10 books like The Darlings

By Cristina Alger,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Darlings. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Bonfire of the Vanities

By Tom Wolfe,

Book cover of The Bonfire of the Vanities

A social satire that perfectly captured the greed and arrogance of the 1980s. Sherman Helmsly is a master of the universe, a rich bond trader with a penthouse in New York, and a randy mistress—until he accidentally runs over a black boy in the Bronx. The result is a political scandal that reaches from the mayor’s office to the tabloids, with many memorable characters and acute parodies of the era. Those who lived in or followed the scandals of the city at the time—from Tawana Brawley to Ivan Boesky—will recognize several real people and stories in this fiction.

The Bonfire of the Vanities

By Tom Wolfe,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Bonfire of the Vanities as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An exhilarating satire of Eighties excess that captures the effervescent spirit of New York, from one of the greatest writers of modern American prose

Sherman McCoy is a WASP, bond trader and self-appointed 'Master of the Universe'. He has a fashionable wife, a Park Avenue apartment and a Southern mistress. His spectacular fall begins the moment he is involved in a hit-and-run accident in the Bronx. Prosecutors, newspaper hacks, politicians and clergy close in on him, determined to bring him down.

Exuberant, scandalous and exceptionally discerning, The Bonfire of the Vanities was Tom Wolfe's first venture into fiction and cemented…


The Snakes

By Sadie Jones,

Book cover of The Snakes

A dark psychological thriller, The Snakes is a study of greed, and how feelings of deprivation and jealousy can infect a family and destroy each of its members slowly and painfully, from the inside out. The novel is a slow-burn character portrait (versus, say, plot-driven adventure), but Sadie Jones does a terrific job of pulling you into the story and ratcheting up the tension. In the novel, a recently married couple rents out their London apartment to escape for a few months. Driving through France, they visit the wife’s brother at a hotel he runs. When their parents make a surprise visit, the story—and the family—unravels brilliantly until the final delicious, electrifying ending.

The Snakes

By Sadie Jones,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Read the all-consuming story of a family whose worst sins come back to bite them from the #1 Sunday Times bestselling author of The Outcast

'A menacing beautifully written novel' Guardian

'Unsettling, thought-provoking' Heat

Bea and Dan, recently married, rent out their tiny flat to escape London for a few precious months. Driving through France they visit Bea's dropout brother Alex at the hotel he runs in Burgundy. Disturbingly, they find him all alone and the ramshackle hotel deserted, apart from the nest of snakes in the attic.

When Alex and Bea's parents make a surprise visit, Dan can't understand…


The Emperor's Children

By Claire Messud,

Book cover of The Emperor's Children

The Emperor’s Children is a brilliant novel about three college friends making their way in the world, each representing a different social stratum. Marina Thwaite, an “It” girl from a wealthy, intellectual, and well-known family is the epitome of class and privilege. But then her idealistic, ambitious cousin arrives, and life gets complicated. A story of ambition, illusions, delusions, and self-invention, The Emperor’s Children is a dazzling novel.  

The Emperor's Children

By Claire Messud,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With an introduction by Neel Mukherjee.

In Manhattan, just after the century's turn, three thirty-year-old friends, Danielle, Marina and Julius, are seeking their fortunes. But the arrival of Marina's young cousin Bootie - fresh from the provinces and keen, too, to make his mark - forces them to confront their own desires and expectations.

The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud is an American classic: a sweeping portrait of one of the most fascinating cities in the world, and a haunting illustration of how the events of a single day can change everything, for ever.


Very Cold People

By Sarah Manguso,

Book cover of Very Cold People

Very Cold People is an atmospheric, sharply observed coming-of-age novel set in an old money town called Waitsfield, outside Boston. Ruthie, the narrator, is not wealthy at all, and her story is one of slights, deprivation, and wanting. Everyone is hiding something, including Ruthie and her family, and Sarah Manguso ratchets up the tension as the book unfolds, and their secrets are revealed. 

Very Cold People

By Sarah Manguso,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The masterly debut novel from “an exquisitely astute writer” (The Boston Globe), about growing up in—and out of—the suffocating constraints of small-town America.
 
“Compact and beautiful . . . This novel bordering on a novella punches above its weight.”—The New York Times

“Very Cold People reminded me of My Brilliant Friend.”—The New Yorker

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New Yorker, NPR, Good Housekeeping

“My parents didn’t belong in Waitsfield, but they moved there anyway.”

For Ruthie, the frozen town of Waitsfield, Massachusetts, is all she has ever known.

Once home to the country’s oldest and most…


The Majesties

By Tiffany Tsao,

Book cover of The Majesties

Originally published as Under Your Wings in Australia, The Majesties could just easily be titled My Sister, the Mass-Murderer. It has one of my favourite openings of all time: beginning in a hospital, where Chinese-Indonesian fashion designer Gwendolyn lies comatose, the sole survivor of her sister Estella’s mass-poisoning of their 300-strong family dynasty. Though it has been compared to Crazy Rich Asians with its globe-trotting plot (taking place in Jakarta, Paris, and Melbourne, among other settings), The Majesties is a more sombre read, exploring corruption and racial tension in the upper echelons of Indonesian society. 

The Majesties

By Tiffany Tsao,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Best Books to Read in August - The Independent

Gwendolyn and Estella are as close as sisters can be. But now Gwendolyn is lying in a coma, the sole survivor after Estella poisons their entire family.

As Gwendolyn struggles to regain consciousness, she desperately retraces her memories, trying to uncover the moment that led to such a brutal act.

