100 books like The Corrections

By Jonathan Franzen,

Here are 100 books that The Corrections fans have personally recommended if you like The Corrections. 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 Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Nancy Crochiere Author Of Graceland

From my list on runaway moms.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a young working mom, I occasionally longed to follow the example of columnist Erma Bombeck and hide from my family in the car. Instead, I channeled the mayhem of family life into a humor column called “The Mother Load,” which detailed the day-to-day challenges of running a business while caring for two daughters, one husband, two guinea pigs, and a dancing rabbit. When I decided to pursue my life-long dream to write fiction, my debut novel was a humorous story about a mother-daughter-grandmother road trip/chase from Boston to Memphis. Although my writing doesn’t shy away from serious issues, I choose to see the world through a humorous and ultimately hopeful lens.

Nancy's book list on runaway moms

Nancy Crochiere Why did Nancy love this book?

How can you not love a novel about an agoraphobic mother who somehow promises her 15-year-old daughter that she’ll take her to Antarctica?

The mom, Bernadette, knows she can’t handle that kind of trip, but in her desperate attempts to make it work, things get out of hand, and Bernadette disappears. It’s up to 15-year-old Bee to play detective and find her. Set in Seattle, Where’d You Go, Bernadette? is a delightful mix of comedy and satire with a wonderful message about the need to face up to the disappointments in one’s past.

By Maria Semple,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Where'd You Go, Bernadette as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A misanthropic matriarch leaves her eccentric family in crisis when she mysteriously disappears in this "whip-smart and divinely funny" novel that inspired the movie starring Cate Blanchett (New York Times).

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect; and to 15-year-old Bee, she is her best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette vanishes. It all began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle --…


Book cover of The Joy Luck Club

Kevin Chen Author Of Ghost Town

From my list on family saga books that unravel dark secrets.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have 7 sisters and 1 brother. I was the 9th child in my family. To get a son who would carry on the family heritage, my parents tried 7 times without any success. After 7 unwanted daughters, my brother finally arrived. Then they had me as the second boy in the family. The plot twist was: I am gay. I turned out to be the 8th unwanted daughter because of my sexuality. Coming from this small-town big family full of superstitions and secrets, I am naturally drawn to dramatic family stories with many dark and psychological twists.

Kevin's book list on family saga books that unravel dark secrets

Kevin Chen Why did Kevin love this book?

An ugly cry is inevitable for this book. I read this book with good friends in a book club. We all saw the film adaptation and decided to read the book together. We shared our bawling moments as we discussed the story.

Yes, we all cried. The moms and daughters in this book demanded tears. Even the coolest friend in the book club, who never cried, succumbed to the diaspora in the book. I must confess that crying together in a book club was simply a cathartic experience.

By Amy Tan,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Joy Luck Club as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The Joy Luck Club is an ambitious saga that's impossible to read without wanting to call your Mum' Stylist

Discover Amy Tan's moving and poignant tale of immigrant Chinese mothers and their American-born daughters.

In 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, meet weekly to play mahjong and tell stories of what they left behind in China. United in loss and new hope for their daughters' futures, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club.

Their daughters, who have never heard these stories, think their mothers' advice is irrelevant to their modern American lives - until their own inner…


Book cover of White Oleander

Katie K. May Author Of You're on Fire, It's Fine: Effective Strategies for Parenting Teens with Self-Destructive Behaviors

From my list on healing family dynamics and generational trauma.

Why am I passionate about this?

My journey from a teen struggling with self-harm, drug use, and overwhelming emotions to a DBT-Linehan Board of Certification Clinician™ and director of Creative Healing, Teen Support Centers, uniquely positions me to understand the deep emotional challenges teens face. Having navigated my own tumultuous youth and now parenting a "Fire Feeler" teen, I use my personal and professional insights to guide thousands of teens and their parents. I am passionately committed to creating environments where teens are supported while the entire family learns skills to improve and work together.

Katie's book list on healing family dynamics and generational trauma

Katie K. May Why did Katie love this book?

