidi and Black Beauty. Then came the horse books. Seabiscuit and War Admiral. Misty of Chincoteague was a particular favorite. Animal books have always been one of my go-to genres. All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot started me on a series that I still return to from time to time. J. R. R. Tolkien is one of my inspirations as a fantasy author, along with C. S. Lewis.

D.V.'s book list on with a war between humans and shifters

D.V. Stone Why did D.V. love this book?

This book is a bit different from my other recommendations. It’s not a fantasy. What it is is a series of books to make you laugh, cry, think, and most of all, want to go live in the imaginary town of Mitford, North Carolina. This is a small town where the phrase “Mitford takes care of its own” is sometimes hard but always rewarding. Reverend Tim Cavanough is a flawed man with a heart of gold who is in the mid to later stage in life and takes care of his flock of often eccentric, lovable townsfolk with a heart of love. I was with a friend one time walking through a little town in West Virginia, and we had both finished Ms. Karon’s books. The town and its folks reminded us of Mitford with its quaint charm. 

By Jan Karon,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked At Home in Mitford as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first novel in #1 New York Times bestselling author Jan Karon's beloved series set in America's favorite small town: Mitford.

It's easy to feel at home in Mitford. In these high, green hills, the air is pure, the village is charming, and the people are generally lovable. Yet, Father Tim, the bachelor rector, wants something more. Enter a dog the size of a sofa who moves in and won't go away. Add an attractive neighbor who begins wearing a path through the hedge. Now, stir in a lovable but unloved boy, a mystifying jewel theft, and a secret that's…


Book cover of Jane Austen at Home: A Biography

Laura Frantz Author Of A Heart Adrift

From my list on about home.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having moved almost twenty times in my life, I have a passion for home – finding home, creating home, and enjoying home no matter where you land. My personal space is filled with books, my favorites being about homecomings and safe places of peace and restoration. Home fills me with joy and is a theme in each of the historical novels I write. Everyone should have the haven of a home, both here and now and eternally. 

Laura's book list on about home

Laura Frantz Why did Laura love this book?

Written by one of my favorite historians, this novel explores the rooms and homes that shaped Jane Austen and her timeless literary career. Home indeed shapes us, defines us, and even imbues our work as Lucy Worsley shows. A unique look into the life of a beloved novelist that adds rich layers to the fictional world of Austen and fleshes out her settings of Longbourn, Netherfield, Barton Cottage, etc. 

By Lucy Worsley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

'This is my kind of history: carefully researched but so vivid that you are convinced Lucy Worsley was actually there at the party - or the parsonage.' Antonia Fraser

'A refreshingly unique perspective on Austen and her work and a beautifully nuanced exploration of gender, creativity, and domesticity.' Amanda Foreman

Lucy Worsley 'is a great scene-setter for this tale of triumph and heartbreak.' Sunday Times

On the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's death, historian Lucy Worsley leads us into the rooms from which our best-loved novelist quietly changed the world.

This new telling of the story…


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