100 books like The Corset

By Laura Purcell,

Here are 100 books that The Corset fans have personally recommended if you like The Corset. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Women in Black

Kate Strasdin Author Of The Dress Diary: Secrets from a Victorian Woman's Wardrobe

From my list on featuring fashion.

Why am I passionate about this?

For as long as I can remember I have been absolutely gripped by the stories that old clothes can tell. From visiting fashion museums as a child to collecting books on the subject, I was drawn to the shapes, the fabrics, and the tales. I can remember a curator once telling me that clothes are the closest we can get to people in the past. They are the ghostly outlines of our ancestors and that has stayed with me. We give so much away about ourselves through the clothes we choose to wear and so they really do matter.

Kate's book list on featuring fashion

Kate Strasdin Why did Kate love this book?

Set in a mid-century department store, this wonderful short novel details life in a mid-20th-century frock department through the eyes of the women who worked there.

It is a book that highlights the importance of clothing in women’s lives at that time and the very specific kinds of garments. The tale follows Lisa as the news sales assistant in Cocktail Frocks and the friends she makes along the way. It is a sharply observed, funny, and tender story bringing the old department store alive.

By Madeleine St John,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Madeleine St John weaves a fairytale which illuminates the extraordinariness of ordinary lives.


Book cover of Affinity

Thomas H. Brand Author Of A Far Better Thing

From my list on leaving you spooked and unsettled.

Why am I passionate about this?

Horror was never something that appealed to me when I was younger. However, in adulthood, I realised the fascination of the unsettling. As I began writing, I realised that true horror is not all about monsters and gore but about breaking our everyday complacency and realising the possibility that the world is bigger than us and how we are unprepared to deal with it. This is why I write horror. Not to shock you with a jump-scare, but you leave you thinking about my words long after the lights have gone out.  

Thomas' book list on leaving you spooked and unsettled

Thomas H. Brand Why did Thomas love this book?

Looking to move past the social shame of her suicide attempt, Margaret Prior begins visiting a woman’s prison to conduct rehabilitative charity work. But when she meets the young spiritualist Selina Dawes, she finds herself pulled into a world of smouldering passion and the realisation the world may be more than she ever realised. 

In this book, Sarah Waters takes Victorian gothic romance and brings it into the modern age. Reading this book involves peeling away the layers and interpreting the unspoken. Nothing is spelt out, as none of the characters would ever deign to say such things out loud. But by looking at what isn’t said, we gradually learn the hidden truth.

By Sarah Waters,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Affinity is the work of an intense and atmospheric imagination . . . Sarah Waters is such an interesting writer, a kind of feminist Dickens' Fiona Pitt-Kethley, Daily Telegraph

Set in and around the women's prison at Milbank in the 1870s, Affinity is an eerie and utterly compelling ghost story, a complex and intriguing literary mystery and a poignant love story with an unexpected twist in the tale. Following the death of her father, Margaret Prior has decided to pursue some 'good work' with the lady criminals of one of London's most notorious gaols. Surrounded by prisoners, murderers and common…


Book cover of Pine

Thomas H. Brand Author Of A Far Better Thing

From my list on leaving you spooked and unsettled.

Why am I passionate about this?

Horror was never something that appealed to me when I was younger. However, in adulthood, I realised the fascination of the unsettling. As I began writing, I realised that true horror is not all about monsters and gore but about breaking our everyday complacency and realising the possibility that the world is bigger than us and how we are unprepared to deal with it. This is why I write horror. Not to shock you with a jump-scare, but you leave you thinking about my words long after the lights have gone out.  

Thomas' book list on leaving you spooked and unsettled

Thomas H. Brand Why did Thomas love this book?

One night, a gaunt woman stumbles into the road in front of Lauren and her father. They take her home, but the next day she is gone, and only Lauren can remember she was ever there. 