This book struck a chord with me as it masterfully portrays a journey through hardship and transformation. Astrid’s resilience, especially in the haunting absence of her mother, resonated deeply with me as I navigated similar challenges in my own life. Her path to self-discovery and breaking free from generational patterns illustrates the profound strength required for self-reclamation.

By Janet Fitch,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked White Oleander as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

White Oleander is a painfully beautiful first novel about a young girl growing up the hard way. It is a powerful story of mothers and daughters, their ambiguous alliances, their selfish love and cruel behaviour, and the search for love and identity.Astrid has been raised by her mother, a beautiful, headstrong poet. Astrid forgives her everything as her world revolves around this beautiful creature until Ingrid murders a former lover and is imprisoned for life. Astrid's fierce determination to survive and be loved makes her an unforgettable figure. 'Liquid poetry' - Oprah Winfrey 'Tangled, complex and extraordinarily moving' - Observer


The Wallace House of Pain: A Novelette

By S.M. Stevens,

Book cover of The Wallace House of Pain: A Novelette

S.M. Stevens Author Of The Wallace House of Pain: A Novelette

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Animal lover Renewable energy advocate Alternative music lover Mother

S.M.'s 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Activist Xander Wallace and his straitlaced father do not have an easy relationship. Jim’s views on race, immigration, gender, sexuality, and even Millennials alienate his son no matter how hard Xander tries to find common ground. Toss in Jim’s second marriage ten months after Xander’s mother died, and it’s a volatile cocktail. How, against this backdrop, will Xander ever dare to bare his soul and reveal his greatest secret?

Winner of a 2023 American Fiction Award, a First Place prize in the Chanticleer International Book Awards, and a 5-Star Readers’ Favorite review.

The Wallace House of Pain: A Novelette

By S.M. Stevens,


Book cover of Little Fires Everywhere

Katie K. May Author Of You're on Fire, It's Fine: Effective Strategies for Parenting Teens with Self-Destructive Behaviors

From my list on healing family dynamics and generational trauma.

Why am I passionate about this?

My journey from a teen struggling with self-harm, drug use, and overwhelming emotions to a DBT-Linehan Board of Certification Clinician™ and director of Creative Healing, Teen Support Centers, uniquely positions me to understand the deep emotional challenges teens face. Having navigated my own tumultuous youth and now parenting a "Fire Feeler" teen, I use my personal and professional insights to guide thousands of teens and their parents. I am passionately committed to creating environments where teens are supported while the entire family learns skills to improve and work together.

Katie's book list on healing family dynamics and generational trauma

Katie K. May Why did Katie love this book?

I love this book for its intricate examination of how past secrets and traumas shape our current selves.

The book's deep dive into the complexities of motherhood and identity against a suburban backdrop made me reflect on my own family dynamics and the silent, unseen forces at play. It’s a heart-wrenching tale of what it means to be a mother in all forms and how our children reflect these struggles back to us.

By Celeste Ng,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Little Fires Everywhere as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The #1 New York Times bestseller!

"Witty, wise, and tender. It's a marvel." -Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train and A Slow Fire Burning

"To say I love this book is an understatement. It's a deep psychological mystery about the power of motherhood, the intensity of teenage love, and the danger of perfection. It moved me to tears." -Reese Witherspoon

From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You and Our Missing Hearts comes a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their…


Book cover of Familyism

Kate Brandes Author Of The Promise of Pierson Orchard

From my list on dysfunctional families.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m interested in characters and stories that reveal the light and darkness inside and between people. For me, the best stories are ones that feature screwed-up characters trying their best to put one step in front of the other, sometimes in a misguided way that costs those most dear to them. This kind of dynamic is most fraught in the family unit. Family members stunt and cultivate each other in unexpected and fascinating ways. So I’m drawn to reading about dysfunctional families, as well as writing about them as I have in my novels, The Promise of Pierson Orchard (2017) and Stone Creek (out in August 2024). 

Kate's book list on dysfunctional families

Kate Brandes Why did Kate love this book?

These twenty-two, well-crafted flash fiction stories illuminate a wide array of family situations and humanity by exploring both mundane and extraordinary moments. This collection manages to be funny, quirky, and poignant, while examining the foibles of family life and relationships with a particular focus on the roles of women and girls.

