100 books like The Edge of Lost

By Kristina McMorris,

Here are 100 books that The Edge of Lost fans have personally recommended if you like The Edge of Lost. 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 Ellis Island

Cindy Thomson Author Of Grace's Pictures (Ellis Island)

From my list on Irish immigrant historical fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love exploring the theme of family legacies and learning the stories, even if fictionalized, of our ancestors who helped build America for future generations. I explored this theme with my Ellis Island series, but truly it influences everything I write. It began with my interest in my own genealogy and my love of research. Along with writing my own books, I host a blog on historical fiction called Novel PASTimes and am co-founder of the Faith & Fellowship Book Festival with the aim of connecting readers with really good books.

Cindy's book list on Irish immigrant historical fiction

Cindy Thomson Why did Cindy love this book?

The main character Ellie is strong and resilient. I loved that she went to America to make money for her injured husband’s sake, was flung into a world in New York City that was so unlike rural Ireland, met with temptations, and found her way out. Ultimately, it’s a love story (not romance per se) and I found myself rooting for Ellie throughout the whole book.

By Kate Kerrigan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Rural Irish girl Ellie loves living in New York, working as a lady's maid for a wealthy socialite. She tries to persuade her husband, John, to join her but he is embroiled in his affairs in Ireland, and caught up in the civil war. Nevertheless Ellie is extremely happy and fully embraces her sophisticated new life. When her father dies she must return home, but she intends to sort her affairs quickly and then return to her beloved America.

But once home her sense of duty kicks in and she decides, painfully, that she must stay to look after her…


Book cover of The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter: A Novel

Cindy Thomson Author Of Grace's Pictures (Ellis Island)

From my list on Irish immigrant historical fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love exploring the theme of family legacies and learning the stories, even if fictionalized, of our ancestors who helped build America for future generations. I explored this theme with my Ellis Island series, but truly it influences everything I write. It began with my interest in my own genealogy and my love of research. Along with writing my own books, I host a blog on historical fiction called Novel PASTimes and am co-founder of the Faith & Fellowship Book Festival with the aim of connecting readers with really good books.

Cindy's book list on Irish immigrant historical fiction

Cindy Thomson Why did Cindy love this book?

This book is so well written. It draws the reader into the story quickly with rich historical details and compelling characters. In 1838 in England a young woman helps her father, a lighthouse keeper, rescue survivors of a shipwreck. A century later a young Irish woman is sent to America to have her baby while living with a relative who is a lighthouse keeper. The 1938 woman learns family history that takes us back to the previous story. I love stories of family legacies and mysteries that come to us from the past.

By Hazel Gaynor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From The New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Came Home comes a historical novel inspired by true events, and the extraordinary female lighthouse keepers of the past two hundred years.

“They call me a heroine, but I am not deserving of such accolades. I am just an ordinary young woman who did her duty.”

1838: Northumberland, England. Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands has been Grace Darling’s home for all of her twenty-two years. When she and her father rescue shipwreck survivors in a furious storm, Grace becomes celebrated throughout England, the subject of poems, ballads, and…


Book cover of Song of Erin: Cloth of Heaven/Ashes and Lace (Song of Erin Series 1-2)

Cindy Thomson Author Of Grace's Pictures (Ellis Island)

From my list on Irish immigrant historical fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love exploring the theme of family legacies and learning the stories, even if fictionalized, of our ancestors who helped build America for future generations. I explored this theme with my Ellis Island series, but truly it influences everything I write. It began with my interest in my own genealogy and my love of research. Along with writing my own books, I host a blog on historical fiction called Novel PASTimes and am co-founder of the Faith & Fellowship Book Festival with the aim of connecting readers with really good books.

Cindy's book list on Irish immigrant historical fiction

Cindy Thomson Why did Cindy love this book?

This is a gritty story of the peril young Irish immigrants faced when coming to America, along with the hardships they were escaping back in Ireland. The fact that others were waiting to abuse and exploit the immigrants is certainly historically accurate. However, B.J. Hoff’s stories are always filled with hope and shine a light on hope in God. It’s Christian fiction, so readers should be aware of that. Also, this new edition includes two stories, a great deal. B.J. Hoff passed away in 2021 but left a long legacy of inspirational historical fiction.

