100 books like The Girl from Foreign

By Sadia Shepard,

Here are 100 books that The Girl from Foreign fans have personally recommended if you like The Girl from Foreign. 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 Beautiful Thing: Inside the Secret World of Bombay's Dance Bars

Andrew Otis Author Of Hicky's Bengal Gazette: The Untold Story of India's First Newspaper

From my list on non-fiction journalism and history in India.

Who am I?

As the author of Hicky's Bengal Gazette: The Untold Story of India's First Newspaper I have great interest in journalism and history in the Indian subcontinent. There are relatively few books that explore these topics in a narrative nonfiction way. It is my hope that this shortlist will help readers find a few good books to start with.

Andrew's book list on non-fiction journalism and history in India

Andrew Otis Why did Andrew love this book?

Faleiro’s book is an impressive piece of investigative journalism. She followed the life of one woman, a teenage girl who worked as an exotic dancer in Mumbai. Faleiro paints a sobering image of Mumbai’s sex industry, especially dealing with government corruption and mafia-like figures. Her writing will keep you engrossed from start to finish.

By Sonia Faleiro,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Already published in India to great acclaim and named a Time Out Subcontinental Book of the Year and an Observer Book of the Year, Beautiful Thing is a stunning piece of reportage that offers a rare firsthand glimpse into Bombay’s notorious sex industry.

Sonia Faleiro was a reporter in search of a story when she met nineteen-year-old Leela, a charismatic exotic dancer with a story to tell. Leela introduced Sonia to the underworld of Bombay’s dance bars: a world of glamorous women; of fierce love, sex, and violence; of gangsters, police, prostitutes, and pimps. When an ambitious politician cashed in…


Book cover of Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture

Julia Schiavone Camacho Author Of Chinese Mexicans: Transpacific Migration and the Search for a Homeland, 1910-1960

From my list on Asian diasporas in the Americas with personal stories.

Who am I?

Raised in a Mexican-Italian family, I grew up traveling across the Arizona-Sonora borderlands to visit my extended family. As a kid, I took for granted movement across boundaries and cultural and racial mixture, but eventually, I came to see it framed my experience and outlook. In researching the Chinese in northern Mexico, I learned that Mexican women and Chinese-Mexican children followed their expelled men, whether by force or choice, and I became enthralled. I had to find out how these families fared after crossing not just borders but oceans. My passion for reading about how the long presence of Asians in the Americas complicates our understanding of history has only deepened.

Julia's book list on Asian diasporas in the Americas with personal stories

Julia Schiavone Camacho Why did Julia love this book?

This book unfolds in a compelling, nonlinear manner, and crosses genres. A combination of biography and family memoir and journalistic and scholarly research, it traces overlapping stories as the author sets out to discover why her great-grandmother traveled from India to America as a “coolie” at the start of the twentieth century and how this migration shaped future generations. Beautifully written, the book raises thorny issues around gender, race, and nationality, offering insight into the wider journeys of Indian contract laborers to the Caribbean and beyond.

By Gaiutra Bahadur,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 1903 a Brahmin woman sailed from India to Guyana as a 'coolie', the name the British gave to the million indentured labourers they recruited for sugar plantations worldwide after slavery ended. The woman, who claimed no husband, was pregnant and travelling alone. A century later, her great-granddaughter embarks on a journey into the past, hoping to solve a mystery: what made her leave her country? And had she also left behind a man? Gaiutra Bahadur, an American journalist, pursues traces of her great-grandmother over three continents. She also excavates the repressed history of some quarter of a million female…


Book cover of Four Years' Service in India (1853)

Andrew Otis Author Of Hicky's Bengal Gazette: The Untold Story of India's First Newspaper

From my list on non-fiction journalism and history in India.

Who am I?

As the author of Hicky's Bengal Gazette: The Untold Story of India's First Newspaper I have great interest in journalism and history in the Indian subcontinent. There are relatively few books that explore these topics in a narrative nonfiction way. It is my hope that this shortlist will help readers find a few good books to start with.

