41 books like Girl with a Pearl Earring

By Tracy Chevalier,

Here are 41 books that Girl with a Pearl Earring fans have personally recommended if you like Girl with a Pearl Earring. 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 All the Light We Cannot See

Vanessa Lee Author Of High Rise

From my list on celebrating the bravery of everyday heroes.

Who am I?

I am an Australian writer living in Europe. Returning to my hometown on the East Coast of Australia post-COVID, I confronted relentless rain and king tides threatening the beach promenade cafes. Witnessing the potential demise of these familiar spots sparked the idea for my novel. Opening with a dystopian scene of future tourists exploring submerged coastal cafes with snorkels, my work delves into the realm of "cli-fi" (climate fiction). Against the backdrop of imminent climate danger, my characters, a lovable yet obstinate Australian ensemble, navigate a world profoundly altered by the impacts of climate change. I hope what I have written is an exaggeration. I fear it may not be.

Vanessa's book list on celebrating the bravery of everyday heroes

Vanessa Lee Why did Vanessa love this book?

Last summer, I visited Saint-Malo in Brittany, France, an extraordinary walled city on the Atlantic Coast where this beautiful novel is set.

Wars breed everyday heroes, and this book introduces us to one, the blind, young Marie-Laure. Despite Saint-Malo being under German occupation in WW2, she courageously risks her own life by using a radio to send daily dispatches from her attic to the Allied Forces. Her stoic heroism and valuable intelligence ultimately play a pivotal role in the Allies liberating Saint-Malo and afterward, the whole of France.

A well-deserved international bestseller, the book powerfully underscores the notion that ordinary individuals can indeed change history.

By Anthony Doerr,

Why should I read it?

37 authors picked All the Light We Cannot See as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE 2015 PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR FICTION

A beautiful, stunningly ambitious novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II

Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.'

For Marie-Laure, blind since the age of six, the world is full of mazes. The miniature of a Paris neighbourhood, made by her father to teach her the way home. The microscopic…


Book cover of River God

Elise Garibaldi Author Of Roses in a Forbidden Garden; A Holocaust Love Story

From my list on historical fiction to open your heart and mind.

Who am I?

I am an Amazon Best-Selling author, playwright, songwriter, American-born daughter of immigrants, and mom to two amazing sons. What inspires me to write are untold stories of hope, heroism, and humanity that I, too, hope to share with the world. Personally, I knew from the time I first began hearing my grandparents’ stories of their lives in Germany and Czechoslovakia during WWII, how important it was to preserve them for future generations. With that in mind – their tribulations and refusal to allow what they endured to dominate their lives for the rest of their days – I became determined to ensure that what my grandparents had experienced would not be forgotten.

Elise's book list on historical fiction to open your heart and mind

Elise Garibaldi Why did Elise love this book?

We follow the slave, Taita, an expert in art, poetry, medicine, and engineering after he is commanded to look after a young princess married off to the Pharoah. Smith’s portrayal of ancient Egypt during the era of the pharaohs will enthrall you, all while weaving a heart-racing tale of bravery, heroism, revenge, and love. I particularly had a fondness for the faithful and affectionate friendship he had with the Queen all throughout her life.

By Wilbur Smith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

BOOK 1 IN THE BESTSELLING ANCIENT EGYPTIAN SERIES, FROM THE MASTER OF ADVENTURE, WILBUR SMITH

'Best historical novelist' - Stephen King

'A master storyteller' - Sunday Times

'Wilbur Smith is one of those benchmarks against whom others are compared' - The Times

'No one does adventure quite like Smith' - Daily Mirror

IN THE LAND OF GOLD
WHERE THE WEAK PHARAOH RULES
A NEW CIVILISATION WILL BE BORN

Taita is a humble slave; an expert in art, poetry, medicine and engineering, as well as the keeper of important secrets. He is the most treasured possession of Lord Intef. Yet when…


Book cover of The Red Tent

Anna Bliss Author Of Bonfire Night

From my list on historical stories with interfaith love stories.

