10 books like The Goldfinch

By Donna Tartt,

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

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The Glass Castle

By Jeannette Walls,

Book cover of The Glass Castle

Jeannette Walls tells a story of her early childhood growing up in a highly dysfunctional family with parents who are free spirits doing what makes each of them happy at the moment. Her father promises her that someday, he will build her a glass castle on the beach. She dreams of this beautiful home, but throughout the years, she and her siblings are homeless and learn to care for themselves while their parents take off for places unknown. She teaches life lessons of resilience, redemption, and forgiveness that have stayed with me for a very long time.

The Glass Castle

By Jeannette Walls,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The Glass Castle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now a major motion picture starring Brie Larson, Naomi Watts and Woody Harrelson.

This is a startling memoir of a successful journalist's journey from the deserted and dusty mining towns of the American Southwest, to an antique filled apartment on Park Avenue. Jeanette Walls narrates her nomadic and adventurous childhood with her dreaming, 'brilliant' but alcoholic parents.

At the age of seventeen she escapes on a Greyhound bus to New York with her older sister; her younger siblings follow later. After pursuing the education and civilisation her parents sought to escape, Jeanette eventually succeeds in her quest for the 'mundane,…


A Gentleman in Moscow

By Amor Towles,

Book cover of A Gentleman in Moscow

This delightful novel was the first book I read after moving into a new apartment. It’s about a Russian aristocrat in the 1920s who is sentenced to live the rest of his days in a small attic room in the Hotel Metropol, and how he makes a life for himself there. Just by enjoying the story so much I actually found myself being more amused by, rather than wary of, the quirks of my own new neighbors. Gentle curiosity is a powerful weapon for surviving the unknown and this book helped sharpen mine.

A Gentleman in Moscow

By Amor Towles,

Why should I read it?

16 authors picked A Gentleman in Moscow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The mega-bestseller with more than 2 million readers, soon to be a major television series

From the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Lincoln Highway and Rules of Civility, a beautifully transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and…


Where the Crawdads Sing

By Delia Owens,

Book cover of Where the Crawdads Sing

This story is set in the 1950s along the marshy North Carolina coast. Kya’s mother deserts her first, then her older siblings, leaving Kya to bring herself up. Nature plays a huge role in Kya’s life, as the marsh creatures are her only friends. The people in the nearby town call her the Marsh Girl, and she’s happy with that--until she begins to feel something is missing. Where the Crawdads Sing is both an unusual coming-of-age novel and a murder mystery. And an excellent read.

Where the Crawdads Sing

By Delia Owens,

Why should I read it?

26 authors picked Where the Crawdads Sing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

OVER 12 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE
NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
A NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

For years, rumours of the 'Marsh Girl' have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be…


Blood Meridian

By Cormac McCarthy,

Book cover of Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West

In my opinion, the best novel written in the last fifty years. The violence would be too much in the hands of a lesser writer and there is no greater living writer in English than McCarthy. McCarthy perfectly captures the nihilism of war, and how that nihilism later comes back to haunt war’s survivors.

Blood Meridian

By Cormac McCarthy,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Blood Meridian as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy is an epic novel of the violence and depravity that attended America's westward expansion, brilliantly subverting the conventions of the Western novel and the mythology of the Wild West. Based on historical events that took place on the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s, it traces the fortunes of the Kid, a fourteen-year-old Tennessean who stumbles into a nightmarish world where Indians are being murdered and the market for their scalps is thriving.


To Kill a Mockingbird

By Harper Lee,

Book cover of To Kill a Mockingbird

Told from the point-of-view of a young girl, Scout, To Kill a Mockingbird masterfully immerses us in fictional Maycomb, Alabama, where racial prejudice and inequities are part of the fabric of the town. Against that backdrop, the precocious Scout, gently guided by Atticus Finch, her father, learns the roots and consequences of racism and otherness. Scout is every outsider child of the South who has questioned norms and stood up against fear-based hatred. This book got deeply under my skin, in my cells, when I read it in high school. I understood Scout and cheered her on from the sidelines.

To Kill a Mockingbird

By Harper Lee,

Why should I read it?

22 authors picked To Kill a Mockingbird as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.'

Atticus Finch gives this advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of this classic novel - a black man charged with attacking a white girl. Through the eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Lee explores the issues of race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s with compassion and humour. She also creates one of the great heroes of literature in their father, whose lone struggle for justice pricks the conscience of a town steeped…


In the Woods

By Tana French,

Book cover of In the Woods

I love Tana French’s books. She’s a master of mystery and suspense but her books are normally fairly straightforward, gather-the-clues-and-figure-out-the-secret procedurals. In the Woods has a different feel. It delves more into psychological territory and relies partially on an unsolved mystery from the past–of which one of the detectives Rob was the sole, amnesiac survivor–that affects how the mystery in the present unfolds. As the tension builds, the reader is never sure whether the past events tie into the present mystery, Rob is cracking up under the pressure of the investigation and the bits of memory that return to him, or some unseen force is steering the protagonists away from the solution. 

In the Woods

By Tana French,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked In the Woods as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bestselling debut, with over a million copies sold, that launched Tana French, author of the forthcoming novel The Searcher and "the most important crime novelist to emerge in the past 10 years" (The Washington Post).

