52 books like The Color of Light

By William Goldman,

Here are 52 books that The Color of Light fans have personally recommended if you like The Color of Light. 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 A Thousand Splendid Suns

Anthea T. Piscarik Author Of The Years In Between

From my list on historical fiction about overcoming loss.

Why am I passionate about this?

My favorite genre, historical fiction, inserts characters into real-life events. As a former news reporter, I enjoyed doing research when communicating factual information to readers. I love learning about different time periods and coming away with a fresh perspective on times gone by. History is subjective and always revised and revisited, but factual dates and occurrences remain the same. All the stories I chose to review reveal how fictionalized characters, in real events, deal with coming out on the other side of loss or pain with a stronger spirit. None of us escape loss. It’s inevitable. But there’s healing over time and trust in a God that loves us beyond expectations.

Anthea's book list on historical fiction about overcoming loss

Anthea T. Piscarik Why did Anthea love this book?

I cried at the conclusion of this book. I cried because I cared so deeply for the women I met on their journeys. And I cried to release the anguish I felt from their rejection, constriction, and subjugation to arranged marriages.

I’m so very grateful for a book written by an Afghan with a clear-eyed perspective of his culture and sensitivity to the tyranny of suppression, especially for women treated as unequal to men. But there’s so much more to this book; it is an homage to courage, resilience, and, ultimately, love, namely, a mother’s self-sacrificing love.  The characters conquer despair and limited freedoms with enduring hope. 

By Khaled Hosseini,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked A Thousand Splendid Suns as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'A suspenseful epic' Daily Telegraph

'A triumph' Financial Times

'Heartbreaking' Mail on Sunday

'Deeply moving' Sunday Times

Mariam is only fifteen when she is sent to Kabul to marry Rasheed. Nearly two decades later, a friendship grows between Mariam and a local teenager, Laila, as strong as the ties between mother and daughter. When the Taliban take over, life becomes a desperate struggle against starvation, brutality and fear. Yet love can move a person to act in unexpected ways, and lead them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with a startling heroism.

Book cover of Jitterbug Perfume

Jeffrey Dunn Author Of Radio Free Olympia

From my list on where imagination and nature run free.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been a child of the woods. I preferred to leave my home and wade a creek or explore a hillside. Nothing compared to the sight of a black snake or the feel of a mud puppy. School was a torture until an English teacher introduced me to Richard Brautigan and then read my first serious story to the class. Since then, this dyslexic nature lover has become a dream fisher and history miner with a Ph.D. in English Literature and Cultural Studies. Retired from forty-one years of teaching, I now write and publish cultural fiction.

Jeffrey's book list on where imagination and nature run free

Jeffrey Dunn Why did Jeffrey love this book?

I love Tom Robbins. I love his preposterous plots. I love his audacious metaphors. I love the never-ending details of one world crashing into another.

Like an 8th C King as well as a 20th C “genius waitress,” an aging “Queen of Good Smells,” and the skyscraper-housed “LeFever Parfumarie.” Spanning 13 centuries, bouncing from Bohemia to India to Paris to Seattle to New Orleans, Jitterbug Perfume wonders if Christianity will kill Pan and whether immortality is all it’s cracked up to be.

But, you ask, what about the beets? Yes, through all this Tomfoolery, Mr. Robbins loves him some natural world, and it is through the humble yet enigmatic beet that we learn to “hold onto your divine blush, your innate rosy magic, or end brown.” I, for one, want to stay rosy, and you, for one, should read Jitterbug Perfume.

By Tom Robbins,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Jitterbug Perfume as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jitterbug Perfume is an epic. Which is to say, it begins in the forests of ancient Bohemia and doesn't conclude until nine o'clock tonight [Paris time]. It is a saga, as well. A saga must have a hero, and the hero of this one is a janitor with a missing bottle. The bottle is blue, very, very old, and embossed with the image of a goat-horned god. If the liquid in the bottle is actually the secret essence of the universe, as some folks seem to think, it had better be discovered soon because it is leaking and there is…

Book cover of A Prayer for Owen Meany

Christy Cashman Author Of The Truth About Horses

From my list on coming of age YA books with strong voices.