Who am I?

After graduating with a BA in English, I moved to England to pursue a master’s in Literature and Visual Culture. My focus was on women artists working in London during the Blitz and I wrote my dissertation on Lee Miller, who went on to photograph (and doggedly publish) the liberation of German concentration camps. Later I worked in arts administration and marketing, and didn’t start writing my debut novel until I was thirty-five. My work is inspired by my favorite authors from the 1940s: Elizabeth Bowen, Patrick Hamilton, and Penelope Fitzgerald. I’m also drawn to historical fiction about ordinary people in difficult social conditions, especially when there’s a love story involved.

Anna's book list on historical stories with interfaith love stories

Anna Bliss Why did Anna love this book?

The Red Tent is about sisterhood and the ways aunties and mothers and daughters support each other.

It’s stunning visually; I read this book almost twenty years ago and can still conjure up the rangy desert and the dusky interior of the eponymous tent. Diamant offers a unique perspective on what was arguably the first Jewish/Gentile love affair, between the Bible’s Dinah, the only named daughter of the patriarch Jacob, and the Prince of Shechem.

It was the first Jewish historical fiction book I ever read and will always have special a place in my heart.

By Anita Diamant,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Red Tent as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In The Red Tent Anita Diamant brings the fascinating biblical character of Dinah to vivid life.

'Intensely moving . . . feminist . . . a riveting tale of love' - Observer

Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her fate is merely hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the verses of the Book of Genesis that recount the life of Jacob and his infamous dozen sons. Anita Diamant's The Red Tent is an extraordinary and engrossing tale of ancient womanhood and family honour. Told in Dinah's voice, it opens with the story of her mothers -…


Bessie

By Linda Kass,

Book cover of Bessie

Linda Kass Author Of Bessie

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Bookstore owner Learner Reader Historical novelist Long distance cyclist

Linda's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

In the bigoted milieu of 1945, six days after the official end of World War II, Bess Myerson, the daughter of poor Russian immigrants living in the Bronx, remarkably rises to become Miss America, the first —and to date only— Jewish woman to do so. At stake is a $5,000 scholarship for the winner.

An intimate fictional portrait of Bess Myerson’s early life, Bessie reveals the transformation of the nearly six-foot-tall, self-deprecating yet talented preteen into an exemplar of beauty, a peripheral quality in her world. It is the unfamiliar secular society of pageantry she must choose to escape her roots as she searches for love and acceptance, eager to make her mark on the world.

Bessie

By Linda Kass,

What is this book about?

Just days after the close of World War II, Bess Myerson, the college-educated daughter of poor Russian Jewish immigrants living in the Bronx, is competing in the Miss America pageant. At stake: a $5,000 scholarship. The tension and excitement in Atlantic City's Warner Theatre is palpable, especially for traumatized Jews rooting for one of their own. So begins Bessie.


Drawing on biographical and historical sources, Bessie reimagines the early life of Bess Myerson, who, in 1945 at age twenty-one, remarkably rises to become one of the most famous women in America. This intimate fictional portrait reveals the transformation of the…


Book cover of Memoirs of a Geisha

Michael Grothaus Author Of Beautiful Shining People

From my list on reads set in Japan.

Who am I?

I’ve spent a lot of time in Japan, and my new novel, Beautiful Shining People, is a direct result of two profound experiences I had there. The first was when I was hiking through the hills of Kyoto late one night and turned around to see a glowing creature–some have said they think I saw a kami. The second experience happened when I was in Hiroshima at the Peace Park. I immediately started crying, seeing all the schoolchildren learning about the horrible atrocity committed against their ancestors. I have no idea why it affected me so much, but it was one of the most moving experiences of my life.

Michael's book list on reads set in Japan

Michael Grothaus Why did Michael love this book?

Memoirs of a Geisha is the only book I’ve actually dreamed about while reading – that’s how much it gripped me.

