51 books like The Girl Who Lived

By Susan Berg,

Here are 51 books that The Girl Who Lived fans have personally recommended if you like The Girl Who Lived. 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 Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man's Miraculous Survival

Elizabeth Flann Author Of Beware of Dogs

From my list on humans fighting for survival in dangerous situations.

Why am I passionate about this?

Elizabeth Flann is a history and literature major who worked for over twenty years in the publishing industry in England and Australia before moving into teaching literature, scriptwriting and editing to postgraduate students at Deakin University, Melbourne. She is a co-author of The Australian Editing Handbook and was awarded a PhD in 2001 for her thesis entitled Celluloid Dreaming: Cultural Myths and Landscape in Australian Film. Now retired, she is able to give full rein to her true love—writing fiction. Her first novel, Beware of Dogs, was awarded the Harper Collins Banjo Prize for a Fiction Manuscript. She now lives in a peaceful rural setting in Victoria, Australia, close to extended family and nature.

Elizabeth's book list on humans fighting for survival in dangerous situations

Elizabeth Flann Why did Elizabeth love this book?

After years of vicarious adventure tales like The Coral Island and Treasure Island, as an adult I discovered a new source: true-life adventures. From the voyage of the raft Kon-Tiki to the epic trek by Robyn Davidson across Australia’s cruelest desert, my fascination with the human capacity for survival found a new revival. One of the most riveting books I’ve ever read in this genre is Touching the Void which, although non-fiction, is written in an extraordinarily poetic form by the two survivors, each of whom suffered terrible physical privations and even more terrible moral dilemmas while climbing in the snow-covered Peruvian mountains. That either of them survived is a miracle. That both of them did is a tribute to what humans can endure in order to survive.

By Joe Simpson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Extensive reading is essential for improving fluency
and there is a real need in the ELT classroom for motivating, contemporary
graded material that will instantly appeal to students

Based on the internationally acclaimed book by Joe Simpson, Touching
the Void is the compelling true story of a mountaineering
expedition which goes dreadfully wrong.



LEVEL 3 - LEVEL 4

BOOK ONLY

Perfect also for native English speaking children who are struggling
with their reading

Full colour photos and film stills bring story
to life and aid comprehension

Fact File section explores the making of the film, climbing Everest
and other related…


Book cover of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Jim Landwehr Author Of Dirty Shirt: A Boundary Waters Memoir

From my list on the trials and joys of outdoor adventure.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a lover of all things outdoors since I was a boy. After my father was killed at a young age, my brothers and I took his love for outdoor adventure and made it our own. Fully aware of all that can go wrong, my brothers and I went into our ventures with a keen sense of humor. Camping, fishing, and kayaking all come with their own challenges and requisite hilarious moments. It is these moments of adversity, and personal risk, that are sometimes lightened by a good dose of laughter and levity.

Jim's book list on the trials and joys of outdoor adventure

Jim Landwehr Why did Jim love this book?

Much like A Walk in the Woods, Wild takes an ordinary person and puts them in an extremely challenging environment only to show they were unprepared for the rigors of the great outdoors.

Strayed has a similar goal to Bryson, but chooses the Pacific Crest Trail. The hike is an attempt at self-discovery as well as to challenge herself after experiencing various addictions and the loss of her mother. Strayed’s motives are not unlike those of my brothers and I as we ventured into the BWCAW while navigating our young lives as twenty-somethings.

By Cheryl Strayed,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again.

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the…


Book cover of Robinson Crusoe

Elizabeth Flann Author Of Beware of Dogs

From my list on humans fighting for survival in dangerous situations.

Why am I passionate about this?

Elizabeth Flann is a history and literature major who worked for over twenty years in the publishing industry in England and Australia before moving into teaching literature, scriptwriting and editing to postgraduate students at Deakin University, Melbourne. She is a co-author of The Australian Editing Handbook and was awarded a PhD in 2001 for her thesis entitled Celluloid Dreaming: Cultural Myths and Landscape in Australian Film. Now retired, she is able to give full rein to her true love—writing fiction. Her first novel, Beware of Dogs, was awarded the Harper Collins Banjo Prize for a Fiction Manuscript. She now lives in a peaceful rural setting in Victoria, Australia, close to extended family and nature.