By Tori Bond,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Twenty-two (very) short stories from Tori Bond create what Kathy Fish calls a "a collection of tightly woven, deliciously wrought stories" that, as Amy L. Clark writes, "allow Bond’s own words to soar like crows, or like chickens, and sometimes, like hope."


Book cover of Homegoing

Janice Weizman Author Of Our Little Histories

From my list on family dramas in a multi-generational perspective.

Why am I passionate about this?

For me, writing fiction is a way of tackling issues of fate and identity through storytelling. I believe we’re each the result of an intersection between personality and history and I’m interested in the way our time and place impacts us and creates a backdrop for our lives. My first novel, The Wayward Moon, is historical fiction set in the 9th-century Middle East. My second novel follows a Jewish family back six generations to Belarus. But no matter what period I’m writing about, the most important thing is always to tell a good story.

Janice's book list on family dramas in a multi-generational perspective

Janice Weizman Why did Janice love this book?

I really admire how this book traces two lines of a tumultuous family history through a series of short stories.

Opening in Ghana 250 years ago, the book follows two trajectories: one family branch that is kidnapped into slavery in America, and a second that remains in Africa while collaborating with slave traders.

This is a brave book that is not afraid to pose difficult questions, but in doing so, it opens a clear-eyed perspective on the way that history shapes us.

By Yaa Gyasi,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A BBC Top 100 Novels that Shaped Our World

Effia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery; one a slave trader's wife. The consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow. Taking us from the Gold Coast of Africa to the cotton-picking plantations of Mississippi; from the missionary schools of Ghana to the dive bars of Harlem, spanning three continents and seven generations, Yaa Gyasi has written a miraculous novel - the intimate, gripping story of a brilliantly vivid cast of characters and through their lives the very story of America itself.…


Book cover of On Beauty

Janice Weizman Author Of Our Little Histories

From my list on family dramas in a multi-generational perspective.

Why am I passionate about this?

For me, writing fiction is a way of tackling issues of fate and identity through storytelling. I believe we’re each the result of an intersection between personality and history and I’m interested in the way our time and place impacts us and creates a backdrop for our lives. My first novel, The Wayward Moon, is historical fiction set in the 9th-century Middle East. My second novel follows a Jewish family back six generations to Belarus. But no matter what period I’m writing about, the most important thing is always to tell a good story.

Janice's book list on family dramas in a multi-generational perspective

Janice Weizman Why did Janice love this book?

Smith is a master at depicting multi-racial families (something she knows all about, as she grew up in one).

Her narratives take up the complex nature of the relationships between parents, children, and siblings, while delving into issues of race, class, politics, infidelity, and self-knowledge. Smith is expert with her use of voice, as she composes character through idiosyncratic styles of language and expression.

Life in this novel is colorful and messy, as it cleverly investigates the impossibility of really knowing those closest to you.

By Zadie Smith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION

SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE

SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLER

From the acclaimed author of Swing Time, White Teeth and Grand Union, discover a brilliantly funny and deeply moving story about love and family

Why do we fall in love with the people we do? Why do we visit our mistakes on our children? What makes life truly beautiful?

Set between New England and London, On Beauty concerns a pair of feuding families - the Belseys and the Kipps - and a clutch of doomed affairs. It puts low morals among high…


Book cover of Atomic Anna

Janice Weizman Author Of Our Little Histories

From my list on family dramas in a multi-generational perspective.

Why am I passionate about this?

For me, writing fiction is a way of tackling issues of fate and identity through storytelling. I believe we’re each the result of an intersection between personality and history and I’m interested in the way our time and place impacts us and creates a backdrop for our lives. My first novel, The Wayward Moon, is historical fiction set in the 9th-century Middle East. My second novel follows a Jewish family back six generations to Belarus. But no matter what period I’m writing about, the most important thing is always to tell a good story.

Janice's book list on family dramas in a multi-generational perspective

Janice Weizman Why did Janice love this book?

I’m always impressed by writers who are able to dream up an original plot, and then make that plot come alive on the page.