Why am I passionate about this?

Books were a way to navigate life, my love for my horse, and just being an awkward feeling person. For me, the most powerful thing that stories provide is revealing that everyone is awkward. No one really feels like they fit in, have everything figured out, and know what this whole, crazy existence is about. A book offers a perspective that makes me see my world just a little more clearly. When I find relatable characters in books, I feel comforted because it makes me realize that no one is all good and no one is all bad. We are flawed and beautiful all at once, just like the characters that draw me into their worlds.

Christy's book list on coming of age YA books with strong voices

Christy Cashman Why did Christy love this book?

I read this book on my honeymoon twenty years ago, and I couldn’t put it down. It made me laugh out loud to the point that I couldn’t help but read parts of it out loud to my husband.

I couldn’t help but root for Owen on the first page. His voice plunged me deep into the world and made me feel like I didn’t want the book to end. There’s such a bittersweet component to the story that felt comforting to me as well as spiritual.

By John Irving,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked A Prayer for Owen Meany as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A work of genius' Independent

'Marvellously funny . . . What better entertainment is there than a serious book which makes you laugh?' Spectator

'If you care about something you have to protect it. If you're lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.'

Summer, 1953. In the small town of Gravesend, New Hampshire, eleven-year-old John Wheelwright and his best friend Owen Meany are playing in a Little League baseball game. When Owen hits a foul ball which kills John's mother, their lives are changed in an instant.


Book cover of People of the Book

Joie Davidow Author Of Anything But Yes: A Novel of Anna Del Monte, Jewish Citizen of Rome, 1749

From my list on Jewish historical novels without Nazis.

Why am I passionate about this?

The books I recommend have stayed with me years after I read them. I’ve always been fascinated by my Jewish heritage and the rich traditions of my forebearers. I’ve incorporated some of that heritage in my own work as an author. Most recently, I published a historical novel about the Jewish Ghetto in Rome, which took me down a rabbit hole of research into Jewish literature. I revisited books I’d loved for decades and discovered new books I loved. 

Joie's book list on Jewish historical novels without Nazis

Joie Davidow Why did Joie love this book?

Pulitzer Prize winner Geraldine Brooks spins a tale spanning continents and centuries as she fictionalizes the real history of the ancient Sarajevo Haggadah.

I found her writing gripping, and the story of rare book experts, intrigue, and treachery was fascinating. I loved seeing it through the eyes of her young protagonist, master art restorer Hanna Heath.

By Geraldine Brooks,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked People of the Book as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bestselling novel that follows a rare manuscript through centuries of exile and war, from the author of The Secret Chord and of March, winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

Inspired by a true story, People of the Book is a novel of sweeping historical grandeur and intimate emotional intensity by an acclaimed and beloved author. Called “a tour de force” by the San Francisco Chronicle, this ambitious, electrifying work traces the harrowing journey of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, a beautifully illuminated Hebrew manuscript created in fifteenth-century Spain. When it falls to Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, to conserve this…

Book cover of Eve

Jennifer J. Lacelle Author Of Birdwhistle Estate

From my list on with emotions and colliding worlds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been in love with books and writing, but in high school I realized I wanted to touch people’s lives on an emotional level. A friend told me my writing had changed their perspective about an incident where their brother almost died. It made me think that if I could positively impact one person with a play, what else could I do (even for complete strangers). We all struggle with emotions, and it’s okay! We should be allowed to feel our emotions—regardless of our age or gender identity. Everyone should know that they’re not alone; emotions are universal. They are part of what connects us to each other. 

Jennifer's book list on with emotions and colliding worlds

Jennifer J. Lacelle Why did Jennifer love this book?

This one is a dystopian novel (again) but another that’s all about survival and emotions. Making decisions isn’t always easy and sometimes we have to overcome a lot and that’s precisely what the protagonist has to do. Surviving in the new world isn’t easy and she’s got some tough, emotional changes to endure in this read. 