Not only are the characters richly drawn, the cultural details and world of pre-war Japan are so immersive you’ll feel like you are walking the streets of the Kyoto of almost a century ago. This book also fascinates me because it is the only one Arthur Golden ever wrote.

I don’t know why he never wrote again, but how could he top it? It’s the perfect novel.

By Arthur Golden,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Memoirs of a Geisha as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'An epic tale and a brutal evocation of a disappearing world' The Times

A young peasant girl is sold as servant and apprentice to a renowned geisha house. Many years later she tells her story from a hotel in New York, opening a window into an extraordinary half-hidden world of eroticism and enchantment, exploitation and degradation and summoning up a quarter of a century of Japan's dramatic history.

'Intimate and brutal, written in cool, lucid prose it is a novel whose psychological empathy and historical truths are outstanding' Mail on Sunday


Book cover of Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague

Rebecca D'Harlingue Author Of The Map Colorist

From my list on 17th-century women.

Who am I?

I find the seventeenth century fascinating, and both of my novels are set in that period. The century was a time of great flux, and I am especially interested in exploring the kinds of things that women might have done, even though their accomplishments weren’t recorded. There is a wonderful article by novelist Rachel Kadish called “Writing the Lives of Forgotten Women,” in which she refers to Hilary Mantel’s comments that people whose lives are not recorded fall through the sieve of history. Kadish says that, “Lives have run through the sieve, but we can catch them with our hands.” These novels all attempt to do that.

Rebecca's book list on 17th-century women

Rebecca D'Harlingue Why did Rebecca love this book?

Geraldine Brooks is one of my favorite authors, and Year of Wonders is one reason why.

Anna lives in an English village in 1666, and when the plague strikes the village, the inhabitants agree to stay in the village so that they will not spread the sickness to other areas. I found this part of the story truly touching, although the villagers at times turn on one another.

After the death of two women who were healers, Anna endeavors to learn what she can to nurse those stricken. When the plague has passed, Anna leaves the area and goes to a most unusual destination to further study medicine.

By Geraldine Brooks,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Year of Wonders as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of 'March' and 'People of the Book'.

A young woman's struggle to save her family and her soul during the extraordinary year of 1666, when plague suddenly struck a small Derbyshire village.

In 1666, plague swept through London, driving the King and his court to Oxford, and Samuel Pepys to Greenwich, in an attempt to escape contagion. The north of England remained untouched until, in a small community of leadminers and hill farmers, a bolt of cloth arrived from the capital. The tailor who cut the cloth had no way of knowing that the damp…


Book cover of The Miniaturist

Rebecca D'Harlingue Author Of The Map Colorist

From my list on 17th-century women.

Who am I?

I find the seventeenth century fascinating, and both of my novels are set in that period. The century was a time of great flux, and I am especially interested in exploring the kinds of things that women might have done, even though their accomplishments weren’t recorded. There is a wonderful article by novelist Rachel Kadish called “Writing the Lives of Forgotten Women,” in which she refers to Hilary Mantel’s comments that people whose lives are not recorded fall through the sieve of history. Kadish says that, “Lives have run through the sieve, but we can catch them with our hands.” These novels all attempt to do that.

Rebecca's book list on 17th-century women

Rebecca D'Harlingue Why did Rebecca love this book?

I learned a lot about seventeenth-century Amsterdam when researching The Map Colorist, and I loved how Jessie Burton really brings the time and place to life.

There is the young Nella, caught in a marriage she doesn’t understand, and which will ultimately have dire consequences. There is also her sister-in-law, whom we come to really know only at the very end. Overlapping it all is the mysterious miniaturist, who presents Nella with new figures for the elaborate doll house that her husband gave her. The miniatures seem to predict the future!

By Jessie Burton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The phenomenal number one bestseller and a major BBC TV series.
Winner of the Specsavers National Book Award and Waterstones Book of the Year.
A Richard and Judy Book Club selection.