Elizabeth's book list on humans fighting for survival in dangerous situations

Elizabeth Flann Why did Elizabeth love this book?

This book was the granddaddy of the adventure genre. Writing in the 1700s, Defoe provided all the touch-points that have dominated the genre to the present day – desert island, castaway, man Friday, fear of man-eating beasts – almost all of which I have used in a book written in the 2020s (although my Alix did not find a man Friday). As possibly the first fictional story of human survival it created a template for all that followed. Each of the books I have mentioned, including my own, have to deal with endless problems from the mundane (what can I eat?) to the sublime (what am I here for?) and despite some occasional sermonising, Defoe showed us how to do it. I have just reread it for the fourth time, and yes, I skipped some passages, but nonetheless, it’s a rollicking good read.

You may be shocked by some of…

By Daniel Defoe,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Robinson Crusoe has a universal appeal, a story that goes right to the core of existence' Simon Armitage

Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, regarded by many to be first novel in English, is also the original tale of a castaway struggling to survive on a remote desert island.

The sole survivor of a shipwreck, Robinson Crusoe is washed up on a desert island. In his journal he chronicles his daily battle to stay alive, as he conquers isolation, fashions shelter and clothes, enlists the help of a native islander who he names 'Friday', and fights off cannibals and mutineers. Written in…


Book cover of Martin Rattler

Elizabeth Flann Author Of Beware of Dogs

From my list on humans fighting for survival in dangerous situations.

Why am I passionate about this?

Elizabeth Flann is a history and literature major who worked for over twenty years in the publishing industry in England and Australia before moving into teaching literature, scriptwriting and editing to postgraduate students at Deakin University, Melbourne. She is a co-author of The Australian Editing Handbook and was awarded a PhD in 2001 for her thesis entitled Celluloid Dreaming: Cultural Myths and Landscape in Australian Film. Now retired, she is able to give full rein to her true love—writing fiction. Her first novel, Beware of Dogs, was awarded the Harper Collins Banjo Prize for a Fiction Manuscript. She now lives in a peaceful rural setting in Victoria, Australia, close to extended family and nature.

Elizabeth's book list on humans fighting for survival in dangerous situations

Elizabeth Flann Why did Elizabeth love this book?

I was a lonely child and when I discovered my uncle’s childhood adventure books at my grandmother’s house I found a world of excitement, adventure, and bravery that thrilled me to the marrow. Although all the active characters in these books were male, I managed to insert my imaginary self into the tales of shipwrecks, daredevil flights, and chases through Amazon jungles as the protagonists bravely and indefatigably fought for survival. Martin Rattler was the first of these books I read and it’s still a breathtaking read, with plenty of moments when your heart is in your mouth and you are almost too scared to read on. I recommend it as a true heart-stopper. 

You may be shocked by some of the racist and sexist attitudes in Martin Rattler. It was written in the colonialist and intolerant England of the times, and I find it heartening that no one…

By R.M. Ballantyne,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.


Book cover of My Friends

Helen Benedict Author Of The Good Deed

From my list on honest novels about being a refugee.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a novelist and journalist who has been writing about war and refugees for nearly two decades. In 2018, I went to the Greek island of Samos, which held one of the most inhumane refugee camps in Europe, to talk to people there about their lives and hopes. Out of this, I wrote several articles and later two books, including The Good Deed. My hope is to counteract the demonization of refugees, so rife in the world today, by bringing out all that we humans have in common, such as our need for shelter, food, family, safety, and love. 

Helen's book list on honest novels about being a refugee

Helen Benedict Why did Helen love this book?

This new novel from Libyan writer Matar is mainly a story about the love between friends, especially male friends, but that love is set against displacement and trauma and the psychological difficulties of being separated from one's country, family, culture, and identity.

A contemplative, deeply thoughtful novel, it is totally engaging and searingly honest, just as much about being a human being as it is about political ideologies or survivor guilt. 