The best supernatural horror works because it reflects the terrors of real life. Francine Toon’s Pine is the story of Lauren, a young girl growing up in rural Scotland with an alcoholic father and only the memory of a mother who disappeared when she was a child.

And while the supernatural is always present, it is the isolation and actions of the living that create true horror. 

By Francine Toon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WINNER of the McIlvanney Prize 2020
Shortlisted for Bloody Scotland's Scottish Crime Debut of the Year 2020
Longlisted for the Highland Book Prize 2020

'Hugely atmospheric, exquisitely written and utterly gripping' LUCY FOLEY, author of The Hunting Party
'It's both eerie and thrilling at once, and had me under its spell until the end' SOPHIE MACKINTOSH, author of Blue Ticket and The Water Cure
______________

They are driving home from the search party when they see her. The trees are coarse and tall in the winter light, standing like men.

Lauren and her father Niall live alone in the Highlands,…


Book cover of My Best Friend's Exorcism

Jaq Evans Author Of What Grows in the Dark

From my list on people who are unsure of horror genre.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a horror and speculative fiction author who reads everything but who is tired of strict genre definitions and loves introducing people to work they might not have considered—especially the spooky stuff, and especially when I’m asked about horror recommendations for non-horror lovers. I think dark fiction gives us a way to process painful emotions in a safe space; it offers catharsis for being alive in a difficult world; it can definitely be a lot of fun while also giving you a way to empathize with people outside your own direct experience. I’ve tried to hit on all of that in this list!  

Jaq's book list on people who are unsure of horror genre

Jaq Evans Why did Jaq love this book?

This was my first Grady Hendrix book, and it had everything that makes his work an instant buy for me now: the characters are well-realized and imperfect, with their relationship at the forefront of the horror; it’s incredibly funny; the scary scenes are burned into my brain to this day. I love the ‘80s vibes of this novel (it has a certain Heathers flair)—from the outfits to the TV evangelist exorcist.

I really enjoy feeling grounded in place and time, especially with horror and speculative fiction, where you need to suspend your disbelief. This book manages to walk the perfect line between being way over the top yet also having a very relatable and emotionally resonant story of friendship.

By Grady Hendrix,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked My Best Friend's Exorcism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The year is 1988. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny-dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act different. She s moody. She s irritable. And bizarre incidents keep happening whenever she s nearby. Abby s investigation leads her to some startling discoveries and by the time their story reaches its terrifying conclusion, the fate of Abby and Gretchen will be determined by a single question: Is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil? Like an unholy hybrid of Beaches and The Exorcist, My Best Friend s…


Book cover of Uzumaki

Thomas H. Brand Author Of A Far Better Thing

From my list on leaving you spooked and unsettled.

Why am I passionate about this?

Horror was never something that appealed to me when I was younger. However, in adulthood, I realised the fascination of the unsettling. As I began writing, I realised that true horror is not all about monsters and gore but about breaking our everyday complacency and realising the possibility that the world is bigger than us and how we are unprepared to deal with it. This is why I write horror. Not to shock you with a jump-scare, but you leave you thinking about my words long after the lights have gone out.  

Thomas' book list on leaving you spooked and unsettled

Thomas H. Brand Why did Thomas love this book?

Junji Ito is the master of the unsettling.

His storytelling and artwork combined create books which even the strongest stomached would find uncomfortable. And yet, we are drawn to them, unable to look away. And he understands that the most terrifying thing is not an invasion by something outside of our world but the realisation that the everyday world around us might turn against us. 

Uzumaki is a story about incomprehensible obsession and how it can take over a society to the point of destruction. One by one, the people of a small Japanese town become obsessed with spirals. Not a monster or a ghost, but a shape, until the power behind it destroys everything. 