Journeying from the luxurious world of Indonesia's rich and powerful, to the spectacular shows of Paris Fashion Week, and the melting pot of Melbourne's student scene, The Majesties is a haunting novel about the dark secrets that can build a family…


Behold the Dreamers

By Imbolo Mbue,

Book cover of Behold the Dreamers

Behold the Dreamers follows Cameroonian immigrants Jende and Neni Jonga as they build their lives in New York City. We see the many cities within the city through Jende and Neni's home in Harlem, their work for a family in the Upper East Side and the Hamptons, their friends in the Bronx, and Jende's boss' career on Wall Street. Mbue explores home, belonging, family, and identity as it warps or stays the same across racial, national, and economic divides. This human book is joyful and depressing and universal and intimate and personal and political. 

Behold the Dreamers

By Imbolo Mbue,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A compulsively readable debut novel about marriage, immigration, class, race, and the trapdoors in the American Dream—the unforgettable story of a young Cameroonian couple making a new life in New York just as the Great Recession upends the economy

New York Times Bestseller • Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award • Longlisted for the PEN/Open Book Award • An ALA Notable Book

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY 
NPR • The New York Times Book Review • San Francisco Chronicle • The Guardian • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • Chicago Public Library • BookPage • Refinery29 • Kirkus…


A Woman Is No Man

By Etaf Rum,

Book cover of A Woman Is No Man

In a 2019 interview with NPR, Etaf Rum—the daughter of Palestinian immigrants who was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York—said one of her struggles in writing the book was the fear that she was in a way confirming stereotypes about Arabs and Middle Easterners, including “oppression, domestic abuse, and terrorism.” Thankfully Rum overcame these struggles to deliver a courageous, beautiful, and incredibly authentic debut novel that follows the lives of three generations of Palestinian-American women trying to find their voices and identities within the confines of patriarchal and conservative milieus. In a way, the struggles of Rum and her characters mirror the battles that young people throughout the Middle East have been waging against tyranny and oppression since the start of the Arab Spring in 2010.

A Woman Is No Man

By Etaf Rum,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Woman Is No Man as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A The Millions Most Anticipated Book of 2019

"Sometimes heroism is loud and dramatic. Other times, it is daring to listen to that quiet voice within and having the courage to follow it. In this story, we see inside the lives of three generations of Palestinian women living in America, struggling and suffering to hear that voice. Etaf Rum has done a great service by sharing these voices with us." -Shilpi Somaya Gowda, New York Times Bestselling Author of SECRET DAUGHTER and THE GOLDEN SON

Three generations of Palestinian-American women living in Brooklyn are torn between individual desire and the…


The Better Sister

By Alafair Burke,

Book cover of The Better Sister

I first met Alafair Burke after my first book was accepted for publication (at a book reading she was giving) and she was extremely generous with her time and advice about being a crime-fiction writer. I’ve read most of her books, but this is my favorite, combining first-rate knowledge of the legal system with long-hidden family secrets and resentments. 

The Better Sister

By Alafair Burke,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Bestselling author of The Ex and The Wife
*The Girl She Was, available to pre-order now*
'Highly addictive' KARIN SLAUGHTER 'A major talent' HARLAN COBEN

Keep your enemies close and your sister closer...

For a while, it seemed like both Taylor sisters had found happiness. Chloe landed a coveted publishing job in New York City. Nicky got married to a promising young attorney named Adam McIntosh and became a mother to a baby boy named Ethan.

But now, fourteen years later, it is Chloe who is married to Adam. When he is murdered at the couple's beach house, she has…


Royal Wedding

By Meg Cabot,

Book cover of Royal Wedding: A Princess Diaries Novel

I had never read the Princess Diaries books but was a fan of the movies. I had also read some of Meg Cabot’s adult novels. When I heard that Meg was releasing an adult installment of her popular princess series, I had to read it. Royal Wedding follows Princess Mia and her Prince Charming as they plan her fairytale wedding. This book was also unique as it connected to a series of middle grade novels about Mia’s younger half-sister. (From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess) I wound up buying my daughter the whole series for her Easter basket during the first part of the pandemic as I thought it might cheer her up. It did!

Royal Wedding

By Meg Cabot,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From Meg Cabot, the Number One New York Times bestselling author of the Princess Diaries series, comes the very first New Adult instalment, featuring the now grown-up Princess Mia!
Royal Wedding follows Princess Mia and her Prince Charming as they plan their fairy tale wedding - but a few poisoned apples could turn this happily-ever-after into a royal nightmare.
For Princess Mia, the past five years since college graduation have been a whirlwind of activity, what with living in New York City, running her new teen community centre, being madly in love, and attending royal engagements. And speaking of engagements,…


Verity

By Colleen Hoover,

Book cover of Verity

This is my first Colleen Hoover book and I hesitated for a while before picking this up. But eventually (it was inevitable) I succumbed to the pressures of dark thriller booktok and picked it up. I'm not sorry I did, now I will be reading everything, Colleen Hoover.

This book really reminds me of Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier. Not the movie, since there are some marked differences between them. I really wonder if the author intended it or if it was accidental. Super curious about that. There are so many parallels between them, I'm surprised I haven't seen more mentions of this in book reviews. We have the parallels between Rebecca and Verity, Maxim and Jeremy, and the unnamed young wife in Rebecca and Lowen. The buildup is outstanding, I was not able to put it down, and it’s just a magnificent, psycho thriller at its…

Verity

By Colleen Hoover,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

OVER 3 MILLION COPIES SOLD - THE NO.1 BESTSELLER AND TIKTOK SENSATION, FROM THE AUTHOR OF IT ENDS WITH US
Are you ready to stay up all night? Rebecca meets Gone Girl in this shocking, unpredictable thriller with a twist that will leave you reeling . . .

Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the…


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