By Anna Carey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first book in Anna Carey's chilling Eve trilogy, Eve is perfect for fans of The Handmaiden's Tale. After a deadly virus wiped out most of Earth's population, the world is a terrifying place. Eighteen-year-old Eve has grown up isolated from the rest of the destroyed world in an all-girls school. But it isn't until the night before her graduation that she discovers what her duties will be once she graduates. To avoid the horrifying fate that awaits her, Eve flees the only home she's ever known. On the run, she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the…

Book cover of Nothing On Earth

David W. Berner Author Of The Islander

From my list on the essence of the Irishman’s melancholic emotions.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dugan was my grandmother’s maiden name. Her family was from County Wexford, Ireland near Rosslare on the island’s east coast. In recent years I have extensively studied my Irish heritage and have discovered much about my family, and about the DNA running through my own Irish blood. The inquiry has revealed much about my love of storytelling, good conversation, and generally about the way I move through the world. As a writer of several books of personal narrative and fiction, I have tried to write books that capture a certain emotion, and now through my own ancestral discoveries, I understand how those emotions and familial ties are so tightly linked. 

David's book list on the essence of the Irishman’s melancholic emotions

David W. Berner Why did David love this book?

What stands out most after reading this story is the writing itself—simple and direct, unadorned, yet the narrative is complex and nuanced.

O’Callaghan is the author of several books of poetry and his prose is dripping with beautiful language. In this story, a frightened girl bangs on the door of a home and after she is allowed to enter, nothing is ever the same with an air of mystery surrounding her life and her family.

The novel is strange, unsettling, and beautiful. And although at times it is a bit perplexing, leaving you wondering what is real and what is false, its magic lies in the attention it gives to the complexities of human emotion, the said and unsaid, the complicated divide between trust and suspicion, and how it asks the question of whether it is better to listen to your head or to your heart. 

By Conor O'Callaghan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Nothing On Earth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The critically acclaimed psychological chiller from a powerful new voice in Irish literary fiction.


'As fine as it is frightening' JOHN BANVILLE

'This one will stay with you like your shadow' Guardian

'Extraordinary . . . pitch-perfect' Irish Times

'Strange, beautiful and quietly terrifying' DONAL RYAN, author of The Spinning Heart

'Like many great works, it could so easily have all gone wrong if it hadn't been done exactly right' Sunday Independent

It is the hottest August in living memory.

A frightened girl bangs on a door. A man…

Book cover of Invasion

Misha Handman Author Of Pawns and Phantoms

From my list on fantasy that draws from older stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

So much of our culture and our fiction comes from taking older stories and ideas and reworking, blending, and adapting them into new forms. This cultural mixture has gifted us with some of the greatest works of English literature, and I’ve always been surprised and delighted to discover what people can pull out of older works and make. It’s why my first novels have followed the theme, and why I will always have time to check out a new story that builds on older ideas to create something new. 

Misha's book list on fantasy that draws from older stories

Misha Handman Why did Misha love this book?

Jenna Moran is an under-appreciated author who combines whimsy and darkness in equal measure, created worlds that are at once familiar and strange. This bittersweet picture book is her at her finest, accompanied by glorious artwork by Elizabeth Sherry as she tells the story of a picture-book world attacked by an invasion of terrible, otherworldly things—Ordinary Objects.

By Jenna Katerin Moran, Elizabeth Sherry (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Earth is full. Now, when there's a new ordinary thing, it doesn't have anywhere to go. A plague of blankets, chairs, and other horrors unleashes itself upon the picture-book realm. Warning: content is fearsome.


that is a very creepy children's book.

O.O" - C.E. Murphy, author of the Walker Papers series, The Negotiator
Trilogy, and the Inheritor's Cycle.

Book cover of Colony: Life on Mars

Kate Rauner Author Of Glory on Mars

From my list on science fiction worlds so real, you'll believe.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, I loved discovering how things work. That led me to a career in engineering, but I never left a certain quirkiness behind. Why else would I have raised llamas for thirty years? Or loved the stories I find in science fiction? Especially books that start in a real place occupied by believable people, then demand a leap of faith, a reach beyond what's known today. We have so much to learn – about planets and people – that possibilities spiral out into the universe. I hope you enjoy the books on my list as much as I have.