Beautiful, intoxicating and filled with heart-pounding suspense, Jessie Burton's historical novel set in Amsterdam, The Miniaturist, is a story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.

On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant…


Book cover of The Joy Luck Club

Janice Weizman Author Of Our Little Histories

From my list on family dramas in a multi-generational perspective.

Who am I?

For me, writing fiction is a way of tackling issues of fate and identity through storytelling. I believe we’re each the result of an intersection between personality and history and I’m interested in the way our time and place impacts us and creates a backdrop for our lives. My first novel, The Wayward Moon, is historical fiction set in the 9th-century Middle East. My second novel follows a Jewish family back six generations to Belarus. But no matter what period I’m writing about, the most important thing is always to tell a good story.

Janice's book list on family dramas in a multi-generational perspective

Janice Weizman Why did Janice love this book?

How do our parents and their life stories shape us? How much of our psychological makeup is a response to events that they lived through? How does our parents’ history influence our own life choices?

All of these questions are taken up in The Joy Luck Club, which explores the relationships of four mother/daughter pairs. The mothers, four friends who meet for a weekly mah-jong game, harbor powerful hopes that their daughters will achieve all that they could not. Their daughters struggle under the weight of these expectations, each in their own way.

Tan structures this book like a symphony, where the four stories, like variations on a theme, come together to create a composite portrait of the emotional life of families.

By Amy Tan,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Joy Luck Club as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The Joy Luck Club is an ambitious saga that's impossible to read without wanting to call your Mum' Stylist

Discover Amy Tan's moving and poignant tale of immigrant Chinese mothers and their American-born daughters.

In 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, meet weekly to play mahjong and tell stories of what they left behind in China. United in loss and new hope for their daughters' futures, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club.

Their daughters, who have never heard these stories, think their mothers' advice is irrelevant to their modern American lives - until their own inner…


Book cover of Like Water for Chocolate

Dare DeLano Author Of Abilene

From my list on strong female characters, family secrets, and magic.

Who am I?

I have always been drawn to stories that include a touch of magic – whether it’s the magical realism of Gabriel García Márquez, or the fantasy-adjacent work of Alice Hoffman. To me, works that include an element of magic speak to something in the human experience that is transcendent. The experience of praying, of having a child trust you, of falling in love – all these have a tinge of magic, or an unexplainable element in them. I want my stories to be, in part, a celebration of the magic we experience every day.

Dare's book list on strong female characters, family secrets, and magic

Dare DeLano Why did Dare love this book?

In this novel, Laura Esquivel uses a technique of taking a typical experience and exaggerating it so much that it transcends the possible and ventures into the magical. The birth of the main character, Tita, involves “a great tide of tears” so vast that when the water has dried, there is “enough salt to fill a ten-pound sack.” 

Tita is a gifted chef, and her emotions seep into the food she prepares which in turn affects the feelings of those who eat it. A meal she has cooked while feeling a passionate longing for the lover she cannot have, for example, leads to, well – you can imagine the result. It is wonderful, and funny, and sad, with a fairy tale quality to the writing.

By Laura Esquivel,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Like Water for Chocolate as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE INTOXICATING INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER ABOUT LOVE, COOKING AND MAGIC. PERFECT FOR FANS OF JOANNE HARRIS AND ISABEL ALLENDE.

'This magical, mythical, moving story of love, sacrifice and summering sensuality is something I will savour for a long time' MAUREEN LIPMAN

Like Water For Chocolate tells the captivating story of the De la Garza family. As the youngest daughter, Tita is forbidden by Mexican tradition to marry. Instead, she pours all of her emotions into her delicious recipes, which she shares with readers along the way.When Tita falls in love with Pedro, he is seduced by the magical food she cooks.…


Book cover of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Richard Vetere Author Of She's Not There

From my list on classic coming-of-age set within the last century.

Who am I?