By B.J. Hoff,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The mysteries of the past confront the secrets of the present in bestselling author BJ Hoff's magnificent "Song of Erin" saga. In her own unique style, Hoff spins a panoramic story that crosses the ocean from Ireland to America, featuring two of her most memorable characters. In this tale of struggle and love and uncompromising faith, Jack Kane, the always charming but sometimes ruthless titan of New York's most powerful publishing empire, is torn between the conflict of his own heart and the grace and light of Samantha Harte, the woman he loves, whose own troubled past continues to haunt…


Book cover of The Nature of Fragile Things

Julianna Boyer Author Of Sunni: The Life and Love of King Tutankhamun's Wife

From my list on historical fiction about lesser-known characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a passion for Historical Fiction. It started when I was 12 years old. Before that, I never liked any kind of history. Then, in school, we started learning about King Tut, and I was fascinated. I started having frequent dreams that he would sit and tell me stories about our life together and he believed that I was his wife, Sunni. Into adulthood, I still had these dreams, so I decided to write about the stories that he would tell. Along with exhaustive research, I learned who Sunni (Anukshanamun) was. My book is based on facts mixed with my dreams.

Julianna's book list on historical fiction about lesser-known characters

Julianna Boyer Why did Julianna love this book?

I am recommending this book because it shows the emotional side of three separate women who have survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. We have all heard about big tragedies, but I like books that focus on a specific historical figure that was there. This book shows these women defeat the odds and overcome tragedy simply by banding together. These types of books always give me hope and courage to face obstacles in my own life.

By Susan Meissner,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Nature of Fragile Things as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

April 18, 1906: A massive earthquake rocks San Francisco just before daybreak, igniting a devouring inferno. Lives are lost, lives are shattered, but some rise from the ashes forever changed.

Sophie Whalen is a young Irish immigrant so desperate to get out of a New York tenement that she answers a mail-order bride ad and agrees to marry a man she knows nothing about. San Francisco widower Martin Hocking proves to be as aloof as he is mesmerizingly handsome. Sophie quickly develops deep affection for Kat, Martin's silent five-year-old daughter, but Martin's odd behavior leaves her with the uneasy feeling…


Book cover of Al Capone Throws Me a Curve

Stacy Nockowitz Author Of The Prince of Steel Pier

From my list on mobsters, schemers, and thieves.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a middle school librarian, former language arts teacher, and middle grade author. I have a passion for all things literary, especially as they relate to kids in grades 5-8. I also grew up in New Jersey, so I come by my fascination with the Mob as a result of proximity. What I enjoy most about books about criminals is the moral gray area that some criminals exist in. They’re doing bad things—robbing banks, selling stolen goods, killing peoplebut their hearts are pulling them in another direction. Middle school kids also feel that tug of moral dilemmas, figuring out what is just and unjust, and I love to help them wrestle with those ideas.

Stacy's book list on mobsters, schemers, and thieves

Stacy Nockowitz Why did Stacy love this book?

I love the whole Tales from Alcatraz series, but this one is my favorite. The series is about a boy named Moose whose family lives on Alcatraz, the island off the coast of California, home of the famous prison. Moose’s dad is a prison guard. The books are set in the 1930s, when Alcatraz still held prisoners, including notorious mobster Al Capone. The book is funny, yes, but it’s also a really loving portrait of a family with problems. Moose’s older sister has special needs, his mother is going through a depressive episode, and the prisoners are threatening to go on strike. The authentic historical detail helped me visualize the island, the prison, and all of the people. And Moose is a real character in every sense of the word! 

By Gennifer Choldenko,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Al Capone Throws Me a Curve as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Return to Al Capone's Alcatraz with Newbery Honor-winning author Gennifer Choldenko in this charming addition to the beloved series about the son of a prison guard.

Moose Flanagan lives on a famous island in California: Alcatraz, home to some of the most dangerous prisoners in the United States in the 1930s. It's the summer before he starts high school, and Moose is going to play a lot of baseball and win a spot on the high school team. But he still needs to watch his special older sister, Natalie--and then the warden asks Moose to look after his two-faced, danger-loving…


Book cover of Al Capone Does My Shirts

Augusta Scattergood Author Of The Way to Stay in Destiny

From my list on kids baseball books about more than baseball.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in the South where stories float off front porches like fireflies. My family was made up of storytellers! As an adult and especially as a librarian and a writer of middle-grade novels, I love rooting out history readers might not know: how swimming pools closed rather than integrate, that the Vietnam War scarred many returning vets, and why so many Chinese families settled in the Deep South. My favorite books to read and to share are novels and picture books about more than what they seem— especially those that weave history into a compelling story. And I have great memories of watching and listening to baseball games with my dad. Historical fiction and baseball—a perfect combination, very close to a grand slam, no?

