10 books like The Chain

By Adrian McKinty,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Chain. Shepherd is a community of 6,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Les Miserables

By Victor Hugo, Lee Fahnestock (translator), Norman Macafee (translator)

Book cover of Les Miserables

I could relate to the convict who found the path toward redemption by helping other people. I believe that directing our thoughts and actions toward other people could be the only way to redeem ourselves from crimes we have committed and to attain forgiveness. The convict persists on this path despite being persecuted for crimes of his past. The minor characters are on this same path, which exemplifies the saying that love is not a feeling, it’s action.

Les Miserables

By Victor Hugo, Lee Fahnestock (translator), Norman Macafee (translator)

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Les Miserables as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NOW A SIX-PART MINISERIES ON MASTERPIECE ON PBS

The only completely unabridged paperback edition of Victor Hugo’s masterpiece—a sweeping tale of love, loss, valor, and passion.

Introducing one of the most famous characters in literature, Jean Valjean—the noble peasant imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread—Les Misérables ranks among the greatest novels of all time. In it, Victor Hugo takes readers deep into the Parisian underworld, immerses them in a battle between good and evil, and carries them to the barricades during the uprising of 1832 with a breathtaking realism that is unsurpassed in modern prose.

Within his dramatic story…

The Ride of a Lifetime

By Robert Iger,

Book cover of The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company

Business books tend to be stuffy and over technical, but Iger’s book was the model I was going after when writing my own book. Iger shares the hits and misses (but mostly hits) of his time running one of the most prestigious brands the world has ever seen. But even though they’re mostly showbiz and Disney-focused, any human can relate and learn from his stories.

The Ride of a Lifetime

By Robert Iger,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Ride of a Lifetime as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'One of the best business books I've read in years.' BILL GATES
THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A SUNDAY TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR 2019
_____________________________

The CEO of Disney, one of Time's most influential people of 2019, shares the ideas and values he embraced to reinvent one of the most beloved companies in the world and inspire the people who bring the magic to life.

Robert Iger became CEO of The Walt Disney Company in 2005, during a difficult time. Morale had deteriorated, competition was intense, and technology was changing faster than at any time in the company's…


The New Wilderness

By Diane Cook,

Book cover of The New Wilderness

This book changed my mind. 

Bea’s five-year-old daughter is frail and sickly, a victim of rampant air pollution. In an effort to save her, Bea and her family join an experimental program that requires them to live in the wild as nomadic hunters and gatherers. I must admit, I was initially drawn to the idea of trading the rat race for the wilderness. (No more alarm clocks! No more traffic jams!) But by the time I finished the book, that notion had lost its appeal. (No food pantries! No hospitals! Starvation! Death!) Exploring this intriguing but brutal scenario from the comfort of my living room is as close as I care to get!

The New Wilderness

By Diane Cook,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The New Wilderness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'THE ENVIRONMENTAL NOVEL OF OUR TIMES.' Lemn Sissay, Booker Prize judge

From an acclaimed Guardian First Book Award finalist comes a debut novel 'brutal and beautiful in equal measure' (Emily St. John Mandel)

Longlisted for the DUBLIN Literary Award 2022

A Guardian Best Science Fiction Book of the Year

A 'Best Book of the Year 2020' according to BBC Culture * An Irish Times Best Debut Fiction of 2020

Bea's daughter, Agnes, is slowly wasting away, her lungs ravaged by the smog and pollution of the overpopulated metropolis they call home.

The only alternative is to build a life in…


American Dirt

By Jeanine Cummins,

Book cover of American Dirt

This book rocked my world.

Lydia and her young son begin a harrowing journey from Mexico to the United States after being targeted for death by a drug cartel. American Dirt has everything I relish in a story: a riveting plot, top-notch writing, believable characters, and spot-on dialogue. What’s more, it drives home the plight of migrants in a way that news stories can’t. I didn’t just read this book; I lived it. I became that desperate mother. And I too would trek across deserts and leap onto moving trains to save my child.