Richard Vetere’s teleplay adaptation of his published stage play The Marriage Fool, starring Walter Matthau, Carol Burnet, and John Stamos, now streaming on Amazon. He co-wrote the movie The Third Miracle, which is a screenplay adaptation of his own novel. It was produced by Francis Ford Coppola, directed by Agnieszka Holand, and stars Ed Harris and Anne Heche released by Sony Picture Classics. His screenplay Caravaggio, an adaptation of his own published stage play, won the Golden Palm Award for Best Screenplay at the Beverly Hills International Film Festival in 2021. In 2005, the Frank Melville Library at Stony Brook University created the Richard Vetere Collection, an archive of his work.  

Richard's book list on classic coming-of-age set within the last century

Richard Vetere Why did Richard love this book?

Published in 1943, this was certainly my favorite coming-of-age novel which I read in high school. I grew up in a neighborhood in Queens with trees and parks while to me, Brooklyn was a world of concrete.

Francie intrigued me with how she survived her drunk father, her single-minded mother, and the harshness of poverty. My working-class world was a lot less dangerous and drastic than Francie’s so she intrigued me as she never wavered or lost her belief that everything would work out. The novel is the epitome of the coming-of-age book since it is truly about growing up and looking back on childhood memories no matter how unforgiving they are.

You are only young once and the novel tells us to relish those memories since there is always something good in them even if they are buried. The movie directed by Kazan is a good watch showing the…

By Betty Smith,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked A Tree Grows in Brooklyn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick

A special 75th anniversary edition of the beloved American classic about a young girl's coming-of-age at the turn of the twentieth century.

From the moment she entered the world, Francie Nolan needed to be made of stern stuff, for growing up in the Williamsburg slums of Brooklyn, New York demanded fortitude, precocity, and strength of spirit. Often scorned by neighbors for her family’s erratic and eccentric behavior―such as her father Johnny’s taste for alcohol and Aunt Sissy’s habit of marrying serially without the formality of divorce―no one, least of all Francie, could…


Book cover of Angels & Demons

E. Chris Ambrose Author Of The Mongol's Coffin

From my list on weaving adventure and history.

Who am I?

As an art school drop-out who'd been majoring in sculpture, I'm fascinated by material culture—artifacts created by early peoples that reveal their cultural values. Often, the relics and sites that engage both archaeologists and readers suggest unexpected depths of knowledge that show human ingenuity through the ages. I strive to incorporate the details of an artifact or monument's creation into the clues and descriptions in my work, hopefully illuminating a little-known historical realm, if only by torchlight as the adventure unfolds. The fact that I get to explore so many exotic locations, in research if not in person, is a definite plus!

E. Chris' book list on weaving adventure and history

E. Chris Ambrose Why did E. Chris love this book?

While most people associate Dan Brown with his more famous work, The DaVinci Code, this first novel in his Robert Langdon series really founded the archaeological thriller genre.

I loved how this book transports readers to the milieu so thoroughly that it was a bit of a spoiler when I recognized one key location from my own time in Rome before the secret was revealed—but that's a testament to how well he conveys the scene! Brown invites us behind the scenes of secret societies, sharing insider information to raise the stakes.

I had the great good fortune to take a workshop with Dan just before DaVinci Code came out, and benefit from his enormous skill as a teacher. The man tells a ripping yarn, full of puzzles that blend fact and fancy. 

By Dan Brown,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Angels & Demons as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

CERN Institute, Switzerland: a world-renowned scientist is found brutally murdered with a mysterious symbol seared onto his chest.

The Vatican, Rome: the College of Cardinals assembles to elect a new pope. Somewhere beneath them, an unstoppable bomb of terrifying power relentlessly counts down to oblivion.

In a breathtaking race against time, Harvard professor Robert Langdon must decipher a labyrinthine trail of ancient symbols if he is to defeat those responsible - the Illuminati, a secret brotherhood presumed extinct for nearly four hundred years, reborn to continue their deadly vendetta against their most hated enemy, the Catholic Church.

Origin, the spellbinding…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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