Kate's book list on science fiction worlds so real, you'll believe

Kate Rauner Why did Kate love this book?

Lots of stories are set on Mars, and each author makes the planet their own. I enjoyed how this story picks up steam as malfunctions and irritable colleagues balloon into deadly danger. I can see myself in this near-future crew, and I relate to the characters because they make mistakes as they prepare for the main colony's arrival. I was totally engaged.

By Paul R. E. Jarvis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When no more frontiers remained on Earth, the heavens beckoned a new generation of explorer. Commander Kelly Brown and her small crew had one shared goal - to build a sustainable home for humankind on Mars.

It was meant to be a pivotal mission of discovery, but confinement, isolation and the hostile environment quickly take their toll. With one member critically ill and another missing, can the remaining crew of the Aeolis survive on the deadly planet?

Book cover of Starfarers

Allen Steele Author Of Coyote

From my list on lost classics of space science fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

Okay, so you’ve read Dune, you’ve read Starship Troopers, you’ve read 2001: A Space Odyssey, and maybe you’ve even read From Earth to the Moon and The First Men in the Moon. Seen the movies, too (or maybe you cheat and say you’ve read the books when you’ve only seen the flicks). Bet you think that makes you an expert on science fiction about space, right? Not even close! If you want to read more than just the well-known classics everyone else has, find these books. Some have become obscure and are now out of print, but they’re not hard to find; try ABE, eBay, and local second-hand bookstores. They’re worth searching for, and then you’ll really have something to talk about.

Allen's book list on lost classics of space science fiction

Allen Steele Why did Allen love this book?

Before writing this little gem, the author produced some of the most notable Star Trek novelizations. Then she decided to create her own version of Star Trek and do the stuff she couldn’t do there. The first volume of a series, it kicks things off when the science crew of the good ship Starfarer, upon learning that their brand-new ship is about to be turned over to the military and become a warship, decides to take matters in their own hands and hijack their own starship. Space adventure at its best. 

By Vonda N. McIntyre,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the first in the Starfarers series of novels, the commander of the Starfarer spacecraft, scientist Victoria MacKenzie, must battle her own commanders on Earth to keep on her mission to find extraterrestrial life. Reissue.

Book cover of Death: The High Cost Of Living

Maria Vale Author Of Molly Molloy and the Angel of Death

From my list on stories of death personified.

Why am I passionate about this?

The 14th century had it all: the 100 Years' War, near-constant famines, and, of course, the Black Plague. As a medievalist studying the art of the time, I was struck by the representations of Death that emerged from this near-perfect storm of misery. Yes, Death was often portrayed accompanied by demons and devils, lumped willy-nilly with evil. But it was more often portrayed in the Danse Macabre as a skeletal partner, leading everyone—Pope and Emperor, Lord and Laborer—on a merry dance. I know it was meant as a warning, but I found the Danse Macabre to be oddly comforting, a vision of an ultimate democracy, with Death the final partner and companion to us all.

Maria's book list on stories of death personified

Maria Vale Why did Maria love this book?

The older sister of Dream, Death of the Endless manifests as a perky goth girl, a fan of Mary Poppins.

The most powerful of the Endless, she is also the warmest and most caring. For one day out of every century, Death consigns herself to take on the form of a mortal fated to die in order to remember the value of the gift she is taking. This is the setting of The High Cost of Living, my favorite of the Sandman comics featuring Death. "It always ends," Death says when her day is over. "That's what gives it meaning."

By Chris Bachalo, Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean , Mark Buckingham

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Death as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

Written by Neil Gaiman; Art by Chris Bachalo, Mark Buckingham, and Dave McKean From the pages of Neil Gaiman's SANDMAN comes the young, pale, perky, and genuinely likable Death. One day in every century, Death walks the Earth to better understand those to whom she will be the final visitor. Today is that day. As a young mortal girl named Didi, Death befriends a teenager and helps a 250-year old homeless woman find her missing heart. What follows is a sincere musing on love, life and (of course) death.

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in earth, emotions, and parody?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about earth, emotions, and parody.

Earth Explore 288 books about earth
Emotions Explore 153 books about emotions
Parody Explore 58 books about parody