Augusta's book list on kids baseball books about more than baseball

Augusta Scattergood Why did Augusta love this book?

A perfect example of baseball books not about baseball. Yes, Moose loves the game, and the prisoners at Alcatraz play it. But Choldenko packs so much story into her novels— backstory, asides, history, and humor. I’ve read every one of the Al Capone books and it’s hard to pick a favorite, but this is the one that started it all. I can still quote the first sentence and I still laugh out loud. I am in total awe of her writing.

By Gennifer Choldenko,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Al Capone Does My Shirts as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

Moose lives on Alcatraz Island, home to the notorious prison and the infamous gangster, Al Capone. But living right down the street from theives and murderers is not Moose's only problem. His Dad's always working and his mum expects him to look after his autistic sister, Natalie. And when Moose gets mixed up with Piper, the warden's daughter, he soon finds out that life on Alcatraz in far from straightforward.


Book cover of Language City: The Fight to Preserve Endangered Mother Tongues in New York

Daniel Brook Author Of A History of Future Cities

From my list on read cities unconventionally.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by cities ever since I was a teenager without a driver’s license on Long Island and my parents let me take the train into Manhattan (“Just be back by midnight!”). In college, I studied architecture and urbanism and learned how cities churned and changed. Today, having written about places like New Orleans, San Francisco, Mumbai and Berlin for publications including Harper’s and The New York Times Magazine, as well as in my books, I know I’ll be walking, riding, and eating my way through cities forever. And reading through them, too!

Daniel's book list on read cities unconventionally

Daniel Brook Why did Daniel love this book?

This book takes something so in-your-face yet so often ignored about New York and other 21st-century global metropolises—their polyglot nature—and makes it the focus. I know when I arrive in a major city, the cacophony of myriad languages stands out on that first subway, bus, and tram ride. But soon enough, it all becomes background noise.

By foregrounding this phenomenon, arguing that it’s peaking today as global migration swells, and telling the stories of several tenacious language communities in New York’s outer boroughs, Perlin reads NYC through the alphabets that cover its bodega awnings.

By Ross Perlin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Half of all 7,000-plus human languages may disappear over the next century and - because many have never been recorded - when they're gone, it will be forever. Ross Perlin, a linguist and co-director of the Endangered Language Alliance, is racing against time to map little-known languages across the most linguistically diverse city in history: contemporary New York.

In Language City, Perlin recounts the unique history of immigration that shaped the city, and follows six remarkable yet ordinary speakers of endangered languages deep into their communities to learn how they are maintaining and reviving their languages against overwhelming odds. Perlin…


Book cover of The Rise of David Levinsky

Zeese Papanikolas Author Of An American Cakewalk: Ten Syncopators of the Modern World

From my list on about borders you haven’t read.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in Salt Lake City in the 1950s I was very soon aware that I was living in a world of borders, some permeable and negotiable, and some almost impossible to cross. It was a city of Mormons and a city of those who weren’t; a city of immigrants like my grandparents, and about whom my mother wrote (and wrote well); and a Jim Crow town where Black men and women couldn’t get into the ballroom to hear Duke Ellington play. Finally, it was a city haunted by its Indian past in a state keeping living Indians in its many bleak government reservations. What to make of those borders has been a life-long effort.

Zeese's book list on about borders you haven’t read

Zeese Papanikolas Why did Zeese love this book?

Early on David Levinsky, the immigrant Yeshiva boy, the budding intellectual, learns that America is the land of winners and losers, and if he is to be the former, he has to abandon his old self like the ear-locks he left on a barbershop floor in his first days in this new world. To be an alrightnik he must learn to dance the American dance. And dance he does, but his fabulous success as a garment manufacturer has left something unresolved in himself. His search for love at a Jewish resort in the Poconos is a chapter better than anything Philip Roth ever wrote.