By Junji Ito,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Kurozu-cho, a small fogbound town on the coast of Japan, is cursed. According to Shuichi Saito, the withdrawn boyfriend of teenager Kirie Goshima, their town is haunted not by a person or being but by a pattern: uzumaki, the spiral, the hypnotic secret shape of the world. It manifests itself in everything from seashells and whirlpools in water to the spiral marks on people's bodies, the insane obsessions of Shuichi's father and the voice from the cochlea in our inner ear. As the madness spreads, the inhabitants of Kurozu-cho are pulled ever deeper into a whirlpool from which there is…


Book cover of Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

Kate Strasdin Author Of The Dress Diary: Secrets from a Victorian Woman's Wardrobe

From my list on featuring fashion.

Why am I passionate about this?

For as long as I can remember I have been absolutely gripped by the stories that old clothes can tell. From visiting fashion museums as a child to collecting books on the subject, I was drawn to the shapes, the fabrics, and the tales. I can remember a curator once telling me that clothes are the closest we can get to people in the past. They are the ghostly outlines of our ancestors and that has stayed with me. We give so much away about ourselves through the clothes we choose to wear and so they really do matter.

Kate's book list on featuring fashion

Kate Strasdin Why did Kate love this book?

I love the importance of objects that lies at the very centre of this book.

It is easy to write off the idea of fashion as superficial and unimportant but through the eyes of Mrs Harris and her ambitions to own a Dior dress from Paris, we can appreciate the beauty of a garment, the joy of its construction and the skill of its makers.

When cleaning lady Mrs. Harris sees a Dior dress hanging in the wardrobe of one of her clients, she dares to dream that she might one day own one. The quest takes her to Paris and to the atelier of Dior, with friendships emerging along the way.

By Paul Gallico,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Charmed by her employers' beautiful wardrobe, Mrs. 'Arris, a London charwoman, visits the Dior salon in Paris


Book cover of Bellman & Black

Kate Strasdin Author Of The Dress Diary: Secrets from a Victorian Woman's Wardrobe

From my list on featuring fashion.

Why am I passionate about this?

For as long as I can remember I have been absolutely gripped by the stories that old clothes can tell. From visiting fashion museums as a child to collecting books on the subject, I was drawn to the shapes, the fabrics, and the tales. I can remember a curator once telling me that clothes are the closest we can get to people in the past. They are the ghostly outlines of our ancestors and that has stayed with me. We give so much away about ourselves through the clothes we choose to wear and so they really do matter.

Kate's book list on featuring fashion

Kate Strasdin Why did Kate love this book?

This has a very gothic kind of atmosphere and it is one that I recommend for the intricacies of 19th century dress etiquette.

It centres on the company of Bellman and Black, an emporium of mourning wares for the increasingly complicated garments and accessories required of grief in the 19th century. It gives such an insight into a world that is long gone but which was so important, where dress was able to communicate the stage of your life without a word spoken. 

By Diane Setterfield,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times bestselling author

“An astonishing work of genius.” —Bookreporter
“Magically transformative.” —Bookpage

Can one moment in time haunt you forever?
From the instant #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Thirteenth Tale comes a “poetic and mysterious” (Booklist) story that will haunt you to your very core.

Caught up in a moment of boyhood competition, William Bellman recklessly aims his slingshot at a rook resting on a branch, killing the bird instantly. It is a small but cruel act, and is soon forgotten. By the time he is grown, with a wife and children of his…


Book cover of The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding

Kate Strasdin Author Of The Dress Diary: Secrets from a Victorian Woman's Wardrobe

From my list on featuring fashion.

Why am I passionate about this?

For as long as I can remember I have been absolutely gripped by the stories that old clothes can tell. From visiting fashion museums as a child to collecting books on the subject, I was drawn to the shapes, the fabrics, and the tales. I can remember a curator once telling me that clothes are the closest we can get to people in the past. They are the ghostly outlines of our ancestors and that has stayed with me. We give so much away about ourselves through the clothes we choose to wear and so they really do matter.

Kate's book list on featuring fashion

Kate Strasdin Why did Kate love this book?

I have long been fascinated by the stories of those people working behind the scenes of well-known historical events, the ordinary people whose tales are so often neglected.