Andrew's book list on non-fiction journalism and history in India

Andrew Otis Why did Andrew love this book?

Perhaps the most unusual book on the list. This book is a riveting, true account of a British soldier in India in 1847. It’s a first-person tale of Ryder’s life in the army, of endless marches, and moments of sheer terror. Most histories are written for, and by elites, but this story is written by a true subaltern – a very special thing! If you want to know what life was truly like for the average British soldier in the Raj, read this. Did I also mention it is a page-turner? I guarantee you won’t be able to put it down. (It’s also free online).

By John Ryder,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Four Years' Service in India (1853) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally important and have elected to bring the book back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide.


Book cover of Curfewed Night

Andrew Otis Author Of Hicky's Bengal Gazette: The Untold Story of India's First Newspaper

From my list on non-fiction journalism and history in India.

Who am I?

As the author of Hicky's Bengal Gazette: The Untold Story of India's First Newspaper I have great interest in journalism and history in the Indian subcontinent. There are relatively few books that explore these topics in a narrative nonfiction way. It is my hope that this shortlist will help readers find a few good books to start with.

Andrew's book list on non-fiction journalism and history in India

Andrew Otis Why did Andrew love this book?

An elegant first-person tale of loss and change in the Kashmir Valley. I compare this book to the feeling one gets when mist descends on a grey, foggy day, and old long-forgotten memories recur with a vengeance. Peer’s work is remarkable for his pristine and exact memory of events, starting in the troubled 1990s, and ending in 2005 with the forlorn hope of peace in Kashmir.

By Basharat Peer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Since 1989, when the separatist movement exploded in Kashmir, more than 70,000 people have been killed in the battle between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. Born and raised in the war-torn region, Basharat Peer brings this little-known part of the world to life in haunting, vivid detail..

Peer reveals stories from his youth as well as gut-wrenching accounts of the many Kashmiris he met years later, as a reporter. He chronicles a young man’s initiation into a Pakistani training camp; a mother who watches as her son is forced to hold an exploding bomb; a poet who finds religion when…


Book cover of Goodnight Ganesha

Carolyn Watson Dubisch Author Of Andy and the Mask of the Dead

From my list on open your child's eyes to cultures around the world.

Who am I?

I moved to New York City for school when I was 18 years old and found myself surrounded by people from all over the world. Every fourth person in New York City is an expat. It was fascinating to me and since then I have lived in three countries and done months-long artist residences in Morocco and Ireland. I also read books and stories about cultures from around the world and am particularly enchanted by Africa. Currently, I live on the Pacific coast of Mexico in the city of Mazatlán and have written two children’s books about Mexico. 

Carolyn's book list on open your child's eyes to cultures around the world

Carolyn Watson Dubisch Why did Carolyn love this book?

This book has truly beautiful art by Poonam Mistry. I find Indian and Hindu culture fascinating and this book brings it to you through the eyes of a child (or two children I should say as it’s about siblings). There is a glossary of Hindu terms in the back which I do appreciate. It is written almost as an Indian tribute to Goodnight Moon which is of course a classic.

By Nadia Salomon, Poonam Mistry (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Goodnight Ganesha as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

A gorgeously illustrated goodnight story that celebrates the nighttime rituals of two young children visiting their grandparents in India.

As nighttime falls over the city, two children visiting their grandparents in India find there's so much fun to be had! Whether it's listening to epic stories or observing rituals in the puja room, there are many moments that make this time together special.

In this beautiful, rhyming ode to bedtime, the only thing more universal than getting ready for bed and saying goodnight is the love between children and their grandparents.

"Nadia Salomon’s Goodnight Ganesha reminds readers that saying goodnight…


Book cover of My Grandparents Love Me

Lynda Pilon Author Of The Sleepover

From my list on funny stories about grandchildren and grandparents.

Who am I?