By Hisham Matar,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Wish Lists and Road Trips

Kristyn J. Miller Author Of Seven Rules for Breaking Hearts

From my list on travel romance to take you around the globe.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a romance author, I pull a lot of inspiration from my travels. My husband always says that shared experiences strengthen bonds and I believe that wholeheartedly—which is why I think travel romances just work. Romance as a genre isn’t necessarily known for lush setting descriptions, but travel romances are sort of the exception to the rule, and I eat it up every time. If I close the book feeling like I’ve just got back from a vacation, it’s a five-star read for me. 

Kristyn's book list on travel romance to take you around the globe

Kristyn J. Miller Why did Kristyn love this book?

I have a soft spot for a good road trip romance and this one is seriously not talked about enough.

Two strangers—who are, of course, total opposites—miss their cruise ship and are forced to journey home together, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles-style. It starts in Costa Rica but covers the Southern U.S. all the way up the east coast. And you better believe that Lauren H. Mae puts all that forced proximity to good use. The tension. The pining. The rummy bears.

Give this one a try if you’re in the mood for a book that covers a lot of ground and has a lot of heart. 

By Lauren H. Mae,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wish Lists and Road Trips as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Two stranded strangers agree to travel together in order to return home, but when a slew of misadventures derail their plans, it might mean a chance to fall in love . . .

A sexy, opposites attract romance, ideal for fans of Emily Henry, Beth O'Leary and Christina Lauren.

'A steamy, sweet, rummy bear-fueled comedy of errors' Abby Jimenez

'Lauren weaves a beautiful story of self-discovery, loss and love in Wish Lists and Road Trips. My heart is so full. All the stars and more for this stunning, emotional romance' Helena Hunting
.........................................

Two stranded travellers. One unexpected journey.

Makeup…


Book cover of Without Sanction

T. R. Hendricks Author Of The Instructor

From my list on thrillers that capture and bring awareness to PTSD.

Why am I passionate about this?

My therapeutic journey with PTSD has been a long and bumpy road that I still work through to this day, close to fifteen years now. Given the silent suffering that so many go through, I feel that the more we talk about and advocate for seeking help the more people we can save. The common thread with my picks is resiliency. The characters face their symptoms and don’t give in to them. If a thriller novel can reach someone because they identify with the struggles discussed in the pages, then maybe that book can be the bridge to them finally getting the help they need.

T. R.'s book list on thrillers that capture and bring awareness to PTSD

T. R. Hendricks Why did T. R. love this book?

A former Apache helicopter pilot with multiple deployments under his belt, Don combines his, “been there, done that” with, “write what you know.”

Fans of relentless action and adrenaline should not pass up on Bentley’s Matt Drake series. Or his Jack Ryan Jr. books carrying on the Tom Clancy legacy. Or the next installment of the Mitch Rapp series as he takes over for Vince Flynn’s legacy. Seriously, Don is a busy man. 

In Without Sanction, Bentley’s protagonist experiences both mental and physical manifestations of PTSD, but it’s Don’s description of survivor’s guilt that is truly chilling in its accuracy and moving in its portrayal.

As you read the account of what Drake now has to live with, what he wrestles with on a daily basis, it brings about in the reader a sense of foreboding as close to the real thing as you might imagine.

Only those who…

By Don Bentley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Without Sanction as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After surviving a clandestine operation that went tragically wrong, Matt Drake escaped Syria with his life, but little else. Now, to save the life of another, he must return to Syria and confront his biggest failure in a debut thriller Lee Child calls "sensationally good."

Defense Intelligence Agency operative Matt Drake broke a promise. A promise that cost three people their lives and crippled his best friend. Three months later, he's paralyzed by survivor's guilt and haunted by the memories of the fallen. Matt may have left Syria, but Syria hasn't left him.

In the midst of his self-imposed exile,…


Book cover of Faust: A Tragedy, Parts One and Two

Lenny Cavallaro Author Of Paganini Agitato

From my list on historical fiction about classical musicians.

Why am I passionate about this?

My doctorate is in music, and although I am now more active as a composer, I was at one time a performer (pianist). Thus, I have both personal ties to the author (my mother) and professional insights into the subject matter. I have also interviewed a number of the world’s leading violinists (Bell, Chase, Markov, Zukerman, and others) and composed two works for the instrument (my Op. 4 and Op. 5, published by Broadbent & Dunn). Moreover, my series, The Passion of Elena Bianchi, also involves classical music and musicians, and echoes Paganini Agitato with concerts, poker, the great love of a child, and elements of the supernatural and/or demonic.