The book tells the story of three generations of Russian women in the second half of the twentieth century. It’s a very unusual blend of Sci-fi, geopolitical history, time travel, and moral dilemmas. A tall order, but the book succeeds in weaving together these narrative strands in a way that feels natural and effortless, while evoking questions about our complex relationship with the notion of scientific progress.

By Rachel Barenbaum,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Named a Most Anticipated Book by Bookish
 
Named a Best Book of the Month by Buzzfeed

"The novel is masterfully plotted.”—New York Times Book Review

“Atomic Anna is a dazzling work of ingenuity and imagination.”―Téa Obreht,National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author of Inland

From the author of A Bend in the Stars, an epic adventure as three generations of women work together and travel through time to prevent the Chernobyl disaster and right the wrongs of their past.
 
Three brilliant women.
Two life-changing mistakes.
One chance to reset the future.

In 1986, nuclear scientist Anna Berkova…


Book cover of My Sister's Keeper

Staci Troilo Author Of Type and Cross

From my list on dysfunctional family drama to make you feel better.

Why am I passionate about this?

Misery loves company, right? While I never wish ill on someone, I find comfort in knowing I’m not the only one going through a loss, slight, or rejection. Family dysfunction novels remind me that the petty problems I get caught up in are nothing compared to what they could be. Sure, fiction frequently elevates these troubles from drama to melodrama, but I still experience relief—even though it may only be in the smallest way—focusing on someone else’s struggles. Sometimes I even find a solution to my own paltry issues. Who wouldn’t want that? And what writer wouldn’t want to help readers in that way?

Staci's book list on dysfunctional family drama to make you feel better

Staci Troilo Why did Staci love this book?

The sickness or death of a child is a particularly sharp arrow to the average person’s heart.

But I think anyone who’s suffered the loss of a child, seen their child’s life in jeopardy, or is close to someone who’s been through one of those situations is even more sensitive to the topic. My heart and soul were battered from word one, but I had to read this book.

How far would a parent go to save her child? This story explored the question from many angles in a poignant way and left me in tears. I dare people to read it and not ask themselves the same questions.

By Jodi Picoult,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked My Sister's Keeper as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sara and Brian Fitzgerald's life with their young son and their two-year-old daughter, Kate, is forever altered when they learn that Kate has leukemia. The parents' only hope is to conceive another child, specifically intended to save Kate's life. For some, such genetic engineering would raise both moral and ethical questions; for the Fitzgeralds, Sara in particular, there is no choice but to do whatever it takes to keep Kate alive. And what it takes is Anna. Kate (Sofia Vassilieva) and Anna (Abigail Breslin) share a bond closer than most sisters: though Kate is older, she relies on her little…


Book cover of Nobody Nowhere: The Remarkable Autobiography of an Autistic Girl

Sarah Hendrickx Author Of Women and Girls on the Autism Spectrum: Understanding Life Experiences from Early Childhood to Old Age

From my list on autistic women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an autistic female myself and have worked in the field of autism for 20 years. I’ve written several books on the subject of autism, have an MA in Autism and delivered many hundreds of conference presentations (several of which can be found on Youtube). Frankly, I know my stuff as I live and breathe the world of autistic women. I have an autistic daughter, all of my female friends are autistic and I have diagnosed hundreds of females as autistic.

Sarah's book list on autistic women

Sarah Hendrickx Why did Sarah love this book?

An extraordinary book written by an extraordinary woman.

Donna’s autobiography shares her often difficult childhood story and her ‘discovery’ that she was autistic at a time when diagnosis for women was uncommon. Her tale is harrowing at times, yet inspiring and so fascinating to learn of her life. A real classic of a book written by an autistic woman.

By Donna Williams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Nobody Nowhere as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Donna Williams was a child with more labels than a jam-jar: deaf, wild disturbed, stupid insane... She lived within herself, her own world her foreground, ours a background she only visited. Isolated from her self and from the outside world, Donna was, in her words, a Nobody Nowhere. She swung violently between these two worlds, battling to join our world and, simultaneously, to keep it out. Abandoned from all connection to the self within her, she lived as a ghost with a body, a patchwork of the images which bombarded her. Intact but detached from the seemingly incomprehensible world around…


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