I have always loved being around children, first as a primary school teacher, then as a parent and now as a grandma. The love, laughter, humour, and fun that I share with my grandkids keep me young in mind, body, and soul. My story is about the wonderful adventures we have. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the world through the eyes of a child and I am enjoying every minute of it.

Lynda's book list on funny stories about grandchildren and grandparents

Lynda Pilon Why did Lynda love this book?

Claire Freedom uses animal characters to tell this story about the wonderful, loving relationships that exist between grandparents and a grandchild. I love the fact that it is never quite made clear whether the grandchild is a boy or a girl and as a result, the story applies to both. Children will quickly see themselves as the little zebra having fun and being spoiled rotten by two loving grandparents. The rhyming adds to the flow of the book.

By Claire Freedman, Judi Abbot (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Grandparents Love Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

I'm off to Gran and Grandpa's, There's a BIG smile on my face,
I always feel wrapped up in love, When I stay at their place!
Affectionate, funny, and joyful, this is the perfect book for little ones and their grandparents to share. My Grandparents Love Me brings together two huge stars of the picture book world, internationally successful illustrator Judi Abbot and award-winning author Claire Freedman.


Book cover of A Spool of Blue Thread

Cheri Krueger Author Of Thanks, Universe

From my list on strong women and the difficult choices mothers face.

Who am I?

I wrote this book to give my mother an alternate life. She was a mother at age fifteen, mother of five by twenty-seven, and a grandmother by thirty-three. Being a parent defined her life, but she did not enjoy motherhood and was very frank on the subject. Thanks, Universe is my way of giving Mom her freedom and even though she never read anything I wrote, I like to think she would have approved of Pauline and the choices she made.

Cheri's book list on strong women and the difficult choices mothers face

Cheri Krueger Why did Cheri love this book?

If you enjoy ‘quieter’ family sagas, I recommend everything by Anne Tyler, but this book in particular resonates with me.

Abby Whitshank’s character blossoms and unfolds through the pages as she shows readers astonishing layers and unwavering strength. She is not who she seems at first glance and is absolutely the fierce, loyal, and loving mama any child wants on their side.

By Anne Tyler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Spool of Blue Thread as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015**

**Shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2015**

**Sunday Times bestseller**

'It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon...'

This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she and Red fell in love that day in July 1959. The whole family on the porch, relaxed, half-listening as their mother tells the same tale they have heard so many times before.

And yet this gathering is different. Abby and Red are getting older, and decisions must be made about how best to look after them and their beloved family home.…


Book cover of Walk Two Moons

Rachel Bithell Author Of Brave Bird at Wounded Knee: A Story of Protest on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

From my list on middle grade that feature inspiring teachers.

Who am I?

Teachers and children’s writers are some of each other’s biggest fans, and I have been both, so I couldn’t resist putting a teacher in my book. Besides that, teachers are very useful characters because they can make kids in books do things like write reports or keep a journal. Initially, my main character, Patsy, doesn’t especially like her teacher, Miss Ashman. Patsy thinks she’s too strict. But by the end of the book, she realizes that challenging students and having high expectations are some of the things that make a great teacher. If you’ve ever had a teacher you loved, you’ll want to check out the books on this list. 

Rachel's book list on middle grade that feature inspiring teachers

Rachel Bithell Why did Rachel love this book?

This book had me alternating from laughing out loud to holding back tears (or sometimes not holding them back).

Two parallel stories about loss and hope unfold from the perspective of main character, Sal Hiddle. Populating the two stories is an impressive cast of quirky characters, including Mr. Birkway, a gem of an English teacher who shows that believing the best about his students helps them be their best, a lesson that has been valuable to me as a teacher, friend, and parent. 

By Sharon Creech,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Walk Two Moons 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?

Don't judge a man until you've walked two moons in his moccasins.