Lenny's book list on historical fiction about classical musicians

Lenny Cavallaro Why did Lenny love this book?

I cannot reasonably recommend Part Two without Part One. If we look at all the ghastly sins with which the eponymous hero has been involved by the end of that first drama, it seems inconceivable that he can possibly be redeemed.

Nevertheless, we have Goethe’s Part Two, completed twenty-four years after the earlier play, and by its conclusion, Faust has (somehow) been saved.

In fact, I sense some echo of Part One when Angelica’s unborn baby strangles on its cord: a far milder outcome for Paganini (who sired the child) than for Faust (whose Gretchen drowns their infant and is condemned to death). However, as the readers will see, Paganini truly loves the son he begets some years later.

By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Martin Greenberg (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Greenberg has accomplished a magnificent literary feat. He has taken a great German work, until now all but inaccessible to English readers, and made it into a sparkling English poem, full of verve and wit. Greenberg's translation lives; it is done in a modern idiom but with respect for the original text; I found it a joy to read."-Irving Howe (on the earlier edition)

A classic of world literature, Goethe's Faust is a philosophical and poetic drama full of satire, irony, humor, and tragedy. Martin Greenberg re-creates not only the text's varied meter and rhyme but also its diverse tones…


Book cover of Slow Dance: A Story of Stroke, Love and Disability

Shawn Jennings Author Of Locked In Locked Out: Surviving a Brainstem Stroke

From my list on accepting and moving on from a tragedy.

Why am I passionate about this?

The five recommended nonfiction books on my list profoundly affected my life in my time of need. I struggled when a minor accident led to a brainstem stroke and being locked in at 45. How would I find happiness now? How can I go on? These five books gave me the strength to work hard, accept what couldn’t be improved, and be grateful for each day of good health. I hope the recommended books will help you prepare for the day your life will change...and it will.

Shawn's book list on accepting and moving on from a tragedy

Shawn Jennings Why did Shawn love this book?

This memoir touched on all the feelings and struggles young stroke survivors experience and how love made the journey endurable. I related to much of her story, but I was more thankful than her. She writes about the inaccessibility of structures, and the ignorance society has about the disabled. All of this is true, but I was so grateful to be alive and free from being locked in; inaccessibility issues had no place in my memoir.

By Bonnie S. Klein,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A story of stroke, love and disability.

From the Hardcover edition.


Book cover of The Bacchae of Euripides: A Communion Rite

Martin Puchner Author Of Culture: The Story of Us, From Cave Art to K-Pop

From my list on discovering forgotten masterpieces of world culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been driven by curiosity about other cultures. I grew up in Germany but became restless and studied in Italy before moving to the United States. Some of the texts I recommend here I discovered while working on the Norton Anthology of World Literature. When I began this work, I realized just how narrow my own education had been and spent the next several years reading world literature and world culture. Ever since, I’ve been on a mission to expand how culture is taught. This is why I became an academic: to excite students about world culture.

Martin's book list on discovering forgotten masterpieces of world culture

Martin Puchner Why did Martin love this book?

Wole Soyinka, the Nobel Prize laureate from Nigeria, was steeped in both Yoruba traditions and Greek tragedy as well as Shakespeare.

This combination of influences shaped his adaptation of The Bacchae, by the ancient Greek playwright Euripides.

He brings this play into the modern world of slavery, using White and Black actors. At the same time, he captures the original’s blend of ritual and performance.

This explosive mixture is the most compelling study I know in what theater can do: mobilize bodies in front of an audience. It also shows how theater can bridge vast historical and cultural differences.

By Wole Soyinka,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Wole Soyinka has translated-in both language and spirit-a great classic of ancient Greek theater. He does so with a poet's ear for the cadences and rhythms of chorus and solo verse as well as a commanding dramatic use of the central social and religious myth. In his hands The Bacchae becomes a communal feast, a tumultuous celebration of life, and a robust ritual of the human and social psyche. "The Bacchae is the rites of an extravagant banquet, a monstrous feast," Soyinka writes. "Man reaffirms his indebtedness to earth, dedicates himself to the demands of continuity, and invokes the energies…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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