By Abraham Cahan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Acclaimed by literary critic Carl Van Doren as "the most important of all immigrant novels," The Rise of David Levinsky takes place amid America's biggest and most diverse Yiddish-speaking community during the early 20th century. David Levinsky, a young Hasidic Jew struggling to master the Talmud, seeks his fortune amid the teeming streets of New York's Lower East Side. All the energy formerly focused on his religious studies now turns in the direction of rising to the top of the business world, where he discovers the high price of assimilation. Author Abraham Cahan founded and edited the Jewish Daily Forward,…


Book cover of The Museum of Extraordinary Things

Eileen Charbonneau Author Of Watch Over Me

From my list on history set in New York City.

Why am I passionate about this?

Eileen Charbonneau’s love affair with New York City was cemented the day she was downtown on jury duty and witnessed the 9/11 terrorist attacks. New York is the Melting Pot birthplace of her parents, home of her first job (Brooklyn) first Shakespeare (Central Park) and Folk music (Greenwich Village) performances, first apartments (West Village and Washington Heights), and first cocktail (Kir Royale at the Algonquin). Many family stories and deep roots remain.

Eileen's book list on history set in New York City

Eileen Charbonneau Why did Eileen love this book?

This one is set in the early 20th century. Coralie, works at her father’s Coney Island freak show as a mermaid and has extraordinary swimming abilities but is as sheltered as a goldfish in a bowl. She meets and falls in love with a photographer who is on hand to document the famous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. This is for readers who like their historical fiction touched with that kitchen-sink magical realism that Alice Hoffman is celebrated for. Turn-of-the-century New York sparkles throughout. This one is closer to my own Melting Pot roots and its eccentric characters seem so New York!

By Alice Hoffman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Coney Island, 1911: Coralie Sardie is the daughter of a self-proclaimed scientist and professor who acts as the impresario of The Museum of Extraordinary Things, a boardwalk freak show offering amazement and entertainment to the masses. An extraordinary swimmer, Coralie appears as the Mermaid alongside performers like the Wolfman, the Butterfly Girl,and a 100 year old turtle, in her father's ""museum"". She swims regularly in New York's Hudson River, and one night stumbles upon a striking young man alone in the woods photographing moon-lit trees. From that moment, Coralie knows her life will never be the same.

The dashing photographer…


Book cover of Let It Rain Coffee

Michele Wucker Author Of Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola

From my list on understanding the Dominican Republic.

Why am I passionate about this?

A summer with relatives in Belgium—a country divided by language and culture—inspired me to travel to Santo Domingo in 1988 to learn Spanish and study the fraught dynamics of two countries speaking different languages but sharing an island. My time in the Dominican Republic and Haiti inspired a lifelong exploration of complex issues using many lenses and stories. Today I write mainly about risk, drawing on psychology, culture, policy, and economics. The third book, The Gray Rhino, calls for a fresh look at obvious, looming threats. My fourth book, You Are What You Riskexplores risk perceptions and attitudes using a comparative, socio-cultural lens like the one I used in Why the Cocks Fight.

Michele's book list on understanding the Dominican Republic

Michele Wucker Why did Michele love this book?

The title of this novel took me back to 1989, when I was living in the Dominican Republic they year and Juan Luis Guerra and his band 4-40 released their hit song, "Ojala que llueva café", an homage to rural Dominicans and their hopes; and another iconic song, "Visa para un sueño" (Visa for a Dream). This book is about the Dominicans in those songs: a family saga and the historical and contemporary realities that shaped their lives, aspirations, and disappointment. Its backdrop, unlike the other novels here, is mainly the post-Trujillo era: the brief presidency of Juan Bosch, his overthrow, and the revolution and US invasion that followed, catalyzing a wave of emigration that persists today.

By Angie Cruz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Let It Rain Coffee as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With her first novel, Angie Cruz established herself as a dazzling new voice in Latin-American fiction. Junot Diaz called her "a revelation" and The Boston Globe compared her writing to that of Gabriel García Márquez. Now, with humor, passion, and intensity, she reveals the proud members of the Colón family and the dreams, love, and heartbreak that bind them to their past and the future.
Esperanza did not risk her life fleeing the Dominican Republic to live in a tenement in Washington Heights. No, she left for the glittering dream she saw on television: JR, Bobby Ewing, and the crystal…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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