I am an embroiderer and so found this novel about two young women in post-war London working for the famous couturier Norman Hartnell, very touching. Whilst a fictional account, the author undertook wonderful research to learn about the embroiderers who worked for Hartnell in the creation of Queen Elizabeth II’s wedding gown in 1947.

This is the story of two of them, told through fragments of fabric, something very close to my heart.

By Jennifer Robson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

USA Today Bestseller!

A Real Simple Best Historical Fiction novels of the year!

"The Gown is marvelous and moving, a vivid portrait of female self-reliance in a world racked by the cost of war."--Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network

From the internationally bestselling author of Somewhere in France comes an enthralling historical novel about one of the most famous wedding dresses of the twentieth century-Queen Elizabeth's wedding gown-and the fascinating women who made it.

"Millions will welcome this joyous event as a flash of color on the long road we have to travel."

-Sir Winston…


Book cover of Silk and Stone

Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy Author Of Tall, Dark, and Cherokee

From my list on Native American romantic suspense.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a lifelong history lover. I was the kid who hung around the feet of the elders, listening to their stories and learning about the past. That led to a deep interest in tracing family history, which has been a passion since about the age of ten. I still can get lost for hours finding ancestors or reading about their lives. That interest led me to a double major in college and I earned a Bachelor of Arts in both history and English with a two-year degree in journalism. I live a short distance from Oklahoma and one of my favorite pastimes is to go to powwows whenever possible.

Lee's book list on Native American romantic suspense

Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy Why did Lee love this book?

It's a heart-wrenching tale of lost love and a second chance at happiness with edge-of-the-chair suspense. It appeals to me because I have some Cherokee heritage which resonates. I love second chance at romance stories because I married the man I fell in love with in high school – at the age of 32!

By Deborah Smith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

He was home from prison.
Ten years compressed in the nerve-racking space of a few seconds.
This tall, broad-shouldered stranger was her husband. Every memory she had of his appearance was there, stamped with a brutal decade of maturity, but there. Except for the look in his eyes. Nothing had ever been bleak and hard about him before. He stared at her with an intensity that could have burned her shadow on the floor.
Words were hopeless, but all that they had. “Welcome back,” she said. Then, brokenly, “Jake.”
He took a deep breath, as if a shiver had run…


Book cover of Not a Happy Family

Patricia Hale Author Of Scar Tissue

From my list on suspense/crime with flawed detectives.

Why am I passionate about this?

All of the books I’ve listed above have flawed characters. Characters that deal with emotional and/or moral dilemmas. The plots: murder, missing children, or runaway husbands are secondary to me. What I look for in a book and what I write about in my Cole and Callahan series, are characters with flaws. People who struggle with truth. Cops or investigators that hide or skew evidence because the truth would cause more harm than good. It’s the moral dilemma I want. The angst we all feel when we are faced with a particularly painful decision. That’s what real life is and that’s what brings a book and a character to life.

Patricia's book list on suspense/crime with flawed detectives

Patricia Hale Why did Patricia love this book?

Not A Happy Family is a Domestic Suspense novel. The Mertons have everything, money, a beautiful home, and plenty of vacations. So why, after Easter dinner with their three children are they found dead? The kids are distraught. Or are they? What childhood secrets do each of them carry and is one of them murderously vindictive? I come from a big family and always enjoy reading about dysfunctional families. Luckily, my own family was only semi-dysfunctional for the most part. Nothing I needed to kill my parents over.

By Shari Lapena,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Not a Happy Family as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!

Another thrilling domestic suspense novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door

"Lapena is a master of manipulation. With her latest page-turning thriller... she is once again at the top of her game." -USA Today

"In this fast-paced, twisted family saga, Shari Lapena keeps you guessing until the very last page..." -Paula Hawkins

In this family, everyone is keeping secrets-even the dead.

Brecken Hill in upstate New York is an expensive place to live. You have to be rich to have a house there, and Fred and Sheila Merton…


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