What is the meaning of this strange message left on the doorstep? Only Sal knows, and on a roadtrip with her grandparents she tells the bizarre tale of Phoebe Winterbottom, Phoebe's disappearing mother and the lunatic. But who can help Sal make sense of the mystery that surrounds her own story . . . and her own missing mother?


Book cover of Back to Blackbrick

Hayley Chewins Author Of The Sisters of Straygarden Place

From my list on using magic to explore trauma.

Who am I?

It took me a long time to realize that the books I write have always (always) been about trauma. (I write fantasy, so the link wasn’t immediately apparent to me.) But now that I’ve seen it, I can’t unsee it. Likewise, it took me a long time to notice that all my favorite magical books were the ones that seemed to be trying to find a new language for the terrible things that can happen to and around us. Magic provides a powerful language for psychological pain. It can make it more real. It can make it more digestible. It can help us to see it more clearly. Fiction tells lies that make reality bearable and understandable—and magical fiction is no different. Which is why it will probably always be my favorite kind.

Hayley's book list on using magic to explore trauma

Hayley Chewins Why did Hayley love this book?

One night, Cosmo’s grandfather—who has started to forget things—gives him a key and tells him to go to Blackbrick, a crumbling estate on the edge of town. When Cosmo arrives there in the middle of the night and unlocks the front gate, he finds himself stepping back in time—and making friends with his fifteen-year-old grandfather. Back to Blackbrick is about time travel. It’s about love. It’s about learning to live with loss. It’s quietly tender and deeply emotional. And it’s one of the most life-affirming books I’ve ever read.

By Sarah Moore Fitzgerald,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Back to Blackbrick 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?

Cosmo must journey to the past to understand his future in this humorous, heartbreaking, and brilliantly original debut novel.

Cosmo’s granddad used to be the cleverest person he ever knew. That is, until his granddad’s mind began to fail. In a rare moment of clarity, his granddad gives Cosmo a key and pleads with Cosmo to go to the South Gates of Blackbrick Abbey, where his granddad promises an “answer to everything.” In the dead of night, Cosmo does just that.

When Cosmo unlocks the rusty old gates, he is whisked back to Blackbrick of years past, along with his…


Book cover of The Grandparenting Effect

Robbie Castleman Author Of Parenting in the Pew: Guiding Your Children Into the Joy of Worship

From my list on building faith through intergenerational experiences.

Who am I?

I’ve had the joy of “making disciples” for a long time. From the time I became a Christian while in college, to raising my own sons as disciples, to 15 years of work with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship on secular campuses, to the last third of my life as a Professor of Bible and Theology at a Christian University, I have responded to Jesus’ Great Commission to “make disciples” with both the joys and sorrows that calling includes. I have experienced the richness of intergenerational congregations that my pastor-husband has led, and seen our sons grow and mature as Christians through “parenting in the pew” before it was a book!

Robbie's book list on building faith through intergenerational experiences

Robbie Castleman Why did Robbie love this book?

Let's get 'RE&AL' about grandparenting is the mantra of The Grandparenting Effect: 'Relationally Engaged' and 'Always Listening'! Well-documented research, thoughtful advice, engaging stories from a wide variety of grandparenting situations, helpful chapter summaries, ideas for grandchildren from toddlers to adults--plus prayers and bridge stories as well as timely help for conversations with grandchildren about race and cultural differences--this is an insightful and practical book for grandparents (volunteers, too!), pastors, and church educators to bridge the generational gap with wisdom and joy!

By Trevecca Okholm,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Whatever life gives you and wherever life takes you, there is always a story. Life and relationships all begin and are sustained in the context of a story. This is not a how-to-do-it-right book as much as it is a book of stories—personal stories from the author, biblical stories, and stories of ordinary grandparents and grandchildren who have been willing to share their own stories with which you may be able to identify and be encouraged in your own adventures of grandparenting. This is a book for everyone that either has biological grandchildren or has the potential to influence the…


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Interested in grandparents, identity, and India?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about grandparents, identity, and India.

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