American Dirt

By Jeanine Cummins,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

*NOW A BBC RADIO 4 BOOK AT BEDTIME*
'Breathtaking... I haven't been so entirely consumed by a book for years' Telegraph
'I'll never stop thinking about it' Ann Patchett

FEAR KEEPS THEM RUNNING. HOPE KEEPS THEM ALIVE.

Vivid, visceral, utterly compelling, AMERICAN DIRT is an unforgettable story of a mother and son's attempt to cross the US-Mexico border. Described as 'impossible to put down' (Saturday Review) and 'essential reading' (Tracy Chevalier), it is a story that will leave you utterly changed.

Yesterday, Lydia had a bookshop.
Yesterday, Lydia was married to a journalist.
Yesterday, she was with everyone she loved…


Humankind

By Rutger Bregman, Erica Moore (translator), Elizabeth Manton (translator)

Book cover of Humankind: A Hopeful History

I read Humankind in the summer of 2021, a year into the pandemic and at a point when I wasn’t sure what the future looked like—all I knew was that the present seemed pretty bleak. Rutger Bregman’s book provided a counterweight to my fears and weariness, revitalizing my commitment to my fellow humans. It reminded me of my personal motto, a quote from the Roman writer Terence: “I am human; no human thing is alien to me.” If we try, there’s almost no human experience we can’t find a way to relate to.

Humankind

By Rutger Bregman, Erica Moore (translator), Elizabeth Manton (translator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
A Guardian, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman and Daily Express Book of the Year

'Hugely, highly and happily recommended' Stephen Fry
'You should read Humankind. You'll learn a lot (I did) and you'll have good reason to feel better about the human race' Tim Harford
'Made me see humanity from a fresh perspective' Yuval Noah Harari

It's a belief that unites the left and right, psychologists and philosophers, writers and historians. It drives the headlines that surround us and the laws that touch our lives. From Machiavelli to Hobbes, Freud to Dawkins, the roots of this belief have…

Then She Was Gone

By Lisa Jewell,

Book cover of Then She Was Gone

I picked up Then She Was Gone at a thrift store, thinking it would be a quick, fun read while I was at the beach. Quick read, yes. Fun…? Not so much. Then She Was Gone had me flipping the pages faster than a snake can hiss. As the story unraveled, I found myself muttering “oh no, no…no way” more than once. The story was both heart-wrenching and disturbing, and it lingered with me long after I’d closed the book. It touches on love, marriage, motherhood, loss, grief, and shattered hopes. It’s not a feel-good book, but it’s a really good read. I love stories that drag me over the rough road but also hit me in the heart, and Then She Was Gone delivers.

Then She Was Gone

By Lisa Jewell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

From the New York Times bestselling author of Invisible Girl and The Truth About Melody Browne comes a “riveting” (PopSugar) and “acutely observed family drama” (People) that delves into the lingering aftermath of a young girl’s disappearance.

Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was fifteen, the youngest of three. Beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers, and half of a teenaged golden couple. Ellie was days away from an idyllic post-exams summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her.

And then she was gone.

Now, her mother Laurel Mack is trying to put…

Half Past

By Victoria Helen Stone,

Book cover of Half Past

Strong women don’t get that way because their lives have been easy, and I’m a sucker for stories about women facing the worst and getting through it. It doesn’t even have to be with grace and dignity! Half Past has a shattering premise – the utter rejection of a mother to her daughter. The book is a family mystery heavy with heartache, and I devoured it. While there’s grief and angst, the book also describes the journey of a woman who thinks she’s faced her lowest point – and how she manages to rise above it all. The book also had a really clever use of actual, simple science that I appreciated because it was so real and yet led to a horrifying reveal!