"Required reading for anyone who appreciates tough, unflinching intelligence and ingenious plotting." -The New York Times

Now airing as a Starz series.

As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only…


Kindred

By Rebecca Wragg Sykes,

Book cover of Kindred: Neanderthal Life, Love, Death and Art

British Paleo-Archaeologist Rebecca Wragg Sykes’s compelling book combines hard science, tantalizingly reasonable postulations, and poetry. It appeals to our “humanity.” Kindred is an almost wistful examination of our closest Hominid relatives - the Neanderthals. For over 300,000 years, Homo Neanderthalensis successfully survived several ice ages and drastic changes in weather, food sources, and landscape. Although they are not manifestly with us now, they exist in our imagination and provoke our curiosity.

We want to know them; Neanderthal genes still survive among our own. Sykes introduces our Neanderthal cousins, fleshing out their bones by bringing their appearance, their everyday tasks, their diets, their various habitats - even their possible way of speaking - into focus for us laymen by presenting the latest scientific evidence. Misconceptions are corrected. The icing on this delicious Paleolithic cake was, for me, Sykes’s poetic passages which open a path into each chapter, transporting me into the…

Kindred

By Rebecca Wragg Sykes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

** WINNER OF THE PEN HESSELL-TILTMAN PRIZE 2021 ** 'Beautiful, evocative, authoritative.' Professor Brian Cox 'Important reading not just for anyone interested in these ancient cousins of ours, but also for anyone interested in humanity.' Yuval Noah Harari Kindred is the definitive guide to the Neanderthals. Since their discovery more than 160 years ago, Neanderthals have metamorphosed from the losers of the human family tree to A-list hominins. Rebecca Wragg Sykes uses her experience at the cutting-edge of Palaeolithic research to share our new understanding of Neanderthals, shoving aside cliches of rag-clad brutes in an icy wasteland. She reveals them…


The Wave

By Susan Casey,

Book cover of The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean

This is an adventure! Turn the pages of this book to find waves and many kinds of waves: rogue, freak, and giant waves of the ocean and the people who try to surf them. I am a retired US Coast Guard officer and sailed many ships at sea. As a mariner we know of or have seen waves, some of them tossing our ships in the middle of the night as we try to sail home. Any number of ships have vanished in the ocean, quickly, with no time to put out an SOS call for help. This is a great book to learn more while having an adventure reading it from the safety of your chair.

The Wave

By Susan Casey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The have long been mariners' tales of 100-foot rogue waves - gargantuan monsters that sink super-tankers in the blink of an eye.

But waves that high violate the laws of physics, so science has dismissed them as myth. Until now.

In February 2000 the research ship, RRS Discovery, was trapped by a vortex of mammoth waves in the North Atlantic. Amazingly the ship survived and its state-of-the-art equipment registered waves nearing 100-feet. Something scary is brewing in the planet's waters. And with 72% of earth covered by sea, this is serious business.

Cut to Maui, Hawaii, a surf mecca where…


The Body

By Stephen King,

Book cover of The Body

The Body is Gordie’s odyssey into imagination. As we would be inclined to do, he wants to see the dead boy out of morbid curiosity. He also wants to be the hero who found the body. The odyssey tests and reveals Gordie’s character and that of his three friends. As with the boys, we bear some lonely disappointments and pains. We’d be going to see the dead body merely so we could think to ourselves, at least that’s not me. Perhaps that’s what motivates them too. Who doesn’t do that? Yet their quest doesn’t lead only to an unknown dead boy, but to the dead boy in all of them, perhaps all of us. They are brought together as one by the experience and win the prize—they are alive.

The Body

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Set in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine

#1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King’s timeless novella “The Body”—originally published in his 1982 short story collection Different Seasons, and adapted into the 1986 film classic Stand by Me—is now available as a stand-alone publication.

It’s 1960 in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine. Ray Brower, a boy from a nearby town, has disappeared, and twelve-year-old Gordie Lachance and his three friends set out on a quest to find his body along the railroad tracks. During the course of their journey, Gordie, Chris Chambers, Teddy Duchamp, and Vern…


The Long Goodbye

By Raymond Chandler,

Book cover of The Long Goodbye

The Long Goodbye is a weird book and I like weird books. Although it’s cloaked as genre fiction, it is clearly influenced by the non-linear, experimental fiction of the modernist period. The book is full of carnivalesque characters who seem to loom out of the shadows, spinning Chandler’s hard-boiled detective Marlowe around and sending him off in new directions, characters that echo each other like multiplied images in a funhouse mirror, and bizarre detours where tangled subplots weave into the narrative, then unravel as Marlowe is sent caroming off again. In the end, I’m always left wondering how much of the hallucinogenic happenings were real, how much Marlowe even understood what happened, and who was really pulling the strings all along.   

The Long Goodbye

By Raymond Chandler,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Long Goodbye as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ed Bishop stars as Philip Marlowe in a powerful and atmospheric full-cast dramatisation of Raymond Chandler's classic noir novel. The first time Marlowe sets eyes on Terry Lennox, he is lying drunk in the passenger seat of a Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith. The next time, he's on Skid Row. After they share a few Gimlets, Marlowe thinks he seems like a nice guy, but he's had a hard life - his white hair and scarred face testify to that. Or could it be marriage to Sylvia Lennox that has turned him prematurely grey? Although beautiful and rich, she plays the field…


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