Half Past

By Victoria Helen Stone,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

At forty-five, Hannah Smith is at a crossroads. That's her spin on it. The reality is she's divorced, jobless, and moving back to her family home in Iowa to keep an eye on her mother, who's slipping into dementia. Her return stirs up the same unnerving sense of disconnect Hannah has felt since childhood-always the odd girl out, the loner outshone by her two older sisters. Hannah knew the feelings of hurt would come back. But she never expected fear. Because when her mother looks into her eyes and whispers, "You're not my daughter," Hannah is beginning to believe it's…

The Replacement Wife

By Darby Kane,

Book cover of The Replacement Wife

After reading Darby Kane’s Pretty Little Wife, I knew I had to pick up The Replacement Wife, and boy, am I glad I did. The main character in this book is also a mom and wife, but unlike a lot of other domestic thrillers, Elisa Wright is happy with her life. The problem isn’t her suspiciously-acting husband, but her brother-in-law, who was going to marry her good friend…until that friend went missing. The dips and swerves in this book had me convinced I knew what was going to come next, but I did not! I’ll admit, I do love an unreliable narrator, but you’ve got to find a way to make me believe and relate, and Kane turned that trope upside down and spun it around. 

The Replacement Wife

By Darby Kane,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The #1 International bestselling author of Pretty Little Wife returns with another thrilling domestic suspense novel that asks, how many wives and girlfriends need to disappear before your family notices?

Elisa Wright is a mom and wife, living a nice, quiet life in a nice, quiet town. She's also convinced her brother-in-law is a murderer. Josh has one dead wife and one missing fiancee, and though he grieved for them he starts dating someone new. Elisa fears for that woman's safety, and she desperately wants to know what happened to her friend, Josh's missing fiancee.

Searching for clues means investigating…


Everything We Didn't Say

By Nicole Baart,

Book cover of Everything We Didn't Say

I have adored everything I’ve read by Nicole Baart, and they all fit this theme. I chose this one because all the characters in it are so real. It features two women who are both punishing themselves for a tragedy they believe to be their fault. In this book, the main characters are so true, you almost can’t believe they’re made up. They’re complex people whose struggles and brokenness end up making ripples that bump into other people’s struggles and brokenness. Just a bunch of people doing the best they can and messing it all up and having to start again. This is a book that makes you feel like maybe all hope isn’t lost, after all.

Everything We Didn't Say

By Nicole Baart,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Everything We Didn't Say as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of Little Broken Things, a "race-to-the-finish family drama" (People) following a mother who must confront the dark summer that changed her life forever in order to reclaim the daughter she left behind.

Juniper Baker had just graduated from high school and was deep in the throes of a summer romance when Cal and Beth Murphy, a childless couple who lived on a neighboring farm, were brutally murdered. When her younger brother became the prime suspect, June's world collapsed and everything she loved that summer fell away. She left, promising never to return to tiny Jericho, Iowa.

Until…

Say Nothing

By Patrick Radden Keefe,

Book cover of Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland

Growing up in Britain in the 1970s, I knew bad things were happening in Northern Ireland and I had a sense that what we heard on the BBC was one-sided and not to be trusted. This book is a revelation, not only in making sense of the Troubles on both sides of the sectarian divide but also in telling the story from the inside, with an intimacy of detail to make you gasp over and over. It’s a real page-turner, full of unforgettable characters forced to navigate the daunting moral consequences of their own and others’ actions. By the end, their stories will break your heart in a hundred different ways.  

Say Nothing

By Patrick Radden Keefe,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Say Nothing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER •From the author of Empire of Pain—a stunning, intricate narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussions

"Masked intruders dragged Jean McConville, a 38-year-old widow and mother of 10, from her Belfast home in 1972. In this meticulously reported book—as finely paced as a novel—Keefe uses McConville's murder as a prism to tell the history of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Interviewing people on both sides of the conflict, he transforms the tragic damage and waste of the era into a searing, utterly gripping saga." —New York Times Book Review

Jean McConville's…

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